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Facebook Ad Campaigns: How To Save Failing Ads

Over 2 million active advertisers on Facebook. You have probably read by now that many profitable Facebook ad campaigns run.

But what if YOU have no success with Facebook advertising?

Does that mean profitable Facebook advertising is a myth?

Of course not.

Your campaigns are likely to fail because of some fundamental flaws. Don't worry, we've all been through this before.

In this article, I'll cover some of the most common reasons your Facebook ads may fail and what you can do to "revive" them.

Your focus is not right on your Facebook ads

Facebook is an effective advertising platform because you can target people with your ads as precisely as is not possible on other platforms. However, there is also a downside.

If your Facebook ad campaigns fail, the chances are high that your ads aren't targeting the right audience.

Why is insufficient focus a problem?

If you present your advertisement to the users who are not interested in your offer, it doesn't matter how good your advertisement is. People won't click on them.

When it comes to targeting bugs, advertisers fall into two groups.

The first group includes people who are too focused on their campaign. This can happen if you overdo it with restricting your target audience for the campaign.

The second group includes people who stretch their target audience too far.

How do you know if the bad targeting of the campaign is your problem?

In general, if you're working on a new campaign with good new ads that aren't properly targeting your audience, your ads will have a low "click through rate" (CTR).

The click-through rate is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of times the advertisement was shown.

Poor demarcation of the target audience leads to a poor click-through rate because your ad is irrelevant to the people it's shown to. That's why they don't want to click on it.

Conversely, you may have a reasonable CTR but very low sales. This is often a sign that your alignment is going in the right direction but is too limited.

Remember - if nobody clicks on your advertisement, it will not bring you any sales.

If you want to determine your alignment, there are a few things you can do.

Create customer personas

A customer persona is a version of your ideal customer - based on market research and actual data from your existing customers.

A customer persona helps you find out who your ideal customers are by asking questions like ...

Which demographic groups do they represent? You need to know at least their age, gender, job and whereabouts.

What does a typical day in your life look like?Knowing this, you will have a better understanding of their interests and what products they are buying.

What are your difficulties? This lets you know what their main problems are. You can use this information when creating your ads and offering to solve their problems.

Do you see the picture below?

You have to create a customer persona that is so detailed that you can use it to determine all the relevant data for your Facebook campaign.

On the “More Demographic Groups” drop-down menu, you may want to take a quick look at the ethnic groups. Although the "life events" might be useful, the rest of the rest of the time narrow your focus too much.

You may think that a customer persona is a waste of time, but they are one of the elements that Zappos uses to target their US $ 10 million (!) In ad spend.

Although they called it “consumer profiles,” they basically followed the same steps to create their customer persona.

As your ads become more targeted, you will notice that your “potential reach” decreases. Reach refers to the estimated number of people who will see your advertisement.

As the reach drops, you'll see the needle swinging to the left on the side you're creating your ad on.

How to address your target group by analyzing audience insights

Audience Insights is a tool created by Facebook. Simply put, you can use it to turn broad targeted data into limited targeted data that is more likely to result in conversions.

Even if you give the Audience Insights Tool little information, you will still get a lot of information in the form of statistics that give you an insight into who your customer really is.

You can use this information to apply it in Facebook’s alignment settings.

Let's just take a look at how you can use Audience Insights to improve your ad targeting.

(Note: Households and Purchases is currently only available in the United States.)

i) Combine audience insights with a customer persona

Audience Insights can be an incredibly useful tool, even if you've already determined the basics of your customer persona.

For example, let's say we want to create a Facebook marketing course that teaches people how to create a mailing list.

How could we use Audience Insights to get information about the people we should be targeting?

Suppose we know some basic information about our potential customers.

Let's just say that our client's persona looks like this:

  • Age - 21-55
  • Location - U.S.A

We then enter this information into the Audience Insights Tool.

As interests, I've just added a few keywords that are related to the fictional product.

The keywords can be based on the thing you want to sell or targeting people / companies that are opinion leaders in your industry.

Because they are out for the same audience as you.

Don't know who these people or companies are?

Solve this problem by doing a quick Google search on a keyword that is relevant to your offer. After that I searched:

I searched for “List Building Facebook Ads” (ignore the bad grammar).

I've found well-known websites like Social Media Explorer that are relevant in this niche.

Just like Hubspot.

I've also identified people who are influential. Amy Porterfield, for example.

Or Jon Loomer.

Then I entered the web pages and names into the targeting options.

You have to keep the right balance here.

