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Paid Media 13 min read

Five Ways You’re Losing Money on Facebook Ads

Dallin Porter photo

Dallin Porter

Communications Manager @ Galactic Fed

Published 19 Oct 2020

As the resident Paid Media experts, the team at Galactic Fed is always reevaluating and experimenting with ways to optimize our processes and get the most results for our clients. After all, the world of Facebook Ads can be daunting, and you certainly don’t want to follow in the footsteps of one man who lost 600k in 4 days on his Facebook Ads. Ouch, that hits us where it hurts.

Even if you’re not an expert, there are probably (definitely) a few things you could do right now to save money on your Facebook Ads. And if you’re a human being, that is something you should want. Let’s take a look at some you can correct today:

You’re picking the wrong campaign objective

Although this may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how often this crucial element gets overlooked when launching an ad campaign. Facebook Ads campaigns break down into three main objectives, each with their own sub-objectives.

Before you get to this stage, you should have already identified your Facebook Ad’s purpose and the results you want to see. (If not, we suggest doing that now). The objective you select should fit into your overall business strategy and serve as a shorter-term tactic to achieve long term goals. Once you know your objectives, it makes writing your ad easier, since you’ve determined who and what you’re writing for.

Source: Business2Community

The three campaign types are:

Awareness: this objective is for those at the top level of your marketing funnel, who may not even know you exist. It’s also commonly used by larger brands when they have new products services.

Ad objectives for Awareness are:

  • Brand awareness: letting people know who you are. Where you are or what you do.
  • Reach: casting as wide of a net as possible, and having the most eyes viewing your ad.

Consideration: this objective would be for those in the middle of the marketing funnel, who may know you exist but need to have more information before converting into a customer. You want to guide your potential buyer to want to take action, whether through education, information, or entertainment.

Ad objectives for Consideration are:

  • Traffic: sending users from Facebook to a designated URL such as a landing page or official website.
  • Engagement: motivating those who see your ad to engage in any way through likes, shares, comments, or clicks.
  • App installs: driving users to an App Store where they can download your mobile app.
  • Video views: shows your video to those most likely to be interested and interact with the content.
  • Lead generation: allows you to capture data and leads directly from your ads, such as address or email.
  • Messages: connect users with messaging services like Facebook messenger or Instagram Direct messages.

Conversions: as you probably have guessed, this would be the ad objective for an audience towards the bottom of your marketing funnel. It’s the final step before taking action and making a purchase, download, or signing up for a subscription.

Ad objectives for Conversions are:

  • Conversions: Having your audience take a specific action. Download. Sign up. Purchase. To optimize this ad objective, it’s ideal if you’re having at least 15-25 conversions per week; that way, Facebook can garner enough data to advertise to the right target audience correctly.
  • Catalog Sales: allows you to showcase specific products from your e-commerce store and gives you tools to integrate your online store products into the user’s Facebook feed.
  • Store traffic: meant for brick and mortar stores that rely on foot traffic for sales. Think establishments like a hair salon, restaurant, or local boutique.

You’re not using audience targeting correctly

The targeting feature of Facebook Ads ensures that you have influence over matching the right ad with the right person. Some people may “target overkill,” which leads to a tiny pool of Facebook users who may see your ad. Some may use “lazy targeting” and follow a “set it and forget it” approach. Both of these leave room for improvement.

Neither specific nor broad targeting is more superior; the critical element is relevance to the user. We’ve all been the victim of a mistargeted ad and wondered, “why am I seeing this right now?” That does not make for positive brand sentiment.

When it comes to components of detailed targeting, Facebook Ads allows you to choose from a lot of options., but they all fall under the following:

Source: Social Media Examiner

\ Demographics: under this category, you can target users’ age, location, languages, education, gender, and even relationship status. What industry does your potential buyer work in? What is their income range? What life events are they experiencing? All of these need to be considered when considering your demographics targeting.

Interests: exceptionally useful in placing your ads in front of those who will want to see it. You can select interests based on industries, like finance or medical. You can target based on family relationships such as parents or dating. And, you can target based on activities like sports, technology, and fashion.

Behaviors: this allows you to reach people based on purchase behavior or purchase intent and includes behaviors like device usage. These behaviors could be how charitable a person is, their job role, residential profiles, and even how much they travel.

You can use a layered approach when it comes to these audience targets to achieve the maximum return on your ad. Facebook provides an audience size tool (below) that shows how broad or narrow your target approach is. It might take some trial and error for a beginner, which is why it’s always good to do your research or hire the experts.

Source: Social Pilot

Your ads are poorly designed

Although Facebook Ads strategy can be scientific and experimental by nature, your ad’s creative aspect has a massive impact on its success. When we say creative, we mean the imagery, text, placement, colors, headlines, videos, CTA’s - all of it.

