Over the recent years, Facebook has proved itself as not only the leading platform to create awareness on but also convert users, be it for an upcoming event, a fund-raiser, a direct selling e-commerce, course enrollment, or perhaps even selling property. Facebook does a wonderful job at tempting us with its multi-billion user base, cutting edge ad platform, detailed targeting options, various ad formats, and features.
Yet, over the years, we have come across various companies and marketers who still experience difficulty getting the most out of their campaigns due to a few very common and often overlooked mistakes. In this article, we’re going to share some of our own experiences that had led us to a negative impact on the performance of Facebook campaigns. Hopefully, by the end of this, you’ll learn a thing or two – or better still, manage to avoid these mistakes in time.
Wrong Campaign Objective
If you want to run a successful campaign, you have to get the first part done correctly – that of which is to set the right campaign objective. Hence, before deciding on the ad creatives and the campaigns you want to run – ask yourself what the marketing goal is. Are you looking to drive more traffic to your website or to get maximum views on your video ads? It could also be converting users on your website or just to get more page likes and engagements on your page.
Whatever it may be, let there be a goal as this will assist you in your ad campaign planning. Each campaign objective comes with its own optimisation options to ensure that you achieve relevant results. Here’s an example: say you run a flower business online and are looking to sell more flower bouquets – in other words, your aim is to get more revenue. In this case, you should be setting up a campaign with a conversion objective. This way, Facebook would optimise your ad by only showing a group of audience that is more likely to convert after clicking on your ads.
On the contrary, if you set up an ad campaign focusing on driving traffic to your website just because it’s cheaper, chances are, you end up missing out on a better ROI. This is because Facebook does what it’s told to do – so if you’re setting up a Traffic campaign, that’s what you’re going to get, Traffic!
Making Decisions Based on Early Data
Every ad set up in Facebook, will initially fall under phase once they are live, known as the ‘Learning Phase’. However, although the term may be simple – many are yet to fully understand what this ‘phase’ means. During this phase, Facebook gathers data on the performance of the specific asset and learns about it. The Facebook algorithm utilises these learnings to better identify the type of user that is more likely to take the desired action than others. Additionally, Facebook also uses these learnings to adjust its ad delivery and daily spend patterns.
You can be setting up multiple campaigns with different ad settings in the hope to identify the best ad performance. However, even so, many of these campaigns won’t be able to gather sufficient data if they are paused before they even pass the learning phase.
So, keep in mind that it is crucial for ads to stay in the learning phase as optimising or pausing campaigns based on early data does not provide an accurate indication of its performance.
Alternatively, you can also set aside a specific amount of budget for your ad campaigns before deciding on the next steps. Facebook recommends 50 conversions/results within a span of 7 days for the learning process to be completed. In terms of budget, if you have a CPA of $5, that would mean spending about $5×50=$250.
Do note, however, that the process may vary across ad sets or ads. If you are working with a limited budget amount or a short campaign period it is not always necessary to wait for the entire learning process before deciding on the next steps.
Example, if you have five ads active, and are seeing positive results from two, you might want to consider pausing the other three for the time being. This will allow the entire budget to focus and spend on the other ads that work. Don’t worry about the ads that are paused as they can be tested again when more budget is available or when one of the two current running ads show signs of ad fatigue.
Always try to avoid targeting a small audience size as this will likely cause two negative impacts on your campaigns’ performances. Here’s why;
First, the frequency of ad views. It doesn’t matter how eye-catching your ad creatives are or how enticing your offer is because more often than not, people are not going to like it if they see the same ad on their newsfeed multiple times a day. This can quickly lead to ad fatigue and not only does this cause CTR to drop, but users are also going to start ignoring your ads, or worse, block any ads from your Facebook page.
Secondly, high CPM. CPM (cost per mile/ cost per 1,000 impressions) is Facebook’s main cost metric. The more granular, targeted and limited your audiences are, the more likely you are to experience a higher CPM; a higher cost of advertising. Hence, on the contrary, you should focus on grouping similar audience types into the same ad sets to ensure your audience size is as large as possible.
So, the question is, why does your CPM matter in Facebook marketing?
Let’s go back to basics. Remember, CPM is the cost of advertising. So for instance, Group A has a CPM of $5 and Group B has a CPM of $2.5. This simply means that you would have to pay $5 to show your ad to 1,000 people in Audience A. Whereas, if you show your ad to the same amount of people in Group B, it’ll only cost you $2.5.
In short, you reach the same amount of people in Group B but you pay less. If you then optimise for better CTR and CVR, you will be able to drive higher traffic to your site at a cheaper cost and also, thus be able to gain conversions at a lower cost.
Another common mistake that marketers make is, frequently changing their ad setup. That’s the last thing you want to do because this prevents the ad assets from completing the ‘learning phase’. Such changes restrict the data Facebook requires to optimise the ad delivery and performance.
Sudden and significant changes made to an ad setup is also another common mistake. Significant changes include increasing/decreasing the budget by >50%, re-adjusting targeting settings, and changing ad copy or creative. If you’re doing that, we’d advise you not to do so because you’re causing the learning phase to restart. This may result your ad campaigns to underperform.
So while it’s easy to think that scaling up the daily budget from $10 to $100 will generate more leads per day at the same cost per lead – it’s really not the case. Although, we wish it was!
Remember, you should always allow sufficient time for your assets to complete the learning phase before you evaluate the impact of your changes.
Not Using Placement Optimised Creatives
Although setting auto-placements is a common practice, you may not be getting the best results especially if you have only uploaded a single-sized creative. Instead you should be providing Facebook with optimised creative for each (or at least most) of your targeted placements.
It is simply because Facebook wants to provide the best experience to its users and therefore will prioritise showing ads that are best suited for each placement. Therefore, if you’re planning to run an ad on both Feed and Story placements, we recommend uploading two separate creatives under the same ad (refer to image below).
It often happens that you may have set up an ad set with auto placements (targeting all placements such as feeds, stories, audience network, etc) and you have uploaded one version of your ad creative. And based on placement reports you realize that you have great potential on story placements however it never seems to get enough budget.
It is simply because Facebook wants to provide the best experience to its users and therefore will prioritize showing ads that are best suited for each placement, and your ads may not be the ones.
Inefficient Budget Distribution
A good tip to keep in mind is to always plan your Facebook campaign’s structure with an intended budget in mind. This will allow you to set better campaign goals and achieve them realistically. To understand how Facebook works with budgets – it allocates them equally to all ad assets. Hence, if you have a smaller budget, we would strongly advise you to create too many ad sets. For instance, there is little value in allocating a $20 budget to an ad set, while your cost per result is $15. You are limiting the ad set’s capability to an average of 1 lead per day only.
Instead, it may be a better idea to keep them small. This way, your budget is sufficient enough to ensure that all of your ad sets are able to generate enough results to complete the ad learning phase.
Does any of the above sound familiar? Although of course, there are various other reasons as to why your campaigns might not be producing the best results, these are some of the most common ones that most clients experience. Now that you know that these mistakes are avoidable, start applying the best practices to ensure that you are getting the most out of your money spent on Facebook ads.
Also, feel free to drop us an email at [email protected] if you’d like us to do a quick audit of your Facebook efforts. We’ll be more than happy to assist you!