If your agency offers Facebook Ads, you can leverage Facebook’s wide audience and excellent features to bring your clients more qualified leads. However, you may be misusing Facebook Ads — or not taking advantage of all it can do.

Let’s explore some mistakes marketers make when advertising on Facebook Ads, and what to do instead.

Using radius when choosing a target location

For location targeting, Facebook Ads gives you the radius “pin drop,” so that your ad targets an area around your client’s business. Although targeting local customers is a good idea, the radius option can be fickle. The radius might include customers in very different income brackets, for example, which could cut your target audience in half. Even if the ad also includes demographics like income, you’re wasting location targeting on a less-than-ideal audience.

Instead of radius, use zip code to set your location targeting for much more valuable leads.

Using a copy-and-paste ad

Often when new marketers are learning Facebook Ads, they go to course creators or gurus to learn. They see an example ad in these gurus’ materials that has worked great for the guru, take it, and use it exactly as-is for their own Facebook Ads.

Besides the obvious lack of originality, this strategy simply won’t work. Every region of every state has a different way of speaking, even in different cities, so ad copy that was effective in one area won’t work in another, even if it’s the same industry.

For example, the word “sauna” sounds appealing in New York City, but in Miami, it won’t conjure the same emotions. You’d have to come up with different wording that would sell the service in Miami.

Be wary when looking at these example ads. The bones of a great ad may be there, but it’s important to get creative and do the research to understand what will work best for your client. This leads to another mistake…

Not doing the market research

You must absolutely do market research before launching an ad. Ask the client to give you 5 local competitors and look into some bigger competitors as well. What’s working for them? What are they doing on Facebook?

Other ideas for market research:

  • Go to reviews and try to mimic the way other (satisfied) customers speak about the product.
  • Don’t think intellectually and think like the customer, not the business. Ads should be easy to understand.
  • Look at the big dogs: what are Walmart and Target doing? What images are they using? How much text is in their ads? These companies spend millions on research and development — you can use their strategies.

Editing ads that are working

We’re often tempted to over-optimize when there’s no need to. If an ad is giving good results, leave it alone! If you think adding something could be working even better, then do a split test. There’s no need to fix what isn’t broken.

Not split-testing creative and copy

Many marketers are afraid to split-test, but it can make a huge difference in the success of your campaign. Do split-testing at the beginning of the campaign, setting aside part of the budget specifically for it.

Some tips for split-testing:

  • Make big differences, not small ones, in the copy and the creative to see what’s working. Make your ads polar opposites to pinpoint the differences more clearly.
  • If it’s a new industry, doing up to 40 ads might be necessary.
  • Just because something worked years or even months ago, doesn’t mean it’ll work today. Facebook features are constantly changing, and we must adapt along with them.

Test your ads for a few days and then turn off what’s not working. Facebook makes it easy to duplicate an ad to create a test.

Not retargeting website visitors

We know that customers often need up to 10 touchpoints with a product before they make a purchase.

To close even more leads:

  1. Create a custom audience that only includes people who submitted a form or took another action on the client’s site — no interests or demographics, only targeting an action.
  2. Then do 9-10 retargeting ads for this audience that shows them more about the business.

These ads will only be a small part of your budget, and the results are worth the time and effort.