All the things you shouldn’t do with Facebook Ads September 14, 2020Facebook Ads can be a time-consuming to set up, and confusing to use, but the pay-off can be truly tremendous. As technology continues to develop and the world progressively grows remote, one thing is becoming clear: the marketing tactics you were using before aren’t going to work the same today. This is true whether you’re an experienced digital marketer or you just created your company’s Facebook page. Things have changed! And with the average Facebook user spending 38 minutes on the platform every day, it’s no wonder why 92% of marketers use it to their advantage. The competition’s steep. Over 1.5 million businesses advertise on Facebook. How can you ensure you get seen by the right people? You essentially have two options: you can either learn how to advertise on Facebook, or you can hire someone who knows what they’re doing. If you’d rather take a shot at it yourself, that’s what we’re covering today, but unconventionally. Today, we’ll be walking you through the top seven things to avoid while advertising on Facebook. Want to outsource? Talk to our social media experts. How do Facebook Ads work? We’ve covered this topic before, so we’ll keep this section short. Way back in 2007, Facebook Ads were known as “dark posts.” Why? Because they weren’t directly associated with your Facebook Page or Group. Therefore, Facebook saw them as “undercover” posts meant to convert your customers without the direct brand association. As you can imagine, they’ve grown significantly from the days of small display ads on Facebook’s sidebar. Today, Facebook Ads are a laser-targeted tool to get you in front of your customers no matter where they’re at. You can use them to promote your Facebook Page, posts, Facebook Group, or even your website. For example, you run an HVAC business and have your Page set up to drive appointments. You could use Facebook Ads to encourage users to your Facebook Page, Group, or website. That’s the power of Facebook advertising. Who should use Facebook Ads? There’s much debate about who should advertise on Facebook (and why), but we’re firm believers that anybody can – and everyone should! eCommerce businesses no longer dominate the internet; the perfect time to get into Facebook advertising is today. It can make a big difference to you bottom line. Read more: What are Facebook Ads and how do we use them? What are the most common mistakes we see? We won’t sugar coat it: Social media marketing is tricky. Every platform has its algorithm to be aware of, and every algorithm caters to a different audience. It can be exhausting trying to stay on top of everything while also running your business. And while Facebook Ads can – and do – make a big difference in business, they can be confusing. Sometimes it’s helpful to hear everything you’re doing right in your marketing, but sometimes the best way to truly level-up your strategy is to understand which parts to improve. With that in mind, are you ready for some hard truths? Here are the seven most common mistakes we see while making Facebook Ads. #1: Not knowing your Facebook Ads target audience As we mentioned earlier, Facebook’s advertising strength comes from its incredible targeting power. You can target people by their location, age, gender, relationship status, connections, interests, languages, education, and even workplace. You can get so hyper-targeted that your pool of users becomes too small. The trick behind a well-targeted audience is knowing their interests. Most marketers try to either target the largest groups possible or the smallest, but both are mistakes. Instead, they key is to understand their precise interests. For example, suppose your target audience is yoga enthusiasts. In that case, chances are they follow local yoga studios, yoga magazines and blogs, and like workout apps. Add those to your interest lists while creating an ad, and suddenly, your pool becomes much more specific and unbiased. Advanced Tip: Download Facebook Pixel onto your website. When someone visits your site via your Facebook Ad, Pixel will monitor any action they take and report it to you. Not only will you be able to see your ads working, you’ll be able to retarget to them later on. Read more: What analytics should I track on Facebook Ads? #2: Not running strong enough creative on Facebook Ads What’s the first thing you see on any piece of content, paid or organic? The image, of course! Your creative is the most crucial part of your ad, hands down. Many things can make a creative flop, but the most notable mistakes we see are the image’s relevance. Is your image reflective of your target audience? Are they good quality photos that aren’t stock images? Are they branded, engaging, and eye-catching? If you’re not sure, get some feedback from your boss or team! If they don’t find them engaging, your target audience won’t either. Advanced Tip: Use images with