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10 Reasons Why Your Facebook Ads are Underperforming

DATE PUBLISHED: May 21, 2014

To be blunt, the sheer existence of a Facebook ad doesn't mean it will succeed. Perhaps you yourself have experienced this dilemma. The benefits of Facebook advertising seemed evident and you signed up with high hopes. Yet the results have been disappointing. Leads and conversions are static. You've failed to attract new "Likes." And overall engagement with followers is down. You’re not alone.

Fortunately, hope is not lost. Your Facebook advertising efforts can be salvaged, and the first step in doing so is to find out what you're doing wrong. With that in mind, here are 10 reasons why your Facebook ads are underperforming:

1. Your ads are placed in the right-hand column. Location matters when it comes to Facebook ads, and ads that are embedded in users' news feed perform much better than those in the right-hand column. Screen Shot 2014 05 20 at 3.27.22 PM

2. Your image is boring. People respond to compelling images, so it may be time to take a hard look at your current image. Is it a common stock photo? Does it resonate with buyer personas? Is it simply corny? Experiment with other images.

3. Your copy is flat. You ad should include a strong and powerful call-to-action that specifically does two things: first, tell the visitor what they'll get by clicking; and two, tell the visitor how their lives will improve by clicking.

4. You ignore metrics. Facebook makes it very easy to track your ad's performance. If after a few days or so visitors aren't clicking, you need to mix things up. The longer you run an ineffective ad, the more money you're wasting. In other words, check your performance daily.

5. You're not reaching the right visitors. If you're a solar panel company in Sacramento, make sure you're not advertising to local 20-year olds or 45-year olds in Phoenix when you set up the ad.

6. You're not engaging visitors. Sometimes the most effective ads are those that actively ask visitors a question or to express an opinion. This approach is particularly helpful when running a contest. So your copy can say, "Tell us your favorite one-day road trip in Sonoma County - win a $50 gift certificate!"

7. You're not experimenting with capital letters. ALL CAPS can be disruptive and annoying, however, sometime this approach can work on a cluttered interface like Facebook where you'll need to stick out. Experiment with placing text like CLICK HERE in your copy.

8. Your brand is nowhere to be seen. Many ineffective ads may have a nice photo, but no superimposed text with the company name included. Visitors need to make the visual connection between the photo and your brand name.

9. You aren't dialing up the urgency. Perhaps your ad copy seems just too plain and commonplace. Successful ads accentuate the uniqueness of their pitch by dropping phrases like "for a limited time" and "exclusive offer."

10. You're not explicit in what you're offering. If you're offering a free 14-day trial, make sure the ad says so. In fact, experiment with copy that includes numbers like "5-minute set-up" or "7 day no-risk trial." This approach makes the offer more real and tangible in the eyes of visitors.

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