Top Facebook Ads Mistakes to Avoid in 2021

Running your first campaign on Facebook can be daunting and making Facebook Ads mistakes will cause your confidence to take a hit. Just like making Google Ads mistakes, these errors can cause you to lose money and hinder your marketing efforts.

So, what can you do to stop this from happening? The best thing to do is find out what the top mistakes are so that you can learn how to avoid them (or, if you make them, take steps to mitigate the effects). For that reason, this blog post is going to discuss the 4 most common Facebook Ads mistakes we see aspiring marketers making.

Top 4 Facebook Ads Mistakes

#1 - Not Having a Pre-Launch Checklist

The first mistake we see way too often is not having some sort of pre-launch checklist. Whether it’s a mental checklist or a written checklist, it doesn’t matter – just have a pre-launch checklist so that you know what you’re doing and there aren’t any big surprises that come up. Here are a few things that we typically have on ours.

1. Make sure your Facebook Pixel is active.

The first thing we do before launching a new campaign is check if the Facebook Pixel works properly. It is incredibly easy to do this. All you need to do is download the Facebook Pixel Helper extension and you’re good to go.

Facebook Pixel Helper Extension

Once you install it just go to the page where the pixel is installed and check that it’s active. Couldn’t be any easier. If any errors are found then great – you’ve caught them before launching the campaign and can promptly fix them.

2. Test your Events Manager.

Next on our checklist is checking your events and making sure that they’re being triggered properly. You can do this by submitting your own form submissions, buying your own products, or processing any event which is part of your campaign. After you submit an event, go to Facebook’s Events Manager and check if your event was detected. If not, it’s time to do some digging and find out why not.

3. Create custom conversion events.

Third on our list is creating custom conversion events for specific actions. For example, you might want to track cost per booked call and anytime someone books a call. Whatever type of conversion you want to track, get a custom conversion setup straight away instead of settling with the default options.

4. Plan to use a Lookalike Audience right away.

This last item on our checklist is more of a tip, but it’s something to consider when making your pre-launch checklist. Although it’s somewhat unorthodox, plan on using a Facebook Lookalike Audience right off the bat.

Basically, you want to start with your highest intent and lowest friction lookalike audiences first. These are your audiences which are 1% of your customer buyers or 2% of your most valuable customers. In other words, the people who are spending the most money with you.

Try to keep your lookalike percentage at the low end, to begin with, starting in the 1-2% range. Test that audience out for a while then expand into the 3-5% range and exclude the lower percents from your targeting. So, if you’re targeting a 3% lookalike audience, exclude the 1-2% group from that ad set. Watch the video above to get a more in-depth explanation of these Facebook audiences.

#2 - Targeting a Broad Audience

The next Facebook Ads mistake we see people making is targeting too broad of an audience. As great as open targeting is (it can yield some of the cheapest CPMs out there), it’s something you have to work towards. You need to be getting at least 50 conversions per week for whichever event you’re trying to optimize before you even consider open targeting.

Facebook has fantastic targeting options. Demographics such as age, gender, interests, and several other parameters make it really easy to pinpoint who you want to target. Our advice: create a buyer persona and really think about who your ideal customer is.

The one exception...

There is one caveat though. Basically, if you have a product or service that’s a no-brainer, low cost, and needs no education, you can go broader and get better results. On the flip side, if what you’re selling has a higher price tag and needs some education, don’t target a broad audience.

A big reason for this being a Facebook Ads mistake is that you can’t customize your ads as much if you’re targeting a huge group of people. You want to have different subsets of audiences so that you can modify the Facebook Ad creative and give each subset a relevant ad that appeals to them. This will increase your Click-Through-Rate and your campaign will be more cost-efficient overall.

Don't get too specific

Finding out exactly who your ideal customer is will give you the best chance of making sales. However, getting too specific is a mistake in itself. If you narrow your audience down to 1,000-10,000 people then your campaign will become very expensive. Unless you have a very specific offer that only certain people will give in to, avoid being too specific.

#3 - Not Running Facebook Video Ads

Something we bring up regularly and which is without a doubt the biggest Facebook Ads mistake you can make is not using Facebook Video Ads.

Even if you aren’t great at video editing don’t let that be the reason you miss out. Use third-party tools like Biteable and Promo to create semi-decent video ads and your campaigns will perform considerably better. Facebook even has a built-in video editor with templates that you can customize – they’re nothing special but they’re still better than static images! There are absolutely no excuses for making this mistake.

The barrier of entry has gotten so low that you just have to play around with video ads and you’ll quickly see the CPMs and CTRs that they’re capable of.

Videos can convey a lot more information than static images or text ads do (which is why you’ll probably watch the video version of this blog post instead). Not to mention the fact that Facebook users are 5-times more likely to engage with a video ad over a static image. To top it off, video ads drive cheaper CPCs and you’ll be able to retarget users who watched 25/50/75 percent of the video.

(BONUS) Free Facebook Ads Cheatsheet!

Before we move on to the final Facebook Ads mistake, it’s worth mentioning our free Facebook Ads cheatsheet. Creativity isn’t the easiest trait to come by but it’s an important one in online marketing. If you’re struggling with creating ads, whether static images or videos, check out our cheatsheet. Here we’ve compiled all of the best Facebook Ads we’ve seen over the years and which you can use for inspiration when designing your own.

#4 - Overlooking AB Testing and Experimentation

Last on our list is the mistake of not putting enough of a focus on AB testing. This is something you need to be doing on a consistent basis. It should be an active part of your campaign and it’ll also help you to avoid ad fatigue.

No matter how much data you have you can’t know for sure what images, ad copy, or CTAs get the most conversions out of your audience. You should always be testing different parts of your campaign such as your bid strategy and targeting options, as well as the ads themselves. Your goal is to find out how you can improve your campaign’s results (even if you’re already getting good results).

Some examples of high-impact methods for AB testing your campaign are:

  • Trialing different bid strategies. You can try automated bidding, cost cap, minimum ROAS, and various other Facebook bidding strategies.
  • Optimize for different goals. Sure – everyone wants more sales and sign-ups. But these are both very high-friction goals to have. Try optimizing your campaign around some lower-friction goals and developing a Facebook retargeting strategy.
  • Recreate your top ads. Rather than running your best-performing ad on repeat, give it a fresh look. Switch up the colors, rewrite the ad copy, or give it a different CTA. Just change things up and you’ll minimize the ad fatigue from running that ad.

If we go outside of the Facebook Ads platform, you probably also have some landing pages. Make sure you AB test those too so that you’re optimizing every step of the user experience. ABT – Always Be Testing.

Avoid Facebook Ads Mistakes with an Agency

Hopefully, by us identifying these Facebook Ads mistakes and explaining them to you, you don’t fall victim to making them. Unfortunately, even with this information, if you have little experience running a Facebook Ads campaign, you’re bound to make some errors along the way.

The only way to completely avoid mistakes is to hire a Facebook Ads agency like KonvertLab. On top of the four mistakes we identified above, we’re well aware of many others that we’ve seen clients make when they approach us for help. We know how to resolve them but best of all, we know how to avoid them completely. Let’s work together – book a call below and we’ll show you what we’re capable of.

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