Tracy Petrucci: When Facebook Ads Don't Work

Monday, October 3, 2016

When Facebook Ads Don't Work

What happens when Facebook Ads DON'T work?

There is so much buzz about how to use Facebook ads; what works, what doesn't, "do this and don't do that"...the strong opinions go on and on. What enough people aren't telling you is this: There is absolutely no way to know how much your ads will cost, if they are going to work, and what "proven system" is sure to bring you x amount of ROI just because it did for someone else

I am frequently reading forums and comments where people complain about things not working. When they describe what they did (or more often, didn't do) there's usually a few things right away I can pinpoint that would have helped.

There are many variables that make an ad successful or not, and this needs to be explained.

Sales Vs Marketing
Do you know the difference between sales and marketing? They are not the same thing, contrary to popular misconception. Marketing is being in front of someone over and over and over until they are finally ready to take action. On average it takes 7-8 exposures before someone is ready to buy (again keep in mind, every industry, sales cycle, and process is different).

Let's go through my TOP 5 variables that influence the success of an ad campaign on Facebook.

1. Website - Is your website mobile friendly? Does it have a cumbersome checkout process? (We are so spoiled now with things like Amazon "One Click" Check Out). Did you try to design it yourself, and let's be honest, does it look homemade or is it not very aesthetically pleasing? Whatever the case may be, your landing page or website may be causing an issue with conversions.

2. Pricing - Is the product/service priced accurately? This will surely affect the conversion of a sale. Remember the 4 P's of marketing? Price is a big one!

3. Customer Service - How is your customer service? Do you ignore Facebook messages? Are you hard to get a hold of? This is a huge issue.

4. Not Ready - What if the customer is just simply not ready? Are you collecting their email address so you can further market to them? What if they got distracted and went to lunch or their child woke up from a nap? Are you re-targeting to remind them about what you offer?

Fun "Fact" - Email Marketing converts 3x more than social collecting email addresses as part of a marketing strategy and ad campaign is a good practice.

5. Proper Ad Creation - This is a big one. Facebook Ads are an art! Are you targeting correctly and testing audiences? Does the ad copy match the landing page where they are going? Does the message match up with the targeting? Are you using attractive images? Do you even know what to look for to know if an ad is performing or not? Are you using the correct ad objective for the result you want? These things matter.

So Now What?
These are just SOME examples of why a Facebook Ad might not be converting. The problem is Facebook has made it so easy for anyone to spend money and make an ad, without understanding what makes an ad perform and what qualifies the success of a campaign.

How to know if there is something going wrong with your ad: You can tell that your ad is the issue when there is little to no engagement happening (ie. clicks). If the ad is not created correctly, or it is not resonating with the proper audience, people may not take any action on the ad itself. This is a good place to start when trying to determine why ads may not be working for you.

How to know if there is something going wrong elsewhere: If the ad is targeted correctly, and the message clearly states your call to action, and people are going gang busters on it on the Facebook side clicking away and taking action, but then nothing happens... this is a good sign you need to do something somewhere else that has nothing to do with your ad (see variables 1-4).

Most of the people who are doing successful Facebook ads think about them a little differently than everybody else. One of the biggest determining factors regarding ad success is your strategy. Be open minded, patient, and always maintain a willingness to experiment and make changes when necessary.

I have been working with Facebook Ads since 2008. In my experience, sometimes the first ad I make creates a conversion. Sometimes, on the other hand, it takes lots of tweaking and changing of messages, landing page design updates, and switching of objectives. Everyone's offer is so different, how can you ever expect there to be one single perfect rule that will work for you when so many variables are at stake? This includes your cost too, by the are competing with a pool of other advertisers to be seen. What someone is doing in the travel industry could have a way different result cost than what you're doing in the legal space.

Over time, you can develop benchmarks for yourself and figure out what engagement, leads, and sales are costing you specifically with the magical mixture of variables I outlined above in mind.

Good luck and keep at it!

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