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7 Major Facebook Advertising Mistakes to Avoid

The trouble with paid advertising is that there’s always some guesswork involved. No matter how much audience data you’ve acquired, you still have to speculate on what copy, headlines, and images are going to be most effective for your paid Facebook marketing campaigns.

This is typically where marketers come up short when they create advertisements for Facebook, and they don’t see the desired conversions. Thankfully, you can easily create ad variations to test against each other and get those conversion rates up.

If you want to avoid wasted ad spends when you launch your campaigns, try to avoid these big mistakes that can kill your conversions:

1. Non-Compelling Visuals

There’s a little bit of art that goes into advertising, but only just a little. When you get too wrapped up in artistic storytelling with vague images or stock photos in your ads, you can easily miss the mark with your audience.

Another bad approach is cluttering your ads with text. Facebook used to limit text in images to no more than 20% of the image real estate. A recent update removed the text overlay limitation, but images with a lot of text will have their reach reduced.

7 Major Facebook Advertising Mistakes to Avoid | Social Media Today

Whether you’re using a video or an image in your advertisements, focus on making it highly relevant to the offer and engaging to the audience. This is a great opportunity to leverage user-generated content with eye-catching visuals of customers actively using your product or service.

Facebook posts with images, including advertisements, see 2.3x more engagement than those without, so put the extra effort into sourcing the right visuals for your ads.

2. The Headline Has No Hook

The headline is the boldest part of your Facebook ad and it’s the first thing your audience will see next to the image as they scroll through their feed. If you’re not sure how to craft the best headline for your ad, then aim for specificity over trying to be witty or clever.

In the ad above from Popslate, the headline they’ve used is dull and ineffective. They tried to be clever, but the headline doesn’t really communicate anything useful to the audience.

The best headlines for your ads should be as specific as possible by telling the audience what they’re going to get and why it’s important for them to pay attention. This is where you want to promote your value proposition.

3. Bad Copy

The copy of your ad offers the opportunity to expand on the value proposition within your headline. This is where you communicate your offer and make a compelling argument by highlighting a key benefit of your product or service. The copy needs to clearly address an interest or pain point for your audience in order to be most effective.

7 Major Facebook Advertising Mistakes to Avoid | Social Media Today

In this Wendy’s ad, the copy is cryptic and doesn’t hit on any of those important points, outside of mentioning the price. There’s still plenty of engagement because the video pulls in the eyeballs of hungry audience segments and Wendy’s is a well-known chain with plenty of brand power. But if a smaller company replicated this, it would be a big waste of ad dollars.

This ad is also completely missing a calling-to-action, which brings me to…

4. Poor or Missing Call-to-Action

In the above Wendy’s ad, there is absolutely no call-to-action. This is a missed opportunity. Surely they want people to go out and purchase the combo they’re promoting, so why not come out and say it? At the very least, the ad should encourage people to do something like, “Tell us your favorite side item in the comments” or “Throw out your sack lunch and stop by Wendy’s today.”

Anything is better than nothing.

You never want to leave it up to your audience to decide what to do next after you engage them. If you want them to take a specific action, then tell them. The simple act of telling them what to do with a compelling call-to-action will improve the conversion rates for every ad you create.

5. Poor Audience Targeting

You shouldn’t launch a single ad on Facebook until you have a good idea of who your ideal customer is or what community you’re attempting to build. If you’re selling expensive watches and you know your target audience consists of upper-income urbanites over the age of 30, then you’ll do yourself no favors by targeting lower-income users from 18-55+.

It’s easy to aim for breadth over depth with your audience targeting, but casting a wide net will only waste ad dollars on clicks and engagement that won’t yield returns.

Likewise, if you’re too narrow with your targeting, you’ll leave out a large number of audience segments that would have been likely to convert.

 

7 Major Facebook Advertising Mistakes to Avoid | Social Media Today

Take the time to research who your audience really is. Conduct customer surveys and pull demographics from your Facebook insights to find out who your biggest supporters are.

You should also install a Facebook pixel on your website to gather behavioral data that mingles with demographics, and then use that information to create a lookalike audience of people who haven’t engaged you yet.

I recommend setting up layered targeting (demographics, psychographics, interests, lifestyle) that helps you find a happy medium between narrow and broad.

6. Targeting the Wrong Objective

7 Major Facebook Advertising Mistakes to Avoid | Social Media Today

When you create Facebook ads, you’ll need to choose an objective - like sending the traffic to a website or garnering likes and engagement. Make sure both the ad copy and the thing you’re trying to promote match the objective and the user intent.

If the audience is enticed by your offer, but your ad drives them to your Facebook Page for a like instead, then you probably won’t get the desired conversion (download/purchase) at the end of the campaign because they couldn’t find your real offer.

For campaigns meant to drive traffic to your website, you need to make the call-to-action and value proposition relevant to that action. Don’t promote general social activity or some vague brand message if you want them to visit a landing page or product page on your website.

7. Targeting Specific Dates and Times

7 Major Facebook Advertising Mistakes to Avoid | Social Media Today

Unless you know with absolute certainty that the bulk of your audience is online and looking at their Facebook feed at a certain time or day of the week, don’t place unnecessary limits on the runtimes for your advertising. You might catch a few leads, but you’re significantly hindering the visibility of your ads, which means a large portion of your audience will never see them.

It’s a great way to stretch out an ad spend over an extended period, but it’s a poor way to get the conversions you’re looking for.

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