Facebook Ads: The Most Common Mistakes

Facebook ads are invaluable for sharing the right message with your target audience, but there are mistakes that even the pros can make. Check out the most common ones and learn how to successfully manage your targeting, budgeting, and ad creative!

Facebook Ads: The Most Common Mistakes

1. Targeting

Going for a Too Broad or Narrow Audience – once you start specifying the criteria of the audience you want to address with your campaign, Facebook starts estimating your ad´s reach. Make sure to avoid very narrow or broad targets, always consider your budget, and the number of people you would ideally like to reach.

Targeting Markets with Different Backgrounds – when page admins decide to target their ad to more than one country simultaneously, they often address markets with different socio-economic, demographic or cultural backgrounds. This can negatively affect the reach and conversion they are aiming for. Therefore, you should either create numerous country-specific campaigns or consider multi-location targeting only if they show similar market opportunities.

Want to find out more on targeting multiple audiences on Facebook?

Assuming Your Audience Shares Your Interests – companies often presume that their audience will share the same values and interests the brand represents, but that doesn’t always turn out to be true. Market research can provide you with a better understanding of your audience. Also, it may be helpful to experiment with different target audiences in order to find out what works best for your campaign.

Addressing the Whole Database – targeting a custom audience shouldn´t encourage you to copy a full database of emails or telephone numbers without segmenting them into a meaningful audience. Only a well targeted ad can translate into success.

Not Ticking the “Exact Age” Box – Facebook advertisers often forget to tick the “Exact Age” option, and therefore target people that are outside the selected age range. For example, if you decide to reach out to users aged 15 – 18 without ticking the box (see below), the ad will also address those younger than 15 and older than 18 years old.

Assuming that the Most Responsive Audience Brings the Most Conversion – the fact that the 18 – 25 age group is most responsive to your ads doesn´t necessarily mean that they are the ideal audience that you should continue targeting. Remember, ad clicks don’t always automatically result in conversions.

2. Budgeting

Setting Up a Low Daily Budget – saving money is not always worth it, especially when you want to reach a substantial part of your audience. Instead, select a bigger budget, but run a thoroughly targeted campaign for a few hours or a couple of days until you reach your goal.

Limiting Yourself with a Life-Time Budget – when running your ad campaign for several days, Facebook automatically distributes the reach evenly according to your budget, which could inevitably slow you down. Instead, try aiming for a shorter time period with a higher budget; you can always pause or stop the campaign. The performance within the first day is an indicator of your ad’s success. This is a better tactic than monitoring a slow start of your campaign.

3. Ad Creative

Using a Logo that No One Recognizes – putting your logo out there is a great idea, but only if you are confident that your target audience will recognize and associate it with the values it stands for.

Overloading the Image with Text – an image overloaded with information is a turn off, especially due its small size (100 pixels wide x 72 pixels tall). As a result, these ads can be unreadable and you cannot expect any user to invest time into solving your puzzle.

Not Impressing your Audience – as mentioned, you only have a few seconds to impress your audience, so underestimating the creative perspective of the ad can turn out to be fatal. To get your ad noticed, you have to come up with a way to capture the attention of your target audience.

Not Following the Image Guidelines – Images shouldn´t exploit political, sexual, or other sensitive issues and they shouldn´t use shock or scare tactics. For examples of acceptable and inacceptable images, see the Facebook Ads Help Center and the official Facebook Advertising guidelines. Also keep in mind that ads and sponsored stories images must be relevant and appropriate to the advertised product.

Misleading your Audience – sometimes ads promote a certain products, discounts or giveaways that are nowhere to be found after clicking on them. However, the Facebook Advertising guidelines state that: “Ads must clearly represent the company, product, service, or brand that is being advertised. Products and services promoted in the ad copy must be clearly represented on the landing page, and the destination site may not offer or link to any prohibited product or service. Additionally, ads may not suggest false relevancy to generic offers.” By following this rule, you will prevent your audience from feeling fooled and discouraged to engage any further.

Underestimating the Power of Call-to-Actions – including call-to-actions just for the sake of having them is not very effective. However, if you also offer an enticing incentive, you may be surprised how it affects the click through rates of your ads.

Everyone can make a misstep from time to time, which is why we are preparing a list of the best practices for you for next week. Also, stay tuned for Ad Analytics, the ultimate solution for your Facebook campaigns!

Staff Writer

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