• Black Rock Media

5 Facebook ad mistakes (and how to fix them)

Remember the good old days when you could just put an advert out in a magazine or on a radio station and then wait for the phone to ring? Nowadays it seems like we have to have a science degree and psychology Masters degree to understand ads manager.

The truth is, digital advertising is fiddly, time consuming and sometimes frustrating, but with a few tips and some experimenting you will find that it’s not as close to brain surgery as you think. Here are 5 common mistakes made when using Facebook ads and how you can fix them to ensure you are running effective and competitively priced ads.

1. Flexibility is key

When running Facebook ads it’s important to know that just because a campaign has worked in the past or your friends have a certain way of doing it, that that is not THE way you need to run yours. There is no right way of running Facebook ads but there are plenty of wrong ways, the wrong ways being the ones that aren’t working for you. Facebook ads are just a way of getting your message in front of the right people in the most cost efficient way, but you need to analyse the message, the offer, understanding your audience and knowing their pain points and how to help them solve their problem. This is why testing your ads is key. Video vs pictures, carousels vs single image, different text through to different landing pages and calls to action all make a difference. Facebook ads are all about small improvements over time to create the perfect campaign for you.

2. Choosing the best suited objective

Facebook is smart, scarily smart, and it wants to do the right thing at all times. It’s kind of like an obedient dog that lives to be told it’s a ‘good boy’, so your job is to guide it and allow it to do what it does best. There are several campaigns in Facebook, each of them do a slightly different job. Facebook is effectively a database and has ranked us all in order of how we consume content e.g whether we engage with content, watch videos, scroll fast vs slow, use the platform over our lunch break etc, so your job is tell Facebook what you need from it.

What is the goal of your campaign? If you reverse engineer the outcome instead of pushing people to a website and hoping for the best you will see far greater results. Advertising is about romance nowadays and not smashing messages into peoples faces. You could make a video which brings value to the relevant audience and create a brand awareness or video views campaign which keeps people on Facebook who are aware of your product, then run a separate traffic campaign retargeting those people who have seen at least 50% of your video knowing that they are more likely to be warmer leads.

3. Patience lowers the costs

What people don’t realise is that Facebook is testing the ads itself for the first few days by trying to figure out the best people to show your ads to and as it figures that out it starts to target people more likely to take the required action. So always allow your ads to run for at least 3 days before changing anything or making assumptions.

Think of your ads as an old pipe which you found. When you run water down that pipe you will see where the water comes out and where you need to patch it up. If you don’t let the water run all of the way through the pipe to see where the biggest holes are it will take you a lot longer to fix that pipe.

4. Be guided by stats

Stats can be deceptive and they can fit many different narratives as there are so many aspects to them. Add more money and get more traffic but that doesn’t tell the whole story and when running ads there has to be some kind of return on investment even if that isn’t financial. The stats are there to help you improve the ads week on week and month on month until you have the perfect campaign which you can turn on and off like a tap. Negative numbers are a sign of what to turn your attention to, not that the ads are not working.

5. Targeting can be overlapped

Your demographic might be females within a 50 mile radius of Brighton between the age of 25 and 45 years old, however, we can narrow the audience to be more specific by using the ‘narrow the audience’ function in targeting. This means they need to like both key demographics. So as an example, if you add in musical artists like Coldplay and Bruno Mars then you tell Facebook they can like Coldplay OR Bruno Mars, however, when you narrow the audience you are telling Facebook ads manager they need to like Coldplay AND Bruno Mars which will define the audience and hopefully lower your Cost per click.

Hopefully these tips help you with your Facebook ads and show you that while it helps to be geeks like us it’s not essential. If you get stuck we are always here to help as the digital ads specialists.

Now go get stuck in and take over the world!

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