I've found that 5-7 interests work best. Too Many You're missing out on some excellent targeting opportunities. Too few and your data will be too unspecific.

Remember, you can only target interests on Facebook that have enough people to follow.

Some of the names and websites I found on Google could not be added to the area of ​​interest. That is why they cannot be found there.

Let's see what result we got.

We know right away that the size of the audience is 700,000 - 800,000. Since we just invented this audience, that doesn't mean much.

However, it shows us what would be possible if we created ads for that audience. A lot of people means that we can advertise a lot without saturating the audience with our presence.

We also know that the audience is made up of an equal number of men and women.

If you read this post, you will notice that there are blue and gray bars. The bars compare audience demographics to the rest of Facebook.

The gray bars for 55-64 and 65+ are 0% because that age range wasn't there when I set my audience.

We can also conclude from the insights that a statistically significant number of people in this audience are college graduates who are either married or single.

I can also see that most people have jobs that involve management, sales, or administration.

Above is a picture of the "Top Categories" page. This page shows us the top pages for each displayed category that this audience likes.

You can learn a lot here. That's because Facebook’s targeting feature is extremely powerful. The site shows us what interests our audience has.

The following screenshot shows some more “Top Categories” liked by this audience.

Here is more information based on the top pages in each category.

The “Page Likes” part shows us some pages that are most relevant to our target audience.

The Affinity column tells us how likely it is that someone will “like” a particular page compared to everyone else on Facebook. In this way we can find overlapping interests in our target market.

If you target high-affinity sites, the chances are higher of meeting people who are interested in what you are offering.

By looking at the location, we can learn where most of our target audience is. Many of them are in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and San Francisco.

The percentages in the comparison column express in numbers what the two colored bars show. In case you don't remember, it's comparing our “Selected Audience” with the rest of Facebook users.

As you can see, there is a disproportionate number of people from San Francisco.

That makes sense since there are a ton of startups based in San Francisco. You are probably doing a lot of Facebook advertising to get users.

Here we see that our target audience is used to using Facebook on their desktop and mobile. However, few of them only use the cell phone. 76% less than the usual Facebook user.

We can also see that the majority of the audience own a home and make $ 50,000-75,000 a year.

It is interesting, however, that around 31% of this population rented apartments instead of owning their own. If you really want to limit your exposure, then you could focus on the users renting an apartment or a house and ignoring those who own a house or an apartment.

Also, this audience has a disproportionate number of people making over $ 100,000 annually, which indicates that they may be business owners.

Finally, we see that the audience is spending 117% more on business purchases than the average Facebook user.

This is good if you are offering a business owner course as it can be discounted as a business edition.

Turn information into targeted advertising

Thanks to the information we gleaned from Facebook Audience Insights, we know how to target our campaign. We also created the basis of a customer persona.

If we want to create a Facebook advertising course that teaches people how to build a list, here is an example of how we can use this information to create a persona for our campaign.

  • Age: 21-55
  • Gender: Male Female
  • Training: College / University, graduate
  • relationship: Married single
  • Location: New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago
  • Job title: Management, sales and administration
  • Interests: Rebelmouse, Life on Fire, Gary Vaynerchuk, Hubspot, Hootsuite, Social Media Examiner, Ali Brown
  • device: Desktop and mobile
  • Income: $50.000+

You can save this audience so that you can use it later when creating your Facebook advertisement.

If you do you may accidentally add some interests that are not worth targeting.

It could be that people who like Rebelmouse don't want courses on Facebook advertising.

This raw datagive you the chance to make your alignment more selective.

ii) How to use Audience Insights when you have absolutely no idea of ​​your ideal customer

The Audience Insights Tool can still help you to understand who your ideal customer is, even if you have trouble coming up with a customer persona.

Provided you have a Facebook fan page with at least 1,000 fans, the Audience Insights Tool can help you find out more about the people who are interested in your company.

Audience Insights differs from the well-known Page Insights.

To put it in simple terms: Page Insights tells youhowPeople interact with your page. Audience Insights tells youwho interacts with your site.

To collect data for a fan page, go to the Audience Insights page and click "Create New".

When the pop-up appears, click the "People Connected To Your Page" option.

In the left tab you enter the name of your site.

You get a number of statistics that show you who is interacting with your page.

You can use this information to create a targeted advertising campaign.

iii) Combine Audience Insights with a mailing list

If you have a mailing list, you can also use this to set your target market. Thanks to the Custom Audiences function, you can upload your email list to Facebook.

If you want to upload your email list and use it to build an audience on Facebook, go to the Power Editor.

