You just set up your first Facebook ad campaign, picked a budget, wrote some copy, selected a few images, then a week goes by… maybe two… but no leads. You think your ads seems great, and you are getting clicks, but no one seems to be converting. What’s the issue?

If you are going through a scenario like this, you aren’t alone. Facebook can be an amazingly effective advertising tool when utilized well, but can be a big cash burner if you don’t know how to optimize Facebook ads. Take a look at the 3 top things I focus on when trying to beef up under-performing ads –targeting, ad content, and your landing page.

Narrow Down Your Targeting

One of the biggest challenges, but also most powerful tools, in Facebook advertising is targeting. If your ads aren’t getting in front of the right people, you will waste dollar after dollar on clicks that aren’t converting. If you’re a credit union trying to get more home loan applications, chances are that a 75 year old retiree is not going to be among your typical clientele – so don’t waste any money showing ads to them. Instead, narrow your targeting down as much as you can by demographic (while still staying in 6 digit potential reach estimates).

If you aren’t completely sure who your target client is, run some split tests to determine the age range, income level, marital status, location, etc. of who is the most likely to convert at the lowest cost. Facebook’s new split test feature allows you to evenly test an ad to groups with one variable in each test. For example, you can show the same ad to 25-35 year olds and to 35-45 year olds to easily see which age group responds better. Test and test until you’ve come up with a fairly specific person to target. 30-35 year old married women who graduated from college will still be a huge amount of people to advertise to. Only spend your valuable ad dollars on those who have the best possible change of converting.

Test Your Ad Content

Video, carousal, or single image? The ad type that performs best can vary based on your product or service. In general, carousals and videos are preferred over images, but a really killer single image can still compete well.

What’s the best way to find out what sort of ad, and what content is the most effective? Split test! Run however many tests you need to feel like you’ve landed on the best ad to get you good leads and a low cost per result. I would start by testing a video against a carousal against a single image. Then, once you’ve decided on the format, test out different copy to accompany the ad, or perhaps different videos or images against each other.

Once you have the best performing ad, pair it with your best demographic, and you should have a winning combination.

How is Your Landing Page?

If you settle on a great ad and find your best demographic, but your clicks still aren’t converting, the next thing to check is your landing page. Are you driving clickers to a page with a clear purpose? Does the page match the content and vibe of your ad? Poor conversions could be due to not having a clear call-to-action on the landing page. If your landing page doesn’t provide a continuous experience from your ad, that could be the problem too. If someone clicks an ad with an offer for 10%, but doesn’t see anything about that at the top of the landing page, 9 times out of 10 you will lose that lead immediately.

How to Optimize Facebook Ads

Don’t give up on Facebook ads just yet. When leveraged well, social media advertising can give you the lowest cost-per-acquisition out there and get you in front of a huge audience. Take some time each week to watch ad performance and tweak here and there where needed. Don’t be afraid to run tests often to refine your ads and targeting whenever you see that CPR getting a little too high.

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