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Eight Facebook Ad Mistakes to Avoid in 2021 (After iOS 14)

If you advertise on Facebook then you know that the game has changed since the iOS 14 rollout. There are several mistakes that you want to avoid making in order to get the best performance possible out of your Facebook ad campaigns.

Even if you’ve already read about mistakes to avoid on Facebook or watched videos about it, you should probably still go through this tutorial because the landscape for Facebook ads has gone through some significant changes since iOS 14 and it’s important to know what to do. A lot of these mistakes are easy to avoid, but they can make a big impact on how your ad account performs.

Here are the 8 Facebook ad mistakes that you should be avoiding now.

Mistake #1: Not Verifying Your Domain or Setting Up Your Web Events

Verify your domain with Facebook

Sometimes people run Facebook ad campaigns without setting up their Facebook pixel, verifying their domain, or setting up their web events.

This is a process that sounds complicated, but once you’ve done it the first time it gets a whole lot easier.

Resource: I have a detailed guide on How to Install a Facebook Pixel here. It goes over step by step how to install the Facebook pixel and set up your conversion events (web events).

When you don’t verify your domain or set up your web events properly Facebook can’t work out who in your audience is converting to leads or sales and that means your campaigns won’t work as well as they should. It doesn’t matter if you have the perfect creatives, or the perfect offer. If your pixel isn’t set up correctly and your website isn’t verified then you are going to have problems.

Mistake #2: Using Audiences That Are Too Small

Use broader audiences on Facebook

Several years ago it was very popular to use hyper targeted audiences on Facebook. Now 85% of iOS users have opted out of the tracking Facebook uses to find out what people are doing off their site. That means you need a much bigger pool of people to advertise to.

Facebook is still very good at figuring out what kind of action people will take, and giving it a larger audience to pull from can help to optimize your campaigns more efficiently. Larger audiences have been more effective for a while, but the trend has really sped up since iOS 14 was released.

I recommend that you go with an audience size of at least 250,000 and 500,000 is even better. You can even go up to 2 or 3 million. This is a case where it’s far better to have too big of an audience, than too small of an audience.

The only exception to this guideline is if you are targeting a hyper local area because you have a brick and mortar business that serves only local customers. If this is the case, then you might have to go with a smaller audience, but you should still go as big as possible.

Mistake #3 Using a Complicated Sales Funnel

Avoid complicated sales funnels

There is a certain line of thought in marketing that the more hoops you make people jump through, the more qualified your prospect will be and the more likely they are to buy. This can lead to 9 or 10 step sales funnels.

I’ve seen that sometimes this complicated approach can sell a lot of courses on “how to market,” but it doesn’t usually work that well in real life, and after iOS 14 simplifying your sales funnel is really paying off.

Many businesses do better by focusing on a strong offer and a single conversion campaign.

Resource: You can see some strong offers and examples of highly effective ads in the post “6 Successful Facebook Ads to Copy in 2021!

Some businesses will do well with a simple funnel. I go over some of the different strategies that we’ve used with success in our ads agency in the webinar called 3 Killer Facebook Ad Strategies. You can see that here.

Mistake #4: Not Testing Enough

Split test your creatives

This is a dangerous mistake, and it can sink your campaign in no time.

A lot of times when advertisers end up with a successful campaign they will start to rely on the successful campaign without testing out new creatives and offers.

Then when the successful campaign becomes stale they end up stuck and without something new to take its place.

Facebook is a platform where you have to keep your creatives and offers fresh. That means you should always test out new offers and creatives against the current successful offer. Constant testing will help you to have longevity in your Facebook ads journey.

Mistake #5: Optimizing for the Wrong Thing

Use conversion events

I am always telling our clients and our students that they should set up their Facebook campaigns to target conversions. That usually means targeting either sales or leads. It depends on the objective of the campaign.

But no matter how much I say it or how many case studies I do there are always advertisers that choose a different type of targeting when their object is sales or leads. This is a mistake. You will get better results nearly every time if you use a Facebook conversion campaign for your optimization.

One of the only times that I’ve seen a different type of campaign work better is when you are looking to build your reputation over the long term and are looking at implementing an omnipresence campaign.

But even WITH an omnipresence campaign you will still use a conversion campaign to retarget the people that engaged with your omnipresence ad.

Using the conversion optimization for a campaign that is supposed to get you leads or sales will almost always get you better results than trying anything else.

Mistake #6: Relying Only on Website Custom Audiences for Your Retargeting

Don't rely just on website visitors

The iOS 14 update decimated Facebooks ability to track every action on your website. 85% of Apple users have opted out of that tracking and that makes website visitor audiences not as effective as they used to be.

iOS 14 warning from Facebook on reduced audience sizes

There are several solutions to this including:

  • expanding the time frame of your audience
  • using
    • Email lists
    • Video views
    • Lead forms
    • Your Instagram account
    • Your Facebook page

The big key here is that you want your custom audiences to be as large as possible and to be from the Facebook platform when possible.

Resource: I’ve written an in depth post to what custom audiences are working now on Facebook. It goes over why each audience works and a brief explanation of how to set that audience up.

Mistake #7: Tinkering Too Much

Don't tinker too much

Tinkering is different than the deliberate testing of new creatives. While testing new creatives is something you MUST do, tinkering is something that you should avoid.

By tinkering I mean coming into your adset and doing things like adjusting the age, gender, or location that your ad is targeting. You also might be tempted to adjust the headline or body copy within a running ad.

Don’t do that.

Don't constantly adjust demographics in live Facebook ads.

Just let it run. Facebook is smart enough to find the RIGHT people in the group that you have and keeping the demographics broader, rather than narrower usually creates better results.

Mistake #8: Delivering a Poor Customer Experience

Don't deliver a poor customer eperience.

Delivering a spot on customer experience is very important to Facebook.

If you are getting a lot of negative reviews or negative comments on your ads then you are going to have problems.

Facebook doesn’t want its customers to have bad experiences with shady advertisers so they will shut down or throttle your account if you deliver a poor customer experience.

There is nothing that can shut your advertising down faster than Facebook deciding they don’t like your company.

The solution to this is simple. Create a great customer experience. Make sure you answer customer questions promptly and deliver outstanding service or products.

More Free Facebook Ads Training

To help business owners succeed with Facebook ads I’ve created a FREE webinar training that you can register for here.

Free Facebook ads training

When you attend this webinar you’ll learn:

  • 3 different Facebook ad strategies that we use every day. These strategies have generated millions of dollars in revenue and are tried and proven to work.
  • How to customize the Facebook ads strategy to your particular business. There is no such thing as a one size fits all approach to Facebook ads.
  • How Facebook and Instagram have changed and how to adjust your ad strategy to what works in 2021.

Video Tutorial: Facebook Ad Mistakes to Avoid in 2021

In this video I go over the most common mistakes I’m seeing after the iOS 14 update and how to avoid them so that you have a better chance at success with your Facebook ad account.

The Bottom Line on Mistakes Facebook Advertisers are Making After the iOS 14 Update

There are 8 main mistakes that I’m seeing being make after the iOS 14 update. These include:

  1. Not verifying your domain or setting up your web events
  2. Using audiences that are too small
  3. Using a complicated sales funnel
  4. Not testing enough
  5. Optimizing for the wrong thing
  6. Relying only on website custom audiences for your retargeting
  7. Tinkering too much
  8. Delivering a poor customer experience

Most of these mistakes are easy to fix, but they can all have a big impact on the success of your ads!

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