Overcoming common issues in ad engagement.
Set yourself up for the engagement you deserve with these handy fixes.
Do I have a bad ad?
I’ve sat at my computer grappling with this one more times than I can tell you. With so many variables at play, it can feel impossible to decipher whether it’s an issue with the copy, the media, the targeting – who knows?!
At this point, the most important thing you can do is relax — help is here!
Here’s my troubleshooting guide for common ad issues and the best ways to fix them.
Stop beating yourself up – we’ll get that puppy up and running again in no time.
- Look at your click-through rate
To access this, go to your Ads Manager and click “Performance” and have a look at the percentage of conversions your ad is getting – known as the Click-through Rate.If it’s under 1%, this is a sign that the ad itself isn’t the right fit for your audience. The general rule of thumb is that if it’s within 0.8% to 1% it’s not too bad, but any lower than this is a sign that you need to take things back to the drawing board.If this is you – don’t fret. Take your time to brainstorm what your niche engages with from competitors. Reconsider your copy, media and CTA with your audience in mind. Craft something that would make you jealous if you saw it coming from one of your rivals! Check it against experts. And then relaunch it and give it another shot. It’s an easier fix than you think.
- Check the cost per mille.
If the click-through rate didn’t seem to be the source of your concerns, it’s worth checking out how much money you’re paying for each impression. You can access this by looking at your Cost Per Mille (this just means cost per thousand impressions).If you’re targeting a highly sought-after audience (e.g. female entrepreneurs), the cost per mille rises exponentially just because of how many other competitors are trying to reach them.At this point, ask yourself: is my niche small enough?
The best way to cut down on excess spending in this area is to narrow down the field as much as possible. For example, you may start off targeting female entrepreneurs and realise that you’re paying a lot just to reach them. How can you make this smaller? You may consider targeting just those in your city or, if your service is online, entrepreneurs who have interacted with your ads/website in the past. By applying small but intentional changes you’ll see your CPM rapidly fall and your engagement grow as you get closer and closer to the people who really need your service.
Another cause for an abnormally high CPM is a lack of engagement from those who have already seen the post.
If your ad is low quality, Facebook tends to increase the CPM and charge you more to reach the same people. They do this for two reasons: to provide users with content that’s engaging and also to prevent ad strategists from exhausting all their ad spend at once.
If your CPM looks a little high, this is a sign from Facebook that your ad isn’t resonating well and you need to take a time out and figure out how to make it more engaging. Otherwise you’ll keep spending truckloads just to show up in someone’s feed and who knows what conversions you’ll get? Certainly not many.
Don’t fear – this is entirely fixable. Like fixing with your click-through rate, all you need to do is research your customer a little more and craft something they’ll relate to.
- See how much you’re paying for each click.
If your Cost Per Click (CPC) is abnormally high, this is another sign that your ad isn’t resonating with your audience. It means not many people who see it are clicking it, so the average of that compared to those who do is making it very expensive for you to get leads.
Your CPC has a direct relationship with your click-through rate in this way. If your click-through rate is less than 1%, it means your CPC is going to be very expensive.
By now, you should have a little clarity in the murky algorithm-infested waters of Instagram marketing. Hopefully, you can see how these metrics interact with each other and now understand the benchmarks for figuring out how engaging your ad is.
From there, you can do a detailed troubleshoot of your campaign to figure out what’s letting you down. Maybe the ads aren’t getting many clicks but once people get over to the landing page, the conversion rate is really high? Congratulations! They love your website, but you need a little tweaking on the ad front. You’ve got this!
Suddenly, instead of falling into a big, dark hole full of thoughts like, “Nobody wants my product! What have I done?! This is a huge mistake!” It’s just a matter of figuring out how you can be more engaging with the people you want to sell to.
Here are some tips on mastering that part of things:
- Never stop testing.
Always roll out new ads. Run split tests. Narrow down your audience. Revise your copy based on what works. Experiment with different calls to action. Change up your media. Refresh your branding. Ask your friends what they think of it. Compare it against the ads of industry giants in your field.
- Don’t beat yourself up so much!
It’s very fun to have a pity party for yourself but not a productive solution. Instead of disappearing into an “I’m trash and nobody wants what I’m selling” shame spiral, detach yourself from the process a little more. Settle into the act of running tests. Trust the science. You’ll start seeing patterns and it’ll become easy much faster than you expect.
Above all, I hope this encourage you try and stop taking it all so personally.
