This is a guest post from our friend Evan Knox with Caffeine Marketing. He has tons of facebook ads experience to offer and this post is full of valuable info. Enjoy!

Facebook Ads are one of the great marvels of being a modern-day business owner. Through Facebook advertising, you can repeatedly scale-up acquiring new customers at a really affordable rate. The problem is that people make a lot of mistakes when it comes to Facebook ads and don’t run them correctly. This ends up costing businesses a lot of money and people a lot of heartache.

My name is Evan Knox, and I’m the founder of Caffeine Marketing, and I help make marketing profitable for small companies. As a seasoned Facebook ad specialist, you can trust that the insights I share below are hard-fought and experienced-based after helping hundreds of business owners like you.


Table of Contents

  1. Poor messaging
  2. Incorrect campaign objectives
  3. Competing campaigns
  4. Not enough ad variations
  5. Overcomplicated targeting
  6. Sticking with one ad type
  7. Making changes too frequently
  8. Not measuring the ROI
  9. Taking a shotgun approach
  10. Not enough budget

Poor messaging

As a StoryBrand certified guide, messaging is one of the first things that I noticed that people get wrong on Facebook ads. Your messaging is going to dictate whether or not you become white noise or people pay attention when they see your copy or video.

You might be wondering, “what does poor messaging look like?” If you use a lot of words, try to be cute and clever, or make yourself the hero of your messaging, you losing sales. People will buy your products or services because of the words that they hear or read. If you get your messaging wrong, you run the risk of tuning you out every future time you show them a Facebook ad.

Here are some tips on improving your messaging:

  • Act like you’re talking to a fifth-grader
  • Use as few words as possible
  • Read it out loud yourself
  • Always be talking about the problems you solve
  • Talk about the benefits of buying or working with you
  • Help people visualize life after your product or service
  • Mention what’s at risk if they don’t buy

If you want more help with your messaging, reach out to Daniel Dukes, the owner of this blog, and he can really help you dial in your messaging.


Incorrect campaign objectives

At the end of the day, your goal should be a great return on investment. I suggest your overall goal should be for the Facebook Ads to pay for themselves and leave you with a profit after fulfilling your product or service.

When we’re selecting a campaign objective within Facebook ads manager, we might pick a different objective other than that of our overall objective.

Too often, people go too wide or too narrow with their Facebook campaign objectives. When you’re setting up a Facebook campaign, I suggest picking an event that is just before the point of sale if you’re just getting started. If you have a long history of data to replicate audiences based on, it’s OK to have a technical setup related to the purchase.

In eCommerce, this event is typically “add to cart.” In a business to business scenario, this is typically a “lead.” You can easily measure how many leads you’re getting from your website from the Facebook Ads manager by setting up a thank you page that people are forwarded to after they fill out a contact form. If you have your Facebook pixel on this page, you can set an event related to that page and run a campaign towards that event happening.


Competing campaigns

When setting up multiple Facebook ad campaigns, you need to be careful you don’t have the same audience across multiple campaigns. If you decide to target the same audience across multiple campaigns, you run the risk of bidding against yourself and paying Facebook more money than you need to.

You can ensure that you don’t do this by using the exclusion feature within each campaign’s ad set. Ideally, you might have multiple ad sets within a campaign, and this will help mitigate some of that risk.


Not enough ad variations

You will want to have at least four different ads within each ad set in the campaign structure. One of the things that makes Facebook so effective as an ads platform is its ability to optimize. If you do not give Facebook any other options or ad variations to show people as advertisements, then your performance will suffer.

If you really want to run one specific type of ad, I would suggest duplicating the ad at least three times and giving the algorithm the feeling that it has multiple ads to try.

You can try different variations in images, video, landing pages, and more in your ad. Often, I’m surprised by what turned out to be the most effective ad.


Overcomplicated targeting

Most people overthink the targeting with the ad set of a Facebook ads campaign. A general rule of thumb is that your audience should be around 2 million people or so.

You want to be around that two million mark because there are enough people for Facebook to identify who’s most likely to perform whatever objective you chose and then replicate with repeatedly.

When you’re first starting out, it might be a good idea to choose an interest-based audience, and I really suggest not overthinking it. Facebook and its algorithm is smarter than we are as humans. You need to set it up correctly and get it started to begin to see some results.


Sticking with one ad type

At the ad level of a Facebook campaign, you can create various types of ads. Not only can you come up with different combinations of photos, videos, and copy, but you can also create different types of ads. Some of the areas that you can run or a photo, video, and carousel.

If you are not running a dynamic ad, I would suggest trying at least one of every type of Facebook ad. In creating various types of Facebook ads you can actually use the same copy from before. Using the same copy will enable you to figure out which type of ad resonates most with your audience pay addition to.

If you’re not trying to learn from a campaign but instead just want to get the maximum results, I really like using the dynamic ads feature where I can upload various types of creative and copy.


Making changes too frequently

If you’re worried about spending too much money and do not see results as quickly as you like, there is a temptation to make changes too early. One of the best things that you can do for your Facebook ads campaign is to let it run for a few days.

I like to let campaigns run ideally for at least ten days before I make any changes or edits. Some of our campaigns have been running for months without any edits.

Suppose you do not give Facebook enough time to optimize your campaign with everything you originally set up. In that case, you will continue down a vicious cycle of stifling your campaigns’ results because you were not patient enough to wait a few more days for Facebook to work its magic.

If after two weeks you do not see results and an appropriate budget, it is OK at that point to make changes to the campaign or turn it off.


Not measuring the ROI

Measuring the number of clicks to your website is not enough when it comes to growing your company. While that number is important, it’s often referred to as a vanity metric. This phase is used to communicate that it does not really mean anything.

Regardless of what industry you are and, you should be able to calculate or estimate your return on investment.

If you can not directly track your ROI, figure out your conversion rates on your website and sales calls. At this point, you will be able to estimate your approximate return on ad spend.


Taking a shotgun approach

If you’re starting with a smaller budget, it is best to focus on one campaign with one ad set. If you’re spending less than $100 a day on ads, I suggest that you stick with one campaign. If you’re willing to go above that threshold, you can branch out in $100 increments for each campaign.

There are some campaigns where we are running over $1,500 per day and have been seeing great results over several months.

Often when you run too many campaigns, you will run into issues like we have talked about earlier, like targeting multiple people across campaigns.


Not enough budget

Investing in marketing, advertising, and specifically, Facebook ads can be intimidating. When done well, it is the secret sauce to scale your business profitably.

I encourage clients to be willing to spend at least ten times what they have in the margin for their average sale over the course of two weeks.

When this number is over $1,000 per day, the rule breaks down, but the principle is that you should be willing to invest enough to acquire ten customers.

I hope this guide has been helpful, and check out Daniel for help StoryBranding your Marketing!


Evan Knox
StoryBrand Certified Guide
Founder of Caffeine Marketing & Tactos Partner