Facebook advertising can be a frustrating business. Maybe your ads are getting plenty of impressions, but nobody wants to click - or perhaps you get clicks in abundance, but precious few conversions.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the five most common reasons why Facebook campaigns underperform, and show you how you can create the ultimate Facebook ad.
1. Incorrect targeting
Facebook offers some incredibly sophisticated targeting options, allowing you to hone in on your audience with real precision - but all too often, these options are underutilised by advertisers. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the best Facebook ads in the world; if they’re being shown to people who aren’t interested, then they’re as good as useless.
If your ads aren’t getting enough impressions or engagement, you can be sure that targeting is to blame. Pretty much everybody uses Facebook these days, meaning that your target audience are definitely there somewhere - it’s just a matter of finding them!
But how exactly do you go about targeting your ads properly? The first step is to know your customer. Spend some time thinking about what your customers are like, using tools like Google Analytics and Facebook’s Audience Insights tool, as well as offline customer research, to build up demographic data. This can include the following:
So, let’s say you’re a company that sells organic cat food; you may find from your research (i.e. Facebook Audience Insights, Google Analytics, AdWords data and so on) that most of your customers are female, aged 40-60, and live in affluent areas. Instead of simply settling for targeting people who are interested in cats, you can hone in on these golden potential customers, who are far more likely to engage with your ad and go on to convert.
2. Timid bidding
If you’ve managed to nail down your audience, but you’re still not getting enough impressions, it may be time to review your bidding strategy.
Firstly, if you’re using automatic bidding, turn it off - right now. Automatic bidding may be convenient, but if you want your Facebook ad campaign to run like a well-oiled conversion machine, you’re going to have to do the legwork yourself. Don’t worry, it’s definitely worth the effort.
If your ads aren’t getting many impressions, it can be a simple matter of raising your bids until you start seeing results. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially if the budget is tight. To that end, you may wish to devote more budget to the most profitable campaigns and ad sets (i.e. the ones that yield the most conversions).
3. Boring images
If your targeting is spot on and the impressions are rolling in, but clicks are lagging behind, then your ads are most likely the culprit - and the first part of an ad that your audience will notice is the image.
To lure in your target audience and get them clicking, you need to use images that are emotive and eye-catching. Try using pictures on people, rather than things, to make a human connection with your audience.
Another useful trick can be to try turning up the contrast on your images by, say, 20% to make them more noticeable.
4. Mediocre ad copy
Once you’ve grabbed your audience’s attention with a dazzling image, it’s time to seal the deal with the copy. Your first port of call should be a snappy headline that asks an emotive question. For instance, instead of saying ‘Product X can help you save time on your accounting’, ask ‘Would you like to spend more time running your business?’.
And when it comes to the body, show your audience how your product can improve their lives, rather than just listing features. It can also help to use an unfinished sentence to bring in the clicks. As human beings, our insatiable curiosity means that we can’t help but finish a sentence once we’ve started it.
5. No testing
So, you’ve got a great ad with a standout image, a snappy headline and scintillating body copy - time to sit back and let the conversions roll in, right? Wrong. A Facebook marketer’s work is never done: you need to get into the habit of continually tweaking your ads to optimise performance and make sure you’re getting the best return from your ad spend.
The best way to do this is by split testing; in other words, changing a single aspect of an ad (whether it’s the image, the headline or the copy) and then running the two variations simultaneously and seeing which performs best. This will allow you to draw meaningful conclusions from you ads and inform your ongoing strategy, rather than simply guessing at why your adverts are not performing.
By following the above steps, you’ll be able to turn your flagging Facebook campaigns around and start generating massive ROI for your business.
By Mark Wallace, managing director at Dot Rise SEO
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