So many companies we see are failing at using social media advertising.
There are certainly a lot of reasons why that might be the case, but the biggest reason is simply that there wasn’t actually a plan. Content was slapped onto the web with the expectation of “going viral” and that’s a laughably easy way to make sure you wasted your time, money, and reputation. So assuming you actually cared at all about what you were doing to start with, here are a few other reasons why your ad campaigns aren’t meeting your expectations—and how to fix them.
1. You aren't targeting your audience.
The fastest and easiest way to waste money on Facebook ads is to simply boost the post or target "everyone" with your ads. Sure, you'd like to think everyone wants your product or service, but the truth is you get much better results by defining your audience and targeting them directly. Even if you need to define your target market as people in the U.S. over the age of 18, that broad base is far better than nothing. Even better, figure out who your ideal customers are and learn what traits, hobbies, skills, and interests they have in common, then target those areas in your Facebook ads. You'll move people down the funnel to a sale faster and spend less, all while getting more sales.
2. Your images.
In a world where everyone has a camera phone and our social media streams are filled with better and better photos, it’s important now more than ever before to have high-quality images (or video) to help break through the noise. Your images should be clean, strong, professional images that conform correctly to the sizing of your ads.
That doesn’t mean every image has to look like it came straight out of a magazine. Often, the most engaging photos are the ones that feel more authentic, but even with these, keep a high level of quality. Think clean lifestyle photos with great lighting and interesting subjects.
You also want to make sure your image isn’t being cropped oddly in the ad. Too often heads go missing or important product details get clipped off, leaving the photo and the ad feeling incomplete or, worse, lazy. Pre-plan your photos to conform to the ad space. Don’t just hope a random image you selected will work.
For example, look at the images below. The original image (#1) was shot too tight for a Facebook ad, and so once Facebook applies its crop (image #2), the framing gets destroyed, the company logo is absent, and the image is left feeling too tight and cramped. The third image (#3) is how it should look: cropped to see all of the important product information, but leaving out any distracting elements. The leading lines bring your eye to the lower right corner, where your action button is.
Check out Matt's personal vlog episode, here, about photographing these bags:
3. Your ad copy is terrible.
Facebook advertising isn’t like other advertising. It’s truly a two-way street, both a direct path to the customer and a path for the customer directly back to you. You can’t use traditional Fifth Avenue storefront tactics here. You have to drop the "here is our sale" mentality like the bad habit it is.
Instead, you need to create engaging copy that makes your client want to react in some way, whether that’s a “like” or “share” or a move toward a purchase. Avoid the temptation of “buy me now”-style ads unless you want to fail miserably. Remember, people aren't surfing Facebook looking to buy stuff. They want to see updates from friends and family, so you have to grab their attention.
Imagine you're at an event or party and someone just comes up to you and says, "Hey, I sell soap. Buy my soap! Buy it now and save 50%!" You wouldn't buy the soap. You'd walk away and avoid that guy the rest of the party.
Think about these simple lines of text and guess which one is more likely to create a response:
- A: Buy this bag now! or
- B: Learn more about the way we are changing guys' diaper bags.
If you picked B, you’re on your way to creating better ad copy.
Instead of pushing a sales-first strategy, focus on moving them down the funnel with great content... which leads into our next failure point.
4. You don’t ask for the desired result.
All too often, we assume the customer or client will automatically want to press that "buy now" button, but that’s far from true. You have to give your customer a call to action that is both reasonable and timely, but trust me on this: “BUY NOW” simply doesn’t work.
You need to get them to want to learn more or read more. You are competing for their free time as they scan social media for updates and entertainment. They aren’t on Facebook to shop. So you can’t treat them like they have their debit card in hand waiting to swipe away. Instead give them engaging content to focus on and connect with. Once they do, then you can then push them down the marketing funnel by directing them to a specific landing page, where you can then give them the option to sign up for deals or information. Once you’ve engaged with them and given them a reason to want to buy, you can then ask for the purchase. Not before.
Like we said at the beginning, there are a lot of reasons why an ad campaign could be failing, but these four play a huge role—and the biggest is trying to advertise without a plan.
If you’ve tried these steps and you’re still not seeing success, we’d like to help. To learn more about how Brodie Media helps companies create effecting marketing campaigns and to get a free 30-minute consultation, click here.