7 Costly Facebook Ad Mistakes (+ How To Avoid Them)

7 Costly Facebook Ad Mistakes (+ How To Avoid Them)


Facebook Ads has been around almost a decade and it has seen many iterations. There are many best practices, new features constantly being added and it is easier than ever for a campaign to fail to meet its goals.

facebook ad mistakes ice cream cone

This post will cover seven common errors advertisers make when running Facebook Ads.

  1. Letting your ad creative get stale.
  2. Optimizing for the wrong goal.
  3. Failure to comprehend budget controls.
  4. Over segmenting audiences.
  5. Avoiding audience overlaps
  6. Instead of customizing, control placements.
  7. Failure to nurture the top of the funnel audience to the bottom of the funnel.

Each mistake will be explained and resources provided.

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These 7 Facebook Ad Mistakes Are Avoidable

Some of the best lessons we learn are from mistakes. They don’t have to be yours, but who says? These are some of the most common mistakes I have seen that you can take away.

1. Letting your ad creative get stale

Are you a Facebook user who felt that you saw the same ads repeatedly? We have all felt it. It is not fun for you so why make it painful for your audience?

Not only can ad fatigue cause your performance with those assets to decline, but you’re also creating negative mental associations with your brand in your potential customers’ minds.

Although making new creative is likely one of the more time-consuming actions for social ads, there are some ways to help cut down on the time it takes to churn out more ad creatives:

Take a look around to find inspiration

You can get great ideas by looking at similar Facebook ads. The ads don’t even have to be from your industry or vertical as you’re mostly looking for layout, tone, and creative ideas. Facebook has its own page aptly named Facebook Ads Inspiration, but there are also lots of blog posts out there from agencies you can find with a simple Google Search.

facebook ads mistakes--Facebook Inspiration tool

Image source

Stock images can be used

I have seen one misconception that creative must be unique and original. Although that certainly is the dream, it’s not the case when there are plenty of sites that curate free or low-cost stock imagery for reuse. Stock photography can be used in creatives. Some of it is actually very good.







Leverage design tools

There are still many options if you don’t have the time or know how to use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Sites like Canva, my personal favorite, allow you to use premade templates to design new Facebook ads in just a few quick clicks. The interface is very user-friendly and can save tons of time.

facebook ads mistakes--canva facebook ad templates

Look into creative marketplaces

If you simply don’t have the time to churn out new creatives, even with stock photography and easy tools like Canva, it might make sense for you to look into a service like Design Pickle. There are many tiers available that will allow you to get creative ideas on a regular basis for a very low price.

For more ways to get creative with your creative, check out our seven free tools to design Facebook ads like a pro.

2. Optimizing for the wrong goal

Facebook offers many ways to optimize for your goals. For some people, this can be confusing.

facebook ads mistakes--list of facebook ad objectives

There are many optimization and delivery adjustments that can be made at ad set level.

facebook ads mistakes--optimization and delivery tab

You can choose the level of optimization you want in a Conversions campaign by selecting from the drop-down menu above. Depending on your goals, ensure you choose the right actions. To help you ensure you have the correct settings, the video above will show you all of the options available for each campaign type.

3. Fail to grasp the nuances of budget control

Facebook offers some of the most extensive options for budget management in digital advertising. Although these options are great for experienced advertisers, they can prove confusing for newbies.

facebook ads mistakes--budget and schedule tab

Daily budgets, for example, help balance out spend to be consistent day over day, but while your campaigns will still try and gain as many of your conversion objectives as possible, it will also work to spend your entire budget each day regardless of conversion performance.







While lifetime budgets can help you optimize in days for your goals but they don’t always achieve the daily target spend, it makes it more difficult to keep up with your goals.

This is not to mention the use of ad scheduling tools and other tools.

If your Facebook campaigns are not producing the results you desire or you feel you are not getting the best value for your money, you should consult this post. This post will help you understand the nuances of each type of budgeting and set you up for success.

4. Over-segmenting audiences

If you come from a Search background, odds are you like to have pretty clean campaign structures with highly segmented campaigns and ad groups so you’re able to optimize for what is and isn’t working. I know that I do.

