Ten reasons your Facebook ads are failing

1. You’re not targeting the right people. 

You can have the best ad in the world, but if you’re showing it to the wrong people it’s never going to be successful. 

Facebook gives you a wealth of opportunities to create suitable audiences. You can use custom audiences (your “warm” audiences such as website visitors, Facebook / Instagram followers, video viewers and even your email contact list) and create lookalike audiences, which will give you a really similar audience to your current one. 

However you should also build out your ICA (ideal customer avatar) audience, using age, gender, geographical location (if relevant), job roles, interests, hobbies, where they shop, who they follow etc. 

The more you know about your ideal customer, the better! 

2. Your creative sucks

It’s so important to find that “traffic stopping” image. The thing that’s going to make your ideal customer stop their mindless scrolling and grab their attention. And it’s not easy, there’s no denying that (see point 6). Sometimes you have to step outside of yourself – as a business owner / brand, you can get caught up in your logo / your branding and even, dare I say it, your face! And whilst images including these things might work, you have to be prepared to consider that equally, they might not!

I do always tell my clients to leave their egos at the door as we head through the process of finding the best creative. Sometimes you have to find an image that’s perhaps outside of what YOU think, but somehow feels natural when it’s in the newsfeed of your ICA.

Which image do you think produced the best ad results?

3. Your copy isn’t working

You have a finite amount of time to catch someone’s attention on Facebook, so you need to learn to be short and snappy! That’s not to say that longform copy NEVER works in ads, but the more drawn out and “waffley” it is, the less likely you are to see the results you want. 

Focus your attention primarily on your headline and the main text section, with the first line of this being the MOST important line.  You might want to check out my previous blog, eight essential ingredients for a great Facebook ad headline.

Your headline should tempt people in, and your first line of copy should fully back that up! 

4. You’re not prepared to allocate a decent budget 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m the queen of telling people that they can get started with Facebook ads from as little as £1/$1 a day… but… as with anything in life, you get what you pay for. If you want Facebook ads to deliver a serious amount of traffic or leads for your business, then you have to seriously consider allocating a decent budget.  

Facebook ads are run on an auction basis, so everyone is competing, and in a very busy marketplace you do have to pay to play.

5. You’ve chosen the wrong objective 

You have to be very clear in telling Facebook what you want your ads to do – it takes your instructions at face value! The objective you set will dictate who your ads are shown to.

If you choose “traffic” then Facebook shows your ads to the people within your chosen audience that it thinks will click your link, if you choose “conversions” it shows the ad to the people most likely to take the chosen action (download, purchase etc) and so on.

So if you’ve set up a traffic campaign, hoping that people will click the link AND buy, then you’ve chosen the wrong objective.  Facebook is showing the ad to people that will click the link, for sure… but you failed to mention you wanted people to buy! 

6. Your relevance rating is poor

If you’ve just said “what’s the relevance rating” then we could be close to discovering the problem! Facebook has a diagnostic tool that measures your audience targeting and how relevant your messaging is to those people.

The diagnostic tool looks at Quality Ranking, Engagement Rate Ranking and Conversion Rate Ranking – if your ads are doing what you need them to do, then you don’t need to worry too much about checking this. However, if your ads are tanking, then it’s certainly worth checking out to see if you can ascertain where the problem lies.

Facebook is the best place to go to find out how to use ad relevance diagnostics, it’s all here

7. You haven’t done any testing 

Ahhh testing, testing, testing… The secret passion of all Facebook Ad Strategists! But honestly, we’re not just doing it because we love it – testing is probably the most important part of Facebook ads.

When you create ads, initially you’re guessing – guessing at the audience (albeit an educated guess), guessing at what copy will resonate, guessing at which image will have the most impact… So the testing phase is where you move from guesswork to factual data.

So you should be testing and comparing audiences, testing and comparing creative and copy within each audience, working out what gains the most traction and how you can create and run more of the same.

8. Your ads are working but your landing page is killing your success

It’s not me, it’s you… 

No-one wants to hear those words. Ever. Especially not with their Facebook ads. But sometimes your ads are doing the job they set out to do – grabbing attention, reaching the right audience, people are clicking through… then… nothing! 

And that’s when you need to take a good hard look at your landing page. If your messaging doesn’t match when people click through, or you’ve sold them with great copy but they land on a page that lacks information and content but just want their email address, then you’re going to get ditched at this point.

Your landing page needs to be an extension of your ad, a consistent move from one to the other will make the visitor feel more inclined to take the next action.

This is one of my landing pages – and it details clearly what people are getting and why they need to leave their details.

9. Your offering is…off 

Errr, yeah, about that…

Look, it’s not my place to tell you whether your “thing”, be it a product or a service, isn’t great but I’m just saying it could be an issue.  

My best advice is to 100% know that you can sell your “thing” organically before you venture into Facebook ads. It’s all well and good coming up with the BEST online course, coaching offering, thingamabob that will solve all manner of ills, but you HAVE to know that there is an audience and an appetite for it.

10. You can’t really be arsed bothered with Facebook ads 

And you, my friend, are in the right place! 

If you’ve set up Facebook ads with the genuine intention of making them work and the absolute belief that they could work for your business, and then realised that actually, it’s a bit of a massive faff and, much like many things in business, takes a fair bit of work to get right, then you could be looking at your ads and thinking they just aren’t working.

But it might just be that they’re not getting the care and attention they deserve. It could be a combination of points 1-9 that just need a little bit of tweaking, a bit of adjustment, and they could start to deliver exactly what you anticipated.

And that’s why I’m on hand to work with you to build the exact Facebook ads campaign that your business needs. Let’s talk…

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