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Episode 4: 4 Things to Do When Your Facebook Ads Aren't Working

You're running a Facebook campaign and results are...bad. It happens. In this episode, we discuss four things you should do immediately to improve results.

Episode Transcript — 4 Things to Do When Your Facebook Ads Aren't Working

00:01 Stewart Anderson: Hey there everybody, Stewart Anderson, the Chief Marketing Officer here at MuteSix, again with you on the Spend 10K Day podcast. With my colleague, our Chief Executive Officer, Steve Weiss.

00:13 Steve Weiss: Hey what's going on everyone? We got an exciting topic for today. It's the second week of December, and everyone is getting ready for the holiday season. And one of the questions that I get a lot, it's a very stressful question that I get multiple times is, "Steve, what do I do? My Facebook ads aren't working."

00:34 SA: Hate having to ask that question. It's a tough one for sure, happens to everybody even the best of us. Sometimes for whatever reason sometimes campaigns just aren't working. So Steve, what do you do? How do you go about trying to improve results?

00:49 SW: So first thing you do, I like to just first look at the campaign, make sure it's set up properly. Number one, always make sure when you start a campaign that you exclude audience network.

01:00 SA: Yeah, definitely. That's the black hole where dollars go to die on Facebook. It's a placement essentially, within a campaign. It's a obvious place where you can show ads, along with mobile news feed, Instagram, desktop news feed, desktop right hand side. You're gonna see an option for audience network on mobile, and you're gonna wanna make sure you exclude that.

01:21 SW: Number two, remember most of your ads, almost nine tenths of the time, are gonna be shown to mobile users. Make sure that your site works on mobile.

01:35 SA: That's a great point, great point.

01:37 SW: If you have a site that is really bad on mobile, that doesn't render properly, there's no CTA buttons, no clear cut CTA buttons, the check out doesn't load properly, that's probably the main reasons you're not getting any conversions. So if that is the case, it's okay. Some people don't have great mobile experiences. If that is the case, only focus your traffic on desktop users.

02:03 SA: Yeah, I think the other relevant thing there too is, didn't Facebook come out and say that mobile performance is gonna effect ad delivery too? If somebody has a site that isn't optimized for mobile, not only are you delivering a bad ad experience to your potential customers, but Facebook is actually gonna take that into account when computing your algorithm performance in the auction. So that's a huge, huge, take away there is mobile. Make sure you're optimized or don't send traffic there.

02:32 SW: And then number three, bidding strategies. I don't know if you guys ever notice this, but if you have set up optimize for conversions, and you're not getting a lot of conversions from Facebook, what Facebook will actually do is it'll stop serving your ad. Because you're not getting enough conversions for Facebook to optimize your ad.

So what I recommend doing is to split test during this process of initial testing of a new product. Split test conversion objectives. If you don't have 1,000 conversions on your website, minimum 1,000, then only do clicks to website. Facebook doesn't have enough data to optimize for conversions.

So remember, conversion objectives are really, really important during the initial testing of new products or new campaigns. I usually start just initially out of clicks to website, seeing what type of ads are getting the highest CTR. Sometimes I'll even take a post that's already set up on my fan page, that has a lot of likes, comments, shares, etcetera, that has a ton of engagement, and run PPE, or pay per engagement ads directly to that post to build off of those social proof that's already there.

03:47 SA: Love it.

03:48 SW: And remember when you launch an ad people need to trust that ad, especially if you're hitting new audiences. So you always want to have some form of social proof in your ads when you launch so that your CTR and your conversion rate will go higher. So remember, number one, audience network. Turn that off, get it out of here.

Number two, mobile. Make sure your site is working on mobile.

Number three, conversion objectives. Remember optimize for conversion does not work if you do not have a minimum of 1,000 conversions. So if you're under that, optimize for other forms of objectives, clicks to website, PPE.

Number four, build off a post that already gets engagement. Literally do not try and reinvent the wheel, you have great content already. Start promoting stuff that gets engagement on your website.

04:49 SA: Yeah that's a good one 'cause people obviously if they see something in the newsfeed from a brand, if there's 40 comments, and 10 shares, and a bunch of likes on that, they're probably more likely to engage with that content than something that's just blank, there's no engagement with it. So that's a really, really good point.

05:07 SW: So those four are the things that I look at initially when I examine, "Why don't my ads work?" [chuckle]

05:14 SA: Yeah. I think just taking those four tactics, even before you start getting super granular about things, you can really, really make huge strides in improving those results. Those are huge.

05:24 SW: One other thing I would do is, I would also turn off Instagram to start. When I like to start campaigns I like to have different ads going on Instagram. Facebook will try and default you, and turn on Instagram and turn on audience network together, so I would actually just turn off Instagram, and just focus on the mobile news feed. Just focus on one area, mobile news feed, desktop news feed.

And those are the four things I think you should test out. On our next couple of podcasts we're talking about advanced audience techniques to really target, and narrowly target, the right audiences. There's some secret sauce I have when it comes to testing out different audiences, that works really well. As far as split testing, I'm gonna go into that in other podcasts, but those four key things, first four things to look at to answer the question, "Why are my ads not working?"

06:14 SA: Yeah. What can you do to improve results? It's huge. So definitely use those tactics next time to turn around some of your campaigns. Remember, we've all been there. Everyone has campaigns that don't work out, but if you use these tactics, you can start to hopefully turning around some results.

06:30 SW: Yeah. You start banging your head against the wall because I know how hard it is. We've all been there before. We're looking at the computer trying to figure out, "Why is my ads not working? Why? This is crazy. People should buy." Don't worry, it happens to every single great marketer. Happens to the best of us. So just focus on optimization and focus on being positive, and you're gonna be able to overcome the negative campaign data to start.

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