3 Common Facebook Ad Mistakes & How to Fix Them

I’ve been helping many marketers over the past couple years with their Facebook ads. I’ve gone through a number of accounts looking for what was done wrong and how to correct it.

You can say I have some personal experience to share with you on this subject. This just isn’t another cut and dry blog post out for SEO value. (Or at least I hope it won’t read like that!)

Here are the top three mistakes I see:

#1 – Targeting
#2 – Copy & Images
#3 – Funnel

Ok, so let’s tackle one at a time.

Mistake #1: Targeting

Know Who Will Buy What You are Selling.

Let me say that again.

Know Who Will Buy What You are Selling.

Create an Avatar. Become the buyer. Research, research, research.

We cover how to create an avatar in FB Ads Formula in more detail and I give you a handy template that you can swipe and use for yourself.

For times sake here, an avatar is simply a description of a mythical person who would buy your product or service. You can have multiple avatars, both men and women with different ages and different hobbies.

Quick Example: meRyan Shaw, M, 28, San Diego, United States. Interests & Hobbies : Online Marketing (Sub Niches of Video Marketing, Online Advertising, SaaS, SEO, etc), Online Gaming, Live Music, Tennis, Basketball

Likes : Mari Smith, Amy Porterfield, Tony Robbins, Ryan Deiss, Frank Kern, Jon Loomer, etc.


Use your existing data or industry data to find out what your target audience looks like, where they hang out, where they play.


Because you can use this data when deciding on targeting options within the Facebook Ads engine.

You could be selling a FB Ads course like ours and discover that your target audience also likes Tony Robbins and Reader’s Digest. It may be much cheaper to run an ad to an audience who likes Reader’s Digest than it is to Tony Robbins. Or perhaps, they like both… In this case, you would need a tool like Social Interest Freak to intersect those two separate audiences into one tight audience for targeting.

Mistake #2: Copy & Images

Most people are not professional copywriters. So it makes sense that many ads ran on Facebook just don’t catch the eye of the prospect which drops your CTR and increases your cost per click to a point where you can’t turn a profit.

Here’s some quick tips on how to improve your images and copy:

You can review the entire article mentioned in the video above here on Ads Espresso.

Mistake #3: Offers & Marketing Funnel

This is where the majority of the mistakes are made because its just not easy to create a great marketing funnel.

Here’s some of the elements needed to create a funnel that converts:

Free Offers to Entice the Prospects in:

These can include reports, giveaways, downloads, free trials, videos, a free consultation, and much more.

Main Offer that converts like crazy:

You must provide a ton of value, and that will provide an anchor for your business. (Example : Our main offer is FB Ads Formula but we have many other products and offers.)

Side Offers & Upsells:

You paid for traffic, so you need to monetize it completely. So, offer upsells to your main offers. Offer side offers that may not work as a direct upsell.

Partnership / Affiliate Offers:

You can always provide everything that your customers want to buy. Maybe you only sell information or coaching and you can partner with a software company. Or vice versa. Partnerships have led to me doubling my sales each month. Try it!

High Backend Program:

Offer high end programs for your paying customers. This can 4x your business. Think of Godaddy who has a ton of upsells. Think of Microsoft who gives away Windows 10 but offers high end services for businesses where they can make a crazy amount of recurring income each month. We offer a high end coaching program to help you create your online business for example that runs for $5k. That’s much more than our main product selling at $49.95 per month.

How to Find Information on Your Target Audience

There’s a few ways. I recommend getting as much info on your audience as possible. Do not skip this step!

Facebook Audience Insights
Twitter Insights
Google Trends
– Industry Data Companies
– Existing Customer List / Prospects

You can use data available to you online or use a company to find it for you. Better yet, do it within house and poll your existing customer list with Survey Monkey.

I use all the tools at my disposal and I already know my target audience. I suggest you do the same, especially in a niche that you may not be familiar with.

The Overall Winning Strategy of Targeting on Facebook

Okay, so here’s the only way to run Facebook Ads going forward that I found to give you a consistent result.

Step 1 : Identify your Audiences (Follow the advice above)

Step 2 : Setup as many split tests with those audiences (This could result in 100+ ads including different images, audiences, demographics, countries, etc. The possibility for testing can be huge. General rule of thumb is to test more options the bigger your budget and target audiences are.)

Step 3 : Funnel those audiences into a re-marketing list and give them a ton of value.

