Facebook Ads Not Performing? 7 Reasons and How To Fix

“Sh*t, I feel like I’m wasting money on Facebook Ads.”

“Why my ads aren’t generating any results and sales?

My fellow business owners, have you ever been in that situation?

First things first, why Facebook Ads when we have Google AdWords? According to Moz: Google AdWords generate higher conversions, but cost more per conversion. Unless your products have high margins, you make lesser profits compared to advertising on Facebook.

Another benefit: Facebook Ads allow you to target users based off specific interests and behaviors. Whereas Google AdWords targeting is based on keyword searches and intent.

google adwords and facebook ad which one better

[image source: Walkwest.com]

It really depends on your business and target audience when it comes to selecting ad platform. But today, let’s focus on Facebook ads platform today.

Here’re 5 signals your Facebook ads might not generate results:

  1. Low relevance score (out of 10)
  2. Lots of impressions/reach but low ad clicks
  3. Lots of ad clicks but no leads
  4. Lots of reactions (Like, Comment, Share) but no sales
  5. Lots of ads traffic but no $ transaction on website

Reason #1: You ignore customer’s journey

Here’s the thing: People do not become your customers when they first see your ads or visit your website.

They follow a journey (or funnel) known as buyer journey: Awareness, Consideration and Conversion.

buyers journey map

[image source: Hubspot Blog]

Your ads are not likely to generate sales if you only use 1 ad to fit all people in different step of the funnel.

When you apply customer journey in your ad strategy, you’re going to build familiarity by nurturing your audience through multiple campaigns.

In other words, you need to create different campaigns. Each campaign is unique to service each major stage of buyer journey. For example:

Awareness stage: Your ad goal is to grab people’s attention. Let them become aware of your brand. Give them the information they need to get interested in your business

Consideration stage: Your ad goal is to generate leads. Put up some free offers like free website consultation, promo codes, coupons, etc.

Conversion stage: Your ad goal is to roll out the sales pitch. Promote your products or services at a good price. Let your prospects enter the final stage of funnel – transaction.

Reason #2: Your audience targeting is too wide

You want to reach bigger audience but you have to make sure you don’t target everyone as your customers.

For example, if you’re selling headphones, your ideal clients are not going to be teenagers age between 13 to 19. If you’re location-based business, you don’t want to target the whole world or whole country.

facebook ads targeting

[image source: Visible Factor.com]

Narrow down your targeting as relevant as possible. Look into aspects including their age, location, demographics, behaviors etc.

Try using Facebook’s Audience Insights to help you figure out your ideal audience. This tool will show you statistics about the people you’re trying to target.

facebook ads audience insights

[image source: Agorapulse.com]

You also want to turn on interest targeting. Think about some relevant keywords when it comes to your target audience. Try not to include a long lists of interests category within an ad set. Stay narrow and relevant.

Reason #3: You don’t use Custom Audience

There are many types of audiences you can use in Facebook Advertising.

Finding new audience through interest and demographic research is a good strategy. Especially if you’re just starting out to collect data about and study about your most relevant audiences.

As you proceed further with your campaigns, you might want to consider custom audience as your targeting strategy.

facebook custom audience

[image source: Klientboost.com]

Custom audience allows you to mirror your existing customers. In comparison, they are more targeted than random people who have not interacted with your brand before.

You can target users who’ve previously interested in your business, given you their email addresses, visited your website or engaged with your social media pages.

TAKEAWAY: Create a few custom audiences now and click “SAVE”. You can use these in your “retargeting” campaigns and see for yourself which audience targeting generate the highest ROIs.

Reason #4: You don’t use re-targeting

“Why is this ad following me?” Yeap, that’s re-targeting.

You can’t talk about Custom Audience without talking about Facebook Re-targeting.

Re-targeting allows you to show ads to people who have previously entered your landing page or opted-in from your website.

facebook custom audience

[image source: Klientboost.com]

You can strategize your campaign using the ad flow below:

Ad 1: In your first ad, you probably want to raise interest for people to learn about your products. People who see this type of ad are not ready to buy your products/services yet. But it’s good to roll out an ad, let them enter your website and ” Facebook Pixel” them. So that you have data to generate Custom Audience.

Ad 2: In your second ad, you can re-target your ad using Custom Audience. Once people in your 1st Ad learn about your brand, it’s time to give them some offers in your re-targeting ads.

With re-targeting campaigns, you nurture your audience and build familiarity. You’re more likely to generate sales in the second ad than the first one.

TAKEAWAY: Build your ad flow that follows the buyers’ journey, I.E. Awareness, Consideration and Conversions.

Reason #5: Too much text on Ad images

Facebook uses the “20% Text Rule” when it comes to using their ad platform. Therefore, if your ad image exceeds the 20% text rule, Facebook will tell you they hate it (lol):

facebook ad image

[image source: Instapage.com]

In other words, it’s not ideal to have a bunch of texts, descriptions, details, slogans, quotes on your ad image. If you do, your ad will be restricted and reach to fewer audiences. This can affect the ROIs of your advertising campaigns.

Try using Facebook Grid Tool to determine if you ad image contains too much text:

facebook ads image

[image source: Contentharmony.com]

However, there’re exceptions to this rule. For example, photo of a book cover, album cover, newspaper, poster – or any object that has text on it is considered acceptable.

Reason #6: Your ad copy failed

Imagine you’re using ads to sell food delivery. Which version of ad copy below will you choose?

Version A: Enjoy 20% off when you order a healthy meal from our website. Shop now. Free shipping.

Version B: Eat to get back in shape. Eating healthier doesn’t have to be tasteless. You won’t be disappointed when you see healthy meals with variants like this. Enjoy 20% off + free shipping on us (promise!) Shop now.

Notice the difference between these two ads? In Version B, we write around the persona of a potential customer. They might be struggling with weight issues and opting for healthy meal might be their solution.

We also addressed that healthy meal doesn’t have to be boring (remove their fears). Here’s the formula for a great ad copy structure:

facebook ad copy

[image source: Wordstream.com]

TAKEAWAY: Create a buyer persona that orchestrates your prospects’ demographics, behaviors, likes, and dislikes. Use this information when you create your ad campaigns.

Reason #7: You don’t do A/B testing

A/B testing (or split testing) is about creating different Ad Sets within your Ad Campaign so you can see which ads perform better.

In short, you divide your audience into few different ad sets and test against one variable.

Some ideas for your A/B test:

  • different age groups
  • different interests
  • different ad copies
  • different ad images
  • image vs. video formats
  • different calls-to-action buttons
  • different device placements, and more
facebook a/b testing

[image source: Conversionxl.com]

You will get more results with A/B testing when you test on a specific factor, rather than multiple factors at once. Do not test everything at once.

Start by forming your hypothesis. “Will I get more clicks if I change my Ad Image?”

Next, create a different Ad image and show this ad to the same group of audience.

Measure your A/B results based on the ones with the lowest cost per click.


There are many reasons why your ads are not performing. You don’t get it right the first time – even the most experienced online marketers and ad agency don’t.

But keep trying by adjusting to these parameters accordingly. Make sure you advertise according to customer’s journey, personas and use the right targeting strategy.

Optimize your ads performance by conducting A/B testing regularly. Until you achieve desired results from Facebook Ads.

P/S: Like this post? Please share it with your colleagues for good karma… 😛

Send WhatsApp to Zoe @ +6012 2494 179 for digital marketing engagement and training arrangement.

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