Facebook is an advertising behemoth. With 2.01 billion active monthly users and 57% of people saying social media influences their decision, it’s no wonder every business wants to run a Facebook ad. Its user numbers, coupled with accurate targeting features, make it a magnet for advertisers.
Many people however approach Facebook advertising in the same manner they would approach any other marketing medium. Facebook is a completely different platform offering different advertising services and treating it the same as another channel is self sabotage. You might think your ads are doing fine but in reality, you’d be spending too much money on ads and getting very little return on investment.
Here are 15 common mistakes people make while running Facebook advertising campaigns.
(1) Not defining your audience
Still trying to sell to ‘everyone’? Mass marketing is 1999 and just doesn’t work anymore. You need to define your target customer base. If your intended customer base is too broad, try streamlining it into a few buyer personas. Ask yourself questions like who needs this the most, how old are they, what do they read, what are they interested in, where do they live? If you have no answers, send a survey out to your current customers and ask them these questions.
This is very important because Facebook gives you the option of targeting users based on a wide range of demographic and interest options. Throwing your ads to everyone will not only be ineffective, it will cost you a lot of money.
(2) Expecting Facebook to work like other channels
This is another popular mistake. Many advertisers expect Facebook to deliver results the same way search ads or display ads do. You need to remember that Facebook delivers your ads to who you think is most likely to be interested in what you’re offering. Google Search Ads for example are great for matching user intent to purchase or consume content and will typically deliver different results.
(3) Setting the wrong marketing objective
Just before you start actually creating your Facebook ad, the ad manager asks you what your objective is. If you’ve not already defined what you’re trying to do with Facebook ads, you should take some time out to do so. Facebook typically displays your ad to its users(within your defined demographic and interest group) who have recently taken the action you want. This ranges from users who visit websites, download apps, watch videos or simply engage with content.
(4) Measuring the wrong metric
When your Facebook ad campaign is underway, there are a ton of metrics available to you within the ads manager. Some of them are clicks, reach, impression, cost-per-click click-through rate, conversion rate and a host of others. Again, the metrics you measure should be based on your goal – are you trying to optimize your ads for higher conversions and lower costs or do you have a really large budget to play with?
(5) Forgetting to use Facebook Pixels
Facebook pixels are snippets of code Facebook uses to track user behavior on your site or within your mobile app. If you’re not tech savvy, you might have to get your website developer to install them for you. Many advertisers ignore this step and go ahead with running a campaign. Pixels not only help Facebook measure who’s doing what on your site, it also helps you with defining your audience in the future. You could decide to exclude people who have already visited your site from a new campaign or display a new product to users who bought certain items. Facebook pixels is an often ignored but very useful tool.
(6) Ignoring Facebook’s analytics
Google Analytics, Mixpanel and Crazy Egg. These are some of the most famous website and app analytics tools out there. It’s easy to rely on the robustness of these tools and forget that Facebook ads manager is a great analytics tool in itself. It can help you measure what ads are performing well, what groups of people are responding better to your ads and overall help you decide if your ads are worth running in the first place.
(7) Not using custom audiences
Custom audiences are another brilliant tool from Facebook. After selecting your demographic and interest settings for your Facebook campaign, you can save that group as a custom audience. Facebook allows you decide on what to call the audience – you should pick something you’ll remember effortlessly.
This is very helpful when you want to target another campaign at the same audience or if you wish to exclude the audience. It can also help you measure what audience is most responsive to your campaign. You can also create custom audiences from your Facebook pixels.
(8) Making your target audience too wide
Like I mentioned earlier, many advertisers believe in ineffective mass marketing and try to sell to ‘everyone’. While creating Facebook ads, there’s a little indicator on the right that shows you whether your audience target is broad or specific. The more specific your audience is, the better your ads will perform. This is what great marketing is about – getting the right message to the right audience and at the right time. If your audience is too broad, you might have to redefine your target until there’s a match.
(9) Using a single ad
So you’ve read about the effectiveness of Facebook ads and thought “Oh wow. I’m so going to try this!”. You create one campaign, one ad group and throw in one ad in response. This is a very bad attempt at marketing and at taking advantage of Facebook’s advertiser tools. When you use one ad, you’re never going to know if another image or message would have performed better. You should use multiple images and messages in your ad campaign so you can learn which is the best for your goal.
(10) Designing bad ads
Some Facebook ads are just plain bad. They’ve got ugly and unprofessional images with so much text in the copy, that the user can barely read them. You need to use professional-quality images when designing your ad. There are many sites where you can download images for free to use in your ads. Facebook also offers free images for you. It’s also noteworthy to keep ad copy short. Facebook users have a lot of content to consume on their feed so you need to attract them with your image and go straight to the point in your ad headline and messaging.
(11) Matching the wrong ads to the wrong audience
You need to know who you’re selling to, how best to reach them and what way to reach them. Are they busy entrepreneurs who can barely squeeze time out or are they millennials on summer holiday who have all the time in the world? Your value proposition(even if you’re selling the same product) and messaging should be different for each audience type you’ve created.
(12) Creating ad fatigue
Ever gotten tired of watching the same advert over and over again on TV? It’s the same thing online. Imagine seeing the same ad everyday when you open Facebook. It could be exhausting for users – this is called ad fatigue. Users have seen your ads so many times, they’re tired of it and it is no longer effective. A general rule of thumb is to change your ad when the frequency is 4x. You can find the frequency metric in Facebook ad manager.
(13) Using the wrong ad format
What advert format would best deliver your message? Facebook has several options of image ads, slideshows, canvas and video ads. If you’re not sure what format you should use, you can test different ads against the same audience and see what works best. Note that the Canvas format is currently experimental and is only available to some advertisers in a few countries.
(14) Using one landing page
It’s very typical for advertisers to link Facebook ads to one page. While trying to save time, you create one page and send all your Facebook traffic to it. You can never be too sure what content visitors will respond to. This is why it’s important to test different messaging, images, colors, forms and call-to-action buttons. You should create at least 2 landing pages and change one important thing in the second page.
(15) Forgetting to retarget
Studies show that campaigns that are retargeted have a 10X higher Click-Through Rate than regular ads. This is because a person that has visited your site and knows your brand is more likely to click an advert than someone who has never heard about what you’re selling. This is where the Facebook pixel is most useful. You could use it to advertise new content or new products on your site to an old visitor. You could also use it to target someone who added a product to cart but did not checkout. The opportunities are endless.
Facebook advertising is all about making use of the right tools, format, messaging and content. You should never be afraid to test different audiences, content and messaging when managing a Facebook campaign. The best way to learn is to experiment while taking advantage of the tools Facebook has made available to you.
Bio: Olabinjo Adeniran is a Digital Marketing Expert and writer based in Lagos, Nigeria. He loves binge watching shows in foreign languages, and is obsessed with Googling every single thing and getting lost in the web. You can find more of his articles on Digitalmarketer.ng