Click on “Audience”.

Select "Create a Custom Audience" then "Client List".

You can also use phone numbers and Facebook user IDs for this.

I only mentioned email addresses because they are often the easiest to get and the easiest way to cross-refer to Facebook. Almost everyone gives their email address, but fewer users also give Facebook their phone number when they register.

For Facebook to be efficient, the email list you upload should have at least 1,000 monthly active Facebook users.

Otherwise it won't work.

It may take Facebook a few days to analyze your audience.

When this process is complete, you will need to go back to the Audience Insights page and click "Open". There you can then select “Custom Audience”.

When you're done, you can collect data and find out who your customer really is.

Of course, you don't necessarily have to take this step. You can target your mailing list directly when creating an advertisement and selecting your audience.

However, you don't have to limit yourself.

If you can create a customer persona using your email list, then you can then target a lot more people using that persona on Facebook.

You're not paying enough per click

The competition on Facebook is increasing. A new study shows that in 2015 companies invested 122% more in advertising than in 2014.

If you're unwilling to invest the right amount of money, your ads won't be seen and your campaign will fail - no matter how good your targeting is.

Those who are new to Facebook ads should use the CPC model as it is easier to calculate how much each conversion will cost and how your ads will perform. You can also prevent over-budgeting if your advertising isn't doing well.

Facebook is like an auction. This means that you are competing with other advertisers who are targeting the same audience when you buy advertisements.

The advertiser who is willing to pay the most gets the most attention.

If you don't invest enough, you will get little attention, which will result in your ad not selling.

How do you know if your Facebook campaign has this problem?

If you're still not getting clicks even after you aim properly and produce impressive ads, underinvestment could be the problem. Low bid = little attention.

When it comes to deciding how much to pay per click, you have two options. You say how much you want to pay per click, or you let Facebook decide for you.

If your campaign fails because your ads didn't get enough clicks, try adjusting your spending yourself. For example, in the example above, you're bidding $ 0.66.

Because of the way the Facebook advertising platform works, you don't necessarily pay $ 0.66 for every click.

The $ 0.66 represents just a maximum that you would pay per click. You would bid slightly more than the previous highest bidder.

Previously, the highest bid could have been $ 0.50.Thanks to your max bid, you might be bidding $ 0.51- $ 0.53, provided no one is willing to go higher.

There is one thing that you need to remember. Otherwise, everything will collapse and leave you dejected and with no results.

Increasing your bid only makes sense if your advertising is good. If you raise your bid, but your advertisement is not appealing, you will be punished by Facebook.

You can tell how good your advertising is based on your click-through rate.

With the CPC model, Facebook generates less revenue from advertising with a low click-through rate. That's because fewer people click on it. Facebook trusts people to click ads to make money.

Facebook will then charge you more to make up for its losses, or maybe even stop showing your ads.

That is why proper alignment is so important.

Don't get too complacent as even the best alignment will not save you if you ignore the following point.

Your advertisement is not worth clicking

Brilliant alignment? Check.

Outbid your competitors? Check.

Are your ads still failing? Check ...

Once you've got your targeting and bid strategy in place, the reason your ad may still fail is because it's just not worth clicking.

Remember that on Facebook you are competing with a lot of visually appealing content. People look at photos of family, friends, and cute cat videos.

Awareness is a rare commodity and it's up to you to create an advertisement that attracts users.

Ultimately, the last thing people want to see is irrelevant advertising.

Though it's from 2006, this TechDirt post puts it succinctly: “People don't hate advertising in general; they hate bad, intrusive and annoying advertising. "

You need to make sure your ads don't fall into any of these categories.

If they do, no one will want to bother with them. In fact, people might even do the opposite and click on the "I don't want to see this" option shown here.

How do you know if your ads are the problem?

If you are still getting no clicks even though your targeting is brilliant and your bid is high, then your ads seem to be the main problem.

Let's see how we create ads that are worth clicking.

To keep things simple, let's split Facebook advertising into three main components.

Be it newsfeed ads or sidebar ads, these three components need to be optimized if you want your Facebook ad campaign to work well.

The headline

The title needs to grab attention.

Brilliant headlines do one of two things.

A headline can be worded to “join the conversation that is going on in your client's mind” - a phrase coined by influential advertising professional Robert Collier.

A headline can do this by phrasing it as a relevant question based on something important to the person watching the ad.

For example:

  • Are you struggling to get customers?
  • Isn't anyone visiting your website?
  • Do you need someone to help you lose weight?
  • Are you wondering where to invest your money?

