My Facebook Ad Didn’t Work… Now What?

So… your Facebook ad didn’t work. Now what?

This happens more often than you would think, but the companies who profit from Facebook advertising know what to do.

Having one Facebook ad not work for you isn’t a crisis because you should be running at least 3 ads all the time. You just shut off the ad that isn’t working and let the others continue.

What is a real problem is when your entire campaign isn’t working.

That means none of the ads you have are getting the results you want or are even close to getting those results.

Here is what we look at when we start working with a customer. (This is part of Go Social Experts Sales Growth Accelerator.)

Your Audience:

Are you talking to the right people? I.e. people who are interested in your products or services. If you’ve never used this audience before, this can be an issue. If you have used the audience in the past and they have responded how you expected then this most likely isn’t the issue. Move on to the next step.

Just because you think the audience should be interested in what you’re selling, doesn’t mean they will be. Nothing beats testing.

We’ve created a customer avatar sheet that helps you get deep into what your ideal customer is thinking. You can get it by clicking HERE. Use this to develop interest audiences if you’re ads aren’t working.

Once you have the right people in place, try the same ad to the new audience. This is a key action if you’ve used a similar ad on Facebook or in other media and it got the results you wanted.

Your Offer:

Does your ideal customer want what you’re offering?

Many times we think we have a great idea for an offer but when we tell our prospects about it they aren’t interested.

Some of the things to consider are:

  • Are we asking people to take too big of a step? Someone who never heard of us probably isn’t ready to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment.
  • Does our ideal prospect care about what we’re offering?
  • Is our price right for what we’re offering? Are we too high, too low?
  • Do we have any reason for people to respond now? If they decide to wait they may forget they even saw our ad.
  • Do we have any bonuses? What can we offer that excites our ideal prospect?
  • Have we reversed the risk? Are we asking our prospect to take on all the risks of working with us?

As you can see creating an offer that sells can be complex.

The way to find out what your customers want is to create one and advertise it. Facebook is great for this as you can create and test offers for less than most media.

For less than $100 you can show your offer to several THOUSAND people and see how they respond. If it doesn’t work, go back and try another.

Your Message:

If you know you have the right audience and the right offer, but not many are responding to your ad then we need to look at what message you’re using to sell.

Based on how well the audience knows you and your company your messaging needs to adjust.

Many times you’ll hear about audiences being referred to by temperature.

A cold audience hasn’t heard of you.

A warm audience has heard of you but hasn’t purchased anything from you or even expressed any serious interest.

A hot audience has shown a lot of interest and, many times, they’re existing customers.

If you’re talking to a cold audience, you want to start with a problem they have. This will catch their attention and draw them into what you’re saying. When using this tactic, you have to keep in mind Facebook’s rule of not calling out people by characteristics.

If you’re in the health market and you say do you struggle with pain, or diabetes, or any other illness, your ad will be declined.

You do this in a subtle way and it works well. Try to focus on the positives of your product or service instead – the ability to be active, healthy blood sugar levels, etc.

When you’re talking to a warm audience, you start with a solution. After all, they are already familiar with you, but they may not know what you offer or that you can help with this problem, whatever this is.

When you talking to a hot audience, you can start with an offer. These people know and like you already and when they see a deal they are likely to accept it.

These can be as simple as 50% off today or buy now and receive this free bonus or call and schedule an appointment and get _____________.

These ads are the direct selling ads and as long as you don’t overdo them you’ll get results regularly from them.

Your Creative:

This is the image or video you use in your ads or your posts.

The job of this is to stop people from scrolling through their newsfeed so they can read the message you created.

There is a trick to this. You want something that resonates with your prospect but that doesn’t leave them feeling like you tricked them into reading your message.

In the early days of Facebook ads, attractive people both men and women, kids, kittens, and puppies all worked, but after a bit people got tired of stopping and looking at these pictures to find out you were selling something unrelated.

What you want in an image is someone your prospect can relate to and that they’re attracted to.

We have found images with women or couples tend to do better than images with no people.

When you’re using a video does it entertain and inform? It needs to do at least one of these and both would be ideal.

You also want the video to look lie it was shot on a phone. On social media, produced videos don’t work as well.

The Type of Ad You Ran:

Did you run an image with a link?

Did you use a video ad?

How about a carousel ad?

How about a lead ad?

There are several different types of ads that work in different situations. The only way to know which is best is to test.

How many have you tried?

Not Enough Budget to achieve your goals:

This one depends on the value of what you’re selling and your strategy.

If you’re selling an item that sells for several hundred dollars and you spend a thousand dollars, Facebook never collected enough data to be able to work.

If your goal is to generate a sizeable business off of Facebook, using paid advertising could take a sizeable investment.

You will know what worked and what didn’t and be able to track your return on your ads but you must be willing to invest.

The other time this matters is if you’re using a strategy that requires you to retarget people who watched part of a video or who went to a landing page but left before you could make them an offer. With this, you need to create an audience first.

You may have to invest several hundred dollars to create that audience before you get to run the ads that sell.

You may be on the way to success and stop before your retargeting audience get’s big enough to enable you to sell to it.

Maybe your ad didn’t fail:

Your ad may be working and you’re not getting sales because of what’s happening after someone clicks on the ad.

You need to look at your ad numbers.

If your ad numbers look good but you’re not getting opt-ins or sales, the problem could be with the page you’re sending your prospects to.

If you send 100 people to a page and no one takes the action you want, the page is not working.

The basic numbers you’re looking for are the link clicks, the total clicks an ad has, and the quality score of your ads.

If these look good the ad is doing fine but the next page is the failure.

When you make changes only change one thing at a time:

Unless your ad is a total failure you want to make one change at a time.

What happens when you make a large number of changes is that you don’t know which change made the difference in performance. Yes, your ad is working better but why is it working better? You only have your best guess and while that may be good, data is better.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there are many things to consider when your Facebook ads aren’t working.

The businesses that succeed look at each one and keep testing to see how they can get better.

It takes time and some money but the rewards can change your business.

What would one good Facebook campaign do for your business?

To learn more about what to do if your Facebook ads fail, listen to THIS PODCAST EPISODE!

Brian Hahn

P.S. I offer complimentary Discovery Calls for people who have an existing business who want to take their Facebook marketing to the next level. We’ve worked with businesses just getting started with Facebook advertising to ones spending 6 figures a week on Facebook ads. To schedule a call go to and chose a time that works for you.