I run Facebook ads for a living and thus, I have seen the ugly underbelly of many ad accounts. There are many common mistakes I come across that are relatively easy to fix.
A lot of people come to me for help with ads when they have only been running their business for a short amount of time and haven’t proven their product. This is by far the biggest issue I see.
Most of these people have very low quality websites that look like a generic Shopify dropshipping website. It’s important that your website or landing page is of the highest quality and is optimised for conversions.
It’s also important that you have the budget to run a successful campaign, Facebook ads aren’t for everyone and some people are best off building organic traffic channels before exploring paid ones. Micro-influencer marketing is a good alternative to Facebook ads when starting out.
Below are some the other big mistakes I see in Facebook ad accounts:
Little to No Testing or an Unstructured, Ineffective Testing Campaign
I recently made a post about how to test Facebook ads successfully so I won’t go into too much detail. The biggest mistakes I see in the testing phase are stacked audiences, budgets spread too thin, audience expansion, CBO (Campaign Budget Optimization) instead of ABO (Adset Based Optimization), and not enough time being allowed for an ad set to test.
The testing phase is extremely important and will determine the quality of the rest of your funnel. Make sure that you create a structured, logical, and effective strategy for testing.
Driving Low Quality Traffic at the TOF and then Re-targeting it at the MOF & BOF
For the uninitiated, TOF, MOF and BOF stand for Top of Funnel, Middle-of-Funnel and Bottom-of-Funnel respectively.
This is one of the most common questions I get, “wouldn’t it make sense for me to start with engagement or traffic campaigns at the TOF”. This may work for big brands like Toyota or Apple but it is a waste of money for your tiny Shopify or WooCommerce store. You want all your campaigns to have a sales goal.
Facebook is creepily smart and will give you exactly what you ask for. If you ask Facebook for clicks to your landing page, it will find users that are likely to click and go to your landing page with no intent to buy. In other words, it will send low quality traffic to your site to drive down the CPC.
Same principle with engagement campaigns. When you retarget this audience later on with a conversion campaign, you will see poor results as even though it’s a warm audience, it’s low-quality with no intent to buy. Optimise for purchases from the start.
Low Quality Look-alike Audiences
This point ties into my last one. LLA’s can be highly profitable and have long been the most effective targeting at the TOF. They have been a little less effective recently, and I have seen interests/broad audiences out perform LLA’s.
Nonetheless, they are still important. However, I often see people create LLA’s created from audiences with little intent to buy. Such as viewers from Video View Campaigns, engagements from Engagement Campaigns, and website visitors from Traffic campaigns.
These are low quality audiences and Facebook will find an audience with little intent to buy if you create a LLA from an audience of people with little intent to buy.
Gone are the days where you could create a simple, amateurish creative in Canva and run it on Facebook. Facebook advertising is becoming increasingly competitive and creatives must be of the highest quality. It’s also important that your creative highlights the problem where possible, instead of just showing off your product.
If you’re selling acne cream, don’t just use a photo of your cream, use an image of someone with acne to grab your target audience’s attention. I understand that it's not possible for every brand, but your audience must be immediately able to relate to your creative.
The Copy Is NOT Problem-Focused
Similar to my previous point, your copy must also be problem focused. The first line of your copy should ALWAYS identify your audience’s problem. I often see copy that rambles about how amazing the product is without highlighting the problem effectively.
In essence, a business is merely a solution to a problem, people buy things to solve their problems (in most cases). The problem isn’t overtly obvious and apparent in some industries. I like to lead with a question that addresses the audiences and their problem, then position what I’m selling as the solution.
Non-Funnel Specific Creative and Copy
Hook - Directly speak to your audience and address their problem
Positioning - What will life be like for your audience if their problem was solved? Position your product as the bridge between their current situation and where they wish to be.
CTA (Call-To-Action) - This is simple, finish with a strong call to action.
I know that my two previous points were copy/creative related, but 2021 is the year of creatives and it’s important that you get them right. Your copy and creative should be specific to the stage of the funnel. As mentioned previously, TOF creative and copy should be problem focused.
The MOF should be trust/rapport building. This audience has already shown interest in your product but perhaps they didn’t get over the trust hump, or didn’t follow through for a similar reason. You no longer have to sell this audience with a problem/solution dynamic, you have to convince them that your product is trustworthy and has been well received by previous customers.
The BOF is all about a strong CTA. Give them a reason to buy your product that they haven’t heard of already. A great method is a discount code at this stage, but I know not all brands like this method.
Getting Too Emotionally Attached to the Outcome
I was reluctant to include this one as I don’t like to be the one telling the emperor he is naked! Most people don’t want to hear it but If you are emotionally attached to every dollar you spend, you probably shouldn’t be running Facebook ads.
This causes a lot of issues. Patience and logic are extremely important with Facebook ads. The most common issues that arise from too much emotional investment are:
Killing ad sets after only a couple of days of running if they are underperforming
Wanting to scale ad sets that are doing well after running for 2 days
Allowing unprofitable ad sets to continue running because people think that the audience is a good fit.
I could cover many more points in this post but I am wary of its length. Please reach out if you have any questions and let me know if there are some other topics you would like to see covered in a post.
Guest post by Liam Easton. Liam is a Facebook Ads consultant based in Melbourne, Australia.