The it Crowd Marketing

Facebook Ad Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Advertising with Facebook is one of, if not the, most popular paid media options. However, that doesn’t mean that every company is using it correctly which leads to wasting valuable time and money. 

It is my goal to highlight, explain, and help you to avoid some of the most common mistakes made with Facebook marketing. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to better create content across the three main components of a Facebook ad: defining objectives, targeting and strategy, and creation.  

Mistake #1: Not having clear marketing objectives

Setting up marketing objectives is the very first step in Facebook Ad creation. It is important to think of your strategy in terms of a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re only focused on pushing a limited time sale, then you might get results in the right now but will suffer down the road. Facebook’s ad interface will give you three categories to pick from – awareness, consideration, and conversion (a.k.a. decision making).

The best way for you to decide which category your objectives fall under is to ask yourself what you want the Facebook user to do longterm. Do you want the audience to learn more about your brand, complete a call to action, visit your website, or to care about a cause? 

Mistake #2: Poor targeting

When targeting is an issue, it is typically because the company is thinking too broad, too narrow, or focusing on the wrong niche. Identifying a specific target audience is one of the key aspects of success among all business aspects. In case you didn’t know, Facebook has built-in targeting features that help you to make sure you’re getting your message across to the right people.

Facebook targeting options include existing contacts, purchasing behavior, audiences that look similar to your existing contacts/customers, life events, demographics, and location. 

What to do if:

  • Audience is too broad – if your potential reach is showing numbers in the hundreds of thousands or above, it is likely that you are thinking too broad. Be realistic when setting filters as to who is going to be influenced by your ad within the timeframe that it will be running. Keeping the description of the above people in mind, set more target demographics and interests to weed some of the people out.
  • Audience is too narrow – Make sure to pay attention to the needle that shows you where your target audience likely falls. If your potential audience is only 100 people, you can likely unselect a few filters to help reach more Facebook users. 
  • Audience is wrong – One reason that customer surveys are so valuable is that it helps a company to visualize who their audience is. It is likely that people who hold similar interests, hobbies, lifestyles, etc. to your current customer base will also be interested in purchasing your product in the future. Another way to learn about your current following is to utilize the audience insights feature that Facebook offers.  

Mistake #3: Setting and forgetting

All marketing pros are aware of the danger and costs that can come with setting up an ad only to check on it weeks later. You should be analyzing the data every day! Here’s a checklist of all the data you should be regulating daily to ensure that your ad doesn’t become stale:

  • Ad frequency
  • Relevance score
  • Click-through-rate vs. conversion rate
  • Number of leads
  • Ad performance by placement 
  • Clicks by interest 

Give your data time to reflect the results that you are looking for. As a general rule, make sure to collect 90 days worth of data before throwing out a strategy. Within that time frame, it is okay to make tweaks and changes. However, patience will be key! Take at least three days to consider making a change. If you decide that change is absolutely necessary, then give yourself a week to do so and a month before changing courses completely. 

Mistake #4: Focused on one and done 

When marketers focus on in the moment events and content they are taking a siloed approach that loses the ability to study long term content and data. Instead, think back to your business classes about the buyer’s journey and try to create content that is appealing to every stage. This will help to generate data and insights that can be used over time.  

If you do choose to promote an event, think of ways to create an experience. Start your planning way in advance, giving you the ability to post over time using a variety of methods. 

Mistake #5: Forgetting about pixels

A Facebook pixel is a way to track interactions that are happening with your Ad back to your website. They are used for three main functions: building custom audiences from your website for future marketing opportunities, optimizing ads for conversions, and tracking conversions on a website to attribute them to an ad. Pixels are a vital closed-loop reporting tool that can help you calculate ROIs by studying how your audience is interacting with you on and off of the Facebook platform. 

If you aren’t using pixels and are unsure of how to start, Facebook provides the code for you inside of your ads manager tab. 

Mistake #6: Not utilizing imaging and video

Facebook offers a variety of ad styles in which the majority include at least one photo or video. This should suggest to you the importance of visual media in your advertisement. Use the below guidelines to help keep your media relevant. 

  • Images and videos should have a clear connection back to your product, offer, or service you are promoting. 
  • Images should have minimal text. 
  • Add captions to your images and videos. 
  • Design your videos to be played with the sound off (having captioning turned on). 
  • Analyze media-specific data (average watch time, video views, reach, thru plays and cost per thru play, and video watches). 

Mistake #7: Missing the mark with headlines 

A common misconception is that the headline for your ad should state what your offer is. Although this idea makes sense, it is not an effective way to draw attention to your ad. Instead, highlight the ways that your audience will benefit from what is being promoted. Doing so will create an emotional connection between the viewer and the product. Lastly, remember to keep your headlines concise. When possible, keep your headlines at seven words or less. 

Facebook ad management shouldn’t be just part of a bigger strategy, but a strategy in itself. Creating an effective ad campaign takes serious time and planning but when done correctly, can be a great investment! Use these tips to avoid the mistakes that marketers before you have made and see a positive change among your Facebook audience.


By: Miranda Hardesty Hoffpauir 

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