8 reasons your Facebook Ads aren't working and how to fix them.


I speak to many people who think that Facebook advertising in general sucks - they believe Facebook knows to much about them, they don't really like Mark Zuckerberg, they preferred Facebook when they could still reach people organically and they resent having to pay for ads…

So if we resent paying for ads even just a little, I am sure we all hate it when they flat out don’t convert.

I feel like that too!

Don't despair, you can fix those broken Facebook ads of yours when you know how. Here are 8 common reasons why Facebook ads don't work. 

1. You are trying to sell to a cold audience

If you are looking to sell something to a person who has never heard of you before, the likelihood of that happening is very small. This is because they are what is known as a cold audience. When you set up your Facebook campaigns, it is important to think about them more like a sales funnel. You want to attract people to you by offering something of value to them for FREE. It is after this that you can work on bringing them further down your funnel.

Here's an idea here for you to consider.  

You may have stumbled across this blog post via some advertising that I have done inside Facebook. You start to see posts from me in  your feed, they could be linked to blog posts where you learn something, or a freebie download where you can implement something, or a webinar where you can watch and learn steps to implement something.

All of these kind of posts are designed to bring new people into my sphere of influence, to come to know me a little better. This then means I can retarget them later when I have a product or service to launch or sell. Their response at this point, tells me that that are at least somewhat interested in what I have to say/offer/sell to them. My content meets their needs.

2. You are targeting everyone

Who is your audience? Where do they live? What is their gender? How old are they? What do they like? How do they behave inside Facebook? If you aren’t considering the answers to some of these questions, you are likely targeting the wrong people. We can’t market to everyone, cos if we do, you end up marketing to no-one. Targeted campaigns looking to reach people inside a certain niche are likely to the best kinds of ads get a better Click-thru-rate and cost you less per click. The numbers inside Facebook bear this out and this is my experience 100%.

So think about your ideal customer carefully and make sure you structure your audience groups and ad copy to suit them.

3. Your audience is too small

I know I just said don’t target everyone, but if you niche down too small, the likelihood of getting a tonne of conversions is very small.

You need to know what the statistics of conversions tell us. The average click through rates for Facebook advertising is 0.9%. So if you are only serving your ads up to say 10000 people, this means that on average you are only likely to get 90 people landing on your page. From those 90 people, you are only likely to get around 9.21% of them converting - so just over 8 of them will actually buy.  

That can seem a little depressing, but it shouldn't be. Armed with the right data, we can make the right decisions.

Source: Wordstream May 2017

Source: Wordstream May 2017

This means that you need to focus on reaching as many people as you can in the first instance, to make sure that you actually get those end conversion numbers.

Start with the end goal in mind. I would like to have 50 people book into my course. This means I need to get approximately 500 people to land on my sales page.

So in the very first instance, my ad needs to be seen by 50000 during the life of my campaign.

You will always need to attract more people than you realise with your ads. All traffic works like that for any kind of event/product or service.

4. You haven’t set up your Facebook pixel

You really need to make sure that your Facebook pixel is enabled and embedded into your website before you do any kind of Facebook ad. Let me repeat that, if you have a website (and I assume you do) then you need to make sure that your Facebook pixel is embedded before your do any kind of Facebook ad. The best kinds of audience to market to inside Facebook will be a custom audience (ie an audience that you have warmed up in some way, they are on your list or they like your page or they have visited your website)

Your Facebook pixel will also allow you to track the results of your advertising correctly. You can set up custom conversions to see exactly where people are coming from to tie website visits to your Facebook ad campaigns.

In a nutshell you need to stay on top of what is actually happening as a result of your advertising.

5. Your ad creative is just not click-worthy.

This can be tricky to determine what we mean by click-worthy.

Basically you need to be testing different kinds of ads inside each ad set. You may have heard of AB testing before. Inside Facebook this means is that when you set up an ad campaign, you need to do is make sure after you set up your audience that you have 2 different versions of your AD so that you can test what happens.

You might test images (but have the same copy in the ad).  You might test copy (but have the same image in the ad). By test I mean review your statistics inside Facebook to see which ad version is getting the better response from your audience choice. 

 Facebook and Instagram are visual mediums so I would suggest testing imagery first. Keep it clear of text. Make sure that it tells a story just by looking at it, ie does your target audience connect to it. For example if I am a fitness company wishing to bring in more women over 50 to get fit, perhaps posting an image of a young fit woman may not be a good fit with my target audience.

You have to experiment and test and your ads constantly. This takes time and leads me to my next point.

6. You expect it to work immediately.

If you expect that Facebook ads will be a quick fix to boosting cashflow, fast, then you are likely to be disappointed. If however you want to be able to grow your business month on month - then you will be rewarded with your efforts.

It is just not possible for Facebook ads to deliver immediate results without testing, tweaking and patience. They will absolutely work, but you need to give them time and test how your audience responds to you and your message. You may get a winner with your very first ad, but this is very rare. What is more likely to happen is that you will get better and better ad your ads - leading to lower costs and increased reach.

7. You have no sales strategy behind your ads

Have you ever found yourself thinking like this, Facebook is telling me that this post is performing better than 95% of my other posts, so it would be good to boost it.

This might be great if that post is actually in line with your marketing plans for that period and you are 100% confident that your current page likers and their friends fit your demographic ( and aren’t just your mum and her friends)

We need to be mindful when creating our posts in the same way that we need to be mindful when setting up our ad campaigns or even boosting posts.

Are we clear on what our objective is

  • to build awareness
  • to drive traffic
  • to boost newsletter signups via our freebie

Do we have a plan for when people do that action? Do they receive a signup, do they go into a different ad campaign (ie a retargeting one)

What are we wanting them to do  and what are we wanting to achieve. Often Facebook ad campaigns fail as people are looking for one activity ( say sales) but are just boosting a post or choosing a traffic ad type.

Facebook has many options to choose from within the 3 main ad families of Awareness, Consideration and Conversion. Make sure that you think before you start boosting post or creating ads what your outcome actually needs to be and what happens next.

8. Your landing page or offer sucks - it just does not resonate with your Facebook audience.

Sometimes we can have Facebook driving the right kind of people to our offer/product/or sales page but people still do not buy. This can be really frustrating until we know what to do next. If you are getting the right kind of CTR ( click thru rates) but then nothing happens when they get to your page, the problem is likely to be your landing page.

Let’s say that you are running an ad campaign and you are seeing a CTR of 2.5% ( yay you!) But you are not seeing any sales at all, not even enquiries. This immediately tells me that your landing page content is not right.

Make sure that your ad is in alignment with your sales page ( or vice versa ). Let’s think about our fitness campaign. Imagine we are targeting the over 50 year old woman, we have the right ad copy and imagery this time in our ad that appeals to her wish to be strong and fit so she clicks through. However when she lands on our product page we see images of young and thin women only. Maybe we see references to getting into a bikini body? This means that our ad and sales page are not in sync with each other.

People often think incorrectly in this case, Facebook isn’t working for me. However the issue is not Facebook. The issue is that despite attracting the right people inside Facebook, we then send them to a place where they don’t want to be. Make sure that your landing page is in complete alignment with your Facebook ad.

When you know where to look and what to tweak, Facebook advertising will work for just your business. 

Wanting to know more, make sure you check out the Facebook Frontier - Facebook advertising ecourse, so that you can make all of your Facebook campaigns work beautifully to achieve your business goals.