Facebook Ads Tips — Stop wasting money

Facebook Ads Tips

Facebook Ads Tips to save you money

As I’ve said in previous articles, advertising on Facebook can be a great way to grow your business. But if you do it wrong (and most people do to some extent), you can waste a lot of money on Facebook Ads. These Facebook Ads Tips will make sure you don’t.

In this article, I’m going to show you three very simple things you can do to make sure you aren’t wasting your money when you advertise on Facebook.

If you aren’t doing them, I guarantee you’re wasting some money on your Facebook Ads.

Facebook Ad Targeting

You’re probably familiar with Facebook Targeting which allow you to target people with specific interests, or who like certain pages, or fit a particular demographic. You can save these Target Groups and use them over again in all your ads.

You can also create Custom Audiences, from your website visitors, or your email lists, and Lookalike Audiences who are people that Facebook judges to be similar to the people you identify. For example Facebook can create a Lookalike Audience of people similar to your existing customers, or website visitors.

Facebook targeting is incredibly powerful and offers the imaginative marketer some incredible ways to reach people that otherwise they could only dream of.

It is truly amazing, and therein lies the danger…

Don’t aim at the wrong target

It’s all too easy to get carried away with the wealth of targeting options available, and to create yourself some target groups that you think fit your target audience precisely. You can group people with certain interests, people who like your competitors, people in certain areas, people who have been on your website — it’s a huge smorgasbord of people who are certain to want what you’re advertising. Best of all, once you’ve picked all these interests and options, you can save them and use them over and over again.

Why is that dangerous? Because you can get carried away with all the possibilities, and not all of your ideas will be right.

In fact some of the things you think are most likely to work, won’t work at all.

I know, I’ve done it myself.

In an earlier article on How To Advertise on Facebook for £1 per day, I quoted John D Wannamaker who famously said “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half”.

That’s a common problem with most types of advertising, but there is a way around it.

Facebook Ads Tip 1 — Split Test your Audience

When you go through and select the interests you want to use to target your Ads, don’t just select them all and make one Ad for the whole lot. The different groups will convert differently and if you lump them all together you can’t tell which is which.

For example, showing your Ads to people who like your competitor’s page may not work as well showing them to people who have visited your website.

People who live in Australia may convert twice as well as people who live in the United States.

Unless you separate them so that you can see their individual results, you’ll never know this. So you’ll be spending money showing Ads to people that don’t buy, when you could be spending it all on advertising to people that buy like crazy.

So you need to set up split tests where you show the same Ad copy and creative to all the different groups individually. The only thing that is different between each Ad is the audience you are showing it to.

This way you can see which of your targeting choices work and which ones don’t.

Yes it’s tedious, setting up say 10 different Ads, each targeting different groups, instead of just lumping them all together in one Ad, but actually it isn’t that bad.

Not nearly as bad as wasting money day in day out, advertising to the wrong people.

Once you’ve done your split testing you’re almost certainly going to find some obvious winners, and some obvious losers. Armed with that data (instead of guesswork and instinct), you now know which half of your advertising is wasted and can stop doing it!

Facebook Ads Tip 2 —Split Test everything else

You can see the obvious benefit of knowing exactly which audience groups convert the best, rather than working in the dark and guessing.

Don’t stop there. One of the great things about this type of advertising is you can split test everything.

Here are some other things you should split test with your Facebook Ads:

  • Location
  • Ad Headline
  • Ad Picture
  • Ad Copy / Call To Action
  • Desktop versus Mobile
  • News Feed versus Right Hand Column

All of these can have a tremendous impact on the effectiveness or otherwise of your advertising. Make sure you know what works and what doesn’t then you won’t waste money on your Facebook Ads.

Once you’ve gathered some split test data on these things then you may be able to be a bit less rigorous in future, provided you’re confident the same will hold true for your other campaigns.

In fact, gathering this data is a worthwhile activity in itself — over and above the actual return on the advertising. You can think of it as in a investment in data, and knowledge of what works for you and what doesn’t.

Facebook Ads Tip 3 —Don’t advertise if they’ve already bought

This is such a simple one but no end of people make this mistake.

If you’re advertising to create an action that can only happen once, then there’s no point in showing your Ad to the people who have already done it!

Building email lists is a prime example of this.

Facebook charges for showing your advert. They will continue showing your Ads to the same people (and charging you for it), irrespective of whether they have already subscribed, or bought your product.

You can stop this from happening however with a simple 2-step process:

Just upload a list of the people who have already bought/subscribed as a Custom Audience.

[You’ll need to use the Power Editor to do this, which is a little unwieldy and it only works in Google Chrome browsers, but it’s a pretty straightforward process.]

Then when you create your Ad (again in the Power Editor), just enter this Custom Audience in the ‘Excluded Audiences’ box, as in the example below:

Facebook Ads tips - excluded audiences

So now you won’t be wasting money showing your Ads to people who have already bought! You can also use this technique to exclude other people that your Ad is not relevant to. Showing your Ads to irrelevant people is a big waste of money as you pay every time your Ad is shown, whether it’s relevant or not.


These three simple Facebook Ads Tips will dramatically improve the effectiveness of your Facebook Advertising by stopping you wasting money on showing your Ads to people that either don’t convert, or who aren’t relevant — maybe because they have already bought.

I don’t know if half the money you spend on advertising is wasted, but it’s a reasonable starting point. If you follow these Tips, you’ll know you’ve done everything you can to minimise it, and you’ll be armed with some useful information about your customers.

Any questions please contact me or leave a comment below.

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