I won’t even start this post by asking the ridiculous question of whether you’ve had issues with low performing ads, I mean, who hasn’t? The well known entrepreneur and marketing guru Neil Patel recently shared a few common reasons about why your Facebook ads don't work - and what to do about it.

I'll keep this one short, straight to the point and hopefully pretty applicable. Sound OK? Cool, let's get to it.

Tip #1; Create warmer audiences

Make sure you don’t just do cold audience traffic. Lots of advertisers just target random people by setting a few interests and start shooting ads, hoping that they'll buy straight away. Even though that tactic could work it's definitely much harder than hitting a warmer audience. What you should start by doing is to remarket to your existing customers and get them to buy again. Then create a lookalike audience based on their purchases to find people who are similar to them, relevant and who might also want to buy your product or service.

Tip #2; Spend enough and then gradually scale

You need to spend enough when you’re testing out new ads. If you’re not spending enough to get the ball rolling you can never achieve a good ROAS (long-term and with decent spend). It could also be on the flip side - you used to have great results, but when you started scaling your budgets, the ads stopped working. When it comes to budgets and Facebook, it’s all about spending the right amount. You’ve got to spend enough to test out the audiences, the messaging, the ads - but at the same time you can’t spend too much too quickly. If you scale up your ads to fast you’ll find that Facebook gives you a similar amounts of clicks for the same amount of money. For that reason you have to gradually increase the amount that you’re spending.

What budget should I type in? A good starting point and daily budget rule of thumb is to afford five conversions per ad set per day. You can easily calculate this by taking your average purchase order value x5 = daily budget.

Tip #3; Relevant retargeting

You need to retarget/remarket to all the people who almost bought or almost signed up. Say that someone added a bunch of items to their shopping cart but didn’t finish the checkout, you need to show them what it’s like to be a customer through a video remarketing ad, not just on Facebook but also on Youtube. It really converts at great ratios. Same goes for services - if someone almost filled out a lead form but didn’t finish - show them what it’s like to fill it out and how things work once they're done. Also, your copy might not perform well and you can’t expect it to unless you try it out. Facebook has an entire library of ads so find your competitors and see what kind of ads and copy they are running and outsmart them. If you know that their marketing works really well, do something similar and chances are it’ll work for you too.

Tip #4; Make sure your funnel is aligned and on point

Check your own funnel - what’s it like? If you don’t spend enough time looking at your own site and funnel, you might very well be missing out on a lot of conversions. People assume that if you’re spending money on Facebook and it doesn’t work - something’s wrong with Facebook but it could very well be your own site. Look at a few competitors that you know are converting well and see how their funnel is set up. If you find that most sites use a similar funnel, that’s probably because it works really well. Try tools like Facebook Analytics, ClickFunnels or Google Analytics to analyze your funnel, see where people fall off or where they have issues. If you find that competitors use the same sequencing, the same funnel, similar copy with up-sells, down-sells and so on, you now know that this is probably working really well in your space.

Tip #5; Use videos and optimize for your goal

Use video instead of images in your ads, they tend to perform much better and result in lower costs. Also, optimize for sales instead of clicks. Since you’re looking at revenue and not clicks, optimize for your end goal. Clicks don’t matter anymore.

To sum it up

While cold traffic is and probably should be a part of your marketing upper funnel strategy you can definitely start off by getting your previous customers to buy in order to create a strong lookalike audience. Don't be scared of testing your Facebook ads enough (read more on what enough means) and thoroughly to gain enough data in order to take informed decisions on what works and what doesn't. When you've found what works, gradually scale up your budgets (could be multiple times a day) to avoid a large drop in results from shock-raising.

Even though it might seem obvious, you need to retarget your website visitors in a thought-out way. Perhaps create customized funnels depending on what they've done or what they've viewed in your advertising to create a logical and relevant experience. If you're unsure on how to start or how to find inspiration - go to the Facebook Ad Library and find out what your competitors are doing. At least you'll get some information and hopefully some inspiration as well.

Keep your funnel smart and easy, both in your advertising and on your website. Is every action moving the potential customer closer to a purchase or is something not making sense in their journey? Last but not least (although I hope most of you already know this), optimize for your goal! If you're looking to convert people into customers, optimize for conversions/purchases, not clicks. Use video, it usually performs way better than static images but test everything out and you'll know for sure.