E-commerce marketing
E-commerce marketing
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 min read
November 14, 2017

Why Aren't My FB Ads Working?


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So you’ve got a handle on AdWords with steady cost per clicks (CPCs), cost per lead is trending down and conversions are going well.  Ad management requires only a little maintenance with minor tweaking periodically.

But it’s a different story with your FB ads. You’re getting impressions and clicks, but no conversions. What gives? With 1.37 billion daily active users on Facebook, you know you can’t afford to miss out on potential customers on Facebook.

Here’s the thing. Facebook ad campaigns are entirely different than AdWords. Let’s take a look at what could be causing your Facebook ad campaigns to stall.

Your Perspective

Perhaps you thought you could simply mimic your AdWord approach for Facebook. Wrong. Facebook is entirely different than Google. People hop on to Google with intent to search so AdWords pays off big time based on this perspective. It’s Google’s biggest revenue generator.

People get onto Facebook for a whole bunch of different reasons – to keep in touch with classmates, see what friends and family are up to, even exes, and of course to show off to their friends. Ok maybe not everyone wants to show off, some people just want to share. But anyway, your Facebook ads have to compete with family and friends to grab someone’s attention. It’s a whole different game. Change your perspective and approach you FB ads from the right angle.

Product splintering is a good strategy for higher conversions. Give users a small piece of your product at a price that is too enticing to turn down. Modify your approach and innovate with multiple offers to snare more users – better conversions.

Target Your Audience

With AdWords, your audience does the work for you. With Facebook it’s the opposite. With AdWords, you focus on key words, but with Facebook, you must start with the audience. At the top-of-the-funnel stage cast a wide net and then narrow down as you proceed through the stages.

A good approach is to consider interests along with demographics like age, sex and location. In other words, the basics. The trick at the awareness stage is to target around 1 or 2 million people. This is a good number, as too many will give you junk while too few will not give you sufficient feedback.

Once you have tested some different audiences with optimized cost per click, move to the next stage of the funnel – lead generation. You have a steady stream of new website visitors every day.

Now you need a lead generation campaign that targets these visitors. Create a pixel to target this custom audience.

Go into Pixels > Create Audience. Locate the “People Visiting Specific Web Pages But Not Others” option. Under this option, you can select visitors to a particular landing page or piece of content while also clearly excluding anyone who is a possible conversion (for eg. If they have seen a confirmation or Thank You page).

So you’ve created a custom audience for the latest traffic – those who’ve shown interest but haven’t decided if they’re in. Congratulations, you’ve just generated a new bunch of leads.

The next step is to target those leads with sales offers.

The first option involves creating a specific list under your custom audience. Go to All Tools > Audiences > Create Audience. There are a few options for specific targeting. Select the first option: Customer File. Now you can export the list of contacts, copy and paste their data such as phone number and email addresses and Facebook will match them to as many user accounts as it can.

The second option is somewhat faster. Under Create a Custom Audience select Import from MailChimp so you can connect to MailChimp lists and contacts.

Okay now you’re all set. For your next ad campaign, you can pull up audiences and see a list including a few new custom ones to pick from.

While this does take some effort, it covers all the necessary ground for a better return on your FB ads. People need a few nudges and reminders from various channels, usually about 6 or 8 before they buy. So it’s a good idea to combine other lead nurturing strategies such as marketing automation, drip campaigns and retargeting at this middle-of-the-funnel stage.

Relevance Score

You know all about Google’s AdWords Quality Score. It influences where your ad shows up, how many times and how much you pay. A change of even one point can result in a 16% cost change.

Guess what, Facebook has a Relevance Score for ads. While AdWords Quality Score gauges the quality of your copy or design, Facebook’s Relevance Score looks at audience targeting and judges relevance of the message to the demographics targeted.

So even mediocre copy that has great audience targeting can get a great Relevance Score with lower cost per click.

A study by AdEspresso found that poorly targeted ads with low Relevance Scores had a higher CPC, while the same ad with better audience targeting had a much higher score with lower CPC which snared 4 times more clicks. You can see that your FB ad’s Relevance Score is indeed relevant to its success.

To locate this score, go to one of your ad campaigns and navigate down to a specific Ad Set. Look in the lower right corner.  It scores from 1 to 10 (terrible to incredible).

How do you fix or improve your Relevance Score? That brings us to the next stumbling block for FB ads, Message Match.

No Message Match

The essence of message match is that the keyphrase you’re targeting must also be visible in your headline ad and landing page headline. The best online campaigns highlight a few key aspects in a manner that provides smooth viewer experience and delivers a coherent message.

It’s about alignment and consistency. Headlines, tagline and imagery should match on pop ups and landing pages and anywhere else relevant. Sounds simple enough, but many get it wrong.

Paying attention to message match on Facebook can raise your Relevance Score. This means your pay less per lead or click. On FB, the alignment is about audience targeting and not so much keywords.

Think specific – create ads that target a certain type of buyer, a persona if you will. This approach requires copy, images and design that target the buyer’s preferences or pain points.

Generic ads are not your friends on FB – they lower your Relevance Score, raise costs and lack of message match can harm even do as much damage as hurting your site conversions.

Ad Creative

Let’s face it – AdWords are not that creative and that suits Google. However, on Facebook, you must be ad creative. Here’s a few tips

  • Negative headlines outperform positive ones on click-throughs by 60%.
  • Keep headlines short and sweet. Studies find that 5 words is ideal.
  • Visual content outperforms mere words.

Certain styles of headlines have a higher conversion rate. A value proposition – how you solve a tough customer paint point works well. Other effective types are Testimonials, Cliffhangers, Hacks (Lists of),  and last but not least How To headlines.

The best creative ads on FB combine the right mix of the emotional and rational appeal with social proof (for eg. Number of existing users).

Facebook advertising does pose a bit of a tricky challenge thanks to the variables and features unique to it. Understand that your FB ad campaigns will not look like your AdWords campaigns. But the hard work is so worth it because of the lucrative payoff when you get it right.

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