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6 Facebook ad mistakes you need to avoid

Facebook ads can be a great promotional option, and can provide significant benefits, with respect to both increasing brand awareness and boosting sales. But not all Facebook ad campaigns are created equal.

Often, even a seemingly simple oversight can cause you to quickly burn through your Facebook ads budget, without getting the results you want.

Like any marketing platform, Facebook ads require more than just engaging copy and standout visuals (though each is also critically important). By avoiding some common, simple Facebook ad mistakes, you can maximize your chances of achieving your desired results.

Here are six common Facebook ad errors that you need to avoid.

1. Running Ads at All Times

As with traditional ad mediums like TV and radio, you shouldn’t run the same ads all day and all night. 

If you don’t set a limit on how often your ads are shown, you run the risk of overexposing your target audience - in fact, research from The Drum shows that users can start to experience campaign fatigue within three days of launch, if you're not careful.

One of the best ways to avoid this is to set a custom schedule for your Facebook ad campaign. This enables you to only show your ads during the days, or at times that are of most relevance to your target audience.

By reaching customers at the times when they're more likely to buy, and minimizing the risk of overexposure, you’ll see improved response to your campaign/s.

2. Irrelevant Landing Pages

An engaging Facebook ad is only one half of the equation, you also need to consider where your ad takes users after they click.

For most brands, their ads will lead to a landing page, which is where you need to fulfill the promise of your initial promotion, and deliver on what's grabbed their interest.

Unfortunately, many advertisers slip up at this point. Some marketers will run a promotion for a specific product, only to lead engaged users through to a generic home page - or even a completely different offer.

Your potential customers clicked on your ad because of what it promised. If the landing page connected to that ad doesn't deliver on that promise, with matching copy, visuals and the like, those prospects will click away and your marketing budget will go to waste.

Ensure your landing page matches your ad. This is a key fundamental of Facebook ad performance.

3. Constantly Tinkering With Your Campaign

Facebook can be a remarkable, and powerful platform for marketing - but that doesn’t mean that your campaign will always deliver amazing results from the get-go.

Facebook's ad system uses machine learning to optimize for best results, but in order to maximize performance, it needs time to measure user response, then adjust accordingly.

Facebook explains this as a “learning phase”, in which it collects and evaluates initial performance - as per Facebook:

"The learning phase is the period when the delivery system still has a lot to learn about an ad set. During the learning phase, the delivery system is exploring the best way to deliver your ad set - so performance is less stable and cost-per-action (CPA) is usually worse. The learning phase occurs when you create a new ad or ad set or make a significant edit to an existing one."

Research from KlientBoost found that most campaigns will take 24 to 48 hours to get enough data to fully optimize ad delivery. Impatient marketers who run short campaigns or begin tinkering after just a few hours will never reach this point, and will end up wasting their budget on unoptimized ads.

It can be tempting to make quick changes - especially when real dollars are on the line - but it may be worth waiting, where possible, or running your campaigns in set phases, in order to ensure that you're seeing optimal response. 

4. Not Activating Facebook Automated Rules

Even the best-run campaign will become less effective over time, and if you don’t have the capacity to constantly check-in and monitor your results, you run the risk of overlooking key issues. That can drive up your cost per acquisition, and eat away at your marketing budget - but by utilizing Facebook's Automated Rules, you can avoid this.

Facebook's Automated Rules enable you to automatically switch off a campaign or ad, or adjust a campaign budget or bid, based on set conditions.

As per Facebook:

"When you create automated rules in Ads Manager, they automatically check your campaigns, ad sets and ads, and then update or notify you of any changes. In addition to these automatic checks and notifications, the tool will also take the necessary actions for you."

Your automated rules can include thresholds on cost per acquisition, number of impressions, daily spend, and more.

And while, as noted, you can let Facebook make automatic adjustments, AdEspresso recommends that you have Facebook simply send you a notification, so that you can make any needed changes yourself. That'll ensure that you maintain control over, and awareness of, any campaign changes.

5. Continuing to Market to Converted Customers

Remarketing can be a highly beneficial approach, but you don’t want to keep sending the same ad to someone who's already clicked on it. If someone has already converted as a result of seeing your ad, they likely won’t want to see that ad again the next time they scroll through their feed.

To avoid this, be sure to exclude people who have purchased the advertised product within the last month (or taken the relevant campaign action) within your custom audiences settings.

Doing so will ensure that your ads reach new audiences who have the potential to become paying customers, while not annoying those who already know your brand.

6. Not Experimenting With Different Ad Types

Every audience is different, which inevitably means that they'll also respond and engage in different ways with varying types of promotions.

Far too many brands funnel all of their Facebook marketing dollars into standard News Feed or right column ads, when you have the option to create potentially more engaging campaigns by experimenting with different media options, like videos or GIFs.

In one case study shared by Facebook, Champs Sports increased its return on ad spend by using 6-second video ads instead of 30-second ad units.

"In this case, the 6-second ads delivered an 11% increase in estimated ad recall, 12% increase in return on ad spend and 271% increase in video completion rate - proving to be most effective in driving results for the brand. The 6-second ads also resulted in incremental lift across several other key metrics including conversion rate, average purchase value and clickthrough rate."

Facebook marketers are leaving money on the table if they don’t A/B test different ad formats - finding the most effective format for your unique audience will help you make the most of your budget.

As noted, Facebook marketing can be a major boon for your marketing efforts, especially with the continued rollout of new features like search ads and mid-roll video ads. But regardless of whether you're using these new options, or traditional Facebook advertising, you need to always be mindful of the way the platform works.

By optimizing your campaigns for Facebook’s audiences, you can have confidence that your ads will stay within budget, and deliver meaningful, tangible results for your business.

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