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9 reasons why Facebook ads fail

9 reasons why Facebook ads fail

By on Jan 30, 2018

With close to 2 billion users on Facebook, it represents a huge opportunity for businesses to use the platform. If done right, Facebook ads usually generate great ROI and conversions. But if you are new to Facebook advertising, things may not turn out as expected or intended. Here are some reasons why some marketers fail on Facebook.

  1. Too large or too narrow of an audience

Pretty much anyone in marketing will tell you that the more specific your target audience, the better the results will be. While this is true for marketing in general, it is not necessarily the case for a Facebook ad.

A smaller audience could:

  • Become exhausted too quickly
  • Be less engaged
  • Lead to a higher CPC (cost-per-click)
  • Limit your campaign

It doesn’t mean that you have to advertise to millions of people who might not be interested in your offer. But no one is going to know about your offer, if you don’t put your ad in front of the right people.

Something that many people don’t realize is that Facebook allows you to create a custom audience. Many ads fail simply because they are targeting the wrong audience.

Facebook keeps releasing new tools and features that make targeting more sophisticated. One of these new tools is the relevance score, which helps you to evaluate whether your targeting for your ad is as strong as it could be.


  1. Too many placements


The default placement in Facebook ads is Automatic Placements, which serves your ad to several social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and the Audience Network. But advertising the same message and visual effects on every platform may be wasted money.

Every social media platform should have unique ads created just for that platform and its audience.

I usually create an ad for placement on Facebook, and then different ads for other  channels.

  1. You use only static creative work

If you only focus on image ads, you’re missing out opportunities that the various Facebook ads provide. “Facebook video ads receive 10 to 30 percent more views, and populate up to 11 times larger in news feeds. A short and sweet, yet relevant video is more impactful and more memorable.”

  1. You don’t refresh your ads

There are some of the big marketers who recommend changing ad creatives at least every two weeks. It may be time consuming, but it has important benefits for the advertiser. Why? It prevents the “ad fatigue” that means your audience is getting tired of a repetitive message, and begin to ignore it.

My advice is to refresh the ad from time to time.

Add or remove details in the copy, switch from first person to third person, change the CTA (Call to Action), convert statements to questions, swap out the image, and rotate between different ad formats (single image, video, slideshow, etc.). Keep things interesting!

  1. You don’t take advantage of lookalike audiences

Only targeting your existing customers, which is essentially what custom audiences allows you to do, is not always a good marketing tactic. You have to expand and find new, potential customers, readers, subscribers, or whatever your goal is.

Instead of expanding your target audience to reach more people, try to use Facebook’s Lookalike Audience, a feature that reaches potential high-interest individuals by serving your ads to people who are similar to your existing customers.

  1. Wrong bid

You have two bidding options: Manual or Automatic. With manual bidding, you choose the amount you’d like to spend per link click. With Automatic bidding, Facebook determines the bid that will get you the most clicks at the best price.

  1. You lack a Call to Action (CTA)

Your copy needs to do more than explain who you are or what products you have. You need to tell the user to do something.

If you don’t have a call to action, or you have one that’s buried in the text, or doesn’t speak to your readers, your ad won’t be as successful as it could be.

In order to generate more clicks, you have to place your call to action at the beginning of the ad, and you can repeat it at the end.

You can choose a call to action button for your ad, such as “Shop Now” or “Learn More,” making it easy for users to click that button with a clear call to action on it.

  1. Too much text in the image ad

Putting too much text on an image in your Facebook ad is not recommended. Facebook claims text on images creates a lower-quality user experience. While Facebook may approve the ad, they’ll show you a warning in your Ads Manager. Don’t ignore this warning! Facebook will under-serve your ad if text is more than 20% of the image.

If you’re not sure whether your image will meet the requirements, use the Text Overlay Checker Tool.

  1. You don’t have a specific goal for an outcome

How will you determine if the ad was successful or not, if you don’t set clear goals?

Identify your goals for each campaign. These can include things such as Likes, clicks, purchases, sign ups, downloads, and comments.

Companies use so many different ad strategies, and advertise in so many different ways, that there are no specific rules that will always result in a successful campaign. Testing is the best way to determine which settings and tactics are successful for your campaign.


There are many ways you can use Facebook ads. And there are many details that can make your ad successful, or the opposite: make it fail.

Knowing why your ad can fail is one step toward a successful campaign.

What is your experience of failing in a Facebook ad campaign? Share it in the comments.

If you liked this article, like, and share it with your friends!

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