Here is a visual example:

On the other hand, a headline could be a statement that clearly states the value you are offering.

Can you see from the example below how clearly the added value is conveyed? The word "free," plus the fact that it is capitalized, makes it all the more tempting.

There are a few essential things that make both examples effective ads. If you want to mimic the effectiveness of these examples, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Ask a question. Questions make people stop, think, and assess their situation.
  • Use strong words.You see the word "free" in a lot of ads because it works.
  • Use numbers. Numbers attract attention. “30 day trial period” is a good example of this.
  • Be direct. Describe in the simplest possible way the result you can offer.

The picture

Just looking at the last two ads, you can see that they have one thing in common. Images were used in both. By the way, I chose these ads totally randomly.

While it isn't always the case, it is said that when you spot a trend like this, it is because this one works.

Facebook is a visual platform. Posts with images get 53% more “Likes” than those without. We love pictures.

If you want to include high-performing imagery in your advertising, consider using models that look into the camera. The displays below show how it works.

Only 20% of the image can contain text. Therefore, you cannot use an image to bypass the character limit.

However, if you have trouble following this rule, try moving the text a bit. Jon Loomer found that he can sometimes get around Facebook's restrictions by doing this.

Either way, it's not a big deal, as you can do a surprisingly lot with that 20%. Take a look at the two examples below:

Do you see how the text in the picture reproduces the headline almost identically and contains a call-to-action that looks like a button?

These are the kind of images that grab people's attention and encourage them to click on the advertisement.

So what's the moral of the story?

Use pictures of the model looking at the camera and try to add some text that reinforces your message. This is of course only an orientation, as you are free to experiment with different images.

After you've taken care of the headline and the picture, the next step is the copy.

The advertising text

The copywriting makes up the majority of your advertising. He is responsible for making your ad effective.

It explains what is described in the heading and tells the user what to do next - in the form of a call to action.

There are a few things you can do to create compelling copy.

i) Create an effective call-to-action (CTA)

Your CTA needs to tell people what to do next. He has to be encouraging and get to the point.

“Sign up” or “Find out more” - these are both examples of a call-to-action.

Just like your header, your copy should have some powerful words in it.

You also have to subject your call-to-action to a split test (more on that later). But first make sure your ad has one.

Study other people's advertisements so that you can ultimately create the perfect call-to-action.

ii) advantages, advantages, advantages

It seldom happens that features triumph over advantages when it comes to convincing someone of a product or service.

Your copy exists to generate sales, so you need to make sure that potential customers understand the benefits they will get when they click on your ad.

Check out these ads:

The promotional copy is full of benefits. It is short and sweet and explains in a simple and easy to understand way.

Let people know what's in it for them and how their lives will improve when they click on your ads.

Don't make the mistake of trying to be too resourceful. There is no time or place to be clever - this is where you need to be clear.

iii) A sense of urgency

A call-to-action is a brilliant way to get people to click on your ad.

Do you know what can further intensify this effect?

The sense of urgency.

Let people know how long your offer is. Let them know what the benefits are when they become now Sign in.

But don't lie if you use this tactic.

Check out some of the previous examples if you're looking for inspiration.

iv) Social Proven

Social proven is another way to add extra expressiveness to your advertising copy.

If you don't know what social validity is, here's a quick summary. It's a way of influencing people by letting them know what others have done in a given situation.

You can include this in your advertising copy by explaining how many people have already used your product (s) / service (s).

The above picture does this. It shows that 30,000 marketers are attending this event.

You subconsciously suspect that it might be worth investing in this event because so many other people are attending.

As a result, you feel more inclined to click on the advertisement.

Is that enough?

If you've followed all of the previous tips, your ad campaign may be back on track.

However, your success might not last long. You still have a Facebook ad campaign that's on the brink.

Read on to find out why.

You use the same advertisement over and over again

What happens if you drive past an advertising poster two or three times?

Right, you're starting to ignore it. It's like the ad doesn't even exist anymore.

Facebook ads are like billboards ... And like billboards in real life, they are prone to the same problem. The technical term for this is “advertising exhaustion”.

That makes sense when you consider that 25-34 year olds (the target market for many) see around 2,094 banner ads per month.

Remember: With Facebook, you choose a target group that will see your advertising. At some point they get tired of seeing your ads all the time.

To avoid ad exhaustion, you need to change your campaigns regularly.

"So how do we know when to change our advertising?" - I hear you say.

Thankfully, Facebook provides some metrics that we can consult to see when that happens.

