“Senator, we run ads” replied Mark Zuckerberg when he was quizzed on the court about the revenue source of Facebook.

Well, that’s what Facebook is – an 80,000-pound advertising gorilla. 9 out of 10 marketers use Facebook Ads to generate leads and to feed their sales pipeline. After all with 2.2 Billion active users, it is a country (if not a continent!) of its own.

With more than $27 Billion in revenue, Facebook advertising is one of the biggest revenue sources for Facebook. But, is it the same for businesses that use Facebook ads?

According to Weebly, at least 62% of small businesses say that their Facebook ads are missing their targets. What a tragic statistic for one of the world’s most counted on marketing medium!

I probed a little deeper into why the ads are failing. Turns out there is a common string of mistakes that businesses commit that leaves their Facebook ad ROI in the red.

What are they and how to fix them?

#1. Setting unclear goals

Like with any other marketing and advertising medium, Facebook is used to be specific purposes. Without a proper goal and a strategy in place, the ads are bound to fail. The $$$ you pay for them doesn’t matter.

To get the most out of Facebook advertising, set clear goals.

What do you expect Facebook ads to do for you?

  • Raise brand awareness
  • Bring in leads
  • Retarget interested prospects

Studies by Manta found that 72% of respondents use Facebook to achieve the goal of raising brand awareness. Facebook’s user-generated content and active user participation through likes, share and comments make it a splendid platform for building a new brand from the ground up. For existing businesses, it also gives a nice way of retaining existing customers, as 36% of respondents to the Manta study said.

#2. Unwise use of Content marketing

Facebook Paid ads are not magic wands that can pull out magic rabbits out of hats. They are tactical systems that you must use with the precision of a military weapon. You need content ammo for that.

Content marketing is the force behind the success of Facebook ads. Paid ads give your high-quality content a thrust that will make it visible to a larger audience. So, if your content is of bad quality, even paying a ransom for making it visible is not going to work. As a result, the ROI will fall flat on its face.

To make content marketing work, you must churn out high-quality content and also regularly. Wisemetrics reports that 75% of the engagement you get on your posts happens within the first 5 hours. Here is a chart that shows how the reach, impressions, and engagement pans out throughout the life of a Facebook post.

#3. Targeting the wrong audience

The problem with Facebook ads is that it gives massive reach, but the conversions would still be poor if the right target audience is not selected.

Facebook Ads gives business owners the facility to set the exact preferences of their target audience. You can even set the filters down to specific geographic locations, age, gender, and so on.

If you are going to run Facebook ads with generic audience segmentation, then your ads are bound to fail. You will still get plenty of impressions for your ads, but the conversion rate could still be in the red.

To make a Facebook ad successful you have to hit the sweet spot of the right target audience, the perfect content, ad copy or visual and also testing them continuously.

If you are facing difficulty trying to figure out the right audience for your ad, try using the Audience Insights feature available on Facebook for business.

Image source

#4. Trying hard for cold sales

Facebook is a socializing platform. It is not a marketplace. Period. You can meet people, befriend them and possibly turn them into customers. If you are trying straight away to sell something to someone, it is bound to backfire.

Customers see Facebook as a channel to interact and stay connected with a brand. They are not keen on been sold to. So, quit trying hard for cold sales. Instead, use it as a medium to be visible to customers. For interested prospects, use remarketing to increase their purchase intent. That will help boost the conversion rates of the ads.

As Search Engine People found, such remarketing tactics are 4x more likely to convert than new customers.

Final Thoughts

62% of businesses are unable to get ROI from Facebook ads. Your business need not have to be part of the majority. You can stand out, follow some best practices and make Facebook ads work for you.

Remember, it is not Facebook Ads that is at fault. It is the way that people use it that makes it fail. Use it wisely and it can work for you as a lead generation machine.