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7 Mistakes You’re Making With Facebook Ads

Posted on: April 9, 2018

In today's world, Facebook ads is the battle ground for advertisers.

"You should Advertise on Facebook!" They said. 

"It's Simple!" They said. 


Maybe back when your grandma was JUST getting on Facebook it was easy.

But now, grandma's 3 week old pug has it's own fanpage.

So today, you're competing against a dog for attention AND money, (because of course she has cool light up collars to sell you in exchange for all the feels).

So the question isn't "should I be on Facebook?" It's, "how can I be profitable on Facebook"?

Well, below are the 7 most common mistakes I find consistently across our clients, and even of advertisements I see personally.

Take these points and make sure your ads don't have these mistakes.

So my eternal blessing for you: May your glamorous plumbing service company beat light-up collars on a pug each day...😉

1. Your visual representation is poor

Everyone judges on you on first impression.

Your shirt is wrinkled. If you forgot to comb your hair, and your beard looks like you are the Geico Caveman, then your'e going to have a hard time convincing others your credibility as a personal stylist.

In the same fashion, if you have an image ad that looks like it was made with Microsoft Paint, chances are everyone else will notice, and quickly disregard your authority.

Here's the Test: Is your image or video something you would look at if you were casually scrolling on Facebook? If the answer if no, then start again.

There is good news though.

Even if you aren't a photoshop guru, there are great online services like to make images from preset templates, and there are beautiful free images you can download from

2. Your CTA isn't clear

As an advertiser AND consumer I get frustrated when I see an ad that has a great message (talks to exactly my problems/wishes), the image is visually compelling, but when I get to the end of the copy or video, they aren't clear on what they have to offer that would compel me to take an action.

But, without fail, they have the Facbook call-to-action button asking me to "Download" or "Subscribe".

What am I downloading?!

What am I subscribing to? Is it another advertisement?

I just don't know...

3. You are asking people to take the wrong action

When you bump carts with the perfect girl at the grocery store, your first words to her shouldn't be "will you marry me?".


You first have a conversation, share a few laughs, then you ask her on a date. On the date, you get to know each other even better than before.

You start dating, then a year later (or 5), you then ask her to marry you. Then she will say yes (maybe).

See the difference?

Your casual Facbook visitor dorking around isn't waiting to get married with the next person who asks, much less buy your product when they don't know why you are the one they should buy from.

Bottom Line: Engage with your audience by baby stepping them through your relationship. Don't ask for a purchase right away, offer them a free PDF or free session with you one on one so they can get to know you.

4. You don't recognize that REAL people are looking at your ad

For the longest time, I never thought about the person on the other end of the screen, and what they were experiencing.

I thought that as long as I had the attention getting headlines everyone used, or the scarcity tactic to get them to buy, my job as a marketer was done.

I couldn't have been far from the truth.

Similar to my advice about checking your own images before you post, you need to understand it is in fact other people like you scrolling through Facebook, trying to find the next FAIL video to be entertained by.

Quick tip: Install HotJar. It is a tracking tool that can show you recordings of mouse movement on your website. It will certainly helps you see how people interact with your site.

5. Your Audience is small/too large

Unless your'e selling toilet paper, where your market could be EVERYBODY, if you have a target audience of 3 MILLION PEOPLE, your Facebooking wrong.

Just yesterday, I saw an ad on my Facebook feed of a marketing company. In the ad, they showed a video that was all about their expertise on marketing Law Offices.

Now, for those of us still waking up, let's dig into this and try to find out what's wrong with the picture here.. 

Dummy Move #1: I already have my own marketing company, so why would I need their services?

Not Interested. 

Dummy Move #2: I don't own a Law Office. Why do I care how well you advertised a Law Office?

Not Interested. Move along. 

So the moral of the story is, it's really easy to market to everyone, but why would you?

In contrast, if you have to few people (less than 10,000), you will never get your product off the ground. Your ad will quickly reek of ad fatigue (the same audience seeing your ad multiple times and getting tired of it).

At that point, Facebook wins the lottery by charging you 2x  the normal amount to get in front of the people who don't really care...

What's the bottom line? 

Know your audience well.

It is usually better to error on the side of a more specific audience, or specific need than to just open your ad to all who visit Facebook.

6. Your Ads aren't Fresh

You know the best about dieting is getting to eat the exact same thing every meal, right?

Monday: Chicken and Vegetables

Tuesday: Chicken and Vegetables

Wednesday: Chicken and Vegetables

Thursday: Chicken and Vegetables

Friday: Chicken and Vegetables

Saturday: Chicken and Vegetables



Well the same goes for your ads. If your ad frequency is going above the 3.0 or higher range, there's a good chance you need to switch up your ads.

Typically after seeing an ad that much, it cost SIGNIFICANTLY more to get in front of your same target audience again.

People want to see new stuff-so give the people what they want!

7. You don't ask for an action each time

It's easy to get confused when your hear advice like:

"it's better to baby step people through building a connection with you, THEN ask for something" (lookup #3).

So, what do you do? You don't put up a CTA at all.

"Brand Awareness is key! I just want everyone to know about how cool I am, then I'll ask them for the sale!".

STOP IT. I can't hear you over the screeching of the nails on the blackboard.

Do you know how quickly people forgot your ad? Even if it was valuable, they will find another guy to give value somewhere else.

They will forget you were the coolest guy on Facebook within days, if not hours.

Ask for an action every time.

"But James, I don't want to seem too aggressive and scare those somewhat interested away! I want to nurture the lead first".

I AGREE. Make your call to action to watch another video then.

It doesn't have to be buy my product, or download my kewl PDF, but it can simply be showing a link to another video. There you can blow them away AGAIN. Then, ask for something more.

I hope you had a couple aha moments while reading these 7 mistakes.

If you want to learn more about marketing, be sure to check out our blog.

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