people facing to the right. We’re more likely to follow another person’s gaze—leading readers right to your headline. #3: Using Facebook Ads to run only one ad at a time Not everyone has the marketing budget for multiple offers running simultaneously, but you should still be running multiple ads at once. This is called A/B testing, and it’s absolutely the best way to know if your ad is operating at the highest capacity. Your team can offer their opinions to get the ad running, but ultimately, the market will show you what it’s interested in – with clicks! Unfortunately, most small businesses will only run one ad at any given time, slowing this feedback loop and losing out on opportunities to improve their results, decreasing your ROI. Advanced Tip: Run at least three ads with the same offer. The only difference between all three? The creative! After about six weeks of A/B testing with controlling what’s changed, you’ll have a fire ad, ready to be deployed whenever you need it. Here’s how we recommend you get started: Change the image (or video or carousel) on all three Facebook ads. Find which performs the best after about 10 days. Then, run three more Facebook ads. This time, keep the same creative and change the headlines. Repeat the vetting process. Then change the copy of your advertisement. Read more: Quick guide to Facebook Ads for contractors #4: Running Facebook Ads with an incomplete funnel Here’s the thing: your ad is only ONE piece to a much larger sales or marketing funnel. A “funnel” is the path your customers take from their personal Facebook or Instagram feed to whatever end goal you’d like them to take. For example, say you run a coffee shop, and you want to get more sign-ups for your email newsletter. Your funnel would include your Facebook ad, the landing page with your offer the ad takes them to, the newsletter sign-up form, and the thank you page. For most ads, the funnel is the same: Your ad, your landing page, and your thank you page. If any of these are outdated, it could affect your conversions (and therefore your results.) Advanced Tip: Use the same image that’s on your ad on your landing page. This way, people know they’re still in the same funnel—and are on their way to getting the offer your advertised. #5: Paying attention to the wrong analytics We’ve already mentioned tracking tools like Facebook Pixel. Still, we recommend using the analytics tool that makes the most sense to you. If you’re already using Google Analytics to track your website, you should continue using it. However, the most important metric when it comes to your Facebook Ads is your click-through rate (CTR). Your CTR lets you see how many people are clicking on your ads – it shows how much you’re paying per click – which lets you know your investment is paying off. Low CTR could mean one of two things: your ad is losing interest—known as “ad fatigue”—or your pool has run out, and you’ll start paying more per click. Advanced Tip: To avoid ad fatigue, replace your creatives every two weeks with fresh but similar images or videos. Testing new photos is the best way to develop your advertising expertise! Read more: Ignite your HVAC marketing plan with Facebook Ads #6: Running Facebook Ads without a set budget Or worse, not sticking to a budget. This is the easiest way to get into an advertising hole, and unfortunately, we see it all the time. Here’s the secret to advertising: set a budget, stick to it, and learn to work within it. This is why A/B testing is so important, and why great creative is the key: you should maximize the value of every dollar, and make it work as hard for you as possible. Advanced Tip: Even if you’re ready to increase your budget, see if you can increase your conversion rates within your existing budget. When you optimize your ad even further, adding the extra allocated budget will triple or even quadruple your results! #7: Expecting immediate results By far, the biggest misconception we encounter is that paid marketing will get you instant results. As we’ve already covered, perfecting advertising takes time, especially with Facebook Ads. Even if you have a solid understanding of your target audience and your brand, Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t just shoot ads to your entire pool of targets. Instead, think of it as a trickle. Every time one ad gets more clicks, Facebook sends it to more users. Your best bet is to let the ad run its course, for roughly ten days or so, and do your analysis of the results afterward. And remember: pay attention to the metrics that matter. If you don’t get the results you wanted, you’re one step closer to understanding the cause. Optimize, test, and try again. Most of our clients don’t get results within the first month. This isn’t because they’ve got bad ads, it’s because Facebook takes its time to ensure it’s providing you with the best results. Want to call in the experts? Hi! We’re here to help.