One of these metrics is “frequency”. This tells us how often individual people within our “reach” have seen our advertising.

This is calculated by dividing ad impressions by reach. Simply put, it tells you how many times your ad has been shared by the number of people it was shown to.

Spiralytics found that ad fatigue occurs when your ad (s) were shown to your audience more than 4 times.

However, frequency analysis in Insolation can be an inefficient way to find out if a campaign has worn out or not. It just tells you how many times a particular person has seen your ad.

Therefore, you have to interpret the frequency in the context of the click-through rate. If you notice your CTR dropping as your frequency increases, you know that ad fatigue is slowly starting to hit.

Once people get used to seeing your ads on a regular basis, the less likely they will click them.

You need to be aware of this for the reasons discussed earlier. Facebook always charges you more per click when your CTR drops.

If you don't fix that, you'll end up paying more and more for ads that don't bring any ROI. You have to do damage control as soon as possible. Checking your campaign twice a day is a great way to keep track of things.

The next step will tell you why you may still fail even though you've done everything right up to now.

You expect to do well on the first try

The truth is, no matter how good you are, you won't always do well the first time you try. This rule applies to every campaign you will ever create.

If you thought you could just create an ad and see the money go in, you were wrong.

In most cases, you'll need to create multiple variations of an advertisement. This is also known as the split test.

The team that ran Obama's online marketing used split tests to increase conversion rates.

Thanks to the split tests, they found out that the CTA “Learn more” brought in 18.6% more registrations than the previous “Sign up”.

They also found that a picture of Obama and his family scored 13.1% better than the turquoise picture that was used previously.

There's a post from Adespresso about it where they show the two pictures that were tested.

As you can see, only the picture has been changed. Only by changing this element did they achieve an increase in conversions.

If you look closely at the page, you could also argue that the heading has been changed from “Get Involved” to “Change We Can Believe In”.

Although this example is for a landing page, these lessons also apply to advertising on Facebook.

When doing your own split tests, it's important not to change the image and the headline at the same time.

If you change only one element at a time, it is easier to understand which changes lead to better results. Then you can use this knowledge in your future advertising campaigns.

Facebook organizes your campaign in the following way: Campaign - Ad Group - Ads.

Quick tip: if you are doing a split test, place each ad in a separate group. Ads in the same ad group influence each other's results and can therefore skew the data.

This is because Facebook decides which is the better advertisement in your ad group, and that ultimately takes precedence.

The problem is that Facebook may pick a “winner” too early and prevent you from collecting data on how the other ads are doing under the same conditions.

Here are a few things you can test:

  • Try other countries:If your offer is not geographically restricted, you may be able to expand it to other countries. This is a good idea if you have a great ad that is currently suffering from ad fatigue. Focus on English speaking countries like the UK, Australia and Canada.
  • Test different images:If you are only testing images, there is a good chance that you can make significant improvements. Create the same advertisement with 8-10 image variations.
  • Use different headlines:Follow the same instructions as for images: same advertisement, 8-10 headline variations. You could try experimenting with statement versus question.
  • Experiment with the copywriting: Continue with pictures and headers. Consider using the principle of social proof.
  • Concentrate on different devices:Ignore the cell phone fuss. Your offering may work better if you focus on desktop devices. Take the test and see what happens.
  • Ad type:Do you only use advertisements in the sidebar? Your campaign could be more successful if you use newsfeed ads. Do you use both? Test newsfeed videos.

  • Target alignment:Try to target different interests. Familiarize yourself with some of Facebook's more advanced targeting features. A good feature to check out is Lookalike Audiences.

If your offering is limited to one country and your audience is small, you may want to focus on splitting your audience targeting first.

If you target different target groups, you are not fighting with yourself for the same advertising space.

If you find a good advertisement that is generating a great return, you need to invest more money in it right away.

Remember that you only have a certain window of time to get the most out of your good advertising before advertising exhaustion throws your bill.


If your ad campaigns fail, the knowledge you received in this article should help you bring them back into shape.

Don't forget that you can't just take an advertising-focused approach. The page you're sending people to needs to be conversion-focused too. However, if you don't follow the principles discussed, people will not visit the site in the first place.

Do you want to experience the principle that all of the above stands out?

I'm sorry, there is no such thing.

The targeting, the bid price, the “click value” of your ad and your ability to perform your split test - they all have to go hand in hand if you want your campaign to be successful.

Combine everything and I am sure that you will hit the nail on the head.

What did you do to refresh a campaign that wasn't working?