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You shouldn’t be surprised that Facebook, with its 2 billion strong user base, can help you reach out to a large segment of your target audience. However, in order to get the kind of results you want, you need to know what goes into running successful Facebook paid ads. When you efficiently use Facebook’s robust targeting features and create the right ad, you can easily get a high return on your investment.

If you’ve never worked with Facebook paid ads before, the whole trial and error process can seem daunting. And sometimes even feel frustrating. Because you’re investing real money here, we know the last thing you want is to burn a hole in your wallet by making avoidable errors.

This article can help you make your Facebook advertising journey a lot simpler, and easy on the budget. Given below are some of the most common yet critical mistakes that you should avoid at all costs.

#1: Not Focusing on your End-Goal

Some may think that the first step to creating profitable Facebook paid ads is creating the ad itself, when it’s the opposite. The first step comes before you start your ad. It’s about choosing you goals or objectives and being absolutely clear about it. Since you’ll find more than one option to select, the whole experience can get confusing and you may end up going for the wrong one.

Facebook advertisers, especially the ones who are new to the platform often make the mistake of starting a new campaign without knowing their end-goal which will obviously impact your ROI. While it is okay to plan out the basics of your ad, you should avoid designing your ad unless and until you are sure of your main objective. Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve from Facebook paid ads?

Do you want to…

  • Get more sales for your product?
  • Generate quality leads that you can nurture?
  • Build better and improved brand awareness?
  • Increased traffic to your company blog?

No matter what your ultimate objective is, the Facebook paid ads you create and the campaigns you run must be aligned with it — right from the start. Remember, choosing the right objective is integral for your campaign, not only because it’ll stop you from losing your advertising dollars but also because it’ll set you up for better Facebook paid ads campaigns in the future.


#2: Targeting A Wrong Audience

Facebook ads have carved a unique place in the social media marketing arena, and it keeps growing in popularity. Mainly because of Facebook’s superior targeting features that let advertisers work on a budget and still reach out to specific audiences. Moreover, the sheer size of Facebook’s user base can be defective, especially when it comes to choosing your audience. You cannot and should not target anybody and everybody with your ads just because it’ll fetch you more eyeballs.

It’s not only important to get your ad seen by a significant number of people, it’s also vital that the ad is relevant to them. The last thing you want is to lose money on your ad just because you went after the wrong set of people.

You need to learn and understand your audience more effectively. Here are two ways to do that:

  1. Use Audience Insights: Right above your Page Insights, you’ll find Audience Insights, which you can use to gauge the interests of your target audience and the common demographics they share with each other, such as the pages they like, how active they are on Facebook, etc.
  2. Carry out a Customer Survey: In order to understand your buyers better and also to effectively filter through your Ads Manager, you can do a basic survey to learn about your existing customers demographics such as location, gender, age, job position, etc

#3: Not Testing Different Audiences

Every marketer knows the value of having insight into what’s working and what’s not. In order to get this insight, testing and experimenting with different versions of your ad is what you can do. However, you can only gain true clarity if you test one variable after another instead of testing multiple variables. Effective testing involves the isolation of each testable variable to find out what changes to the ad are making the most difference.

Let’s say you test three different audiences, along with three different ad copy headlines. And end up getting positive ROI from your test campaign. Even though you’ve created a winning ad, the question is, what made it work? Was it the audience or the ad headlines? Or both? When you use Facebook paid ads, you work on three levels in your Ads Manager account. You can run tests on each level.

  1. Campaign (conversion, lead generation, etc)
  2. Advert Set (targeting, placement, etc)
  3. Ad (image, links, etc)

Testing is an integral part of a successful Facebook ad campaign. However, not having a proper method to test won’t help in any way. You need to be sure of what elements you want to test, and when. That’s the only way you’ll be able to optimize your ads for a better ROI.

Mistake #4: Choosing a Too Broad or Too Narrow Audience

When you are done getting the type of Facebook audience you want to target with your ad campaign, it shows you the number of people you can reach with your ad. When choosing the number of people you want to show your ad to, see to it that you do it carefully and keep your budget in the forefront.

