3 Common Mistakes Local Businesses Make Using Facebook Ads

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3 Common mistakes every business makes with Facebook ads

Facebook ads are still one of the most cost-effective ways to connect with your target audience and promote your local business because the average user clicks on 12 ads per month!

The honest truth is that most small businesses do mess them up – and the mistakes they make cause their ad campaigns to be less effective, and more expensive, than they should be.

Once you understand these 3 common mistakes the average small business advertiser makes, you can start to get the results you deserve.

 #1: Targeting Ads to People Who Aren’t Already Fans

There’s a few ways to think about this one…

This first mistake can be a real head scratcher for small business owners. Aren’t you supposed to use Facebook ads to grow your audience?

The short answer is no, not really. You can – and we’re not saying that you should never run an ad that targets new customers. But you’ll get more engagement and more clicks if you target the people who already like your company.

If you think about it, it should make sense. The people who follow you on Facebook are qualified leads. Some may have already bought from you but all of them are people who had enough interest in your company to click that Follow button.

Running ads that appear only to followers is a great way to nurture leads, encourage repeat business, and let your followers know that you want them to connect with you.

But we get it. It’s the old “Which came first; the chicken or the egg?”

What if you don’t have a following or you want to grow your following?

If you are a local business, it makes sense to run awareness ads to your locale. ‘Like’ campaigns are still a valuable way to bring that attention and awareness to your FB Page and to your local business.

What makes that campaign that much more valuable is your subsequent ad strategy by running ads to people who are already familiar with your business and those who want to do business with you.

 #2: Failure to Test Your Facebook Ad Images

Few people can get an ad right the first time they create it. Even professional marketers struggle with creating ads that work and it’s what they do for a living.

A case in point? Ad images.

The right image can stop someone mid-scroll and get them to click on your ad. The wrong image will make them ignore your ad or – worse – view it with disdain.

The goal of your ad is to stop a scroller from scrolling in the first place!

There’s only one way to find out which image will resonate the most with your target audience and that’s to test multiple images.

Now, we’d be remiss if we didn’t say that you should be testing everything in your ads. But images have the potential to make or break your ad in a heartbeat and that means you should be prioritizing them. You may want to check out Facebook’s breakdown of ad image best practices.

 #3: Not Segmenting Your Ads

The third and final mistake we want to tell you about is one that may also be the most common: not segmenting your ads.

There’s no denying that it requires less effort to create a single ad for to reach every follower. The problem is that an ad that’s highly appealing to one follower may be a complete dud for another. You’ll be better off thinking about the various segments of your target audience and creating an array of ads to appeal to each segment than to try to shoehorn everybody into the same box.

Let’s consider one potential example of this.

Imagine a flooring company that has multiple service areas and locations. They create a single ad that targets their entire list of followers. That might be okay, but think about how much more successful they would be if they:

Created location-specific ads that let their followers in each service area know that they are a local company.

Used images that were tailored to each location.

Offered location-based incentives to people who click on each ad.

The main thing to remember is that it’s rare for a “one size fits all” ad to be as effective as an ad that is targeted to a specific segment of your audience. People are far more likely to respond favorably to an ad that is meant for them than to one that’s trying to be all things to all people.

Facebook ads are undeniably effective if you do them right. By reviewing your existing ads and eliminating the 3 mistakes we’ve outlined here, you’re likely to get more engagement, more clicks, and more leads than you are now – without spending more money.

Of course, we’re only touching the tip of the iceberg here… there are dozens of additional methods you can use to grow your business with Facebook ads, like retargeting, custom audiences, lookalike audiences. Stay tuned for more on Facebook ads on this blog.

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