5 reasons your Facebook ads aren’t converting and how to improve them

Your Facebook advertising campaign is not generating enough conversions? Here are some creative fixes to dramatically increase your conversion rate.

Advertising on Facebook is one of the best tools available for audience research and promoting your brand.

But even experienced digital marketers can run into issues with their Facebook ad campaigns; namely transforming targeted traffic into conversions.

In my digital marketing business, we recently encountered an issue while conducting a digital marketing campaign for a physiotherapist.

Despite creating highly targeted ads that generated the desired impression rate and clicks, our ads did not generate the conversions we wanted.

In this particular case, the client had changed their business model to no longer press for referrals from local doctors in the area and instead relied solely on digital marketing.

The biggest problem our campaign quickly ran into was getting to the right customers at the right time for that small group of intentions that we might encounter.

Think about it, when you have an accident or chronic pain, you usually go to a doctor before going to a physical therapist. Sure, we could educate customers and they could click, but how were we supposed to get them in?

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Fortunately, by changing our offerings, our value proposition, and even the very event we were advertising, we were ultimately able to attract high value foot traffic to our client’s physiotherapy company.

The campaign itself was quickly used as a nomination for several awards in the industry.

Facebook advertising, in conjunction with PPC advertising, is a powerful tool with a huge return on investment. But to generate a return, you need sales.

Here are five reasons your Facebook ad campaign isn’t generating enough conversions and some creative fixes to dramatically increase your conversion rate.

1. You don’t have enough audience data

Unlike Google Ads, Facebook audiences require you to pass judgment on your customers and do some upstream research before creating a campaign.

Customers don’t come to your ads; you come to them.

First of all, many companies start their campaigns too narrowly.

If your customer has a new business and very little information to share with you, start with a massive brand awareness campaign optimized for the lowest CPC available.

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Here, you can start with around half a million impressions with a modest expense and collect valuable engagement data, such as who clicks on your ads and what people, if any, convert.

Facebook is a great tool in that it allows you to download valuable data, such as all customer email information in your business and data on all your purchases from the last 30 days.

Here are some additional areas for acquiring audience data:

  • Google Ads and Microsoft Ads PPC campaign data (for example, contact details).
  • Competitive analysis (all advertising channels).
  • Census for local demographic information.
  • Real-time analyzes on your site and your marketing channels.
  • Site surveys and questionnaires.
  • Psychographic information from the people who “like” your business.

You can even use specific pixels for people who visit your site and click on your ads and don’t convert.

As with any advertising, the best way to find your customers is to cast a net wide and see where you’ve gone wrong.

2. Your targeting settings need more optimization

The most important part of any campaign is audience building. Unfortunately, poorly optimized targeting settings can lead to wasted ad spend.

Think about it; a poorly timed event match could be the difference between someone buying new jewelry from your business as their birthday approaches or just parading it on another day of the year.

Worse yet, many companies go too far with their targeting and misrepresent device usage.

To reduce targeting errors and hyper-focus your metrics, create a buyer persona and upload all the relevant details you can into your custom audiences.

Segment your buyer personality based on three limits:

  • Demographics (age, sex, race, income, location, etc.).
  • Psychography (interests, tastes and lifestyle).
  • Behavior (shares, comments, engagement and buying habits).

Facebook is also taking granularity to the next level.

For example, Facebook can help you target baby equipment ads to people who were recently pregnant or have had a baby. It is based on the personal information its users choose to share and all of the information above, such as which pages they liked and which posts they engaged with the most.

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With this, you can get your message across on a par with the people most likely to appeal to your business.

3. Facebook users are not buyers

And yet, despite all of the above, your Facebook users are not converting.

But unlike Google Ads, Facebook users don’t use the platform to shop. They use Facebook to interact with their friends and family and share content.

You’ve probably signed up with a Sponsored Post, but haven’t actually made a purchase many times. You may have bought from the brand later, but most people don’t necessarily intend to make a purchase when they click on your ad, especially from a mobile device.

In the example I gave at the start, my team used this knowledge to drastically change our approach.

Instead, we changed our value proposition and lead form to simply get people to attend a workshop hosted by our client before actually committing to a consultation.

When conversions are low, consider using Facebook lead ads, video ads, or even dynamic ads to drive people into your funnel.

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4. You don’t segment ad campaigns

Your ad creative and message will only apply to certain segments of your audience.

If your ads are getting a lot of impressions, but few clicks and even fewer conversions, consider implementing split A / B testing.

Experiment with:

  • Messaging.
  • Advertising creation.
  • Images.
  • Copy of the landing page.
  • Audience segments.

Creating distinct audiences based on different conversion goals and past engagements can help you create hyper-targeted messages that resonate more.

5. Problems Run Deeper in Your Funnel

If people click on your ads and don’t convert, there may be issues with your website or landing page that go deeper than your ad copy.

The problems can come from:

  • Inconsistent messages.
  • Bad experience and loading times.
  • Thin content.
  • Unattractive value offer.

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Track your conversions using the conversion pixel and your bounce rate using Google Analytics.

Here are some landing page optimization tactics to solve a low conversion goal rate:

  • Insertion of high resolution images and interactive content to maintain user engagement.
  • Present a clear CTA with an offer (e.g. 50% off now or 1st month free subscription).
  • Removal of additional or unnecessary navigation.

How to improve Facebook ad conversion rates

  • Target users based on previous purchases.
  • Use Lookalike Audiences to extend the reach of your campaign after you convert.
  • Take advantage of event targeting for specials and events.
  • Adjust your value proposition to appeal to different sensitive points of the audience.
  • Take advantage of remarketing for people who bounce to your landing page.
  • Layer targeting settings for more granularity.
  • Continue to learn more about your customers.

Sometimes it’s helpful to look at your business model and determine whether or not advertising on Facebook is right for you or your client’s business.

Using a combined approach of paid social media, PPC advertising, and remarketing can help you acquire leads and nurture them for conversions by reaching them through a variety of channels.

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Image credits: Paulo bobita

About William Stockman

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