6 Brutal Facebook Ad Mistakes for Online Stores

A lot of small businesses, including online stores, have succeeded in breaking into their market by advertising on Facebook. With 1.73 billion daily active users recorded as of March 2020, Facebook’s reach as a social media platform is hard to beat.

With the right strategy and content, you can use Facebook to build awareness for your brand, promote your products, and reach and engage your target market. However, the opposite is also true if you commit these six brutal Facebook ad mistakes:

1. Not really knowing your audience

Before launching into Facebook ads, you need to have a deep understanding of your audience: who they are, what they like and don’t like, what they do, etc. This is precisely why even big brands try to define their buyer persona — because this is what would drive their marketing efforts.

For example, assuming that the coffee product you’re selling is something Starbucks fans will like is a generalisation. If you have a niche coffee product — perhaps organic specialty coffees from specific regions like Africa, Asia, or South America — being sold at small quantities and fair prices and you support Fair Trade regulations, build upon this and promote it to an audience that would appreciate the difference.

Marketing to millennials would be a good start as they are known to be wellness- and fairness-focused, highly tech-savvy and connected, and appreciate a good bargain when they see one.

2. Lack of A/B testing

A/B or split testing involves changing various elements in your ad to see which version gets the best or more responses. You could test variations in your calls to action (CTAs), the images or videos you use, copy versions, and so on.

With proper A/B testing, you’ll find out early on that certain images attract more clicks or responses than others, or that putting the CTA ‘start shopping’ is more effective than ‘learn more.’ You can then make adjustments to your final ad based on your findings and expect better results, so never skip A/B testing.

3. Relying only on images

Arresting images can and do capture audience attention. But if your competitors are using videos, you should also publish video ads once in a while to see the difference in the results. Video is a highly effective marketing tool that can captivate an audience easily and even incite them into action.

If you’re still heavily dependent on photos or images for your ads, try to venture into video advertising. If you have a small marketing budget, you can try incorporating GIF ads. You can start making GIF ads by using free GIF-making apps available in app stores.

4. Too much copy

Have you been publishing text-heavy ads and not getting the response you want?

Too much text isn’t exactly marketing-friendly. All you need is an arresting image or great video, a matching headline (preferably five words long), and a call to action, then a link to your website so those who want more details can get all the information they need. If there’s ad body text, try to keep it to 14 words max.

5. Not checking if Facebook Pixel is working

If you’re running Facebook ads on your website, you need to have Facebook Pixel installed. It tracks everything related to ads leading to your website. It doesn’t matter if users visit your website, buy products, check certain product categories, sign up for your newsletter, etc. This data is a goldmine for your future re-targeting efforts and can help you refine your strategy.

So, before starting any campaign on Facebook, you need to ensure it is properly installed and working. Although you can instal the Pixel code yourself on your website, it’s usually best to let your web developer handle the installation process.

6. Not addressing gaps in your Facebook sales funnel

When you create a Facebook ad, you need to know what stage of the sales funnel your audience is at. Jumping ahead to making a hard sale without building awareness and interest first would guarantee ad failure. You also need to consider the four categories in the marketing funnel: awareness, interest, desire, and conversion.

Establish your brand presence first and engage your audience before you can expect them to fill their carts with your products and check out their items. Here, you can use the data collected via Pixel by creating specific content or ads re-targeting leads at different stages of the sales funnel.

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