Facebook Ads mistakes that waste money

Updated: Sep 22


Are you sick of losing your money on FB Ads?

Facebook has the biggest global audience of all advertising platforms.

With a big user base, there are thousands of brand awareness opportunities for companies in almost all industries.

However, it's not always necessary to get your desired ROI when you run ads on FB for your business.

If you're a business owner who runs FB ads for their business by themselves without the guidance of an expert or agency. In that case, this blog is for you because we'll walk you through some of the biggest FB Ads budget-wasting mistakes you might be making in this process:

  1. Low-quality ads with a weak offer

  2. Optimizing for the Wrong Campaign Objective

  3. Failing to understand your Budget Controls

  4. Wrong Audience Segmentation

  5. Controlling placements rather than customizing

  6. Skipping A/B testing in your FB ads

  7. Avoid FB Ads mishaps and Ad Fatigues

  8. Sticking to only one ad type format

Low-quality ads with a weak offer

"Strong copy will not overcome a weak offer but…in many cases, a strong offer will succeed in spite of weak copy written by marketing morons."
Late Gary Halbert—one of the best advertisers of the 20th century

If you have a compelling ad copy, you have more chances to create an ad that pays off!

If we look at these 2 ads, both are great ads and both are selling clothes. But if you've been asked to pick one, which one would you choose?

Second one right?

If you're a dog lover your mind will automatically get attracted to the second ad. you won't even think that you're buying a T-Shirt.

That's what a strong offer does. It sells you without selling!

Avoid creating Low-quality, spammy ads for marketing. Low-quality ads on Facebook, such as ones that include clickbait or direct people to unexpected content.

What do they look like:

Engagement bait: Ads with spammy content asking people to engage with it in specific ways, such as requesting likes, comments, and shares.

Engagement bait
Engagement bait

Withholding information: Ads that purposefully withhold information to entice people to click to understand the full context.

Withholding information about ads
Withholding information

Sensationalized language: Ads that use exaggerated headlines or command a reaction from people but don't deliver on the landing page.

Sensationalized language in ads
Sensationalized language

Size Optimization: There are many ad placements provided by facebook but the size for some placements are different from the usual feed ad placement (square). That is why you can not use the same ad copy for all the placement as facebook will be forced to cut some part of your ad, making it ineffective.

If you're creating these kinds of ads then you will see reduced distribution in ad auctions, or your ad will be disapproved.

Optimizing for the Wrong Campaign Objective

Most of the people that advertise on Facebook, boost posts because that's the easiest way to advertise on Facebook; they see this pop up on their business page, "Do you want to boost this post?" and they go ahead and boost that post, but that's a very small part of the whole Facebook advertising platform functionality.

Limitation boost post in facebok
Boosting posts in facebook

Only some limited objectives are provided by facebook while boosting a post. These objectives may or may not be useful for your business. But you can find more useful objectives hidden in facebook with a little bit of guidance.

Objectives while boosting a post in facebook
Objectives while boosting a post in facebook

If you go to the ads manager to set up your FB campaign, you'll see a bunch of campaign objectives to choose from. Boosting your post is just to get the most engagement possible.

Objectives for a facebook ad campaign
Objectives for a facebook ad campaign

When you make your Optimization for ad delivery choice for an ad set, you're telling Facebook to get you that result as efficiently as possible.

In other words, your optimization choice is directly proportional to your desired outcomes. For example, if you optimize for link clicks, your ads are targeted to people in your audience who are most likely to click the ads' links.

When you're running a campaign for your product/service primarily, you want sales and leads, right?

You can get better results by focusing on the conversion campaign objective.

Stop Re-targeting your website visitors and instead start retargeting your FB visitors.

With the IOS new update 85% of Apple users have opted out to be tracked by Facebook, so you cannot rely on those audiences for your conversion campaigns.

Failing to understand your Budget Controls

Facebook gives you the option to use campaign budget optimization (CBO) or ad set budgets when you do the budgeting part for your ads.

campaign budget optimization
Campaign budget optimization

campaign budget optimization
campaign budget optimization

Campaign budgets can simplify campaign setup and reduce the number of budgets that you have to manage manually. It can help you get the best possible results from your campaign at the lowest cost.

Using campaign budgets for your budget setting will give your ads Better overall performance, increased delivery, and automation.

If you want to control the amount spent on each ad set, you have a large difference in audience size between your ad sets or you have mixed optimization goals or bid strategies then you can use Ad set budgets.

While CBO spends your overall budget evenly throughout your campaign, ad set budgets can be spent as soon as opportunities become available for that ad set.

Facebook campaign structure
Facebook campaign structure

Facebook budget and schedule
Facebook budget and schedule

Wrong Audience Segmentation

There are over 50 million business pages on Facebook and all of them are using FB ads to reach their targeted audience. So there’s already a lot of competition. And if you segment or limit segmenting your target audience then the chances of your ads getting lost in the huge stream of content is very high.

Facebook Audience Segmentation
Audience Segmentation

How to segment your FB audience:

  • Location: Advertise in the cities, communities, and countries where you want to do business.

  • Demographics: Choose your audience based on age, gender, education, job title, and more. You can keep track of the types of people your ads are reaching, but Facebook will never share personally-identifiable information about them.

