Creating a Facebook ad is like making the perfect meal on live television. Have you ever noticed that the chef has all the ingredients at-the-ready? Everything is in its perfect glass bowl, clean, measured, chopped and ready to be dropped into the pot. It makes the whole process look so flawlessly easy, and it is.
You can make creating your Facebook ad be just as easy by avoiding these 7 preparation blunders:
1: Not Being Clear on Your Goal
Most of the time, it will be obvious what type of goal you’re trying to achieve. For example, you’ll do a “promote your page” ad for likes, a “boost your post” ad for engagement and to enhance your brand and expertise, and you’ll do a “website conversion” ad to get sign-ups for your webinar or to grow your list.
But sometimes your goal might get muddied. Maybe you uploaded a video as a status update, and it’s doing well — getting likes, comments, & shares — and you think, hey, I’ll turn this into an ad. So you decide to “boost the post” and then Facebook says, “Are you sure? — You’ll get more views if you make this a video ad…” Confusion.
According to Facebook:
“Your ads will automatically be optimized to show to the people who are most likely to take actions that will help you achieve your objective.”
Let me just say to myself and to you that you just want to do your best. You’ll get the best results by perfectly aligning your goals with the way Facebook optimizes your ad, but sometimes you do have mixed objectives. For example, you want the social proof that your status update gives your post, so you want to choose a “boost post” ad even though the post is a video. Go with it. See what happens. Alternatively, you can upload the video natively later and use a video ad — there are so many options.
This may help you get clear on your objective before starting a project.
2: Not Having the Image Ready
Your Facebook ad image will make or break your ad. If the image isn’t appealing, intriguing or relevant, the Facebook user will pass by your ad in a second. Ideally, you’ll want your image to convey what your ad is about all by itself, without words. Use words, if necessary, to clarify your ad or add another element.
For example, your ad might be about a webinar and you represent that in the image somehow. But you really want people to know that it’s free, so you add the words “Free Webinar” to the image.
Just remember that you need to make sure that your ad doesn’t have more than 20% text, or it won’t be approved. Check for that here.
Just as important as having a visually appealing image that conveys your message, you’ll want to have the correct image size for your audience. Make sure on that here.
3: Not Having Your Text Crafted
You have your goal and image ready, and you just can’t wait another minute, so you dive into the Ads Manager. I’ve been there! Remember, though, the text is nearly as important as the image, so you want to get it right. In addition to selecting the best words, you need to use the proper number of characters when you’re using the Ads Manager (you get more characters in the PowerEditor).
For headlines: 25 characters
For body text: 90 characters
When selecting your text, you definitely want to focus on benefits for your target audience and make it clear what they will get by taking action. I really like an example that I learned from a Hubspot ad. The body text in 75 characters said this:
“Learn how to create more leads and revenue for your business using Facebook”
This sentence targets me as a business owner who uses Facebook for marketing. It’s loaded with benefits because I’m learning and creating as well as attracting potential clients and revenue.
Am I interested? Heck yeah!
Taking the time to craft your text to target your audience and address their pain with the benefits you provide is worth the time to make your ad more effective.
4: Not Having a Call-to-Action
You’ve spent some time selecting compelling text for your ad. You’d think that would be enough, but it’s not! You need to make it super easy and clear what you want your viewer to do. Most times you’ll want them to click, and if you’re doing a conversion ad, you’ll be selecting from the call-to-action (CTA) buttons they provide such as “download,” “sign-up,” or “learn more.”
Everyone has their favorite words on the button, but I prefer the one that creates the most seamless experience for the user. By that I mean that if you say they are going to get a free book, for example, after they click the link, they probably expect the book to be there. Then if they have to jump through more hoops, such as fill out a form, they may be surprised or dismayed — not good. You may want to use the “learn more” or “sign-up” CTA in that case.
If you don’t have a call-to-action button in your ad, you’ll want to include the CTA in your body text such as “To learn more, click here” followed by a shortened link.
5: Not Having a Congruent Landing Page
Continuing with our topic of making the experience be logical and congruent for your user, you’ll want whatever page your user lands on to make sense. Ask yourself if the branding, colors, look and feel of your ad looks similar to the page that your user lands on after clicking your link.
If you have a picture of yourself in your ad, do you look mostly the same on the page on which people arrive? The page could be your Facebook page, your website, your opt-in or sales page, or even your video. Do your best to envision the user experience, as a user who may not know you already.
6: Not Having Your Targeting Figured Out
Your Facebook ad needs to be relevant to your audience. The more relevant it is as evidenced by likes, comments, shares, clicking through to a page, video views, etc., the more Facebook will show your ad, and at a better rate. Spend some time determining the ideal audience for your ad:
- Demographics: age, gender, education, income, marital status etc.
- Interests: pages they like, topics of interest, publications & blogs they like, etc.
- Audiences: your fans, your website visitors, custom audiences, etc.
This can be one of the most challenging parts of an ad. Even if you get the targeting spot on one time, you can have different results another time. This might be due to factors beyond your control, such as Facebook’s algorithm of 100,000 factors. Having the “spirit of experimentation” can really help your Facebook ads ego, that’s for sure.
7: Not Being Clear on Your Budget
Speaking of experimentation, it’s time to talk about your budget. I haven’t heard anyone else say this, but I’m probably not the first: Facebook can be a bit like gambling. There’s intermittent reinforcement when your ad does well (likes, comments, shares, oh my!), and there’s money involved. It can be tempting to just keep upping the ante on an ad to get it to work.
With this in mind, I’d like to recommend that you have a monthly budget for your ads. You can create a simple spreadsheet for your “ad spend” to keep track. I do this to make sure that I don’t go over my client’s monthly budget or my own. If you stop an ad early, then you have more funds to spend on another ad later in the month.
Kristy Schnabel of It’s Virtually Done is a social media & online marketing strategist who helps entrepreneurs with quick & easy social media strategies to boost their business. She’s been profitable online for 11+ years and relishes helping others master new technologies. When she’s not online, you can find her swimming miles for her next open water swim vacation, hiking in the forest with her dog, Aubrey, or walking at the Oregon Coast with her husband Larry.
Do you want your Facebook page to help you build your audience, get some interaction going, and grow you list? But maybe you don’t have the time or inclination to create the ads yourself? With my Facebook Ad Creation Services packages and the strategies I recommend, you get fans, engagement, and leads. Learn more here.