10 Reasons Why Your Facebook and Instagram Ads Aren’t Working: Part 1

Today, I want to talk about the top 10 mistakes that I see happening with Facebook and Instagram ads and how those mistakes lead to ads not working for you. So, first of all, when I talk about Facebook ads, I’m talking about the entire platform. If you didn’t know, within the platform you can advertise for Facebook ads, you can advertise for Instagram and you can advertise in the audience network. So, here we go.

Mistake #10: Not Spending Enough Money

Some people throw a budget at Facebook –  let’s throw $200 bucks at it! Let’s throw $300 bucks at it! And that’s the monthly spend they have to allocate towards Facebook ads. Now, I’m going to kind of do a double edged sword here. If that’s all you got, then that’s all you got. The problem is that for Facebook ads to be really effective, you need to collect a lot of data. Good data allows you to make good decisions on what’s working and what’s not working.

Facebook and Instagram Ad spend

When your budget is too small, it’s going to take you longer to get enough data from ads to know if those ads are working. You always need to be testing.  You’re  testing different marketing objectives, different ads. Unfortunately, I think there’s this expectation that goes somthing like –  hey, I have an ad live! Why aren’t I getting results?” Or hey, I put $300 towards this and it didn’t work. Facebook doesn’t work for me.

The problem is not enough budget allocated to test different theories and different marketing objectives to get good insights.

Mistake #9: Not Tracking for Results

So, you threw $300 at Facebook ads, but you did not set up tracking for results.

Facebook Tracking

I completely understand why this is not always done, because it’s not easy to set up. Facebook has made the process somewhat complicated. There are custom conversions and event codes.

If you’re not a real techy person, it’s like, it’ll leave you wondering what it all means. Frequently, people end up running Facebook and Instagram ads anyway without being sure that they’re getting results. Unless you track conversions, you’ll never know.

Mistake #8: The Facebook Pixel Isn’t Installed

Another techy hurdle and why I don’t always see people getting results: they haven’t installed the Facebook pixel.

The pixel is just a simple piece of code. The pixel goes on your website. Once installed the pixel picks up information about the people that we are driving to your website. It’s picking up information about the people who are doing the desired action – clicking, liking, watching etc.  That information feeds back to Facebook to say, hey, the people that are making it to your website and filling out that form and making that phone call. Additionally, they have these certain attributes and we can go out and find more people like that.

The pixel is crucial. It’s also crucial for building remarketing audiences. So, if you don’t have that pixel, you can’t tag people to send them different ads at different stages of the funnel.

You’re not able to build what’s called audiences inside of Facebook (cold audiences versus warm audiences) and use them to build a funnel: which leads me to number seven.

Mistake #7: Did Not Build a Sales Funnel

I don’t see people building sales funnels for Facebook ads. They run one ad with one goal, and it’s usually, “Buy my product. Buy my service.” The problem with pushing for the sale first is people don’t get on Facebook to necessarily buy. People get on Facebook to be entertained.

So you need to build a funnel.

Facebook and Instagram Ads

Let’s say I’m just introduced to your product. So I’m a cold audience – top of the funnel.  I’ve never heard of you before. What is the type of information that you should send this person versus someone whose interacted with your brand before? Maybe I’ve been to your website before. Maybe I engaged with an ad before. All of those things are possible. Using the pixel, you can build these audiences based on where they are in your sales funnel.

And then you’ve got the bottom of the funnel consisting of really hot prospects or leads. For these clients you may consider sending them an offer, testimonial or an ad with lots of comments, likes and shares. Whatever your product or service, there’s typically a funnel to purchase with you.

Even for services that are in the moment, like plumbing or heating, it makes sense to stay at the top of the funnel where people can know that you exist. They might not need you right now, but what are you doing to make sure that you’re there when they need you? How can you make sure that in the moment that they actually need your service they remember you? They Google you. That’s where having Google ads going at the same time can definitely help you get found.

Mistake #6: Chose the Wrong Objective

So, number six is going to be choosing the wrong marketing objective. When set up Facebook ads, there are lots of marketing objectives to choose from. Some of the most common ones are going to be reach, kind of a branding, I want as many people as possible to see my ad, to engagement. I just want people to engage with the ad. So, I want comments like shares. Traffic. So, not only do I want people to comment, like, share, I want them to actually get to my website. All the way to conversions, which is, hey, I only want people that are going to do the desired action.

So, the way the Facebook algorithm works is Facebook has to know enough information to know who those ideal people are who will complete that conversion.  So frequently people want to start a campaign and go straight after conversions. They just want sales. Which, let’s face it, we all do. But if Facebook doesn’t have enough information on the pixel about the person that is more likely to complete that desired action, then it’s not going to work. It’s just guessing.

Facebook and Instagram Ads Objective

So, What’s the Right Objective?

You need almost 50 conversions a week for the Facebook pixel to work correctly. Now have I seen it work with less? Yes, I have. So, going back to our number seven, not building funnels. If you don’t have those funnels built out for Facebook to have a better idea of who your client is and you haven’t been leading people down that funnel to get to that conversion, you’re never going to have enough conversions to run a conversion campaign.

Sometimes you have to, going back to the techy stuff, set up goal conversions. A goal conversion could be a contact page view. You have to be creative in getting to you 50 conversions. Maybe I can’t get 50 as the very last thing that they do (like a purchase), but maybe I can get 50 with people that spend a minute on the page. Those are good people, historically speaking, looking at my Google analytics account. So, I see people choosing the wrong marketing objective because they just want those conversions.

I also see people choosing the wrong marketing objective based on their budget. So, going all the way back to number 10, if you’ve got that $300, $500 and that’s all you’re really willing to spend, you can’t choose traffic. You don’t have enough money in a given day in order to drive enough traffic.

Alternatively, you might be better suited to choose video campaigns where you can get your ad out in front of more people for a lot less. With video campaigns sometimes you can pay as little as two or three cents for a 15 second video. And so, that’s probably a better option for you if you just don’t quite have the budget. An engagement campaign might be good, too, if you have a lower budget.

But if you get back to building those funnels, think about if you have enough budget to build an engagement campaign or a video where you’re paying a whole lot to get in front of cold people. You’re putting a lot of money towards that, usually 80% of your budget, and then you’re filtering them down to a traffic campaign. And then you’re filtering down to a conversion. Now you have a funnel. Now you can choose the right marketing objectives for the the right campaign.

Mistake #5: Expecting Instant Results

I put an ad up. Why is it not working? I understand your frustration.

Facebook and Instagram Ads

However, Facebook and Instagram Ads takes money, time and testing. And so, you’re not going to get it right right off the bat. Sure, you can make a really good hypothesis about what you think is going to work, but until you test it, you are not going to have those instantaneous results. At some point or another though, you have to look at the return on ad spend.

Make Facebook and Instagram Ads Better

But if this is your first go around with Facebook ads, you should probably expect to wait possibly two months before you get results. It’ll take time to collect engught data about what’s working and what isn’t working. Once you have this infomation you can take the ads, rinse and repeat.

So, this is Part 1 of a two part series on why your Facebook ads are probably not working. Join me next time where I go through the next five. My name is Jennifer Denney with Elevated Marketing Solutions, and that’s it for today.