7 Reasons Your Facebook Adverts Aren’t Working

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Since its small time launch in 2004, Facebook has become the largest social network and by the second quarter of 2016 it could boast 1.71 billion monthly active users. In 2006 Facebook ads were launched in partnership with Microsoft and that’s when the game changed!

Advertising on Facebook can be hugely effective, however it’s important to make sure you’ve optimised how you’ve set-up your campaigns in order to achieve the best results and most effective use of budget. If your Facebook ads aren’t working, have become stagnant or aren’t giving you the results you were hoping for, here are seven things you might need to take a look at.

1. Split testing

Split testing is your opportunity to test different versions of your ad to see which is the most successful. You can make alterations ranging from significant changes like different types of ad, different text or different images down to the smallest details like colour or including a call to action (CTA) button. (See point 3). Once you realise what your audience responds to and what they don’t, you’ll be able to combine the best performing elements into the perfect ad.


2. Optimising a campaign for the right objective

Ensuring you optimise your campaign according to your objective is a vital part of setting up an advertising campaign. You will have three options including: awareness, consideration, and conversion. Within these options you need to choose the most appropriate from the following selections:

Facebook optimising adverts

Setting an ad up and not using the optimal objective is not cost effective as your ad cannot perform to its full potential.

3. CTA buttons and persuasive copy

Have you made sure your advert is saying the right thing? As well as the obvious points like checking spelling and grammar, you need to make sure you’re grabbing people’s attention. As well as using great images, check your copy. The median length for a headline on a Facebook ad is just five words and the median length for text is 14 words. Don’t forget to check your placement (see point 5) and tailor your content accordingly. People viewing the ad on mobile are going to see less text than those seeing it on desktop. Put all the important information first and cut the waffle. Use a dynamic headline instead that makes people want to find out more.

4. Correct target audience

Don’t be afraid to play around with your target audience. The more refined you can get your audience, the better the chance of a strong performance. However – don’t be afraid to start wider and gradually close the net on your targeting once you’ve checked the ad results and know who’s engaging or clicking on your adverts. (Read point 7 for more on refinement). Age, gender, location and interests are all hugely important for getting the most from your ad campaign so make sure you’re using them. You’re not going to see a great result from serving an advert about your children’s clothing company to teenage boys.

Facebook target audience

5. Choosing the right placement

Placement! This is where your ad will appear to your audience. Delivering your ads in the correct place further creates the greatest chance of a high performing campaign. Your options include mobile or desktop, and from here you can select Facebook, Instagram or Audience Network. I will explain the latter to those who don’t know, Audience Network extends your reach to mobile apps or other websites supported through Facebook.

Facebook has recently introduced ‘Advanced Options’ which allows you to alter your ads accordingly:

  • Specific Mobile Devices & Operating Systems
  • Exclude Categories for Audience Network
  • Apply Block Lists for Audience Network

6. Remarketing and lookalike audiences

With a Facebook pixel, marketing to Facebook users is getting easier as well as more refined. You can remarket on Facebook, which means serving adverts to people who have visited your website (or a specific landing page) but not converted. You can also trial creating ‘lookalike’ audiences. These are audiences who possess similar online attributes to people who have liked your Facebook page or visited your website.


7. Monitoring and refining ads

It’s important that once your campaign has gone live that you don’t just leave it to run and spend its budget before you consider what’s working and what’s not. You can monitor your campaign’s progress in Facebook’s business manager and break down who’s responding to your adverts by the following;

Their age, gender, location, their device, the time of day they reacted to the ad and also the placement and device they were using. You can then change placement and targeting accordingly.


With a few simple changes you could immediately start seeing better ROI from your adverts. All seem a bit alien? Getting the most out of Facebook advertising is the full time job of our social team! Give us a call or drop us an email if you want to learn more.


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About Leah Bradburn

​Leah is a connoisseur of all things cheese; this includes the Biebs, 1D, Westlife, Little Mix and cheddar. She can often be found in her 'ugly work cardigan'​ and pretending she's going to go to the gym. Leah's favourite film is a mix up between Avatar and Wreck It Ralph.

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