I teach emerging online fashion boutique owners how to crack the code of eCommerce success for a life of uncapped income, flexibility and fun.
Hi, I'm Jodie
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5 Reasons why your Facebook ads are losing you money
But maybe you have tried your hand and an ad or two but got terrible results (unless throwing money down the toilet is considered a win?!).
If social media paid ads have left you wondering if there’s some magical formula to success, you aren’t alone. I’m not going to lie.
Getting a return on your ad spend consists of 2 parts tech skill, 2 parts strategy and topped off with a dash of good luck.
I’ve been learning, testing and mastering paid Facebook and Instagram ads for many years now. And for some strange reason, I love the process. I could spend my days inside of ads manager. It’s my happy place… but only when things are working in my favour, of course.
After years of trial and error AND helping many other business owners learn the ropes of Facebook ads, I’ve learned what does work and what doesn’t.
Are you ready? Let’s go.
No one ad can do ‘all the things’.
Sad, I know.
You will need a series of ads, each with their own objective or goal.
You will need ads introducing your brand and business to a new audience.
Us Facebook ads geeks refer to these ads as ‘Cold ads’, ‘Top of funnel ads’ or ‘Prospecting ads’.
Their job is to make a great first impression to a new, targeted audience and encourage the first click through to your website.
End of story. If these ads make a sale – awesome! But that’s not their job.
The other ads you create inside of ads manager – we like to call them ‘‘warm or retargeting ads’, are designed to get the sale.
These retargeting should be set up with the goal of ‘converting’ ie.getting a purchase.
These retargeting or warm ads are inviting people back to your website for a second (or third!) visit to your site.
Now, this is a tricky one, especially when starting out.
The thing is, this budget often sits around $10 a day.
I encourage my clients to come up with a goal amount for a sale.
For me in my fashion business www.ilandco.com, a goal I know is both realistic and achievable is $30 – $35 per sale.
I then decide how many sales I would like to make per day from that particular ad. For me, I’d like to make at least 2 to 3 sales a day per ad campaign, so my daily budget for that ad would be between $60 and $90.
After 3 to 4 days I would make a judgement call on this ad and edit the audience, increase the budget or switch it off entirely.
I know this seems like a lot to many people, but think about this. The cost of acquiring a new customer is usually high. Many big businesses are happy to make a loss on the first sale.
I know you have an awesome product and provide outstanding customer service, right! So your customers will want to keep coming back for more sales in the future. Can you afford to at least breakeven on that first sale?
I have been running ads for a long time and know exactly which metrics to measure and which are my best-performing audiences. I’ve learnt what works from trial and error and lots of advertising dollars.
I completely understand if you might not be comfortable in starting with a budget as high as this…
A $10 a day might take you 9 days (ie. $90 in ad spend) before you get a sale. So do manage your expectations around what you will get for your money.
This is a huge one.
Don’t do this.
Perhaps you have an ad that’s been running for a while and you want to change the URL link you send them too. Any comments, likes, shares (social proof on your ad!) will be removed and it will start from scratch.
Why is this a big no-no?
My best performing ads are ALWAYS those that have lots of social proof – that is comments, likes and shares that are visible to all that see that ad. People are curious and love to see what other people are liking and commenting on. If an ad appears in a feed with lots of engagement on it, we tend to want to stop and read the comments.
This brings me to number 4…
Chances are that audience size is TINY, and if those ads even manage to fire, those folks are seeing that retargeting ad a gazillion times.
And that will make them very cross.
If your cold audiences are smaller than this they aren’t going to be effective as they should be.
Try removing some of the interest targeting you might have selected or broaden the age group, location and add in all platforms.
For a warm or retargeting audience, if it’s small, make sure you set a teeny tiny budget so not to annoy the heck out of them, say $5 a day. And run a number of different ads to this warm audience making up this $5 a day spend. Try using different images, copy and platforms in order to avoid ad fatigue for your audiences. Also try retargeting people based on the longest amount of time as possible, such as 1 year.
And finally, Facebook Ads mistakes number 5!
They WAY outperform those interest-based audiences.
What’s the difference between interest-based and lookalike audiences you ask?
Interest-based audiences are those audiences are made up of 2 parts. First, you select certain demographics such as age, location and sex. Then you choose a selection of interests, often similar brands to our own, or things such as ‘yoga’, ‘breastfeeding’, ‘cooking’, etc.
Lookalike audiences, on the other hand, are different. These audiences are created by for us and are based on a specific custom audience or website action we specify.
For example, perhaps you’ve uploaded your newsletter list as a custom audience to ads manager (do this if you haven’t already!). You can then ask Facebook to create a lookalike audience based on this data source (ie. your list) and you other people that have similar attributes to these folks. Facebook is so damn clever, isn’t it!
Lookalike audiences are only useful once you’ve given Facebook some decent data to work with. That is, an uploaded customer or newsletter list, previous link clicks, add to carts or conversions on your website. You can also create lookalike audiences based on your social media followers. But without any of these data sources, Facebook won’t be able to create a lookalike audience for you. So this type of audience isn’t really an option to those first dipping their toe into paid ads.
I hope you found these Facebook Ads Mistakes tips helpful to you!
I could take about Facebook ads all day long! Paid social media advertising has been a total game-changer to my business. They have enabled me to go from humble $3k months to $30k and beyond.
If you have tried paid Facebook ads in the past with no success and deemed them a waste of money, I want to encourage you to keep persevering. You can fix the Facebook Ads mistakes you’ve been making.
Learn all you can about them. Test, test and test again. Test audiences, placements, ad types, objectives and everything in between.
And know that even those ads that totally flopped for you before have helped in some way. They would have provided some form of valuable information to you and to your pixel.
Go back and check what worked and what didn’t. There are always lessons in there that can help with your future strategy.