Step 4 : Have a re-marketing list for them to opt-out as well. (If they buy or unsubscribe)

Step 5 : Continue to grow your re-marketing list and customer list and use the power of your sales funnel to turn a profit.

Step 6 : Rinse and repeat.

Note: If you are not turning a positive ROI after following these steps, follow first on improving your sales funnel as this usually is the biggest key to success or failure. It’s actually not in running the ad at all.


It’s simply because if you have a GREAT product or service, people will flock to you whether or not your FB ads are great. Soon, you will have referral traffic and you won’t need to run ads. If your sales funnel and processes are bad, your customer service is bad, and your offers are bad… well, you can’t stand a chance.

How You Can 4x Your Sales Faster

Keep plugging away at improving your sales process each day and reap the benefits.

If you would like me to help you further, you have a few options available to you.

You can setup a time to consult with me on Skype and have a recording of our coaching call.

You can join our FB Ads Formula community for just $1 today and join our FB group to get access to the 1,200+ members in our community including myself and other FB ad professionals ready to assist in answering your questions.

You can do it completely on your own from here. (In this case, make sure to subscribe to our free content on Youtube and our blog here.)

I wish you the best success in the world.

I’d like to see this article hit 1000 shares. If we can hit 1,000 shares, I will release my next training program for free to all existing customers of FB Ads Formula!

Let’s light up the share button! (Leave a comment as well, I do respond fast.)

Find Your Target Audience with Facebook Ads

target audience Facebook Ads

Connecting with the right audience on Facebook is the most important factor in whether or not your ads campaigns are ultimately successful. If you don’t get your ad to the audience that would be interested in your product and your business, it doesn’t matter who saw it—they aren’t going to convert into sales, leads, or likes on your Facebook page. You need to find your target audience with Facebook ads in order for your campaigns to succeed.

Finding your target audience is often easier said than done.

First, you have to actually figure out what that target audience is, which requires a lot of time and a lot of testing. Not targeting the right people is one of the biggest mistakes we see people making on Facebook.

Then you have to figure out how to best target said audience using Facebook’s ad system, and how to create ads that best connect with them.

This post is a walk through guide to help you find your target audience, connect with them, and start seeing conversions. It’s the first step to seeing big ROIs with Facebook’s Ads system.

How to Find What Your Target Audience Is

While there are a lot of resources out there that discuss targeting your ideal audience on Facebook, there’s not a lot of resources out there that help you figure out exactly who belongs in that target audience.

Finding your target audience takes a lot of research. Fortunately, there are some great tools out that make this research easier.

Facebook brought us the incredible Audience Insights relatively recently. It is a free tool that provides unbelievably valuable information.

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Not only does it show you the demographics and behaviors of your current audience, it shows you all of that compared to the average of Facebook’s entire audience. It can also show you different audiences that you can customize and choose from.

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You’ll know if your page has a tendency to appeal to those in households with upper incomes or to those who of a certain age or gender. And you’ll get all that for free.

Do research into your current clients and Facebook fans. Learn everything you can about them. Break down all the demographics you can, and evaluate common behaviors and interests. Are they close to the same age? Do they have a lot in common? Do they prefer humor in ads or not?

Sometimes focusing in on one or two big core targeting features can help you find your target audience. If you are, for example, a self-employed website designer, you may want to target those who are self employed or who own small businesses.

For more in-depth information on perfecting your target audience, Ryan created his FB Ads Formula that can help you master finding your target audience and maximizing ROIs.

FB Ads Formula
Our FB Ads Formula has helped businesses and entrepreneurs go so far as to quadruple their ROIs.


To learn more, click here.


How to Find Your Target Audience with Facebook Ads

What Are Your Targeting Options

Knowing exactly what your targeting options are can help you select what criteria you chose to target your audience with and how you create your target audience. Fortunately, Facebook Ads has continually gotten better and better, meaning that you can target just about whatever qualifications you want.

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Here’s the categories you can use to target your audience through Facebook’s create an ad tool:

  • Location: You can choose to be widespread or local with your ads. If you’re going local, you can chose a city or zip code, and even target those within a certain distance away from the city of your choice.

You can include a radius around your city.

