Why Your Facebook Ads Are Failing to Convert

With a global audience of more than 2.6 billion active users, Facebook is one of the world’s most powerful marketing platforms. It also has the kind of influence and appeal that outpace any other social network currently in service.

But this doesn’t mean that a paid ad campaign on Facebook is a guaranteed money-maker. It’s often assumed that Facebook advertising is more or less the same as conventional advertising.

You have a product or service to promote, you pay to post an ad in a prominent location and you see an instant influx of sales.

Sadly, this isn’t quite how things work with Facebook ads. This is primarily due to the fact that Facebook is not actually a marketing platform by design. It’s a social media platform, meaning you need to approach your promotional activities in an entirely different way.

The Biggest Mistake You Can Make

Think of it like this – nobody logs on to Facebook with the primary intention of buying something. It’s not somewhere you head with retail intent in mind, or to do business. Instead, you go for entertainment, enjoyment and interaction with other users. 

Hence, the ‘social’ aspect of social media.

Consequently, any ad that pops up on Facebook that appears purely salesy will most likely be ignored. It’s not that Facebook ads are ineffective – they can be an absolute goldmine when you use them the right way.  

It’s just that you cannot expect your Facebook ad campaign to succeed, if you don’t tailor it in accordance with the way Facebook and its users operate. 

Common and Correctable Advertising Errors

As with most things, identifying where you may be going wrong holds the key to getting things right. More often than not, issues with inadequate conversions can be attributed to just a handful of common yet quickly correctable ad errors. 

The most prevalent examples of which are as follows:

  1. Not having a defined objective for your Facebook ads

A Facebook ad campaign can be run with any number of outcomes in mind.  You could be looking to sell more products, generate more interest in your services or bring more followers on board. When creating an ad on Facebook, you’re instructed to select from one of three marketing objectives:

  • Awareness Facebook Ad Objective – for boosting brand awareness and generating leads.
  • Consideration Facebook Ad Objective – for driving engagement and educating your audience.
  • Conversion Facebook Ad Objective – for closing sales or improving conversions in general.

Each of these three objectives has considerable scope for more precisely defined goals and targets. You therefore need to think carefully about what you want your ads to achieve, before getting started with your campaign.

  1. Using the wrong Facebook ad type

There are also various different types of ads that can be run on Facebook, which again serve different purposes and appeal to different audiences. Along with choosing between ads for mobile or desktop users, you can choose from such ad types as Carousels, Videos, Images, Slide Shows, Collections and Instant Experiences.

Audience research and customer development will enable you to determine which of these ad types (or combination thereof) is right for you. A decision which again should reflect the primary objectives of the campaign.

  1. Using the ‘set it and forget it’ approach

For a Facebook ad campaign to succeed, it needs to be treated as an invaluable learning experience. There will always be a degree of trial and error involved, which holds the key to continuous optimisation. Under no circumstances is it advisable to simply leave a Facebook ad to its own devices, following its deployment.

Key metrics should be tracked, measured and analysed on a daily basis, including but not limited to:

  • Clicks by interest
  • Performance by type and placement
  • Number of leads generated
  • Conversion rate
  • Click through rate
  • Ad frequency

Doing so will provide you with all the information you need to continuously improve the effectiveness of your campaign, for the best possible ROI. 

The Five Pillars of An Effective Facebook Ad Campaign

Every ad campaign on Facebook is different, but the foundations of a successful campaign are always the same. Irrespective of who you are targeting and what you are presenting them with, these are the five things your campaign needs to be built around to ensure a positive result:

1.  An Appealing Offer

First and foremost, you need to be presenting your target audience with an offer of genuine value and relevance. Your offer needs to constitute something they are interested in, something they have a genuine need for in their lives and something that isn’t readily available elsewhere.

2.  Precise Targeting

Facebook provides the tools needed to target almost any demographic with pinpoint precision. Cast your net too widely and you risk pulling in no viable leads whatsoever. If anything, it’s better to be overly precise than to run a dangerously ambiguous campaign.

3.  Compelling Copy

The ad copy you create for your campaign needs to be instantaneously magnetic in its appeal. It should make clear the value proposition of your offer at a glance, while making it impossible for those viewing the ad not to click through and take the next step.

4.  Brand Consistency

This is essential to ensure that each time a customer comes across one of your ads, they know exactly who created it at a glance. Consistency holds the key to effective brand development and creating a sense of familiarity and trust with your customers.

5. Creativity and Innovation

Where possible, you should also make all reasonable efforts to create creative and innovative ads that stand out. Facebook ads that appear generic and uninspired in nature are never particularly appealing to anyone.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Facebook Ads

Moving on, there are several simple yet effective practical steps that can be taken to get more out of your Facebook ads. Again, each of the following is universal in its relevance and value, irrespective of the type of business you run and the audience you are targeting:

1. Conduct A/B Test 

This ties in with the trial-and-error approach touched upon earlier. Throughout your campaign, experiment with minor and major alterations to as many variables as you see fit. Monitor what happens and compare the outcome in each instance, gradually building a blueprint for more effective future ads. 

2. Research Your Audience

There’s no such thing as knowing too much about you customers. Across all demographics, consumer behaviours and preferences have a tendency to shift dramatically on a regular basis. What you think you know about your audience today could lead you entirely the wrong path tomorrow, if you base your decisions on dated insights.

3. Experiment with Different Ad Types 

Don’t be afraid to mix it up with the different types of ads available on Facebook. Some will undoubtedly work better than others, but you could still broaden your appeal to a more diverse audience through strategic diversification. If any ad types prove wholly ineffective, they can simply be ruled out for future campaigns.

4. Use Striking and Engaging Imagery

It’s much easier to scroll past a textual ad than a similar ad with a seriously standout image. Of course, the images you use need to be relevant to your brand and the product or service you’re advertising. They should also be unique – stock images your audience has already seen a thousand times are never particularly inspiring.

5.  Prioritise Value Over Features

Don’t make the mistake of attempting to sell your products or services by describing them to your audience. Instead, focus on their value and the extent to which they stand to benefit the lives of those who buy them. All while emphasising whatever it is about your products/services that makes them unique.

6. Add Social Proof

Nothing sells more effectively to Facebook audiences than social proof.  Anything you can add to your ad copy that creates a sense of trust can only work in your favour. Customer reviews snippets, star ratings, number of satisfied customers, number of products sold to date – any at-a-glance claims to fame that verify your quality and trustworthiness.

7. Create a Sense of Urgency

Studies into the psychology of marketing have shown how creating a sense of urgency can be uniquely effective. It’s a technique that needs to be approached with care, so as to not give the recipient the impression they’re being taken for a fool. Still, the inclusion of phrases like “for a limited time only” or “only 100 units available” bring something undeniably appealing to an ad.

8. Hire Help Externally

Last up, one guaranteed way to boost the ROI on your Facebook ad campaign is to hire an experienced social media marketing specialist. If you simply do not have the time, resources or knowledge needed to run a successful campaign, consider bringing in outside support. Doing so could prove a more cost-effective option than wasting time and money on a campaign that brings you nothing of value in return.

About Tait Pollack

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