The Top Four Mistakes Beginners Make With Their First Facebook Ad Campaign

Love it or hate it, Facebook still brings in 40 percent of annual digital display advertising revenue.

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By Steve Tan

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If you haven't yet started Facebook ads, it's high time you do. Recent statistics from Hootsuite show that the average Facebook user clicks on 11 ads per month. Although many believe Facebook is on the decline after last year's privacy violations came under scrutiny, it still makes up for 40 percent of annual digital display advertising revenue, according to the Pew Research Center. That's second only to one: Google.

With all the opportunity from a Facebook ad campaign, it's a preferred avenue for new business owners ready to get exposure for their product. However, as easy as Facebook Ads Manager makes the ad creation process, there's a great deal of behind-the-scenes work that first needs to be accomplished. In fact, many beginners fall into mistake traps when creating their first campaign. These are the top four most common mistakes to make sure you avoid.

Related: The Complete Guide to Getting Started With Facebook Ads

1. Slacking on the quality of the creatives and the copy

Nowadays, companies that win with ads are those that have the best creative approach. A compelling video, catchy graphic and magnetic copy goes a long way — it gets potential customers to pay attention. Focus your efforts here first, because if you can't get a potential customer to stop their scrolling and actually read or engage with the ad, it doesn't matter if you have the best product in the world. Each is as important as the other. For example, you could invest in a high-quality, colorful photo shoot for a powerful image, but if the copy is weak, a prospective customer will still scroll past.

Fortunately, Facebook also knows how important each component is and made a new tool that helps ad managers and creatives conduct split tests, matching your creatives with your headlines in different combinations. Facebook created Dynamic Creative, in which an ad creator can upload basic parts of their ideal ad (the copy, the images and more), and the system optimizes and tests different combinations for you, as you never fully know how they'll perform until they're tested.

Specifically, testing creative is one of the best ways to boost conversions. According to Nielsen, "49 percent of a brand's sales lift from advertising is due to the creative." There are some headlines and video creatives that can generate a few hundred percent more in ROI.

Related:Don't Even Think About Facebook Ads Until You Have These 5 Things In Place

2. Not knowing your objective

It's great if you want to use an ad campaign to spark more awareness about your business or product, but this is really more an implicit consequence of running ads. Get clear on what your main objective is from running them, which is important not only for how you create the ads themselves, but also for what you select as your ad objective on Facebook. This objective determines how the Facebook algorithm shows ads to audiences. If the objective hasn't been pinpointed, it's likely that Facebook will deliver the ads to the wrong audience, and you won't get the results that you were planning on. This is one of the easiest ways to sabotage your ads.

So, what is the objective of your ad campaign? What do you want your customers to do? Is it subscribing to your mailing list? Actually purchasing a product? Booking a demo appointment? This can also factor into the call-to-action that you place within the ad, as customers sometimes need direction as to what your objectives are, too.

Related: 5 Forbidden Phrases You Absolutely Must Avoid in Your Facebook Ad

3. Making typos or grammatical errors in ad copy

This sounds obvious, but double, triple and quadruple check the copy for your ads. Typos are an ad killer. Website Planet conducted an experiment to see just how detrimental the presence of typos can be. It found that while the results differed by country (because of language barriers), in the U.S., marketers pay up to 10 percent more for their ad spend when they have a typo — and in the U.K., 20 percent more for typos and 72 percent more for grammatical errors.

It doesn't matter that we make typos and mistakes all the time in writing quick emails or even in our personal Instagram page captions. How you portray yourself and your company in an ad matters. What would you think of a company that had a very obvious, glaring typo in its ad copy? Would you still buy from it, even if you really were interested in its product or service? Even if it doesn't matter much to you, it does give many customers pause, because the question becomes: "What's the quality of this company's work if they can't double check the writing they invested in?"

Related: 5 Simple Steps to Recover a Disabled Facebook Ads Account

4. Having too broad of a target audience

Not narrowing down your audience targeting enough is another common mistake — also made from the desire for exposure. It's understandable: You don't want to cut off a potential demographic that would be interested. For example, if you're selling a service that reviews grad school applications, you don't want to limit your target audience to the typical age range for grad school applicants just in case there are a few stragglers applying earlier or later.

However, too broad of a target audience can end up costing you both time and money. Black Tie Marketing noted that one of the surefire ways to know that your target is too broad is by surveying the leads you currently have coming through your funnel. Do you get on a phone call with someone and find out that they actually aren't a qualified lead more often than not? Or, are you getting good impressions and clicks but little follow through? Niche down, in that case. It may diminish the reach, but if you're reaching more qualified prospects, it's worth it — both for your time and theirs.

My best advice is to start by investing time and research on that first ad campaign, then tweak from there. Go deep by perfecting the ad, create urgency and a clear action plan for interested leads, get more eyeballs on it to avoid typos or poorly written sentences and make sure you're targeting the right demographic, even if it's smaller than you thought.

Steve Tan

CEO of LeapVista

A serial entrepreneur with over 14 years of ecommerce experience, Steve Tan has founded several startups. Tan is also the CEO of LeapVista, an education company that offers transformative mentoring and world-class ecommerce education.

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