Top 5 Reasons Your Facebook Ads Don’t Work

Your Facebook Ads Don’t Work, Now What?

The truth about why your Facebook Ads don’t work

You know your business needs to grow, and you know everyone is on Facebook, so it has to be the best place to advertise right?  For most businesses, the answer is yes, the problem is, it isn’t as easy as you think it is.  Most of you would never even consider that you are the ideal person to create your own tv commercial, assume you know the optimal station and time to put it on, and then just step back and wait for the flood of new customers to come rushing in.  But almost every small business on the planet expects Facebook ads to operate exactly that way.


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I mean, you put up a picture and 10,000 people on Facebook saw it, you should have 10,000 new customers already right?  Obviously Facebook Ads just don’t work.  Of course not, so stop thinking that’s all it takes.  There is a reason people like professional copywriters, graphic designers, branding specialists, media buyers, videographers, professional photographers, digital marketers, Facebook ad specialists and search engine marketers exist, and why the good ones are paid A LOT of money.  It’s because unless you are extremely lucky, it isn’t that simple.

That being said there are a few things that will greatly increase your chances of success:

Top Facebook Ads Success Strategies

Identify your ideal customer before you start running Facebook Ads

If you don’t know exactly who you are trying to reach, and exactly what action you want them to take, then you will never reach the right person, and they will never do what you want them to.  Too many businesses take an, if you build it they will come, type of strategy, which is no strategy at all unless you are Kevin Costner, and if you are reading this, you aren’t.  Take the time to clearly identify your ideal customer or avatar, if you have no idea how you can get our free 20-minute customer avatar workshop here.

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Don’t know where to start?  Think of your ideal customer, think of everything you know about them, where they vacation, where they live, what experts they trust, what tv shows they watch.  Dig deep.  Come up with as in-depth of a profile as you can, and now you have someplace to start.  Don’t have any customers yet?  Get a competitor analysis done, or go to a website like SEMrush and type in your primary competitor and they will give you back information on who they are targeting, who they are reaching, and who they consider their top competitors.

One more hack using Facebook is to find a Facebook Page of one of your top competitors, like it, and then see who Facebook automatically recommends you also like.  This will be a list of the people your ideal audience is most likely to follow on Facebook, and a list of more companies to use for targeting and research.

Want to learn more about what Facebook advertising could do for your business?  Schedule a free marketing consultation with one of our Business Development Specialists HERE

Facebook ads don’t work if you don’t know who you are trying to reach.

Once you’ve identified your ideal customer and what action you want them to take, it’s now a lot easier to find them.  Now you can answer: Who do they trust?  Who do they read?  Who do they let advise them?  Those answers are some really great ideas for targeting your initial Facebook ads.  Trying to find people in a certain income bracket now that Facebook has removed those categories?  What kind of car does someone in that income bracket drive?  Where do they live?  Where do they vacation?  What kind of schools do their kids go to?  What kind of university did they go to?  Luckily you can now answer those questions.

If you stop using the same targeting as everyone else and get to know your ideal customer better, you’ll not only reach them more effectively, you’ll do it more cost-effectively because you won’t be competing with EVERYONE else for that generic target market.

If you don’t structure FB ad campaigns in a way that can be tested, and then tested, and then tested again…Facebook ads don’t work

Facebook Ads Testing

Stop assuming you know what will resonate with your consumer, you don’t.  Nobody does.  Michael Masterson put it well in Ready, Fire, Aim, “Business is not and must never be about what the business owner thinks is good or right.  Business is about providing value to the customer.  And that value can be determined only by the customer.”  It’s not any different for your marketing.  No matter how clever you think your writing is, or how cool your video looks, the only thing that matters is if it gets the customer to take the action you need them to take.

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Facebook ads don’t work when you assume you know things you don’t.  The most seasoned digital marketing professionals will tell you that x,y, and z strategies work most of the time, and every single one of them will also tell you about a time they didn’t do any of that and it was the most successful campaign of their career.  The good news is that the internet is the absolute best place to test any and all marketing because you actually get feedback and data about how your advertising is resonating with potential customers.

