Facebook ads not working

Facebook Ads Not Working? 4 Critical Ad Set-Up Mistakes To Avoid

Written by Ella Pegrum on .

Within this guide, we will be taking you through why your Facebook Ads may not be working, highlighting the four most common set-up mistakes to avoid.

Facebook currently has over 2.8 billion active users, making it a great place for businesses to focus on their marketing efforts. However, 62% of small business owners say their Facebook Ad campaigns never go well, making it clear that some common mistakes are being made.

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Why Are My Facebook Ads Not Working?

There are several reasons as to why your Facebook Ads might not be performing as expected. Read on to discover four of the most critical set-up mistakes frequently made by businesses who struggle on the platform.

1.     Poor Audience Targeting

As mentioned previously, there are over 2.8 billion active users on Facebook. Not only this, but there are also over 50 million business pages. These stats alone prove just how easy it is for your ads to get diluted in a sea of competitors.

This is where Facebook’s audience targeting can help.

To cut out the noise, Facebook has special features that allow you to target only a certain demographic of people. This makes it easy to reach out to people who are actually interested in what you have to say, rather than people who will more than likely never convert. Many businesses misuse this feature, which immediately damns the ad campaign before it’s even begun.

The audience targeting features that you should pay attention to include:

  • Location
  • Demographics (gender, age, marital status, etc.)
  • Engagement (targeting people who have recently interacted with your profile)
  • Behaviours (Facebook Pixel cleverly shows ads to users based on their behaviour)
Customer segmentation - why facebook ads not working

The Facebook Ad platform also has a clever ‘automatic optimisation’ feature, which automatically optimises an audience based on the target options you have provided.

But beware – poor audience targeting is more likely to be a user error than a Facebook optimisation error.

This begs the question, do you know your audience as well as you think you do? Many businesses will set their target locations and age gaps far and wide, thinking they are increasing the chances to capture more customers. WRONG.

The more targeted your audience, the better your ads are likely to perform. Drill down into the specific towns your target audience are based. Look into your Analytics data to see their demographic information.

Ensure you are taking a data-led approach and not relying on your opinion – which will always let you down in a marketing campaign!

2.     Your Landing Page Is Letting You Down

Did you know that targeting your landing pages can increase conversion rates by 300%? Just like any other ad campaign, the success of Facebook Ads rely on powerful landing pages.

When setting up ads, many businesses make the mistake of sending visitors to their homepage, which is a surefire way to block a conversion. A homepage will not relate to the ad in question, nor provide any useful information.

Users need to be directed to a page relevant to the ad; a page which provides more detail. For example, an ad promoting a specific product may lead to the product detail page. Or, an ad promoting a helpful ‘how-to’ guide may lead to a dedicated landing page with a download link.

No matter what the purpose is behind your Facebook Ad, it must have a relevant landing page to suit. Visitors will bounce off in an instant if they have to put in any extra work to find the content you have promised them in the Facebook ad.

Facebook alnding page - why facebook ads not working


3.     You’re Using Too Much Text

When you upload a text-heavy ad, Facebook will show a warning message, alerting you that it may dampen success rates or be penalised. This is because, much like all other social platforms, Facebook favours ads that focus on imagery.

Facebook posts with imagery see 2.3x more engagement, proving that this is a warning sign that you can’t afford to ignore.

To maximise your chances of a successful ad, stick to straight-to-the-point descriptions and utilise the character count on the headline. If you’re trying to tell a story through imagery, opt for the carousel option so that you can include multiple descriptions.

4.     You’ve Only Thought About Your Sales Funnel (And It Shows)

No one likes a pushy salesperson. If you’re confronted with the same ads promoting the same products every time you open Facebook, would you be more likely to block that business from your timeline or make a purchase? Bear this in mind when setting up your ads.

To increase your chances of having high performing Facebook Ads, tell a story that your audience can connect with, rather than jumping straight to a sale. You can do this through sharing testimonials, benefits, reviews and so on. Anything that reminds your audience that they can trust you, and will benefit from your product or service.

Don’t Forget To Measure Your Success

With these four common mistakes in mind, you should now have a greater sense of confidence when setting up Facebook Ads. Just remember that, once your ad is up and running, it still needs constant monitoring. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for optimising ads, meaning you must monitor performance to establish what’s working and what isn’t.

To learn more about your ads’ performance, it’s wise to set up an A/B test to establish what approaches work. This will help you to find the highest click-through rate (CTR) with the lowest cost per click (CPC) – something all paid search specialists strive for. Good luck!

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Please keep coming back to our blog throughout the year to make sure that you always have your finger on the pulse of what’s hot and trending in digital marketing.

You can check out our article on How to Build An Email Marketing List From Scratch ⋆ Slam Marketing

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