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Languages
  • Relationships: This covers relationship status as well as whether users are interested in men, women, or both genders.
  • Education: This includes fields of study, level of education completed, and identifying what schools someone went to.
  • Work: You can chose job titles, employers, industries, and office types to narrow down the very broad “work” category.
  • Financial: Targeting can include income and/or networth.
  • Ethnicity
  • Whether you are a parent
  • Political standing
  • Life events
  • Interests: Any page you can like on Facebook can be taken into account. You can browse interests and get suggestions for what to target.
  • Behaviors: This can be a big one. You can target people based on their behaviors. If they’ve been noted to make charitable donations in the past, you can target them. You can target those who make a large number of online purchases. You can target people based on whether or not their a mobile device user.
  • Connections: You can choose whether or not you want to target those who are already connected with you. If you’re looking for new page likes, choosing only to target those who don’t already follow you on Facebook is a good way to go.

target audience

If you are targeting a particular group of people, with Facebook’s targeting system you can. Want to target engaged women nearby who like the show “Say Yes to the Dress” for your bridal boutique?

Or maybe you want to target young college student males at a certain university for shirts you made specifically for game day.

It doesn’t matter. Whoever you want to target, you can.

Negative Targeting

While connecting with your target audience can be a bit tricky and is never going to be an exact guarantee, you want to get as close as possible to your ideal customer.

After all, even if someone is mostly interested like you thought they would be, they could click on your ad, you pay, and then they never convert.

At the end of the day, this person, while close, may not have fit into your ideal target audience. And that does you no good.

Maybe they met all of the qualifications that you listed and they still weren’t interested in your ad or your business. Sometimes there is no way around that. Sometimes, however, they had every qualification of your target audience, but they also had one qualification that could have tipped you off ahead of time that signaled they wouldn’t actually be in your target audience.

Let’s say you own an upscale, romantic steakhouse, and you’ve created your perfct target audience. You launch your ad campaign.

Let’s say this target audience you’ve created one normally be perfect. But there’s one problem. You have several users who click on this ad who meet every qualification, but they have an additional one, too: they are vegan. And since even your broccoli is coated in butter and your green beans simmered with flecks of bacon, they will be unlikely to come to your restaurant. You’ve just wasted a click on someone who would be highly unlikely to come to your restaurant.

That’s where negative ad targeting comes in. Negative ad targeting allows you to select different aspects that you don’t want to target, and Facebook’s incredible targeting system will exclude those users from the audience shown your ad.

Facebook’s custom audience feature allows you to take part in negative targeting. For more information on how to utilize negative targeting, you can see our article on creating and using custom audiences here.

You Don’t Have to Get Too Specific

You don’t have to take advantage of every single targeting option available. While being too broad can mean that you may miss your mark entirely, getting too specific when you don’t need to can weed out a lot of potential customers.

Sometimes only using a few targeting options works better than using too many of them.

I recently ran an ads campaign for a pet rescue, and we kept it pretty general. We did a location targeting for central Florida (where the rescue is based). We targeted interests, looking for users interested particularly in animal rescues and mutts. I targeted the behavior of charitable donations.

The campaign was extremely successful. Almost everyone who clicked on the ad liked their page, they raked in enough donations to save more animals, and we found new homes for some of their rescues.

When you’re putting together target audiences, think like your customer. If you’re running a local grocery store, it may not matter that they are a parent. If, however, you have organic, locally grown baby food, you may want to run a specific ad just for parents then.

As you are creating an ad, there’s a gauge on the right side of the page under the title of “audience definition.” It will show you how broad or specific your campaign is, and let you know how much it would cost to execute that campaign.

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Keep your targeting relevant, and if you come across an option that you don’t need, don’t use it.

Target Local Business With Facebook Ads

While a great number of businesses are focusing on expanding nationally or internationally, not all businesses can provide a product online. This is especially true for services. Doctors, babysitters, lawyers, and mechanics (particularly those working for or running small businesses) can not provide their product or services to someone far away.

Whether this describes your business perfectly, or if you just want to increase local business—maybe you want to increase local traffic to your brick-and-mortar store—then taking advantage of Facebook Ad’s ability to target local business is the route you want to take.

Target Local Business Using Facebook's Ad System

How to Target Local Business with Facebook’s Ad System

It’s no secret that Facebook has a fantastic targeting system. You can target customers based on behaviors, interests, age, all sorts of demographics—including, most important for this article, location.

When you want to create an ad designed to only target local business, go through the Ad system as you normally would. If you’re new to creating Ads, you can see our Beginner’s Guide here for a walk through.

