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July 27, 2020

6 Facebook Ad Mistakes that Sink Your Budget (and How to Avoid Them)

32% of Facebook users have seen at least one Facebook ad. That’s 32% of 1.95 Billion people if you’re into big numbers.

Most social marketers (93% of them to be exact) use Facebook ads. The platform keeps on growing and adding new features every day and it has become almost indispensable to marketers across industries and the world.

Back when I created my first Facebook campaigns things were very simple. With a few clicks you were all set to go. Now, due to the countless features added over time, it can take hours to properly set up a campaign, especially if you’re new to Facebook ads.

Countless features make for more precise and more effective campaigns, but they also make more room for mistakes.

If you’re tired of trying to spot these mistakes on your own, I can help! I run a team of Facebook ads and social media specialists and we can take social media completely off your plate.

Let’s take a close look at the most common and most budget-draining-with-no-ROI mistakes:

1. You Run the Same Ad Continuously and You Target the Same People

Ad fatigue is a real thing and it can affect people after as little as three days of seeing the same ad over and over again. It may be hard to let a high-performing ad go but sometimes it has to be done.

If you think you will never be able to get the same Holy Grail again, you can try a few quick hacks:

  • Exclude people who have seen the ad more than three times or clicked on it
  • Add some new categories to your targeting criteria and delete a few of the old ones
  • Add a few new photos or switch the format (for instance, from video to photos or vice versa)
  • Change the copy a bit. Even a few words changed can make a difference.

2. You Target too Many People 

Cast a wide net and you’ll get some fish, right? Well, not when it comes to Facebook ads. 

Take a look at your potential reach. Is it realistic to think that there are hundreds of thousands of people who might be interested in your products or service? Not really!

So narrow it down by excluding a few categories or adding new mandatory criteria. If you target everyone, you will really target no one.

More importantly, the Facebook algorithm is set to deliver the ads to people who are more likely to engage with them. This means that, even if you have a huge budget and run the ad for years, you won’t reach everyone in your audience. You’ll just reach the same people over and over again and we’ve already seen why that’s a bad idea.

However, you shouldn’t have too small of an audience either or your ads may not be delivered at all. The potential reach section is your best friend: when the needle is smack in the middle, you’re good to go.

3. Your Landing Page Is not Related with Your Ad

Here’s a common mistake: an online fashion shop creates a Facebook ad depicting a gorgeous pair of red shoes. But when you click on it, you reach a page that lists all the products in the shop.

The magic is gone. You were all ready to make an impulse purchase but you don’t have the time to search for those shoes yourself, so you close the page as fast as you can.

Sound familiar?

If you’re making this mistake, you need to stop ASAP. Make sure that every landing page in your ads is about the products/services depicted in the photo and in the copy of your Facebook ads. Even more, make sure that the landing page looks and feels exactly like the ad. You want to instill a sense of continuity.

4. You Rely on Remarketing too Much

Remember the point about ad fatigue above? It applies to remarketing, as well.

In general, it’s a good idea to remind people of a product or service they showed some interest in at some point. But don’t overdo it. You’ll just waste your money and annoy your clients.

On the other hand, remarketing can be a great ally for certain industries. SaaS companies can use it to boost client loyalty by promoting their latest blog post to people who are already using their solution but don’t check the blog too frequently. 

eCommerce shops that sell food or pet items can use remarketing to remind people that it’s time to refill their regular olive oil or cat food supply.

5. You Have no Clear Value Proposition

I’ve seen this happen a lot in Facebook ads for service-based businesses. Marketers get lost in ultra-long copy and forget to mention the most important thing: what’s in it for me if I click on your ad?

Always lead with the benefit. Promise the user a great experience, an improvement in their personal or professional life, a once-in-a-lifetime discount. You need to have a unique value proposition if you plan to track your ad ROI.

And speaking of discounts: 

6. You Only Target Bottom-of-the-Funnel People 

The safest way to get an excellent ROI from your Facebook ads is to promote discounts almost exclusively. Everyone loves a sizeable discount and most people will click on your ad and even buy because…FOMO.

So why is this a bad idea?

Well, think about what this says about your brand. Constantly running discount campaigns cheapens it and no one will ever want to pay full price for your products or services again.

Try to mix things up and tell brand stories through your ads. Brand awareness may be harder to measure than purchases but you need it  if you’re planning to keep your business alive in the long run.

Wrapping Things up

Facebook ads can be a gold mine or an endless pit that swallows your marketing budget. In order to make it the former rather than the latter, make sure you experiment with different ad formats and different copy.

Occasionally, you may feel like you’ve found the winning formula but this doesn’t mean you have to stop experimenting. People’s preferences and expectations change and you have to meet them both.


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Adriana Tica is an expert marketer and copywriter, with 10 years in the field, most of which were spent marketing tech companies. She is the Owner and Founder of Idunn. In October 2019, she also launched Copywritech, a digital marketing agency that provides copywriting, SEO content writing, and strategy services to companies in the tech industry.

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