In the third quarter of 2019, Facebook announced that there were more than 7 million active advertisers using Facebook ads to promote their products and services. To get an idea of how much this figure has grown over the years, you just have to look at the ad revenue generated. In 2017, it was $39.9 million against 2019’s $69.6 million.

This hasn’t happened by accident. Over time, Facebook has introduced numerous new tools and types of ads, opening new doors for marketers all over the globe. However, this has also led to introduced complications in marketers’ understanding of why their ad campaigns aren’t working.

Here, we’ll discuss some prevalent factors that might impede the performance of even the most well-funded ad campaigns. For the sake of this article, we’re assuming that you have already set up your campaign and are looking to fine-tune it for better results.

Figuring Out Why Facebook Ads Aren’t Performing

Digital marketing is an iterative process, often requiring A/B testing for the best results.

You learn something new from each campaign, implement it in your next one, learn more from that, and enhance your next campaign. The process goes on, requiring you to make adjustments over time.

So don’t get disheartened if your first campaign isn’t as successful.

Following are some reasons why your Facebook ads might not be performing;

1. Make Sure You Have the Right Goals Selected

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The first and most important thing you should look at is whether you selected the right hammerhead to hammer the nail. Consider this; what would happen if a carpenter decides to use a goldsmith’s hammer for his next craft? What if it was reversed? Would either of them benefit from the exchange?

Of course not.

The same principle applies here. Facebook has three distinct categories (objectives) of ads, each executed differently.

  • Brand awareness ads are just there (figuratively), tailored towards spreading the word about your brand.
  • Consideration ads focus on generating traffic, engagement, app installs, views, and messages.
  • Conversion ads move towards conversions, sales, and visits.

Make sure you align the Facebook ad objective with your intended results when running an ad.

2. Make Sure You Aren’t Overlapping Audience

Facebook favors digital marketers [1] not just by letting you run ads but also by making sure your ads don’t compete with each other. It considers your ad history, target audience, and content just as much, if not more than your budget.

You should review each ad in a campaign for who you’re targeting under the audience section to see that there is no overlap. You can use Facebook’s Audience Overlap Tool to find any overlaps and rectify them quickly.

3. Review Your Audience Size

Daniel Berlyne’s Two Factor theory of marketing suggests that repetitive ads increase the likelihood of converting an audience but only up to a point, after which it becomes irritating.

If your product has a hyper-niche market, Facebook ads will start repeating for audiences, especially when the target audience is very small. Maintain a balance between targeting enough people and the right people.

Select a wider age range or area to tap into a larger audience. 

4. A/B Testing – Making the Most of What You’ve Got

Facebook lets you set up a maximum of 50 ads in each campaign. Use this to your advantage.

Creating a single, unique ad doesn’t guarantee success. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily have the same effect on the other. Make sure you write to create content, upload different pictures, and tweak the settings between each ad.

This is known as A/B testing, or testing the waters, in simple terms.

5. Make Sure You Have Digital Sales Funnel

Attract, engage, convert, sell, and connect. Or to follow the original digital sales funnel lingo:

  1. Increase Awareness
  2. Stimulate Interest
  3. Help them make a Decision
  4. Assist Action (Sell)
  5. Stay Connected

These are the fundamentals of a sales funnel, an important part of any digital marketing venture, including Facebook ads[1] .

Make sure that you aren’t just running an ad but also have a bespoke buyer’s journey[2]  that connects with your audiences and converts.

To Sum it Up

“Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew…” That’s Samwise Gamgee referring to potatoes, a vegetable fit for all occasions. If only that applied to Facebook ads as well. For these, you need a unique vision and idea each time.

Running a successful Facebook ad campaign requires finesse. You need your eyes on your campaign at all times to ensure that it’s optimized and performing. Simply putting in content, photos, and a price tag might give you exceptional results one day but will fail to perform the second.

They say that the devil is in the details, but sometimes, it’s just waiting in the bedroom upstairs. First, make sure that it isn’t simply a slow day. If the problem persists, take a step back and see if you’ve made any of the above mistakes in your Facebook ad campaign and tweak them accordingly.