How to avoid mistakes when running Facebook Ads

February 12, 2020
Sarah Stockdale

Last week we sat down with Gordon Leslie, Co-founder of Client Magnet, to get a better understanding of the most common mistakes he sees his clients make when running Facebook ads, and how we can change that. Open up your Ad Manager and let’s get into it!

Mistake 1:  Asking for the sale too early

Most advertisers will hit cold audiences with a strong call to action to purchase/convert on their first interaction. That's like asking someone to marry you the first time you go on a date....not ideal. You don’t want to jump it too early. You have to play your ad-game right and maybe they’ll convert. Ease your audience into knowing your company and what you are selling.

Solution: When preparing to run Facebook ads, one of the best things you can do is separate your audience into 3 different categories for effective Facebook ad targeting:

  • Cold (never interacted with your brand)
  • Warm (interacted with your content, video views, read a blog etc)
  • Hot (hit your site, added to cart, visited your lander but didn't convert)

Warm your cold audience up with value content (videos or written content). Retarget them with more valuable content, testimonials or press (building authority). Once they've interacted with steps one and two, then you can ask for the sale.

Mistake 2: Traffic ads vs. Conversion ads

A very common mistake I see with anyone new to facebook ad management is running traffic ads vs. running conversion ads. There is this common misconception that you need to flood your website with traffic, and thus running traffic ads will be the most effective strategy. Yet, this is not always the case.

Running conversion ads will help to find the right audience that is more likely to convert.  Unlike traffic ads, you have to tell Facebook what to look for. The audience from running traffic ads are not always the most highly qualified to convert.  

Solution: Use conversion ads next time, not traffic! Simple as that.

Mistake 3: Incorrect Tracking

This one spills over from the first one, but something we see go wrong often is setting up tracking for ads. Tracking can be intimidating as it appears overly technical for many. But, when using conversion campaigns, if you don’t set up any events, you are not tracking anything. This often comes down to a lack of education or simply not being aware that there needs to be an event set up in the first place.  

Solution: You can now set up events with Facebook events tool without having to install code. The process is seamless, leading you through step-by-step instructions for the every day, no code, person to complete.

Hot tip alert! When setting up your events, you want to use Standard Conversions over Custom Conversion. This is because Facebook has a whole data set of standard conversions that you essentially borrow until you begin to collect your own data.

Let’s break this down… If you're an early-day Shopify store and you start a conversion campaign, you’re going to want to use standard conversions. Why? Well, because Facebook has so generously already created a whole data set of standard conversions for you to essentially borrow for the time being until your store collects enough data. Meaning, when 1,000 Shopify stores use standard purchase event, when Facebook goes to optimize for your store, they’re going to pull data to optimize form the other 1,000 Shopify stores who already have data. Whereas, if you have a custom conversion campaign, Facebook only has your data to learn off of.

Mistake 4: Creative, creative, creative…

We get it… It’s annoying for most to think about. But, it’s important to consider when running ads. Creative is the variable when running ads that can make or break how well your ad performs. A lot of the time clients will not have enough creative to effectively test performance, which can hinder the success of the ad. The most common mistake people make is overthinking creative and spending valuable time orchestrating shoots to create beautiful images. However, from my experience, we’ve found that low-fi photos and videos tend to convert better most of the time.  

Solution: Don’t let perfect be the evil of good here. Start with 3 different types of creative in one ad set. This could be as simple as changing the headlines. Or, something as simple as taking a video of you scrolling through a website can be a piece of creative. Once you have 3 different creative ad sets live, always be testing. Keep an eye on the ad that’s performing best and continue to reiterate.

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