6 Budget-Wasting Mistakes to Avoid on Facebook & Instagram

December 11th, 2019 in Performance Marketing 4 minute read

We work with a range of clients who all benefit from different strategies for their Facebook and Instagram Advertising. However, when taking on existing accounts or completing audits we often see the same mistakes that are easily avoidable. I’ve rounded up 6 of the most common culprits that could be impacting your campaign’s performance and wasting precious budget.

  1. The CTA doesn’t match the objective

Easily overlooked but consistently one of the most important aspects of any ad to get right is the CTA. Naturally, you want to make sure it complements your objective. If you’re running an ad with the objective to drive traffic to a website, it doesn’t make much sense to choose the ‘Buy Now’ CTA. A softer sell CTA like ‘Learn More’ is more likely to encourage a click and improve the performance of this ad. Assuming the content on the landing page is fit for purpose, of course. Consider where the audience is in the purchase journey and what action they will feel most comfortable taking.

  1. Using the ‘Right Hand Column’ Placement

Facebook 'right hand column' ad placement

This ad placement is the one which sits along the right-hand side of the Facebook newsfeed. Sounds like a prime spot right? Here’s the catch. It’s only visible on desktop. And since Sprout Social reports ‘96% of active Facebook accounts worldwide accessing the social network via mobile devices’, for most brands this placement offers little more than a drain on your budget.

  1. Using ‘people who are in’ instead of ‘people who live in’ setting for location targeting

Another common mistake involves spending your budget serving ads to people who will never convert. When it comes to location targeting, check you’re using the correct settings. For example, if you were targeting the UK, but use the setting ‘everyone in this location’ you could be showing ads to people who are visiting the UK and aren’t the right audience for your products. Just by selecting ‘people who live in this location’ you’ll ensure ads are being shown to people Facebook knows live in the UK. It’s a super simple fix to an issue that could be holding back your campaign’s success.

  1. Not using different sized creatives for different placements

Size ratios

We’re always wary when we see ads selected to run on ‘All Placements’ using creative in only one size. As you can imagine, this means your ads will not look the same in every part of Facebook they appear. It’s best practice to always preview the ad on each placement you’ve selected to ensure it displays how you want it to. A common example of this is using Instagram Stories and the Facebook Newsfeed placements but using the same image for both. Ideally, the image size for a Facebook Image Ad is 1200 x 628 pixels, whereas an Instagram Story Ad should be 1080 x 1920 pixels for maximum effectiveness.

  1. Ads not being optimised for mobile devices

I’ve touched on this already, but most people who use Facebook and Instagram will be using the App on their tablet or mobile and therefore every ad should be built and optimised with this in mind. Here are 3 of the most common mistakes we see.

  • The ad copy isn’t legible. We can’t stress enough the importance of previewing ads on mobile to ensure that the copy is clear and gets the message across without truncating.
  • Videos ads don’t use subtitles. When people watch videos, they usually have their phones on silent. It’s therefore best practice to include subtitles to ensure your audience can still understand the message of the video and will continue to drive up the views.
  • Single image newsfeed ads not making use of portrait framing. Using portrait images takes up more of the newsfeed. Generally, the more ad space you have to play with, the more effective your ad. And the more likely the user is to interact with it.
  1. Not using the split test tool for testing

Nailing every campaign the first time is hard work. But it doesn’t have to be. Testing different creatives, messaging, and targeting is part and parcel of understanding how your audience behaves. That’s why Facebook kindly provides a split test feature which allows you to A/B test ads alongside each other and get a clear picture of which ads perform best. You can then take these learnings into future campaigns and avoid making assumptions without evidence. This is the basic principle behind making data-driven decisions that get results.

If you’d be interested in learning more about how to implement the best social ad strategy and avoid these mistakes, we’d love to hear from you. 

Equally, if you already have a strategy but feel like it could be working harder, our free, no-obligation audit will help you understand what’s working and what’s not.

Learn more here, or email info@wehavezeal.com and we’ll get the ball rolling.

More from the Blog