Top 5 Facebook Advertising Mistakes to Avoid

August 11, 2021

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#1 Constantly making changes

One of the most common mistakes marketers make is not giving their ads time to breathe. Running an ad on Facebook isn’t a one and done deal. Instead, an ad has to enter learning mode first, where the algorithm takes the time to learn the best people to target, timings, where to show the ads and which version of the ads will get the best results. This takes time, and making frequent edits can prevent the ads from exiting the learning phase.

The best thing to do while an ad is in learning mode is nothing. Leave it alone. You may be tempted to make adjustments or changes when you’re not seeing any results, but this will only lengthen the waiting time and increase your overall ad spend.

Ideally, you’ll be able to properly assess how your ads are doing when they’ve been running for a week after exiting the learning phase. Until then, hands off.

#2 Targeting too broad of an audience

You might be thinking, "The more people who see my ads, the more conversions I get, right?" Not exactly. While it’s true that a lot more people will see your ads, it’s another story entirely that they actually engage with it. Plus, you spend a lot more trying to reach a broader demographic.

An important step to make in targeting your audience (especially when you’re new to Facebook advertising) is to narrow it down as much as you can. Find people whom you know won’t just scroll past your ads and will potentially become a customer. A little specificity goes a long way in this regard. Target your audience based on age, location, interests, and behaviors.

If you’re an established brand with an existing audience but are new to Facebook ads, this will be a lot easier, as you can upload your customer data list from your CRM or email provider. You can then target the customers on this list and find people who behave like them (which is called a Lookalike Audience).

For businesses that are new and starting from scratch on Facebook advertising, Audience Insights is a great (and free!) tool you can use for finding your audiences. You can start by entering your best-guess demographic, interests, behaviors, location, etc. so you can see that audience compared to everyone on Facebook. You can then further make adjustments from there. This is the information you’ll be using as a starting point for your targeting.

The Page Likes tab also gives you an idea of where your audience hangs out online. You can put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes, follow the pages they follow and visit the websites they visit.

Of course, once you find your audience and get the hang of Facebook’s built-in targeting, you need to start utilizing Facebook’s Custom Audiences. You can use custom audiences to retarget ads to users engaging with your business. This will also allow you to create a Lookalike Audience.

You can create a custom audience using a few different sources:

  • Website activity
  • App activity
  • Engagement activity

Engagement means you are looking at people who have already shown interest in your business. This includes those who interacted with your Facebook pages, posts, and ads.

You can target specific types of engagement like:

  • Page likes
  • Video views
  • Lead form completion
  • Previous shoppers
  • Event attendees

#3 Spreading your budget too thin

Budget is one of the most challenging aspects of marketing. A lot of smaller businesses won’t have thousands of dollars to spend on ads each month. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend as much to succeed on Facebook. You just need to use your budget wisely. When you assign a budget to your ads in the Facebook Ad Manager, you can set your ad spend at the campaign level or ad set level.

If you choose to use a campaign budget, you can set a spending limit, then Facebook uses Campaign Budget Optimization to decide where best to spend your money for optimal results.

You can choose if you want your campaign budget to be a daily budget or lifetime budget. When you opt for a lifetime budget, you can choose to run ads on a specific schedule within each ad set.

Campaign budgets work well for simple advertising needs, but they have their limits. For instance, when splitting the budget between an ad set that’s targeting an already existing audience and an ad set that’s targeting a new demographic, you may notice all the money going to the former. Facebook recognizes that they’ll be the less expensive conversion, so it optimizes the budget accordingly. However, it doesn’t factor in the long-term value of a new customer. 

Ad set budget optimization is your best friend. You can control exactly how much money goes to each ad set, so you can work on those long-term goals or cold audiences. 

Cold audiences are folks who haven’t interacted with your brand before.

#4 Not funneling

When you pay to advertise, your primary goal is to get people to your business. Advertising on social media gives you the opportunity to reach just about anyone in the world.

However, Facebook is a chaotic place. You can find all kinds of things when scrolling down your timeline from news, family drama, memes, other ads and more! This is a challenging but not impossible aspect of Facebook advertising. The average user will be bombarded by all sorts of distractions before they can even focus on your ad. Luckily, there is a way to guide your customer away from all the noise. This is where the off-Facebook funnel comes in.

When a user clicks on your ad, they’re showing intent, however faint it may be. Maybe they’ll buy, maybe they won’t, but if you don’t try to catch their attention, you’ll never know.

The off-Facebook funnel can be made on your site’s landing page, like an email sign-up or a chatbox. You won't capture everyone, but you will capture the ones with a higher level of intent.

You need to constantly reach out to your customers to build trust, establish expertise, and provide solutions long-term.

#5 A landing page/website that sucks

So, you’ve captured their attention with a great ad and they clicked. Great, but it’s not over yet. Now you need to get them to sign up, make that purchase or engage in some way. If your customers are landing on your website but leaving without completing your desired action, something might be wrong with the landing page.

You’ll know a good landing page when you see it. They load quickly, have high-quality images, video, and design, and are directly related to the ad. The best ads in the world won’t convert if your landing page isn’t relevant and functional.

Conclusion

These are some of the biggest blunders you can make when advertising on Facebook. Learning and avoiding them ahead of time can save you a lot of grief-- and money! You’ll have more time to focus your efforts in creating ads that connect with audiences and garner conversions. 

Although there are more factors to think about in finding success on Facebook advertising, avoiding these five mistakes gives you a head start and some solid footing as you begin this task.

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