A good thumbs rule to know if you’re going too broad is to question yourself. Be realistic in your approach and ask yourself, will you benefit by reaching out to 700,000 people all at once? Do you think such a large number of people will be interested in your product or service? Or is your brand much smaller than that? If you feel it is too broad then you can always narrow it by adding more demographics/interests. On the other hand, try to keep the audience at a considerable size because lowering it too much can stop your ad from being shown. Facebook does not deliver ads to a very narrow audience. In order to experience a strong return on investment, you need to perfectly balance the following:

  • Quality of your audience
  • Size of your audience
  • The price you’re paying to reach out

#5: Ignoring Your Image Quality

As of the second quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.23 billion monthly active users, says Statista. And these users share hundreds of millions of content pieces every day. Which makes it extremely important for your ad to stand out in a user’s newsfeed? It’s important to understand that a Facebook ad has a lot to do with visuals. This means if users stop scrolling and look at your ad, the first element they will notice is the image and how interesting it is.

If the creativity you use is not going to appeal to your target audience, you risk a loss of your potential customers attention, and their valuable click. Any visual elements including the image you use has to be captivating in order to get people to notice your ad. There are different types of Facebook paid ads, and most, if not all, let you add an image. If you go beyond the regular single-image newsfeed ad and choose the slideshow or carousel ad format, you’ll be able to add multiple images, which can make your ads more attention grabbing and engaging, leading to more clicks and higher conversion rates.

When it comes to selecting the image for an ad, you should always try and connect it to the “why” behind your ad. In other words, if you’re running a Facebook campaign, you obviously have a purpose behind it. Your ad has an offer for your audience. And that’s the “why” part you need to take seriously. Every single image that you choose for your Facebook paid ads campaign should be relevant to your offer. If you’re promoting a product or a service, then the image should be in sync with it. Sure, you can always buy a random stock photo to fill the void. But using an image just for the heck of it may backfire and give you a poor ROI. Grabbing the attention of your target audience isn’t the only goal. It’s also about getting them to click and take action.

Make sure you choose an image that is relevant. We suggest taking a minimalist approach to designing your ad. Which means the image should be less distracting and more enticing with minimal amount of text..


#6: Pausing Your Ad Too Early

You have to be patient especially when you’re running Facebook paid ads. Since you’re investing money into your Facebook advertising campaign, it’s easy to get impatient and expect to see quick results. You may feel like you’re only losing money in the beginning.

This can push you to change your ad copy or tweak the image in order to take control of your ads. However, your effort to optimize the campaign can backfire because the initial stages of your ad is about gathering key data and getting more insight.

So in order to make things simpler and to ensure you’re comfortable with your ad spending, you need to be clear about how much you can spend to gain a single customer.


It’s not a good idea to tweak your Facebook paid ads or even pause them until and unless you have reached an audience of 1,000 – 2,000 people. This should give you the needed data to learn from your campaign. If you made a good return on investment, you can continue improving the ads that worked. And if you lost money, then you’ll have to analyze what went wrong.

#7: Not Making Use of Facebook Pixel

The Facebook paid ads system is designed to help advertisers gather data and work with it. The advertising program uses a code called the Pixel that lets you learn more about your audience and what actions they took based on performance data. This lets you improve your overall targeting efforts. The Facebook ad pixel is a highly effective way to measure and collect data from your website. These are the results that will tell you more about the habits of your audience and how they engage with your brand on Facebook. Which allows you to create and deliver more customized ads and convert better.

There are three main reasons as to why you should use the pixel:

  1. It helps you build “custom audiences” by keeping tracking of your website visitors so that you can re-market to them using Facebook paid ads.
  2. It lets you effectively optimize your ads so that you’re converting more clicks into leads/sales.
  3. Above all, it allows you to track conversions on your site so that you know how much of your paid traffic is converting.

Every business owner that is using Facebook paid ads needs to start using the pixel. Without one, you’re not simply getting the most out of your advertising. People who have already visited your website or your landing page but didn’t convert are your prime audience. And the pixel allows you to tap into them.

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