Why Facebook ads don’t work – Facebook advertising strategy
Facebook has been one of the most popular advertising platforms for a while now, and I assume there’s no business in Ireland that has never tried to utilise Facebook advertisement at least once.
Pretty easy setup and management and relatively low cost when compared to Google AdWords makes Facebook a go-to-market advertisement platform for anyone without a strong digital marketing background. This is not surprising, Facebook is accessible to everyone and they really make it easy for their users to start. With that said they also make it somehow different to actually succeed and to actually get a positive ROI from the platform. I say somehow because it’s not so complicated but at the end of the day you need to know what you’re doing if you want to have a positive return on investment.
“Facebook ads don’t work!” That’s a common answer I get from my clients when suggesting Facebook advertisement. Well they do, they work if you know what you’re doing.
It all depends on what is your goal, what are you trying to achieve with Facebook ads. If you are a high end B2B business trying to sell your expensive services on Facebook, well of course Facebook won’t work for you. Which doesn’t mean that Facebook ads don’t work for your industry in general, it just means you need to choose a different objective. Don’t try to sell your services via Facebook, in that case, use Facebook for brand awareness – get people familiar with your brand and services you provide. For sales use different channels that work better for your industry like lead nurturing or AdWords.
On the other hand if you are a high volume traffic ecommerce shop with relatively cheap products, or B2C business, Facebook could be ideal for you.
One behaviour I see often is that people jump straight to conversions with Facebook ads. Facebook as any other platform wants us to use the funnel.
When you’re setting up a new campaign, Facebook clearly outlines the funnel, you just need to read between the lines and understand what they actually want you to do.
They want us to use the funnel, they want us to go through the buying cycles and buyers journey. They want us to start with the awareness stage, then slowly move onto consideration and then start with conversions. But most people jump straight to conversion stage and then wonder why Facebook ads don’t work. Well in that case they don’t work, because you’re trying to sell something to people who never heard about you.
You go on a first date and you have a small talk, like things you have in common, similarities and values, you don’t talk about your health issues, how many kids you want, when and if you want to get married… and then with more dates you go deeper and deeper into letting that person in your life, and opening yourself to them. You don’t jump to the date number 4 immediately. We all know how those kind of relationships end up. 😉
Same principle is applicable for marketing, you don’t jump to the sales immediately, you get to know your customer, and you let them know you. You slowly lead them through the funnel and then you can jump to sales and conversions.
Other reason why jumping straight to the conversion stage of the funnel doesn’t work, is the fact that that’s the most expensive way of advertisement on Facebook, and if you have a limited budget it will get spend much faster than with an awareness or consideration stage.
Facebook Advertisement Strategy Suggestion:
Start with the awareness stage, use video for your creative and then remarket to people who viewed your video for 10 seconds or more with your new consideration stage campaign.
Video campaign is much cheaper than the conversion campaign, so use that in your advantage. Or use image for your creative with reach or engagement objective and remarket to people who engaged with your ads.
Also try to play around with different placements and devices when setting up your campaigns.
As a lack of inventory Facebook has to be creative in finding new ways to provide advertisement space for their users. As a result they’ve created messenger as a placement not so long ago. Messenger is still a bit cheaper than other Facebook placements, and it’s worth exploring. I like to compare Messenger placement with Gmail / AdWords. Don’t expect great result, but it’s cheap so why not?
- Always think of the funnel! No matter the platform, there’s always the funnel we should follow. Don’t jump to the conversion stage immediately, give your potential customers the chance to get to know you.
- Use creative and cheaper ways to get your advertisement going, and always use remarketing.
- Don’t forget to set your expectations based on the industry you’re in. If Facebook is not the platform that brings conversions for you, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work, just use it for awareness and considerations stages and do actual sales with Google AdWords. And always check your Multi-Channel Funnel in Google Analytics to understand your audience better.
Let me know your questions in the comment section below.