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3 BIG Reasons Why Your Facebook Ads Aren't Performing

Ellie Gunville
by Ellie Gunville on Aug 29, 2016 3:16:04 PM

Facebook advertising has come a long way in the last 5+ years and today it presents an outstanding advertising opportunity for businesses across many industries. We've seen a significant surge in brands advertising on Facebook, especially as the platform continues to shift toward a "pay-to-play" framework, making it difficult for brands to get their content seen without putting budget behind it.  In fact, from 2015 to 2016 Facebook saw a 50% growth in advertisers!

Facebook's robust targeting capabilities allow advertisers to hone in on their target markets in a way that other platforms, like Google AdWords, don't. 5 Reasons to Advertise on Social Media

Despite the massive audience and precise targeting capabilities, why do so many campaigns fail to produce results? Time and time again we hear people say "Facebook doesn't generate sales" or "we tried Facebook ads and they don't work for us". But more often than not, the problem isn't Facebook or its ad platform, but instead the strategy and set up behind the campaign.

Let’s take a look at three reasons why your Facebook campaigns might not be generating results:

1. Your targeting is off

One of the most common and biggest mistakes brands make on Facebook is failing to target their ads properly. Even with Facebook's precise targeting system, many advertisers set up campaigns that target too broad or too narrow of an audience or one that's not relevant to their business.

It isn't a coincidence that this is listed as our number one reason that Facebook campaigns don't generate results. You can get everything else right when setting up your campaigns, but if your targeting is off, nothing else will matter. If you're not interested in back to school supplies, but an advertiser promotes them to you, even the most eye-catching ad and well-designed landing page isn’t going to convince you to buy back to school supplies…because you don't need them!

The Facebook Audience Insights Tool is an excellent way to research your target audiences before setting up your campaigns. If you're not sure where to start, this is a great first step.



If you have buyer personas created, great job! These are an outstanding resource to reference when setting up your campaigns. Almost all of the information you should have laid out in your buyer personas can be selected as a targeting criteria within Facebook, including locations, job titles and interests. At E-Power Marketing, we use our clients' buyer personas to hone in on their target audience to generate better results.

 2. Your ads aren't compelling

Now that we've got targeting covered, it's time to create an eye-catching ad that will connect with that target market that you've so carefully selected.

Facebook is loaded with visuals, and you're going to have to cut through a lot of noise to catch the attention of your audience. The only way to do this is with a really strong ad that jumps out and connects with users.ImageTextCheck.png

Start with a visual that aligns with your offer.  If you're selling apples, you better believe there should be apples in your image! Be sure that your image contains less than 20% text to ensure that Facebook doesn't limit the reach of your ads. Facebook prefers images with little to no text, so the less text in your image, the more likely Facebook will be to show your ad. Use Facebook's image text check to test your images before implementing them in your campaigns.

 Most importantly, TEST, TEST, TEST your images! Don’t just assume you know what images are going to connect with your audience. We split test different images to determine the variation that drives the best results for our clients.

Getting your images right is just one piece of the puzzle, you must also include a captivating headline and ad message.

Your copy should speak directly to your audience and include a value proposition and strong call-to-action telling people what the next step is (Buy Now, Get a Free Demo, Register Today). As with images, we test our ad text to identify the message points that are connecting best with our clients' target markets.

3. Your Landing Pages Stink

Your targeting is on point and you've got a stellar ad, now it's time to talk landing pages. Great ads turn into great clickthrough rates, which means budget being spent. If you're spending money to drive people to a terrible landing page…you're wasting your money!

Take into account all of the landing page best practices used in other online advertising campaigns and carry those over to your Facebook landing pages. This includes minimizing form fields, including a prominent call-to-action and adding strong visuals. Additionally, it's essential to make sure you match the offer on your landing page with the offer in your ad. These two elements should always retain a consistent voice.

But we don't stop there, and you shouldn't settle for a Facebook ad strategy that does either. Facebook's precise targeting capabilities offer the opportunity to create audience specific landing pages.  If you're selling back to school supplies and have a campaign set up for college students and another for parents of elementary aged children, you'll want to create landing pages for each of these markets. The headlines, images and even products that connect with the college student market are going to much different than those that connect to parent's shopping for supplies for their young children.

Creating a successful Facebook advertising campaign takes much precision and testing.  Between selecting your targeting criteria, developing your ads and designing your landing pages, there are a lot of things that can quickly go south and burn through your budget. When done right, Facebook can be a powerful and effective way to reach your target audience and grow your business.  Ready to cut through the noise so that your Facebook ads are generating real results?

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Ellie Gunville
Written by Ellie Gunville
As the Manager of Online Advertising at E-Power Marketing, Ellie focuses on developing targeted advertising campaigns to boost sales, increase trade show and event registrations drive leads and strengthen brand recognition. She has become an expert in all things online advertising, and expanded her focus to also include Google Analytics and conversion optimization.

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