When I wrote part 1 of Mistakes you’re making with your Facebook ads, I was planning on waiting a few weeks before writing part 2. I had a bunch of other blog content lined up that I couldn’t wait to write about. But, since this one piece of content got 700 visitors in the space of 24 hours from social media alone, I decided to hurry along this second part.
You’re sending visitors to the wrong page (hint: what you think is the right page might actually be the wrong page).
You’re not tracking your ad results and metrics.
You’re targeting cold traffic with a hard-sell.
You haven’t ventured past the ‘Boost Post’ button.
You’re running a campaign for Facebook likes.
Unfortunately, Facebook ads are finicky things, and there are a lot of things you can get wrong. So, here are another few mistakes you’re making with your Facebook ads…
Mistake #6: You’re targeting the wrong people
Targeting isn’t something you’ll get right straight away. It takes a lot of testing, measuring and adjusting to get it right. When I first started running ads for The Sugarfree Box (my last business), I thought my ideal customer was a female, aged 18-30 and living in a major city. After a bit of testing, I found that my ads actually worked better with an older audience living in rural areas. Why rural areas? Because they don’t have access to the health food stores that we city-slickers do. It was so obvious, I overlooked it.
So, not testing different audiences is one mistake you’re making with your targeting. Choosing an audience that’s too broad is another.
Logically, you’d think that a broad audience is better, right? Reaching more people means more people buy… Right? Wrong.
With a large audience, your ads won’t get shown to everyone – unless you have deep pockets, that is. Facebook is also wasting your budget by showing your ads to people who are never going to buy your product. In part 1, I used the analogy of selling cat collars to dog owners; they’re not going to buy your product (unless, maybe, they have a really large cat… but that’s not the point).
I hear you asking me “Steph, what audience size should I be aiming for?” The short answer: How long is a piece of string?
The long answer: Test it! If Facebook Ad Manager is telling you that your audience is too broad, it probably is. Audience size depends on a lot of factors. Marketing experts in the US often suggest audience sizes in the millions. This might work if you’re targeting a global audience. If you’re targeting Australians only, a few million is usually too broad.
The point is that, if your audience is too narrow, your ads will be shown to the same people over and over again. And your relevancy score will go down, down, and stay down. That said, I’ve worked on some successful campaigns with audiences under 10,000 due to the specific niche they were in. It meant we had to be vigilant with tracking metrics and refreshing the ad content frequently.
Mistake #7: You’re not keeping an eye on your relevance score
WTAF is a relevance score, you ask? It’s Facebook’s way of telling you whether it thinks your ads will resonate with your audience. For the sake of simplicity, think of it as the “will your audience give a crap?” score.
If people report or hide the ad, its relevance score will be lower. If people interact with the ad, the score goes up. If the ad achieves its objectives (e.g. conversions for a conversion-optimised ad, or clicks on a traffic-optimised ad), the score goes up.
So, why is relevance score so, uh, relevant? Aside from being a great way to tell if you’ve got the right audience and content, it also affects the price you pay to reach people. Facebook wants to show the right ads to the right people, so if your ad has a high relevance score then Facebook shows it to more people. At a lower cost. Simples.
If your relevance score was high but starts to drop, run for the hills. Just kidding. This is most likely a sign that your audience is being shown the same ads again. Try refreshing your images or copy, or test a new audience.
Relevance score isn’t a metric you should look at in isolation. It’s only one part of the picture, but it can give some clues as to why your campaign isn’t giving you the results you want.
That said, it’s not impossible to have a successful campaign with a low(ish) relevance score. I’ve run lead-generation campaigns with relevance scores of 3-4 where we generated high-quality leads at a decent cost.
Mistake #8: Your images suck
A.k.a. “I don’t care how white that stock photo model’s teeth are, I’m going to keep scrolling because it looks fake”.
This usually goes one of two ways: (a) You have stock photos with fake, airbrushed models or, (b) you’re using your photos taken with your iPhone and it looks like amateur hour.
I’ve been there, starting a business and unable to afford professional photography. But, you know what? Youtube is free. Apps like Pixc
will remove the background from your image for free. Everyone knows someone with a DSLR they can borrow, and if you don’t, there are camera hire places that are fairly inexpensive
. If you’d rather not take the DIY approach, we offer styled product photography that is perfect for elevating your Facebook ad game
If you don’t have a tangible product, there are plenty of styled stock photo websites with eye-catching images appropriate for your target audience
is an amazing free stock photography website. If you’re a productive procrastinator, like me, I take no responsibility for the hours you’ll lose browsing Unsplash
When picking your ad imagery, consistency is another important factor. Is the image you’ve picked consistent with your brand? Is it consistent with the landing page you’re sending them to? The last thing you need is for your new website visitor to freak out and think they clicked the wrong link.
Next time you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed, take notice of the images that stand out to you. The images that make you stop and actually take the time to read the ad. What do you like about them? What makes them stand out? How can you apply these concepts to your own ad imagery?
Mistake #9: Your copy doesn’t have me convinced
Good imagery and a solid headline might catch your audience’s attention, but it’s your copy’s job to keep it.
Facebook is a source of information overwhelm at the moment. I usually read one sentence of each post on my feed and, unless it grabs my attention, I keep scrolling. Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling… Ooh, puppies!
This means you have one sentence, maybe two, to capture your audience’s attention and hook them in. How on earth will you keep them reading?
I usually start the ad with a question or two, that creates intrigue or confronts the audience. For example, “Feeling like a bad parent because you can’t find the time to bake healthy lunchbox snacks?”
Following on from that, you want to show that you understand your audience’s pain points. For example: “We know the feeling. As busy parents, we felt so guilty about feeding our kids supermarket snacks full of sugar and chemicals. That is why we created …”
It also helps to outline a few of the benefits of your product. Not just the product’s features. This is where a lot of businesses go wrong – they can’t articulate the real benefits of what they’re selling. Think really deeply about what your customer gets out of it. If your brain doesn’t hurt, you’re not thinking deeply enough.
Let’s pretend that I’m a swimming instructor. I teach kids how to swim. You’d think that the benefit of my swimming classes is that your kids learn how to swim, right?
Well, yes. But the benefits run deeper than that. Your kids aren’t just learning how to swim; they’re also less likely to drown. I’m not a parent, but I would personally pick a swimming instructor that tells me they’ll stop my kid from drowning, over one that says they’ll teach my kid how to swim.
Mistake #10: You don’t have product-market fit
This one is a biggie. It’s confronting. Unfortunately, it’s all too common with entrepreneurs. We’re passionate people – we fall in love with our ideas. When we romanticise these ideas, we often forget to ask our audience if they actually need the product. If it actually solves a problem for them.
Sometimes, when our Facebook ads aren’t converting, it’s easy to blame the platform. “Facebook ads don’t work for me” is a common complaint. But, if you haven’t tested your product; if you haven’t actually gone and asked people in your target audience whether they need the product, or even if they want the product, then no amount of advertising will help you.
You can spend a fortune on advertising, but if you don’t have product-market fit, then you’re wasting your time.