Ads not working? It's not you, it's your ad account
We covered when your website is the reason your ads aren’t working. But you checked all the site elements and your ads are still more disappointing than realizing they got your order wrong as you drive away from the drive-thru. Here’s how to identify ad or ad account issues and what to do about them.
Proper campaign structure
Having the proper campaign structure is crucial to the success of your Facebook and Instagram ads. When we structure our clients’ ad accounts, we structure them according to a tiered approach. Typically, it’s three tiers:
- Top of funnel: Cold traffic, interest-based, and lookalike audiences. One of the issues we see most frequently when doing an ad account audit is that people think a lookalike audience falls within a retargeting audience. And it does not.
Facebook lets you upload a customer file or create a lookalike audience based on pixel events, page engagements, etc. It analyzes all the data points associated with that collection of people, then outputs an audience that most resembles those people. So usually, these are people who have not interacted with your brand before.
- Middle of funnel: People who have interacted with you to some degree but haven’t taken the next step. So they’ve liked a page post, commented on an ad, shared a page post, or even messaged your page. After this interaction, they are retargeted with different ads.
- Bottom of funnel: This is typically where the gold happens and where you see the highest return on ad spend (ROAS). These are high-intent audiences that have viewed specific pages on your website, added to cart, initiated checkout, or previously purchased from you before.
Our ad audits usually show that clients only target top of funnel audiences. With most businesses, top of funnel delivers 1 – 1.5 x ROAS at best. With a middle of funnel audience, you can expect anywhere between 3 – 10 x ROAS. But bottom of funnel audiences deliver between 5 – 20 x ROAS, picking up the slack from the top of funnel campaigns that aren’t performing as well.
The reason for this is that most people need several impressions of interacting with a brand or seeing a brand before they’re ready to buy. Unless you have a very high impulse buy product, most people aren’t going to buy after the first contact. So, if you’re just doing top of funnel ad campaign targeting, and you’re losing out on a lot of sales by not having middle of funnel and bottom of funnel retargeting actions up.
Base ads on action taken
Within our different funnel stages, we also divide according to how long ago somebody took action. Say someone took action within seven days, they’re going to see a completely different grouping of ads and ad creatives than if they took action within the past 11 – 30 days.
Basically, the goal is to tailor content and ad creatives in such a way that you’re following the user throughout the buying cycle and addressing their current point in the journey. This ability to retarget is what makes Facebook and Instagram ads more successful compared to Google Ads that only allow a few specific target keywords.
Tailoring ad copy and creative to granular audiences
If your product is meant for a very specific, granular audience (like how anti-aging cream will have an audience that skews towards female and older/middle-aged), ad targeting becomes even more essential. You really have to drill down on your buying persona and determine who is an ideal fit for your product. What are their interests? Who do they follow? Where do they shop? This is what helps you narrow down and get granular with your ideal customer. It also helps cut down on wasted ad spend and skyrocket ROAS.
Aside from getting granular and clear on your audience, you also need to focus your copywriting. Paint a picture, tell a story, ramp up their pain points, emphasize the benefits, and trial which approach resonates the best with your audience. And the only way you’re going to be able to determine that is through split testing.
Split test what works and what doesn’t
If you’ve got a product image on a plain white background, and those are your only ads, you’re not going to stand out from the crowd or break through the noise of the news feed. You have to have proper lifestyle images, video content, and all of the foundational creatives and then split test all of those elements.
Split testing buying personas copy angles, video testimonials, lifestyle images, product images, and every other detail of your campaign is what eventually sets you up for success.