Why your facebook ads are failing

Kenn and Dave hit the studio in Episode 35 of Brand Junkies to dive into their shared personal passion- Running Facebook Ads that drive a huge ROI. 

An aspect of Facebook Advertising that’s important to note right out of the gate is that the barrier to entry on running Facebook ads is almost non-existent, while as Dave puts it, “Facebook advertising is the most complex advertising that you can do anywhere.” Almost anyone can watch a Youtube video or read a tutorial or two and start running ads… but that doesn’t mean they should.  

Kenn relates it to painting your home, “Anybody can go to the Home Depot or Lowe’s and pick up paint and brushes, but how’s that paint job going to look at the end? Is it going to look like it was done by a pro?… Facebook advertising is like being a painter. Everyone has access to it, There’s nothing that prevents you from doing it, but the art is in the details and that’s what separates success from failure.” 

Dave explains, “60% of the art of a successful Facebook ad is the targeting and 40% is the creative (that’s your copy, imagery or video, and the actual offering). Most people don’t get the targeting right because they don’t understand how powerful it is.” In this blog post, we’ll look specifically at targeting but we highly encourage you to listen to the full podcast (or watch it here) for solid input on the creative portion of digital ads. 

What is targeting? 

Simply put, targeting is putting your ad in front of who you want to see it. In the past, targeting may have looked like running an ad in a magazine that was geared towards your target audience or getting a commercial spot during a show you *thought* was popular with them. Kenn says, “Within Facebook and digital advertising today you can go in and pick 40 or 50 different targeting characteristics of specific people, or a specific group of people that you want to go after. When you have 40 or 50 characteristics to select, the result is millions and millions of possible combinations.”

Most people approach targeting based on interests, but Facebook ads break it down so much further than that. Dave explains, “What’s powerful about the platform is not just the interest, it’s the behaviors and the specific demographics you have. So for example, in a behavior, you can target people based off of the IOS they’re using. If you’re trying to get people to download your podcast and you want to send them to iTunes, you can’t do that very well on an Android device. You should just target people that are on an IOS device.”

Going further down the targeting rabbit hole Dave says, “You can target people that are on a newer or older IOS device. You might say, ‘I want to target users on a newer version of IOS because if they’re on an old version they may not be as tech-savvy.’ You can target based on their shopping habits. Have they clicked on a ‘Shop Now’ button within the last week? Within the last month?”

Personal targeting is possible because of the wealth of information that Facebook has and mines from its users. Kenn adds, “Understand the degree of targeting that you can achieve with Facebook ads, because it’s not just about demographics, that’s old school advertising. That’s old school data. ‘What Zip Code are they in? What kind of income do they have?’ Now you can get super specific. Understand how to work the targeting through not only demographics but through behavior. It’s all possible because of the depth of information available about each user.” 

Facebook Ad Retargeting

Only 2% of web traffic converts from being an observer to being a customer on their first visit to a site. Retargeting continually puts ads for your product or service in front of users who have already visited your site before. By dropping a line of code into your website you set it to leave a browser cookie when your site is viewed. Facebook can then direct ads to users who have the cookie from your site and only serve ads to people who have already engaged with your presence on the web.  

Dave explains why this is such a gamechanger saying, “It creates automatic frequency. It creates volume with the user and it does everything you need. I mean, you don’t have to worry if they’re going to drive by your billboard or watch TV at a certain time, you’re hitting them right where they are.” 

Carrousel ads are a dynamic type of retargeting ads. If your website offers multiple products or services you can upload your catalog into Facebook. Now when someone looks at a certain product (or three) and they leave your site, they’ll get hit with scroll through ads of the items they were just looking at, seeing items in order of how long or how many times they were looked at. 

As Kenn puts it, “Now all of a sudden you’re not just hitting them with a Facebook ad that says, ‘Hey, come back.’ It’s, ‘Hey, don’t you want this really cool thing that you were looking at before? And here’s another really cool thing you were looking at. Oh, and here’s another really cool thing you’re looking at.’ You can give them a promo code, ‘Buy two items – Get 20% off.’ It’s incredibly open-ended. You can use a bunch of different tactics in the creative to get them to come back.”

Exact Targeting

Especially if you aren’t sure how to define your target audience you can utilize the network you already have. Kenn suggests you, “Download your email list as a CSV and upload it to Facebook. Now you can target those people. Facebook usually finds about 50% of the email list that you upload, allowing you to target those exact people with messaging.” 

Kenn goes a step further saying, “You can create a lookalike audience. Facebook looks at the group put together from the email list you uploaded. They consider 200 plus data points and create an audience that looks demographically identical to the audience that you just uploaded.” You now have a target audience of potential customers that are demographically identical to the group already engaging with your brand. 

What now?

We’ve just skimmed the surface of how complex targeting for Facebook ads can be because as Kenn puts it, “It’s a living, breathing platform…it’s changing constantly.” He goes on to explain that, “You could theoretically take a seminar on how to do Facebook advertising and go back to your business, run a few ads, and have a good time- then wake up on Monday to find that Facebook has changed the rules. If you’re not on top of that and you don’t know how to adjust on the fly, you’re going to pay the price for it.”

If you’re worried about your return on your Facebook Ads or don’t have time to fully delve into the complexity of your targeting, shoot us an email. As Kenn says, “There may be people out there that do this as well as we do. But there’s nobody that does it better.”