Written by Charlie Lawrance

January 30, 2019 at 2:00 pm

5 Facebook Advertising Mistakes That Are Destroying Your Campaigns

Advertising on Facebook is getting more complicated. The team continues to change existing features and launch new ones seemingly every other week.

So when you start out with Facebook ads — often because of lack of guidance by Facebook itself — you can end up making advertising mistakes that cost you both time and money.

Here are 5 advertising mistakes that are destroying your campaigns and reducing your Facebook ad effectiveness (and tips for avoiding those mistakes).

Mistake 1: You Lack a Facebook Strategy

The first advertising mistake is having no strategy. If you run Facebook ads without a proper strategy, you won’t see the results you want from your campaigns. You might as well be burning the money in your business bank account.

You wouldn’t run TV or radio ads without a strategy. Treat Facebook advertising with the same level of planning and attention to detail as you do any other marketing channel.

The issue with Facebook advertising, in particular, is that the barrier to entry to start advertising is so low that people jump straight into it without a second thought.

Facebook advertising mistakes boosting

You are making this mistake if you simply boost your posts from your page or run campaigns every now and then.

Before you run your next campaign, develop a proper strategy.

Here’s how to start:

Outline your end objective and work backwards. What do you want to achieve from your Facebook ads? More product sales, more leads, more webinar registrations?

Next, break down your audiences into the three different temperatures: cold, warm, and hot.

Plan your campaign accordingly based on your audience temperatures. The ALL Framework strategy (Awareness, Level 1, Level 2 re-marketing) helps to make this process easier.

Facebook advertising mistakes ALL Framework

Awareness campaigns are content-based and target cold audiences. The goal is to convert them into warm audiences by capturing their engagement with ads either by video views or ad engagements.

Level 1 campaigns target the warm audiences who have previously engaged with your Awareness ads. They drive those people to your website to take the action we set out as our end objective, such as purchases of a product or inquiries to generate leads.

Level 2 campaigns target hot audiences. These campaigns are aimed at people who have visited your website but not taken that end action that turns them into customers or clients.

Mistake 2: You’re Not Tracking Conversions

The second advertising mistake is forgetting to install conversion tracking or installing it on the wrong website pages. (This is not to be confused with the basic Facebook pixel.) I’m talking about the standard event code that you need to install in addition to your Facebook pixel.

Facebook advertising mistakes conversion tracking

How it works is simple: You add a snippet of standard event code below your Facebook pixel on the confirmation pages for which you want to track a specific action.

For example, you add it on your purchase “thank you” page or the next page in your sales funnel after someone has opted in for a lead magnet.

How you install your standard event code on your website depends on what platform it is built on. For example, with WordPress, you can use a plugin such as PixelCat or PixelYourSite. For Shopify, you just need to use your Pixel ID, and it does the rest for you automatically.

To learn how best use the conversion events in your website, navigate to the Pixels dashboard in Ads Manager.

Facebook advertising mistakes pixel navigation

In the dashboard, click on your pixel, and in the top right, click on Set Up. You’ll then be presented with three options: Integration, Manual, and Developer. Click on Manual and then select the second tab “install events.”

From the dropdown list, select your business type. The list includes Automotive, eCommerce, Financial Services, Property, Travel, and Technology.

Facebook advertising mistakes event list

When you choose your business category, Facebook will list the most appropriate standard events for your business type as well as how best to use them. If you click on each one, you will then see the relevant event code to use.

Mistake 3: You Don’t Run Regular Ad Analysis and Make Informed Campaign Changes  

The third advertising mistake that people make with their Facebook advertising is not doing any ad analysis or making subsequent changes to their campaigns based on the findings of their analysis.

Facebook isn’t a “set it and forget it” ad platform. It is far less stable than Google advertising. No matter how high or low your ad spend budget is, all ad campaigns behave in the same way. When left without any analysis and on-going changes, ad campaigns will suffer from ad fatigue, which leads to a decrease in results.

Facebook advertising mistakes ad fatigue

When advertising on Facebook, you need to analyze the performance of your campaigns both in terms of your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and your specific ad metrics, such as the CRFC metrics.

Take time to learn more about analyzing your return on ad spend (ROAs) and learn more about analyzing the CRFC metrics for each of your Facebook ads.

Mistake 4: You’re Only Testing One Ad

The next advertising mistake is creating only one ad in your campaign. Again, this mistake is easily made when following either the guided creation workflow or quick creation workflow in Ads Manager.

By creating only a single ad in a campaign, you are limiting both the messaging ad format and creative that you present to your target audience.

In essence, you’re limiting your results.

Facebook advertising mistakes ad types

Testing different messaging in your ad copy as well as ad creative in multiple ads allows you to figure out what resonates best with your audience targeting and delivers the best results for your business.

Use the duplicate feature after you have created your first ad to easily create a new copy and then make changes to your format, copy, or creative depending on what you want to test.

Facebook advertising mistakes duplicate

To do this, navigate to the ad level of your campaign, select your ad, and hit the duplicate button. Keep original campaign selected, and click duplicate. A new ad will appear. Rename it and change the variable you want to test.

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Mistake 5: You Have Unrealistic Expectations 

Do you have unrealistic expectations about the results you want to achieve?

You can’t “out market” a bad business with Facebook advertising, and it won’t save a failing business either.

This is linked to not having a proper strategy in the first place. It is during your strategy development that you set realistic targets you want to achieve.

You create these advertising targets based on your business data, such as cost per acquisition, average order value, and lifetime customer value.

We’ve seen the cost of Facebook advertising double every 18 months, and this is now having a huge impact on the types of businesses that can profitably run Facebook ads.

For example, it is now harder than ever to generate purchases on scaled campaigns spending tens of thousands of dollars per month for under $20 per purchase. If your ROAS isn’t profitable at that cost per purchase, you need to determine whether you have the cash flow to acquire customers at a lower ROAS and then make up the revenue based on your customer lifetime value.

Conclusion

Making simple Facebook advertising mistakes now that the ad platform has grown in complexity is far too easy.

To avoid those simple mistakes, before you run your next campaign, take a step back and make sure you have a proper strategy with realistic expectations of the results you want. Ensure that your pixel and conversion tracking are installed correctly and that you create more than one ad in your campaign.

Finally, once your campaigns are live make sure you analyze them to recognize the issues of ad fatigue and then implement changes based on the findings of your analysis.

Anna Sonnenberg

April 18, 2019

Marcus Ho

April 10, 2019

Ana Gotter

April 4, 2019

Charlie Lawrance

Charlie is Founder and CEO of Gecko Squared, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook advertising. His clients include eCommerce companies, software companies, professional service businesses and best-selling authors.

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