You are finally getting ready to run a killer Facebook ads campaign. All the key pieces are in place. You’ve done your audience research, created some great dream customer personas and crafted relevant (and witty) copy.

You are rearing to go! But, before you dive in, let’s take a quick look at some of the quickest ways you can waste your Facebook ads budget — and how to avoid them.

1.  Setting vague goals

Going in with a vague idea is the fastest way for a Facebook ad to fail. Before you go near the ad set up, set clear goals. What do you want this ad to achieve? What current marketing goals is it supporting? Is it uniquely aimed at a specific audience?

Once you know what you want to achieve, you can pick the right type of ad to support your specific objectives. The Facebook ad set up menu gives you different options that make it easier to choose the right type of ad for your goals.

Choose Your Facebook Ad Goal

2. Targeting  a really broad audience

When it comes to crafting ads, digging in and really getting to know your target audience will serve you better. Pull out your ideal customer personas, decide which one you are going to target and craft an ad that will speak directly to them.

If you haven’t created your personas yet, or you are running an experimental campaign, it’s time to do some research! Sketch a quick word portrait of the person you are trying to target.

  • What demographic do they fall in?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are their pain points in life? At work?
  • What kind of company do they work for and what position do they hold?

Highly targeted ads have higher ROI. The more specific you can get here the better.

The power of a warm audience

Targeting an audience that already knows who you are will help you get better results. You can use Facebook tracking pixels to create custom audiences including:

  • Anyone who visits your website
  • People who visit specific web pages
  • People who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time
  • A custom combination

Facebook custom audience

And, you can now specifically target people who have engaged with your Facebook content!

3.  Ignoring the ad comments

People will react to your ads in one way or another. Ignoring what your potential customers are telling you is the fastest way to waste money. Engage with people in the comments — just like you would for any normal Facebook post. And, use any constructive criticism to improve your ad.

Keeping track of multiple conversations is tough, but it’s critical to your success with your Facebook ads budget. Agorapulse lets you reply to Facebook ad comments straight from inside the dashboard.

Just log into your Agorapulse account, click on the Facebook page you are using to run the ads and you’ll see any comments in the same space as your other Facebook posts and comments!Managing your Facebook ad comments with AgoraPulse

This makes it easy to keep track of which messages you’ve answered and which ones still need to be dealt with. That way, nothing crucial slips through the cracks!

4.  Sending traffic to a sub-par landing page

Your entire offer for Facebook should be uniquely designed for your Facebook audience from start to finish. This includes a custom landing page for that audience that expands on the value prop from the ad and delivers whatever you promised.

Ads help bring your ideal clients or customers to water. The landing pages get them to drink. With this in mind, drive your audience to a location that either fullfils the ad’s call to action or offers a secondary one. The surest way to waste your Facebook ads budget is to direct the audience you worked so hard to reach to your crowded, unfocused home page.

5.  Not testing your ads

If at first you don’t succeed, test and then test again. The best ad creators don’t just wake up and create magical works of genius (most of us anyway!)

Testing is the real secret weapon behind most great Facebook ad campaigns. Before you throw the power of your budget behind an idea, run a few variations to see how well your target responds. Set a low testing Facebook ads budget and experiment a little bit.

Running a few tests is the easiest way to take the guesswork out of the campaign and give your audience what they actually want.

6. Using poorly designed images

Use on brand graphics that complement your message and support your goals. Facebook posts with images get up to 2.3 times more shares than those without. Including a relevant image in your ad doesn’t just increase conversion rates. An on brand image serves as a focal point and captures the attention while your ideal customer is scrolling through their busy Facebook feed.

Here, the mobile app Waze attracts viewers with illustrations of donuts and the avatars in its driving direction application.

A lot of people will see your ad on their mobile device so avoid using too much text in your ads as it does not render well on small screens!

7. Ignoring video

Video is a powerful medium and it can be incredibly useful for creating highly effective Facebooks ads. It lets you connect with your audience in a highly personal, immediate way. It puts you in the room with them!

When creating video for Facebook, you need to play by their rules of engagement. You are fighting for attention alongside funny cat videos, so make sure the first few frames make the viewer stop in their scrolling tracks. Around 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound off, so you’ll need to rely on more than your brilliant talking skills.

By now, I’m pretty sure I’ve emphasized the importance of audience research enough (maybe even a little too much!) Use that research to connect on a personal level and establish that immediate connection.

Here’s how the Quebec Tourism office recently used video in its Facebook ad.

Granular targeting gets results

As digital marketers, we have a lot of tools available to us these days that make it easier to do in-depth customer research and really understand their wants and needs. Our audience knows this and they expect a certain level of sophistication.

Don’t waste your Facebook ads budget on being vague. Do the research, run some tests and craft an ad your target audience will love. A little effort goes a long way when’s it comes to ROI!