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What to Do When Your Facebook Ads are Underperforming

What to Do When Your Facebook Ads are Underperforming

So you’ve decided to invest in Facebook Ads… now what? You check the analytics every few days. You have NO idea why no one is clicking or interacting with your ad. The copy, the graphics, the targeting… it could be one or all.With no impressions and no conversions, your Facebook Ads are definitely not achieving your business goals. We’re here to troubleshoot what the problem may be, so you can start generating the leads you deserve from your paid advertising.

Impressions: “My ad isn’t getting in front of anyone.”


Not all of us have the design skills to create a beautiful graphic, yes. But there are a few tweaks you can make to your design so that Facebook recognises its value and promotes it to the right people.

Some questions you can ask when reviewing your design:

  • Will someone stop scrolling to view this image in their News Feed?
  • Have we used our own images, instead of generic stock photos?
  • How much text is on my image & is it relevant to the intended action?
  • Does the image appear to be high quality?
  • Does the image reflect our branding?

Designer or not, it’s obvious when the ad graphics are an afterthought. Using stock imagery will only reveal you as an ‘imposter’. Rather than simply posting another image from Unsplash or Pexels, send the image to your designer to deconstruct, add your brand colours or design according to your advertisement goals.


For many digital marketers, perfecting the audience can be the hardest part of running Facebook advertising. It becomes a little easier when you know the exact location of your venue, as you can filter via the radius people live or currently are, in relation to your location.

Like many businesses, you may have multiple ads running at once, with multiple (and similar) audiences. By doing this, you’re competing against yourself. Facebook will show you a visual overlap of your audiences in the Business Manager.

For custom and lookalike audiences, head to the Audience Manager.

  • Select the audiences you want to compare.
  • Click on the Actions tab dropdown menu.
  • Find the ‘Show Audience Overlap’ button.

For those marketers using interests and demographics to target your ads, you’ll need to take a different approach and recreate as ‘Saved Audiences’ before you do the comparison.


Often, businesses will decide that Facebook ads just don’t work for them, when only throwing $5 in the hat each time. To have a successful Facebook advertising campaign, you need to look beyond the quick, low-cost of the ‘Boost Post’ button and try a more complex approach, including upping your budget.

When bidding on Facebook, you need to make sure that your budget is higher than your competition, or your ads won’t get shown as often (or at all). Increase your ad budget until you are generating impressions or switch your bids to Automatic and let Facebook advise how much you should be bidding each time.

If you’re not able to increase your daily or campaign budget, cut down your ad sets. That way you can allocate more budget to the right ads, to get them in front of the right people.


It’s frustrating when your Campaign is Active, yet the ads continue to underperform. Easy to miss, but perhaps your allocated spend has been exhausted, meaning, yep, you’re out of cash. Double check this, and then put more coin towards the ad sets that are delivering.

Another point: your entire account may have reached your allocated spend. In your Payment Settings, you’ll find how much your spend is across your account; if maxed out, increase it. Simple.

Conversions: “No one that sees my ad is taking any action.”


The very first option you have when creating your Facebook ad is deciding on an objective. You can choose anything, from app installs to page likes to lead generation.

To decide on the ‘right’ objective, it may take some time. In the beginning, focus on your greater marketing goal. Do you want more brand awareness? Maybe choose page likes as your objective. You want to sell tickets to your next event? The campaign objective should be traffic or product sales. Be strategic, but always have your end goal top of mind.


Just like the design, we’re not all masterful copywriters. Your ad may be generating impressions (yay!), but the messaging just isn’t resonating with your audience.

Ask a potential client, a friend, colleague or copywriter to look over your copy and see if it resonates in the way you would expect. Your ad may have a great strategy, great imagery… but the words, not so good.

Don’t forget to check for any spelling mistakes. This will immediately turn people off, whether you, or they, know it or not.


A quick way to troubleshoot why you have many impressions, but no click-throughs. It could be that your offer kinda sucks. You want your audience to do something, don’t you? Well, they’re not going to take action on something that they don’t want or need.

Review your current offer and whether or not you, yourself, or a customer would actually want to click and download, or click and sign up, to your offer.


Have you ever seen a Facebook ad so many times it makes you want to scream? Or worse, blacklist that company in your mind forever.

You may be doing this, too. It will become immediately obvious if you continue to get comments on your ads that state, “Get off my feed”, but more often than not it’s the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) which will alert you. Once your ads are deemed to have High Frequency, it’s time for new ads.

Landing Page

So you’ve made the impression, you’ve got the click-through, and now for your landing page… you fail to convert. It’s your landing page. The copy, the design, the simplicity, are all factors in whether or not your landing page will succeed.

If your web design skills aren’t up to scratch, Facebook has canvas ads, now known as “instant experiences”, which are template versions of click-through landing pages. Bonus: they’re in-app, so your potential customer doesn’t need to navigate to Chrome to view your offering or load the page slowly on the Facebook app.

From budget to design and copy, there’s a number of reasons your Facebook ads could be underperforming. The good news is, you can always stop a campaign and try again, or rework your current offerings. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your Facebook advertising, get in touch with us today.

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