Why Your Facebook Ads Keep Failing

By Adam Turner • January 16, 2020

You spend and spend, but no matter what you do, your Facebook ads aren’t getting any traction. So the question arises: How do you effectively and efficiently use Facebook ads? Luckily, John Huntinghouse, the digital marketing director at Epic Marketing, gave a framework to do just that at the 2019 Digital Summit in Salt Lake City.

Create a Facebook Ads strategy by working backwards

To implement the best Facebook marketing strategy you can, it is worthwhile to start by working backwards. One of the mistakes marketers make right off the back is spending too much time at the start of their campaign when they should be focusing on the backend, which is where it matters most. Before you start designing assets and buying ads on Facebook, you need to know your end goal. After all, the type of campaign you want to run and the data you’ll analyze if you want to increase conversions is vastly different than if you were raising awareness of a new business.

Working backwards will also give marketers an idea of the demographic they want to target, which gives them a head start in setting up the campaign. Huntinghouse gave the example of a gym his company worked with that was getting ready to expand to a new location in Arizona. They used influencer marketing on Facebook and Instagram for that campaign, and since they worked backwards when they began, they were able to identify influencers who had a large number of followers within a five-mile radius of the gym. Had they just chosen an influence with a big following in Arizona, the campaign would probably have blown up in their face, but instead, they managed to increase Google searches about the gym by 300 percent.

3 types of Facebook Ads targeting

From there, marketers should take care to dismiss the preconceived notion of the consumer-experience funnel because there isn’t just one average funnel. What the average individual does is useless when planning a campaign because they’re not the ones who bring in the most revenue. Instead, you want to target the most engaged customers and people like them.

That’s where the three main types of targeting come in.

The first, and most commonly used, type of Facebook targeting relates to interest-based audiences. There is a problem with this kind of targeting — that is the amount of guesswork involved on the part of the marketer and Facebook. In certain situations, this targeting style is effective, but it shouldn’t be the only kind you use, and many marketers overuse it.

Custom audiences, of course, are people who in some way or another expressed their interest in receiving advertising from you such as liking your page or signing up for an email list. This is, of course, one of the most effective ways to target individuals interested in your products or services.

Rounding off the group is the third type of targeting: lookalike audiences. Targeting lookalike audiences can be tricky business, and Huntinghouse had advice based on his own experiences using it. If you just use that system on all your customers, the results will be disappointing. That’s because around 80 percent of those people are bad customers whose habits don’t reflect the ideal habits of who you want to attract. So instead, you want to take the top 10 to 15 percent of customers who engage with your organization and target lookalike audiences of them. Facebook will do whatever you ask it to when you target them, so you have to make sure you guide it towards the audience you want.

Track your Facebook Ads progress

Finally, marketers should always look to improve their strategies. The best way to do this is keeping track of what you do. Eventually, they’ll build up a sort of database of best practices that they and their colleagues can consult in the future should something go wrong.

Advertising on Facebook is easy, but as Huntinghouse shows, advertising well on Facebook is a different story. Using this framework for Facebook marketing can help your organization save time and money by getting it right the first time.

Digital Summit has teamed up with Association Adviser to bring you access to videos and content that offers insight to association marketers. Access this content at https://dsum.io/association-marketing-videos.

About The Author

Adam Turner is a content strategy intern with Naylor Association Solutions.