Social Media Advertising
Facebook Ads: 5 Mistakes to Avoid
I have heard so many people tell me that social media advertising doesn’t work. When diving into the complaints the top complaints I hear include: the campaigns were too expensive, they did not achieve the business goal they were trying to accomplish, and the campaign did not target their key audience. In the last five years that I have been doing advertising, I have come across a handful of mistakes people make with Facebook advertising. Avoid the mistakes listed in this article to create winning campaigns and become a Facebook marketing master!
Mistake #1: No Clear Objective
Like any other channel you market in, define what you want your ads to do. Some common questions I ask myself when creating a campaign include:
· What is the purpose of my campaign?
· Am I looking for lead generation, brand awareness, engagement with consumers, traffic to my site or conversions?
Skipping this crucial starting point will leave you lost when going to set up your campaign on Facebook. For example, if the purpose of your campaign is to drive traffic to your website, and you set up the campaign to optimize for engagement, Facebook’s algorithms will prioritize your ads to show to people more likely to engage with your ad versus people more likely to click through to your website. Make sure you define your objective before creating your campaign and then select the objective in the Facebook campaign that most closely reflects that choice.
Mistake #2: Too broad of a target market
Now that we have defined the marketing objective, we really need to think about how to determine our target market within the platform. One of the common mistakes in Facebook ads is making an audience way too broad. There are a few different options for making sure your ads are serving to the correct person.
Facebook Default Targeting
Facebook has some amazing built-in tools for targeting. With the recent crackdown on privacy issues, the targeting isn’t as effective as it was in the earlier days of Facebook advertising. However, there are three main items that Facebook really shines in their default targeting:
Location: Facebook makes hitting the right location very simple. Let’s say you want to target people within 10 miles of the Phoenix, Arizona airport. Drop a pin on top of the airport and set your radius to +10 miles and VOILA! You now have an audience of approximately 1.9 million people to market to.
Age: Along with location, Facebook makes targeting customers based on age very painless. You can target ages from 13–65+ by changing two boxes. From our Phoenix airport example above, let’s add in targeting of people between the ages of 25–45. My 1.9 million person audience has gone down to approximately 940,000 people.
Gender: Under the gender category, select All, Men or Women to choose what gender group you would like to advertise to. Using my Phoenix airport example from above and selecting women, the audience has now dropped to 460,000 people.
There is one more section below for detailed targeting. The only part of detailed targeting I would recommend using is the demographics section. These are usually reliable and accurate and can help narrow down your audience further. Interests and behaviors are normally too broad and rarely allow you to target the audience you are looking for.
Mistake #3: Ignoring the power of custom audiences
If you want to make sure you are targeting the people you want to target, one of the most powerful options for this is creating custom audiences. Facebook has made the process straightforward. My two favorite types of custom audiences are website traffic and customer files.
Installing the Facebook pixel on your website is very simple and a must if you want to do any serious Facebook advertising. The website pixel allows you to create custom remarking audiences based on website visitors and help track conversions from Facebook visitors. These audiences can be powerful to find people who visited your site. Combining website traffic with Facebook’s demographic profiling gives a lot of opportunity for messaging specific to the visitors age, gender or location.
The other option used frequently is uploading customer files to the platform. The data available to upload are 3 email addresses, 3 phone numbers, mobile advertiser ID, first name, last name, zip code, city, state, zip code, country, date of birth, gender, age, Facebook user ID and lifetime value of the customer. This data can be uploaded using Facebook’s CSV template and uploading the file to Facebook. The real power in this is you can upload as much or as little information as you have available. Facebook will take whatever data you have, match to their customer base and tell you what percentage of the file you have matched. This data is all anonymized so you don’t know exactly which customers matched but creating a custom audience to market to of your customer file can be a VERY powerful tool.
We can create lookalike audiences from any of your custom audiences you have created. Choose one of the custom audiences you have created and create a lookalike audience that shares similar characteristics to your custom audiences. One word of caution with creating lookalike audiences, if you have a niche audience you will typically find the lookalike audience does not perform very well. This is because Facebook doesn’t have good insight into the attribute of your niche audience, A couple examples of this would be specific demographic information or a job title Facebook isn’t tracking.
Mistake #4: Budget Issues
Budgeting options and how much should we spend is one area that people struggle with. One of Facebook advertising’s strengths is the ability to work with many budgets. Whether you have a $10 or $10,000 budget, Facebook can work for your advertising needs. With a well-targeted audience, Facebook advertising dollars can go a long way!
Ad Delivery Optimization
Based on your campaign choice from above, there will be different choices for ad delivery optimization. Make sure your choice for delivery optimization matches your campaign objective from above. If your goal is to have people who see your ad click through to an external link, make sure you choose the link clicks option. If you select impressions as your goal, Facebook will try to show your ad to as many people rather than focusing on people most likely to click through on your ad.
The other frequent mistake that occurs is not properly defining start and end dates for ads. By setting a start and end date on the front side, Facebook can determine how best to meet your campaign objective and optimization goal. If possible, try to set ads up for a minimum of 4 days. This will give Facebook the time needed to optimize your ads for your audience.
Mistake #5: Don’t just set it and forget it
“Just set it and forget it!” Ron Popeil
Unlike Ron Popeil’s famous advice with his showtime rotisserie, setting up your ads and forgetting about them until the end of the campaign will lead to a lot of wasted dollars. Although tinkering with your campaign daily may be overkill, frequent checking in of your campaign to make sure performance is what you were expecting is critical to success. Small tweaks may be necessary to get to the right audience. Some examples of this include your messaging may not be working, you may have a typo (or 12), the campaign may need revamping because of poor performance or additional budget may be needed if the campaign performance is very strong. These crucial reviews while the campaign is operational are what usually separate a winning campaign from a campaign that falls flat on its face.
Facebook advertising can feel very overwhelming. There are also a lot of mistakes you can make that cause your campaigns to fail and make it seem like Facebook advertising isn’t effective. Avoiding some of these mistakes listed above can help you to avoid this result and create a winning campaign!
I am Dave Schafer, an always learning entrepreneur, recovering accountant, experienced marketer and writer. One of my large passions is all things digital marketing, an ever-changing field that offers so much upside done right. Thank you for reading my article and ABT (Always Be Testing)!