Think back to the last ad you saw in your Facebook feed. Can you remember what it was? Nope, me neither. The average person is now exposed to thousands of ads every day. We’re bombarded with messages telling us what to buy, how to feel and what to think. And, short of becoming Amish, there’s not a whole lot we can do to escape them.
The good thing to come from all this? Advertising is more accessible to small businesses than ever before.
The problem is that every man and his dog can run a campaign. So, naturally, half the ads on Facebook suck and a quarter are irrelevant. Remember: paying to place an ad doesn’t guarantee that it will be successful. Facebook doesn’t care if you’ve wasted your budget selling cat collars to dog people; they’re too busy laughing all the way to the bank.
Perhaps this is why 62% of small biz owners say FB ads don’t work for them. It’s easier to blame the platform than it is to troubleshoot exactly why it isn’t working. I started writing a comprehensive list of mistakes you’re making with your Facebook ads. This blog post will be the first in a series of posts because we’d be here for days if I were to share all 15+ points in one post.
Here are the first 5 reasons why your Facebook ads aren’t working, and how you can fix them.
Mistake #1. You’re sending visitors to the wrong page
The page you send your visitors should be part of your strategy. It should be based on your campaign goal, ad content and audience.
Make life easy for your customer. Don’t force them to spend hours trying to find the product you advertised. If you’re advertising a specific pair of red-soled heels at 20% off and the visitor lands on your homepage, they’re likely to exit straight away. The longer they spend browsing, the more time they have to reconsider their intent to buy.
That said, sending them straight to the product page isn’t always a good idea either. If they’ve never had contact with your brand, consider sending them to a tailored landing page. Use this page to introduce the brand, introduce the product and convince the customer to buy from you.
Even if they are familiar with your brand, a tailored landing page can boost conversions. Google “landing page examples” for some ideas on where to start.
The page you send your ad traffic to should be tested with each ad campaign. Run two identical ads with identical audiences, but send them to two different landing pages. Which one gives you the lowest cost per conversion?
“What’s a cost per conversion?” I hear you say. This brings me to the second mistake you’re making with your Facebook ads…
Mistake #2. You’re not tracking Facebook ad results
It’s all well and good tracking the cost per click or cost per impression of your campaign, but these metrics only show half the picture. The Facebook half.
What do they do once they click out of Facebook and land on your website? Do they purchase? Do they stay on the page for 3 seconds and then exit? Do they sign up for your mailing list? Do they add a product to cart, but exit before checkout?
If you’re not tracking these metrics, you’re leaving money on the proverbial table.
Cost per conversion is one such metric that you need to acquaint yourself with, like yesterday.
Spending $50 of your precious advertising budget on each sale of a $20 dog collar, won’t get you anywhere fast. Except, maybe, the bottom of your business cheque account.
Perhaps Campaign A is converting customers at $2 per dog collar and Campaign B at $100 per dog collar. Campaign B needs to be adjusted or switched off.
I could go on for days telling you how to track these metrics, but there are already a ton of resources doing just that. You have two options: spend the time learning how to do it, or outsource it. Living in blissful ignorance is the third option, but it’s only an option if you have money to burn.
If it’s all a bit too overwhelming and you want to leave it for later, that’s fine. Please do this one thing today: install the Facebook pixel so you can start tracking and retargeting website visitors.
Mistake #3. You’re targeting cold traffic with a hard sell
You’re running a Facebook ad promoting a pink, rhinestone-studded collar for small dogs. You set the ad audience to people who like dogs and who live in Australia.
The audience for this ad have never been to your website, and have no idea about your brand. They have no idea who you are. For all they know, you could be a fly-by-night operator who is going to rip them off.
Running hard-sell ads to cold traffic are a bit like inviting someone to your hotel room 5 minutes after meeting them in a bar*. Your chances of getting a “yes” are slim.
(*Note: your chances depend on which particular bar we’re talking about)
Besides the fact that you’re propositioning your audience on the first date, how do you know they are even looking for a dog collar?
Do you know whether their dog is small enough for this particular collar? Maybe their dog doesn’t like pink. Maybe they don’t even have a dog!
You know nothing about their product preferences, so you’re wasting ad spend by showing them specific products.
How can you fix this? Get a little creative and offer them some free stuff. You could run an ad promoting a competition to win a dog collar. All they have to do to be in the draw is enter their email address, dog breed and preferred colour. You can then create custom audiences from the email list (segmented by dog size and/or colour preferences) and retarget them with specific products.
The other way to do this is through the Facebook pixel. Once you’ve installed the pixel, you can track which pages visitors have been to. This allows you to create custom audiences for each product or product category.
So, you visited my pink, rhinestone-studded collar page? Lucky you. You’re now going to be seeing ads for pink, rhinestone-studded collars throughout your newsfeed.
Mistake #4. You haven’t ventured past the “Boost Post” button
Boosted posts are a good starting point. I’ve had some successful campaigns that were boosted posts. It all depends on your definition of success. If you want more people to see, engage with and share your post, then a boosted post is great. However, if you’re wanting to increase conversions on your website (i.e. sell more stuff), then a boosted post isn’t enough. You need to set up your campaign with a conversion objective.
Facebook is a clever platform. They know more about you than you know about yourself. They know if you’re likely to buy, or if you’re averse to online shopping. They know if you’re likely to tag a friend in the post comments, or if you’ll simply keep scrolling. Depending on the campaign objective you set, Facebook will show it to the right people for the intended result.
Some of the objectives you can set with Facebook ads include:
Product catalog sales
Have a play and test different campaign objectives. Note: you should leave the ad for a couple of days to allow Facebook to optimise it.
Mistake #5. You’re running a campaign for Facebook likes
Running a campaign for Facebook likes may be a great way to stroke your ego, but it’s not going to increase your sales.
Back in the good old days (read: 2013), you could have thousands of Facebook page likes and know that most of these people would see your posts. Four years on, you’d be lucky if a handful saw your post.
Thanks to the Facebook algorithm organic reach has all but kicked the bucket. It’s partly a good thing because our feeds would otherwise be full of rubbish (and not as many puppy videos). But, it means that most people who like your Facebook page will never see your posts in their newsfeed.
This makes Facebook page likes a vanity metric. Sure, it looks good and it sounds cool being able to say you’ve got 10,000 page likes, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot anymore. You’re better off spending your budget achieving a more meaningful goal.
This has been part 1 of the mistakes you’re making with Facebook ads series. Keep an eye out for parts 2 and 3 coming soon.
If you’ve enjoyed our Mistakes you’re making with your Facebook ads series, you’re going to lurrrrrve our free Facebook ad template. Pop your email below and we’ll send the template straight to your inbox.