Digital strategy & online advertising  for established businesses ready to scale

It’s not working out like you had imagined it.

You thought you’d set up your Facebook™ ads, click the publish button and watch your bank account explode.

Except, that’s not happening at all.

Your costs are going up and up and up and you haven’t made a sale – what do you do? Here’s a few ideas if your Facebook™ ads aren’t working.

Is it your offer?

If no one wants to download your freebie or buy your product – then no amount of Facebook™ advertising is going to change that and it’ll be no surprise that your Facebook™ ads aren’t working.

If you’ve tested and tweaked and still nothing, then it’s the offer itself that isn’t exciting people.

Take some time to be really honest with yourself – do people WANT to buy this? Have customers purchased/opted in with no advertising?

Before making a huge investment in advertising, you should beta launch your products and offers to see if they will sell.

Does your site work on mobile?

Over 70% of your audience is seeing your ads on their phone. If they click on your offer and see tiny print and can’t seem to make it work at all – then they aren’t going to opt in or buy.

To check this, just send the link to your mobile and see what the user experience is like on your end. You can also use a tool like MobiReady™ to view your site on a variety of screen resolutions and devices.

Is it your landing page/sales page or check-out process?

If you are getting great click-through-rates (CTR) on your ads, but no one is opting in or purchasing beyond that, it might be your landing or sales page, or your check-out process.

  • Is your page design simple and clear?
  • Do your product descriptions contain enough info to make a purchase?
  • Are your product images enticing and relatable?
  • Are there testimonials from happy customers?
  • Is the call to action button highly visible?

Sometimes a few minor tweaks to your landing or sales page are all you need to get people buying. If after making those changes, you still aren’t seeing results, it’s time to investigate your check-out process.

  • Are there hidden fees or costs (like shipping)?
  • Is your shopping cart throwing any errors?
  • Can buyers use their desired payment method?

Any time you see a dive in sales data, it’s a good idea to run a shopping cart test. If no obvious errors come up, move onwards and see if your roadblock lies in your advertising strategy.

Is it your targeting?

Who is seeing your ads? Your Facebook™ ads may not be working if your targeting is off.  If people aren’t engaging with your ad at all – perhaps you’re not putting it in front of the right audience.

You don’t want to use targeting that is too generalized and you also don’t want to use targeting that is too specific – especially if the audience size is too small.

Dive into the Audience Insights tool to see behavioural and demographic information about people connected to your page and Facebook overall.

Consider creating lookalike audiences that are similar to your website visitors, mailing list or past purchasers. Using lookalike audiences increases your conversion rates by targeting people with characteristics closest to your existing audiences.

Is it your ads?

There are two ways your ads might not be working effectively and might lead you to having the “Facebook™ ads aren’t working” syndrome.

Your ads are deceiving. This happens a potential customer clicks an ad believing they’ll get one thing, but when they arrive on the website, they get something completely different than what they anticipated. If your ads have great click-through-rates (CTR) but no conversions, they may be misleading. Send your ad to a few friends to your ads and ask them what they think they’d be getting out of clicking the ads.

Your ads are ignorable. It could also be that the ad creative isn’t engaging enough and the copy doesn’t entice someone to take action. If your targeting is on par, but your ads have little to no clicks, they aren’t enticing enough. Split test different ad creative (image, slideshow, video) and copy variations. Ensure the call to action is strong (i.e. Receive your FREE guide; or Buy 1 Get 1 Half Off!)

Is it the timing?

Timing can have a direct impact on your Facebook™ advertising costs and engagement.

If you’re running your ads at the same time as another competitors launch or sale – you might start paying an arm or a leg for your ads as you are likely targeting similar audiences.

When you are running ads for a launch, it’s common for sales to happen on a bell curve. The first day of the launch or sale, you’ll likely see an influx of purchases. Things may soften mid-sale and then pick back up again once a sense of urgency is added at the end of the sale period. It’s common to see 40% of purchases come through on the first few days, 20% in the middle of the sale and another 40% on the very last day.

World events can also impact engagement. After the Trump inauguration and the Women’s March, we saw a huge downturn in advertising engagement and conversions across all our clients. The world was going through turmoil and it made people more focused on mainstream news, and less focused moving ahead in their lives and businesses. A few weeks later once the buzz died down, the campaigns returned to their optimal performance levels.

If you’re running your own advertising, but can’t seem to figure out why your ads aren’t working – even after going through this list – it may be time to hire it out.

Anyone managing your Facebook™ ads should know all the numbers and testing options to find out which one of these culprits are responsible for dragging your ads down. If you’re working with a Facebook™ ads agency, these are all things they should be regularly checking and providing feedback on for you.