How To Troubleshoot A Failing Facebook Ad

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Are you frustrated with Facebook ads that have plateaued? Sometimes advertisements on Facebook can start strong, only to fizzle with no apparent cause. This is a situation that happens all too often. Luckily, there are Facebook ad optimization strategies you can use to troubleshoot and turn around a failing Facebook ad – and even prevent slumps in the future! Every business and customer base is different. Approach these strategies with an A/B split testing approach and compare the results. It takes some trial and error to find your stride, but once you do you’ll see higher conversion rates and more new customers.

  1. Cover the basics. This may seem obvious, but make sure your ad is clear and compelling. Social media is an economy of attention. That means that messages that are not interesting and immediately and clearly understood get left behind. Make sure that your ad is clear and entertaining. Avoid vague images that don’t relate to your product or service. Also, remember that Facebook ad images are small. Don’t use a photo that’s busy or zoomed too far out to appreciate the details at a glance. Write a headline that speaks directly to the customers’ needs and provides a call to action. In 5 words tell how your product solves their problem. Also, think through your sales funnel on the landing page. If you have a brilliant ad without follow-through on your own website, you won’t make the conversions you’re looking for. Putting in the effort to ensure that your basics are strong before jumping into more advanced solutions will save you money and time long-term.

  1. Check on your audience. Data makes the world go ‘round these days. Make sure that your ads are targeted. This is a best practice that ad pros know well. Professional advertisers spend millions on advertising. To make sure every dollar is well spent they also spend millions to know their audience. Advertising to unqualified prospects is like burning money. Luckily, you don’t have to have a world-class research team to put this into action. Start with your existing customer base, and build a persona for your customer categories. Who buys your products? Where to they live? How old are they? What are their interests? Whose problem does your product solve? You are the expert in this case. Really take the time to think this through. Since you already have a Facebook page, check out the “Insights” statistics for data on who is engaging with you online. Once you have a solid idea of your customer demographics, make sure that your ads are targeted to match. Also, be aware of narrowing your field too much. This can be a balancing act, so keep making adjustments until you find the sweet spot.


  1. Diversify your ads. Once you have personas, take another look at the ad itself. Is it overly broad? Put yourself in the shoes of the customer persona. Does the ad speak to you? Does it match up with the persona’s interests? Sometimes a single general ad works, but optimizing an ad to each customer persona will increase the likelihood for engagement. Instead of putting all of your resources into a single ad, split up your ad budget over a handful of ads that are specifically designed for each customer persona.

  1. Up the ante. You are bidding against other advertisers with every ad. The highest bidder gets their ad in front of the users. Opting into CPC or “cost per click” (versus cost per impression) will give you a streamlined way to track tangible conversions – click actions. This will also keep your ad budget in check in case you have a poor performer. Set your own bids on the ad budget, and match up with the high end of the recommended range. This will put your ad at the front of the line.


  1. Compare, adjust and repeat. Give each of these strategies 1-4 weeks to get a good idea of how they are performing. Then pull analytics and compare. Take a look at:
  • What CPC bid got you the most impressions and clicks?
  • What images had the highest conversion rate?
  • What ad copy had the highest conversion rate?
  • What time of day had the highest conversion rate?

The results provide you with valuable information and help you target the next batch of ads. Also, you can use ad data to strengthen your customer personas. Take a look at the demographics that each ad was targeted to. Then look at the ad performance metrics. This can give you a wealth of information about how to reach your customers, including:

  • What time of day customers are most active?
  • Which customers are responding to which ad images and ad copy?
  • Which customers are not responding at all?

Use these optimization tactics to revive a dwindling ad, and put them into play for your next ads to boost your results.

You can go one-step further by using AdConnect – a powerful ad + landing page optimization platform. This allows you to match your ads EXACTLY with your landing pages, allowing you to deliver the perfect message – both in the ad, and on the landing pages.