  • Interests: Add the interests and hobbies of the people you want your ad to reach – from organic food to action films – and make your targeted ads more relevant.

  • Behavior: Target your ads based on consumer behaviors such as prior purchases and device usage.

  • Connections: Choose to include people who are connected to your Facebook Page or event, or exclude them to find new audiences.

Define your audience:

  • Core Audiences: Define an audience based on criteria such as age, interests, geography, and more.

  • Custom Audiences: Get back in touch with people who have engaged with your business, online or off.

Define your audience
Define your audience

For the most reliable results, use a minimum of 7-day tests. A/B tests can only be run for a maximum of 30 days but tests shorter than 7 days may produce inconclusive results.

The testing frame also varies from business to business. For example, if you know your typical customer takes more than 7 days to convert after seeing an ad, you'd want to run your test for a longer period, maybe 10 days.

Controlling placements rather than customizing

Controlling placements rather than customizing
Controlling placements rather than customizing

The Facebook and Instagram networks are pretty vast and that means your ads can show up in several placements around the web.

The placement portion contains several options like a Facebook newsfeed, Facebook marketplace, Instagram feed, Facebook video feeds, messenger inbox, etc.

It can be pretty hard to choose only limited options coz you must be wanting your ad to show up everywhere!

But that’s not always in your best interest.

Because the audience you target will always be the same regardless of which placement you’re serving your ads from. And you don’t have to worry that you’ll be targeting new users if you’re showing ads on the audience network.

The audience will always rely on the same targeting options as any other.

Removing the placement is also not a good choice either coz it will lessen the options for the FB algorithm.

Now, if you can’t decide which placements to pick, then just show up on all at first and then leverage Facebook tools that allow you to customize your ads by each placement.

Skipping A/B testing in your FB ads

A/B testing in FB ads
A/B testing in FB ads

A/B testing on FB is an incredibly common and important practice. If you don’t do this you’ll make some disastrous mistakes. A/B testing compares different versions of your ads so you can see what works best and improve future campaigns.

But when you’re just starting with A/B testing you can make some rookie mistakes.

Here are some best A/B practices for FB ads

  1. Limit your testing variables

Limit your testing variables
Limit your testing variables

The most impactful variable that you can use is your audience. Once you determine the audience that responds best to your ad, then you can move on to other things.

2. Focus on a measurable hypothesis

Focus on a measurable hypothesis
Focus on a measurable hypothesis

Create a testable hypothesis that enables you to improve future campaigns.

For example, you might start with a general question such as "Do I get better results when I change my delivery optimization?"

This can be refined to something more specific, such as "Do I get a lower cost per result when I optimize for link clicks or landing page views?"

3. Use an ideal audience for the test

Use an ideal audience for the test
Use an ideal audience for the test

Your audience should be large enough to support your test, and you shouldn't use this audience for any other Facebook campaign that you're running at the same time.

Overlapping audiences may result in delivery problems and contaminate test results.

Avoid FB Ads mishaps and Ad Fatigues

People tend to forget to manage their ad campaigns after they’ve gone live. You should track KPIs from the day of the ad launch until the moment it ends to ensure your investment is effectively generating ROI. This will help you know when to pull or edit an unsuccessful ad.

Avoid FB Ads mishaps and Ad Fatigues
Avoid FB Ads mishaps and Ad Fatigues

This data can also help you learn what you did right when an ad generates ROI.

If you set up an ad campaign and let it run on its own then it will decrease in effectiveness over time due to what’s known as Facebook ad fatigue.

Avoid FB Ads mishaps and Ad Fatigues
Avoid FB Ads mishaps and Ad Fatigues

Ad fatigue is an issue that will affect even the most successful Facebook ad campaigns.

This happens when your target audience keeps seeing the same ad so as a result, they become less responsive to your ad resulting in decreased ROI.

To avoid FB Ad fatigue, keep analyzing your ads on an ongoing basis. Keep measuring your KPIs and then edit your ad if it’s necessary(as per data).

Sticking to only one ad type format

Various ad types in facebook ads
Various ad types in facebook ads

Suppose, if you’ve run an image and text-based ad for your business and it worked well, then that doesn’t mean that you’re gonna be using that only one format for your whole life!

It is also true that in some cases, an image can outperform video and vice versa.

But Facebook offers you different ad formats to choose from:

  • Photos (with size variants)

  • Videos

  • Carousel (i.e. making use of multiple images or videos in one ad)

  • Slideshows

  • Making use of canvas

  • Collections (a single ad that would display all of your products)

you need to be clear about your audience to be able to choose the right one.

Various ad types in facebook ads
Various ad types in facebook ads

Along with these options, you can have a variety of ads like lead ads, which are best suited for mobile users, and link ads for directing visitors to the website. This link would be in the form of a CTA (Call to action) prompt. These prompts can be Sign Up, Download, Learn More, Shop Now, etc.

To ensure success in your Ad campaign, you must know which Ad type would work best with your objective or ad placement.


Facebook ads when done right can bring in amazing results and can lead to the fast growth of a business.

You need to go miles to create an ad copy that generates anxiety in the reader’s mind about you!

You need to make sure that you establish a connection with the right audience.

Use these tips to avoid FB ad mistakes and create your desired ad.

If you need direction on how to run high-converting FB Ads for your business, then you can get in touch with us.

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