Generally speaking eye-catching, dynamic images, or very personal images(you know, the kind you expect to see on social media that look nothing like ads) will be your best friend for your ad campaigns.  But you don’t know which image(s) will catch your ideal customers attention until you start running your campaigns.  So set up a few campaigns with a few images each, and after they’ve reached 8-10,000 people(minimum), start eliminating the ones that just aren’t producing.  The same thing goes for messaging.  Don’t assume your clever slogan or kitschy sarcasm will knock people over and have them emailing you immediately.  Try out different kinds of messaging that will resonate in different ways.  And always remember that your job is to get people to feel the way they should feel after their buying experience with you.  Too many of you try to market only product features and most people buy feelings and emotions, not features and numbers.  Sell on emotion, then help people justify the purchase with features and benefits, not the other way around.

Even though we would typically tell you that video ads get the most traction on Facebook, we’ve had campaigns that have had massive success with a simple personal image that had nothing to do with the campaign or a dynamic video animation that just caught attention.  Don’t assume, leave room for incremental and easy improvements in all of your campaigns, and test.

Consult a professional Facebook Ads Strategist

Unless you understand re-targeting, pixels, custom audiences, ROAS, DPA’s, when you want 75% video views versus when you want 3-second videos, TOF, MOF, and BOF ad strategies, how to split test, and how to scale a FB ad campaign effectively, you have no business running your own ads.  A big part of the reason your Facebook ads don’t work is that you don’t know what you are doing well enough to really utilize the power of the Facebook platform.  So either take the time to learn the basics(yes those are just the basics), or consult with a professional, hire a professional to run ads for you.  Boosting posts is not an effective FB ads strategy, and the truth is, you should be really good at your business, not really good at high-level marketing strategy(unless that is your business), so invest in yourself and your business.

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Be congruent with your Facebook Advertising

This really applies to all marketing, but particularly to FB advertising.  If you want your Facebook Ads to be cost-effective and produce results, make sure your targeting, messaging, and landing page all line up.  In other words, if you choose business owners as your target audience(don’t do that it’s way too broad), then in your ad copy, say “Hey Business Owners!” and when they click on the link in your ad, it should take them somewhere that says “Business owners, are you tired of seeing your hard-earned Facebook Advertising dollars wasted on really bad targeting options like “business owners”?”  Facebook likes congruency because it knows so do human beings.

As for the human factor, realize that if you send someone from an ad that says “business owners” to a website or landing page, or messenger bot, or whatever, that says “hey fitness enthusiasts!”, even if your product is for business owners who are also fitness enthusiasts, you’ve just created confusion in the buying process.  Your job is to make it as easy as possible for someone to do exactly what you want them to do, and guess what?  Confusing them doesn’t do that at all.  Keep your messaging consistent, call out your audience clearly and consistently, and make what you want them to do clear and, you guessed it, consistent, and watch your ad costs go down, and your results go up.

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A few bonus Facebook Advertising Hacks:

If you had a video that was performing well an then died, create a custom thumbnail and replace the thumbnail of the video to get renewed attention.

Using dynamic product ads for re-targeting for more than 7 days can result in reduced relevance scores and more negative feedback.  It’s great to use specific product re-targeting, but if a visitor hasn’t responded to your ad after a week, it’s time for a new approach. This applies to other types of ads too.  If you are forcing the same exact ad into someone’s newsfeed for two months they are going to get tired of it and your campaigns are going to suffer.  Rotate advertising based on time-lapse since engagement and/or use frequency capping to ensure you aren’t annoying your potential customers.

If you have a high cost per click or just low clicks, in general, it’s usually because of your creative.  Make sure your copy speaks to and calls out your target audience, and make sure your image grabs attention, and if fixing those doesn’t work you most likely have an issue with your targeting.

Be a minimalist:  start with what you have and test.  Don’t spend money on professional video or copywriting for ads before you’ve tested images you have and simple direct messaging.

Video Vs. Image:  Video tends to get more reach on Facebook, but for direct advertising, static images get higher conversion rates in many situations.  Test all of your creative but don’t be afraid to run an ad with a single image.

Want to learn more about what Facebook advertising could do for your business?  Schedule a free marketing consultation with one of our Business Development Specialists HERE


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