In the audience block in the create-an-ad tool is where we’ll focus in on targeting local business.

Under the “Locations” tab, you have two options when you’re looking to users in nearby areas.

The first is to type in the desired zip code. This will target only the people in that particular zip code. Keep in mind that if you’re in a big city, there may be multiple zip codes and you could be missing out on business unless you include all of them. Orlando, for example, has more than five zip codes, and Oviedo sits right on top of it. By targeting only Oviedo, I could miss out on other close by users.

Target by zip code
Target by zip code

The second option is my personal favorite, because it gives you a bit more leeway. If you type in the city’s name instead of the zip code, you get the option to add a radius around the city you want to be targeted. You can target only Oviedo, or you can target your city +10, 25, or 50 miles. This also allows you to exclude certain locations if you choose.

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Creating a radius will help you make sure that your can be seen only by those nearby, but also by those who aren’t directly in your city lines. After all, someone two miles outside of your city isn’t too far to come to you, but they could have been missed without that radius including them in your target audience.

You can include a radius around your city.
You can include a radius around your city.

On the other hand, using a radius too far (for some businesses 50 miles would be pushing it) can result in your ad being shown to—and clicked on—by those who are highly unlikely to visit your business. People may be willing to travel a bit further for a great doctor or a fantastic restaurant on special occasions. A small bookstore, on the other hand, may not get that same attention, and instead lose business to big chains that are closer to the user.

After you’ve targeted your location, you can continue through the Ad system as you normally would, including adding more demographics to increase how highly targeted your ad will be. The more you’re willing to spend, as always, increases the number of users your ad will be shown to.

Why You Want to Target Local Business

As said above, certain businesses function solely in a brick-and-mortar store. Some services you just can’t distribute across the country. How would you feel if you discovered the perfect restaurant to take your significant other to for their birthday, only to realize it was across the country? Now you have to start your search over and you have a craving for that herb-crusted trout dish you saw.

Even if you can distribute your product, it’s often productive for small businesses to focus on local customers. It can cut down on shipping costs, as well as the risks associated with shipping like damaged or lost products. If you have a brick and mortar store, why not get people to come in so you can get to know them face-to-face and build a strong, loyal clientele.

Customers can have an automatic sense of loyalty when buying local, knowing that they are supporting small businesses as well as putting money into their economy and their neighbor’s business. Buying local can be good for everyone—especially for you as the business owner.

How to Appeal to Local Users

If you want to increase local traffic, targeting local business as your audience in Facebook’s Ad system is only the first step.

Just as with every other aspect of marketing, you have to motivate those users to take action on what they see. There are several simple ways to appeal to local business.

  • A great method of motivating local users is creating a Facebook Offer. You can create an offer and promote it through the ad system, targeting local business only. You can offer a certain percentage off, a free sample, or a buy-one-get-one deal. This can encourage people to come by your store or business in order to redeem it.
Targeting Local Business with Facebook Offers
If you tell me there’s any kind of discount on delicious food, I’m in.
  • Just as you can create a Facebook Offer, you can create and host a contest on Facebook. You can promote your post through Facebook’s Ad targeting system, asking users to participate. A local restaurant, for example, could ask that users post a picture of themselves with their favorite soup of the day for a chance to win dinner for two. This increases sales as well as building excitement. I once saw a local shoe store ask users to post a picture of them and their favorite place to run in their athletic shoes for the chance to win a $50 gift certificate to their store. People took pictures all over town in their shoes; it was extremely successful.

Targeting local business using contests.

Local business holds contest for local residents.

  • Having a map showing your location on your Facebook page can show people how close you are to them. You are targeting local business—show them you’re just up two streets and around a corner. I’ve seen some with business pages that have uploaded directions, informing users that they are “behind the Best Buy and next to Subway.” Local users will be more likely to know exactly where you are, and familiarity can build an automatic rapport.

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  • Support the community that supports your business. This may not be a post that you pay to promote through the Ad system, but having volunteer or charity work that your company has done on your Facebook page can help you build a loyal and enthusiastic customer base. This is something to have on your page for users to see once they’re on your page. Once users have followed your Ad back to your site, they’ll be happy to see that you’re helping their community as well as supplying great products and services.
Communities like seeing local businesses give back.
Communities like seeing local businesses give back.