Sometimes, however, too tight a grip on your audience can lead to Facebook being a problem. We need to make sure that Facebook has enough data to continue to see success, just like objective optimization.

If you’re segmenting your audiences too far and putting them into different ad sets, you’ll likely never get out of Facebook’s learning phase.

This can lead to you missing key performance indicators and under-serving your audience.

You’ll also pay more CPMs if your audience on Facebook is smaller than you think. It’s also more costly to reach the same audience when you break down targeting options into 10 different ads sets, rather than just 3-4.

Try to keep your audience mappings as logical as possible. But don’t make them too narrow. The account may vary.I usually shoot for between 2-40 million users depending on the target audience.Keep things simple and provide enough performance data for Facebook to optimize.

5. 5.

You don’t have to segment your audience, but that doesn’t mean you are infallible. You are also free to err on one side of the spectrum.

With all of the different targeting options Facebook has, it can be easy to build out tons of different audiences trying to reach the same users. Users can fall into different targeting options, and depending on how your setup is set up, could end up in different groups.

There are a few reasons this can be problematic:

  • It is not always clear which targeting options work best.. Facebook allows users to convert from different audiences.
  • Creative fatigue can strike much faster.If you are serving ads to multiple ad groups or campaigns, this is important. We will only see frequency numbers for a specific campaign or ad set, so it can be difficult to understand saturation at different levels.
facebook ads mistakes--audience overlap feature








6. Instead of customizing, control placements

Your ads may appear in multiple places on the internet because of the huge reach of Instagram and Facebook.

It can be tempting for users to choose the place where your ad will appear when they reach the Placements section of the ad set control. This is not always the best decision.

facebook ads mistakes--placement portion of ad set controls tab

First, your audience will remain the same no matter where you place your ads. People worry that if you show ads on the Audience Network, you will be targeting new users. This is simply not true. Your audience will continue to rely on the same targeting options that you have.

facebook ads mistakes--evergreen-prospecting

The second is that removing placements leaves Facebook with fewer options to achieve the results you desire. Facebook may serve ads to the same audience in a lower-volume, lower-cost placement. This can increase your incremental revenue. This campaign is low-service, but it delivers great results that we couldn’t have seen otherwise, as can be seen in the above image.

Be present in all places first and then customize from there

This problem can be overcome by showing up in all placements at first and using Facebook tools that allow for you to personalize your ads according to each placement. This will ensure that your creatives look great no matter where they appear and allows you to make data-driven decisions about which placements to keep or avoid.







7. Failure to nurture the top of funnel audience to the bottom of funnel

A lack of follow up is the biggest mistake I see on Facebook. Facebook has tons of different campaign objectives, each with their own unique focus, but in the best accounts, all of these campaigns work in concert with each other to create a full buyer journey.

You can leverage Reach, Engagement or Video Views campaigns for brand awareness. Ideally, you will be creating remarketing lists from users who engaged with those campaigns, and then targeting them with a lower-level call to action.

facebook ads mistakes--marketing funnel

You could ask them for lead generation forms for gated content or ungated content. Or you could simply invite them to your site and ask for a demo.

Let’s face it, online marketing is all about getting more customers. So if you spend time building your top-of-funnel, why not nurture them through the stages that generate revenue?

Learn how to create a full-funnel Facebook strategy here.

full funnel facebook ads account structure

These Facebook advertising mistakes can help you reach your goals.

Although there are many things that you can do on Facebook, almost all of them are simple solutions. You should not make these mistakes if you notice that your Facebook campaigns are not performing as well as they could.

Instead of making these errors, make sure you do the following:

  1. You can use tools such as Facebook Ads Inspiration, canvas or stock photos to inspire new creativity.
  2. You must have a clear understanding about campaign objectives in order to make the right optimizations.
  3. You need to be able to understand the nuances involved in budget control.
  4. To collect sufficient data, keep your target audience between 2-40 million users
  5. To ensure that you are not serving identical ads to multiple users, use the Audience Overlap tool.
  6. Start with all placements, and refine your work once you have collected enough data.
  7. Your campaigns should be set up so that each part of the buyer journey is different.