When a Facebook PPC Campaign is Not a Good Idea

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Many companies will argue about the power of Facebook ads, but few talk about when they are not the best strategy for maximizing ROI.

With ever diminishing organic reach crippling businesses' Facebook  efforts, advertising seems like the most effective way to reach your target audience. Right?

Not always. 

Many companies will argue about the power of Facebook ads, but few talk about the times where Facebook ads should not be relied upon to maximize ROI.  Yes, it's costs are lower than other networks and platforms, but you shouldn't allow yourself to be blinded by the sticker price.

Here are a few scenarios in which Facebook PPC may not work in your favor.

What's a good CTR for Facebook ads?

If You're Experiencing a Low Click-Through Rate

Click-through rates (CTR) are the backbone of PPC advertising. If you're experiencing a low CTR, it is obviously time to change course. But what is a low CTR in terms of Facebook? Shoot for .11 percent to .16 percent. Those are optimal numbers. A percentage of between .07 percent to .09 is still good. The average is .04 to .05.

If you're only scoring between .02 to .03, you're treading water. Anything below that, and it's time to resign yourself to the fact that PPC advertising on Facebook was a valiant—but failed—experiment.

Why you need to update your ads frequently on FB

If You Don't Frequently Update Your Ads

Facebook loses money every time an ad is shown but not clicked. Therefore, Facebook penalizes stale ads.

This means that PPC campaigns are simply not economically feasible on Facebook unless you update your ads on a regular basis.

Facebook measures the "Quality Score" of the PPC ads you place on its network. But like posts from your grandmother that don't get any shares or likes, you never see your Quality Score. Google has a similar program with AdWords, but Facebook's is more direct and severe.

It measures what is called "ad fatigue" — the amount of time that your ad has lingered unchanged. Although the length of time before penalization depends on several variables, ads should generally not go more than two weeks without an update. Even modest changes will help significantly. The punishment for ad fatigue is, of course, a higher cost-per-click (CPC).

Some businesses take a submit-and-forget attitude toward ads that have proven to work in the past. If this is part of your advertising culture, find another avenue unless you are highly experienced in the Facebook advertising realm. 

What is ad blindness?

If You Don't Fight "Ad Blindness" By Measuring Impressions

Ad fatigue's ugly cousin is "ad blindness," which occurs when your ad makes it on the right page in front of the right person in the right demographic at the right time, but they literally don't see it.

If you're rotating ads and focusing on higher CTR, there is still one crucial element that you simply can't do without: The measurement of impressions. Impressions relate not to how often an ad is clicked, but how often it is seen.

Do you set up automated reports and alerts across all of your active ads to warn you of crumbling impression rates? If not, your Facebook PPC campaign is a boat with a hole in it — even if your ads are updated constantly.

Give Them a Safe Landing

Recognizing that Facebook PPC is not for you is half the battle. Go spend your time and money on more universally applicable traffic drivers such as SEO — as long as you're sure.

But maybe your PPC campaign just needs a little tweaking. Adogy.com’s article "10 Ways to Improve Your Paid Campaigns" reminds us to consider where every ad clicked on Facebook ultimately leads. Examine your landing page. Does it feature the products or services that match the text in the ad? Do your keywords in your ad copy appear in the headline on your landing page?

You'd be amazed how many otherwise flawless Facebook PPC campaigns flop because they lead to the wrong landing page. Creating a decent landing page should be the easy part — don't let that sink all of the hard work you put into everything else.

For companies large and small, using Facebook ads for business has to meet a certain and specific criteria to be successful. What works on Google may not work on the world's largest social-media site — and vice versa. Switch up your ads, focus on both CTR and impressions — and always make sure your visitors land in the right place. So when considering if Facebook Ads are a good or bad idea for your particular situation, consider all of the former. Most importantly: Good luck!

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