I know, it’s a huge slap in the face when an ad you thought people would love just doesn’t land. But life gets a lot easier when you learn how to see things like that as a lesson and apply them to keep refining and growing your voice.
For me, it’s a matter of looking at it like a trial – every day I would walk into work and look at each part of my funnel to see what’s working and what isn’t. Then I would fix it.
Action is the best way to make a comeback. This is why I’m so passionate about companies having in-house ad strategists, because it does take a lot of action and you need clarity and time to be able to ride a beast like that.
So, you’re ready to test. What do you test?
You may think that gorgeous picture of you at a high tea is the best thing that’ll connect with cold audiences but they don’t know you. Why do they give a rip about your fancy tea?
What is best at the TOF is something a little more … organic.
People want to buy from people, so ditch the stock images and show your human side. Go for something that looks real. The kinds of ads that are performing best these days are those that don’t even look like an ad. Instead of filling your visuals with CTAs and guarantees, give it a little space to breathe.
Usually square works better than rectangle because it takes up more real estate in the news feed, so follow what stands out!
Finally, find a picture that draws people in. Something that looks like a post from one of their friends. Build a relationship with them before you start overwhelming them with sales. And just like that, you go from being a pest to a welcomed guest.
Make sure to test the use of videos compared to still images – usually I find that they perform a lot better because it is easier to draw people in. Once again, keep it personal! Focus on building that relationship – you’ll see immediately the difference it makes to have a little patience in this area.
Run split tests with a variety of headlines to figure out what works.
Once again, finessing this pays off greatly. Just like we’re working on ditching the “salesy” images, having a headline at the top of your funnel read, “Free webinar, save your seat now!” is a waste of time because nobody knows who you are yet! Why should they save a seat and give you an hour of time before you’ve shown the value you provide?
Instead, ask yourself WHY they should watch your webinar. Think of their pain points, their problems – what in their life needs a resolution?
What’s the benefit they get out of giving an hour of their time just to get pitched at the end? Everyone knows that webinars end in pitches. Reason with them. Get past their fear of wasting valuable time on your webinar by saying, “Here’s your pain point. Here’s the solution our webinar provides for that.”
Headlines can be a little tricky because of the character limit (25 characters maximum), so it will take some time to figure out how you can portray that message in just a few words.
But it’s worth doing – this is often the first thing people will see and what it contains gives them a very quick answer as to whether they should welcome what you have to say with open arms or ignore it like they do every other pesky ad.
Test your copy!
Test long form versus short form. Test storytelling against direct response. Look at the way your competitors talk to your customers. Look at the way your customers talk to each other. Research the niche’s colloquial language so you sound like you’re in the right place. Figure out the dynamic you want to have (friend, expert, associate) and employ it in every sentence.
- Ad format
Think about the steps you’re putting in between your customer seeing your ad and the final conversion. Do they get sent to a website and then have to navigate a bunch of pages just to sign up?
The goal is to make it as instantaneous as possible – think about how impatient you are with ads on your feed and remember that your customers are the same.
Check that your website loads quickly. Make the CTA so accessible that it guides your customer exactly where you want them to be.
Create as seamless an experience as possible.
So there you have it!
Creating the perfect ad does require a lot of testing, but once you learn to embrace the process it becomes empowering.
If you’re looking at this and are completely overwhelmed, it might be a sign that you’re spreading yourself a bit too thin. If you’re the one in charge of everything – taking care of your clients, fulfilling your deliverables, organising other projects – it can be hard to free up the brainpower to focus on doing this right.
If that’s you, I recommend an in-house ad strategist.
I’m having conversations with so many high-ticket coaches who are finding that once they took the plunge and admitted that someone else was better off dealing with it, they finally started seeing the results they wanted.
Not only do you get that engagement you’ve been dying for, you also save valuable income by not having to shell over thousands to an external agency. And to make it even better? You don’t have to cloud your wins with the worry that you’ll never be able to replicate the success again, because the person who did it is part of your team.
If you’d like to know more about how you can set yourself up with an in-house ad superstar and get your company on track to GROW, head over to my website (socialcharlie.com) and look at our options for training.
No time to train yourself/one of your employees? Fear not! We can also connect you with one of our global network of ad superstars so you can find the perfect addition to your team.
It’s our goal to empower brands to see the results they deserve instead of whatever they can scrape from the bottom of the barrel. You deserve it!
As always, it’s been fantastic spending time with you and I hope this has given you the clarity and confidence you need to turn those ads back around.
Until next time,