4 Common Mistakes That Could Be Hurting Ad Performance

Mistakes that could be hurting your ad performance

You’ve built your campaigns. Your creative is top notch. You’re using audiences that you know have worked well for you in the past. You’ve optimised your landing page and everything seems great.

But… things just don’t seem to be performing as you expected. You keep making adjustments to your campaign to see if it helps – but nothing seems to be working. You were so sure this campaign would resonate well with your audience, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Sound familiar?

You will often hear Facebook being described as a bit of a ‘black box’. Sometimes you can think you’ve got everything bang on and be so sure it will deliver strong results, and then results end up being pretty underwhelming.

When you find yourself in this situation, don’t stress. It’s true that it’s difficult to understand why some campaigns just don’t perform to expectations. However, there are a few common mistakes that people make without even realising – and that could be costing you!

That’s why I’ve outlined 4 common mistakes that could be hurting your ad performance, and could be the reason why your amazing campaign isn’t delivering amazing results!

1. Not allowing ad sets to exit the learning phase

So… you set your campaign live two days ago, you haven’t seen as many purchases as you expect. Next steps would be to try something new to see if it performs, right? STOP. RIGHT. THERE.

Making changes to your ads just 2 days in will re-set the learning phase, and during the learning phase performance is known to fluctuate as Facebook is collecting data. If you changed creative every 2 days, you would be in a constant cycle of re-setting the learning phase, meaning Facebook is unable to reach optimal performance.

To exit the learning phase, Facebook needs to receive 50 purchases within 7 days. Therefore, whenever you set a campaign you should wait at least 7 days before making any changes, even if it seems to be under-performing to your expectations!

If it’s been 7 days and your ad set still hasn’t reached 50 conversions, you might want to review your budget. Is your daily budget high enough to reach that number of conversions? If you think it is, then only then is it time to review the creative and makes changes to your campaign

2. Only having one ad in an ad set

NEVER have only one ad in an ad set alone. You should always have multiple ads in an ad set, I recommend 3-5. Try and have at least 2 different piece of creative, and ensure you use different variations of copy and headlines.

Why? One piece of creative that appeals to some people, might not necessarily appeal to another. So having variations of ads will help to appeal to more of your target audience. If you only had 1 ad, how do you know whether that will appeal to your audience? If it doesn’t then there’s nothing else for Facebook to work with, so you will waste budget pushing this piece of creative that just isn’t working.

Additionally, Facebook will always optimise towards the best performing. So it’s always best to have slight variations of ads so that Facebook can find which one resonates best with your audience.

3. Too many ads and too many ad sets

On the flip side, it’s also bad practise to have too many ads in an ad set. For example, if you have different ad variations but end up with about 10 ads in your ad set – this is way too many! Although it’s important to have variation, having too many ads in an ad set can lead to wasted budget as budget is spread too thinly.

Similarly, you shouldn’t have too many ad sets in a campaign (especially when using campaign budget optimisation). This will mean that some ad sets struggle to exit the learning phase and can’t reach optimal performance as there isn’t enough budget being spent in each ad set.

Simplicity is key here, so try and consolidate your campaigns into as few as possible. It’s better to have your budget spread over 1-2 ad sets than 5-6. And stick to the recommended 3-5 ads per ad set.

4. Your audiences are overlapping

Finally, the last common mistake people make is having their audiences overlap with each other. Audience overlap can mean that some of your ad sets will be competing with each other in the auction, and can affect delivery of your campaigns.

You should ensure your exclusions are in place to avoid this happening. For example, you may be targeting two different lookalike audiences to reach new people. Ensure you exclude these from one another so there is no cross-over.

You should also exclude previous buyers and site visitors from campaigns targeting new customers. These consumers should be picked up in a separate re-marketing campaign and treated differently to cold prospecting audiences. If you don’t have these exclusions in place, consumers may receive multiple marketing messages that could be confusing for them.

Do you want to learn more about paid social medias ads and using Facebook Ads Manager? We have a Facebook Ads Manager webinar you can watch and learn more about the tool.

Kelly Birnie
Hey, I'm Kelly! I'm currently working as a Senior Paid Media Executive at a global e-commerce company, working in the health & wellness division. I have been working here since I graduated from Lancaster University in 2018, where I studied Business Economics and gained initial industry experience at a leading beauty company. I am obsessed with all things beauty and wellness, and although still quite early in my career, I am very excited to grow in this industry and share the knowledge I have!