It’s important to note that creating the right ad will require testing different versions to see which resonate and perform the best. A simple A/B test of varying headlines or images combinations can provide valuable insight and save valuable dollars.

There are some best practices when it comes to creating your ad that is best to follow closely:

  • Use high-resolution images (FYI best size guide on FB. Image 1:1, video 4:5 or 1:1, story 9:16.)
  • Show your product clearly.
  • Avoid too much image text: let the creative aspect of the adconvey messaging and don’t overstuff ads with text as it fails to gather attention.
  • To use multiple images or showcase various products, test multiple formats as different formats work for different products, such as Facebook carousel ads.
  • Preview your ads using Facebook Creative Hub; this will give you a good indication of how users will see your ad on a desktop or mobile.
  • Have the ad copy reflect what is being shown in the image, make it easy for viewers to connect the dots.
  • Have one clear, prominent call to action, whether it’s “Sign up now” or “Buy one today!”
  • Use simple language that’s easy to understand. Remember that your ad is one of many in a sea of infinite scroll, and you have your audiences’ attention for a very limited time.

Let’s take a look at some great and not-so-great Facebook ad examples:

Source: Facebook

Why this works:

  • The image chosen is meant to catch a user’s eye.
  • The text relates directly to the ad, making the connection an easy one to make
  • The copy leads with value and gets right to the point; “Stop Counting Calories and Take Inches Off.”
  • It’s clear what the user should do: take part in the 30-day challenge.
  • Great use of social proof and high engagement

Source: Facebook

Why this doesn’t work:

  • Although there’s a catalog of images, none of them are particularly engaging or stand out.
  • The headline is generic and isn’t clear on what action they want the audience to take
  • The image text is basic and lacking much creativity. “Deer Lamp” isn’t all that enticing.
  • The social proof is evidence of an unengaging ad that isn’t catching people’s attention.

Remember that your ad should be telling a story about who you are and what you offer in a cohesive, obvious way. There should be a flow between what the user reads and what they see, and it should be clear what you want them to do.

You’re not using Facebook Pixel (properly)

Here’s a crash course on Facebook Pixel 101: the Pixel is a piece of code that you can place on your website to analyze the actions users are taking. It’s a great analytics tool that provides some invaluable insights into your own specific consumer’s behavior.

It tracks things like time on page, page views, page depth, and add to cart functions. There are 3 main ways to take advantage of this tool:

  1. Target to the right audience: the Pixel will give you information about those who’ve visited your site, allowing you to remarketing to them on the Facebook platform.
  2. Increase sales: well, this seems like a no-brainer. With your Pixel information, you can set automatic bidding strategies that reach people more likely to take the desired action.
  3. Measure your ROI: the information provided from the Pixel gives specific data into which ads are high-performing, where to make adjustments, and how effectively your ads are driving action.

Source: Facebook

The Pixel transgression made by businesses is often they are either not using it or not using it to its full potential. Facebook makes it very easy, too. You can view all of your Pixel data right inside your ad manager and make adjustments based on the data you see.

The pixel gives you information on how customers are interacting with your business off of the Facebook platform, so you can create strategies to have them engage with your business on the platform, through your ads. You should be consulting this data to guide strategic decisions like audiences to target or even your website’s flow.

You’re not optimizing ad scheduling

As we know by now, you can set your ads’ schedule of when they are shown. You can choose the time of day, or day of the week, based on your offer and relevancy.

Source: Facebook

\ Sure, it seems obvious to run your ads during weekends or evenings, where you assume most people might be online. Still, we’ve found the way to create your ad schedule is to analyze your specific customer data (like the stuff you get from Facebook Pixel). Once you’ve done that, it’s essential to look at your ad intent: what am I trying to get them to do? What time of day, or day of the week, are people taking this action?

Combining Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, and Facebook Analytics, you can determine more than when your audience is online, but when they are taking these specific actions. You can see when they are subscribing or signing up, and when they are buying.

It’s best to analyze this data to create a custom ad schedule, specific to each ad. Now, we know this can seem a bit overwhelming, but this is in the DNA of what we do at Galactic Fed. Check out what happened when we teamed The Maple Guild to implement a Facebook ad strategy that increased their revenue by 300%, and their purchases by 200%.

Take it from us, working with Facebook Ads is a never ending lesson, as there are always ways to improve and optimize your efforts to maximize your results. We’ve run thousands of ad campaigns for all kinds of businesses and have used that expertise to help you save more money on your Facebook ads.

\ For more industry insights and helpful articles, check out the rest of our Paid Media series on the Galactic Marketing Blog.

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Dallin Porter photo

Dallin Porter

Communications Manager @ Galactic Fed

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