Why didn’t my Facebook Campaign work? Where did I go wrong? How can I do it better next time?

I have come across friends and people I know who tell me they have tried advertising on Facebook, but somehow, it did not work. I met a friend a couple of weeks ago who told me exactly that. As we had our laptops nearby, I asked her to open her laptop and show me the campaign that didn’t work. I checked the campaign itself, the metrics, the audiences she had created and the ads as well. I found a few things and we talked about it. Below you will find a list of things you should keep in mind when creating your next Facebook Campaign.

Understanding the Facebook Ads Manager structure

First of all, we need to talk about the structure. When you go to the Facebook Ads Manager you will notice different tabs. Each tab corresponds to a box on the tree below. First we have Campaigns, that’s where you choose the objective of the campaign. Do you need to create awareness? Do you need more clicks on your website? Are you growing your email list on your website? Are you selling something on your website? The most common objectives are Awareness, Website Visits and Conversions.

The next branch of the tree is the Ad Set. Here is where you decide who your audience will be, and where your audience is located. Are you targeting only women? People who are parents? People who like yoga? People who are between the ages 30 and 40? Here is where Facebook Targeting becomes very granular. You can target a lot of different interests, the list is exhaustive! One thing you should never do is to target everyone, never! That’s how you throw money away. You need to go back to your Marketing lessons and study your buyer persona. Who is your ideal client? What does she/he like? What is his/her main pain? What do you have to offer that she/he would love to get?

The last branch is the Creative. Here is where you can add your beautiful images, videos or create a video with your images. Here is where you also write your copy and your CTA (call to action). You can now have different copy on one creative alone, that was not possible a few months ago. It is always a good idea to test different creatives to see what resonates with your audience.

Best Practices

Now that we are clear about the structure, here is a list of things you should consider before starting your campaign:

  1. Have the right Setup. Make sure you have the Facebook Pixel installed, as well as your Google Analytics script installed on your website. This will not only be helpful to track visits and conversions, but also for future campaigns. If you track clicks, you can create retargeting audiences in the future. For example, you can create a future audience with the people who visited a specific page on your website.
  2. Have a dedicated Landing Page. You can use different online companies for that, or you can create your own landing page directly on your website. All you need is to have an attractive image or video, a call to action, some copy. The purpose of a landing page is to have the user take only one action. What would that action be? Download a white paper? Enrol to a webinar? Avoid links to other pages. The best thing would be to have a landing page, plus a thank you page. If for example, you are offering a download, the landing page would have the download and a small form to fill out. Once they fill it out, they would arrive to a Thank-you page. On the thank you page you can have links to other pages of your website. Read my post about how to create a good landing page here.
  3. Test your Creatives. Sometimes we write copy and CTAs thinking that that’s exactly how we are going to attract people. But the reality is that sometimes whatever we think will work, is exactly what doesn’t. We need to find whatever our targeting audience likes, not necessarily what we think they will like. And the best way to do it is by testing different creatives.
  4. Tag your URLs. This is very important if you are directing people to go to your website. There is a very easy way to do it if you are using Google Analytics, here is the link to the UTM parameter builder. This will help you generate the URL you can use in your campaigns, all you need to do is follow the instructions and copy the final URL.
  5. Optimize & Repeat. Once you have set up your campaign, and done all the steps above, it is not over. You need to constantly check your numbers and adjust. But you also need to be patient, especially at the beginning. It is a good idea to observe the first few days, and only after that start making changes if necessary.

I hope the points above will be useful for you, and that your next campaign will be a success! If you have any questions, get in touch. I’m always happy to help other fellow entrepreneurs.