7 Simple Shifts For Better Ad Performance

No one wants to be throwing money away on a dead-end ad campaign! If your ad performance is struggling, don’t panic. There are simple, data-driven shifts that you can make to boost your ad performance. Let’s look at seven ways to improve your ads.  

#1 Track Conversions

It’s easy to get distracted by clicks and social engagement. These metrics as useful, but can be misleading. A high level of engagement doesn’t necessarily guarantee a high number of conversions. 

If your campaign is purely a click campaign – perfect. You’re getting the results you need. 

If your end goal is sales, and you’re not seeing conversions – even with a high engagement rate? Something isn’t working. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you just need to boost your daily spend and your exposure. You’ll be throwing money away and not getting the results you need. 

#2 Your Offer Should Evoke or Provoke

Your offer is the backbone of your ad campaign. When you’re positioning your product or service, the strongest offers either evoke emotion or provoke a response. The difference is more than just semantics.

When you’re evoking emotion you’re drawing on a positive emotional appeal. 

For instance:

“With every purchase, you provide 5 meals for a child in need.” 

“When you’re here – you’re family.”

You get the gist.

When you’re provoking an emotional response you’re fostering the desire within your audience to separate themselves from something. One brand that consistently uses this approach is Harley Davidson.


With that subtle stab at the silver Honda Civic crowd, Harley has tied into the greater theme of independence and provoked a response in their audience.

Both of these approaches are FAR more compelling that “free shipping on orders over $50!” While price deals always have their place, they also have a cap on their effectiveness. Evoke or provoke for a greater response.

#3 Social Proof

By letting satisfied customers speak for you, you can deliver an ad message that’s personalized and relatable. Having that boost of a real-world take of your product or service builds brand trust and can overcome purchase hesitations.

If you’ve got an impressive review stat (“Over 2,000 5-star reviews!”) or a great testimonial quote from a happy customer, you give your audience a dose of empathy where they can identify with the satisfied faction who loves your product. 

Imagine hearing from a prospective employer about what a great place their company was to work as opposed to hearing that from a future co-worker. Your audience will always trust the person who feels more like a peer. Include social proof in your ads to boost your campaign performance.


#4 Use Video

82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter.

YouTube has over a billion users (almost 1/3 of total internet users).

45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.

More than 500 million hours of videos
are watched on YouTube each day.

Over 500 million (half a BILLION) people are watching videos on Facebook every day according to

Video posts have almost double the engagement rate of Facebook posts that feature static images and viewers spend an average of 5X longer viewing a video than they do a still post. 

…Are you starting to get my drift?
Use videos in your ad creative and you’ll start to see better ad performance.


#5 Targeting

You probably already know this, but don’t just settle for getting your ads in front of users who have somehow interacted with your brand. If you aren’t taking your targeting a step further with layered behavioral, demographic, and interest targeting you’re making a big mistake.

When you’re trying to identify how to target your ads, think about your ideal customer persona and how you could speak directly to their felt needs or convictions. (Get the full scoop on customer personas here.) 

Think about the difference in how you would market the services of your local food pantry to someone who was experiencing homelessness vs. someone who was passionate about ending food insecurity. These individuals might both have interacted with your website, but for very different reasons. 

You would run completely different tactics and campaigns for each of these audiences, building awareness within the community you aimed to serve and asking for donations or volunteers from the community passionate about your vision.

Targeting is the secret sauce of your ad performance. Putting an amazing campaign in front of the wrong audience will lead to ad failure every time.


#6 Follow Platform Sizing & Spec Requirements

Have you ever seen an ad where the text truncates at a really inopportune place or where the visual content is cut off?

Optimizing your creative and copy by following platform specs and sizing is key to creating polished, professional-looking ads that perform. 

Bookmark and reference our always-up-to-date ad spec guides here:


#7 Test Your Ads

You can’t maximize the ROI from your ads if you don’t do a little bit of leg work! The bulk of ad testing needs to be done at the onset of your ad campaign, but ongoing testing through the life of the ad will help you respond to the way your audience is engaging longterm.

We suggest setting aside 10-15% of the ad budget for the month to test with. View it as an investment in the future return from your ads. 

Create a new ad set to test with so that you don’t affect an existing ad set’s momentum or make it difficult to track changes to the performance data. Start with testing to see which audience is the most receptive to your ad, from there play with different copy and creative variations to maximize your engagement in that space. Learn more about the science behind ad testing here.


As you dive into the ad world and try to boost your campaign performance, it can be easy to feel like you’re in over your head. Get in touch with us if you have any questions! We’re always here to help.