By Emily Johnson

People say, “Learn from your mistakes and failures.” I ask, “My mistakes and failures or other people’s mistakes and failures?” The truth is, we should learn both by example and direct experience, especially when it comes to social media marketing and advertising.

Let’s be honest, social media marketing can give a remarkable ROI. With the variety of platforms and available ads, you can easily reach thousands of people and thus increase brand awareness, boost sales and even get more traffic to your blog. Sounds marvelous, right?

So, you give it a try. You start with the biggest platform there is — Facebook — create a Facebook business page and post several ads. Here’s what happens next: nothing. Hardly anyone likes, comments or clicks on your ads. Why? That’s a good question…

Are you guilty of making these 5 mistakes?

When it comes to social media advertising, it’s all about being creative and making your ads not only engaging, but also, standing out. Consider this: nobody cares about or reads ads unless they’re into advertising. What people look at are things that interest them and by coincidence, if you’re fortunate, it’s your ad.

Here’s the tough question: How can you make sure people notice your ads, read them and take a desirable action (like, comment and/or click on your ad)? That’s simple. All you have to do is not to make these mistakes when creating your Facebook ads.

1. You Only Invest In One Type of Ad

Have you ever liked a Facebook business page only to be disappointed with it later? Most people like a page not only to receive notifications about special offers and discounts, but also to take part in competitions, be inspired with new content, learn something interesting from videos and be entertained with funny images. Thus, people desire variety.

So, if you constantly post the same ads and focus on promoting your products and services, you’re on the way to encouraging people to unlike your page. Take a look at the ads below. Wouldn’t you be annoyed to receive such offers all the time? I guess, the answer is obvious.

instagram ads

Of course, nobody forbids you to post offer ads every now and then, but don’t forget that these are not the only type of ads you can post. There are many other Facebook ads you can invest in, such as video ads, collection ads or carousel ads. So, use them to your advantage and show your creativity!

2. You Forget to Include a Call to Action

Imagine an image of a bookcase with a ladder. It’s absolutely marvelous. You’ve always dreamed of having a home library so having such a bookcase would be a dream come true. Now, imagine that you see such an image on Facebook. It makes you stop scrolling the page. You stare at the image for a while, like it, then sigh, and… scroll the page down.

Why didn’t you click on the image? But, what for? Exactly!

Now, imagine the same situation, but the image is accompanied by a short text:

“Books, everywhere books: on the floor, in the corners, on the table and in the closet. What a nightmare, right? Not anymore! At (name of the company), we love helping you organize your possessions in a grand style. Check our new bookcases at (URL of your store) and wow your guests today! Hurry, if you make a purchase until the end of the week, you’ll get a 10% discount.”

What do you do now? Check the bookcases in the store, right? Remember, people won’t know what to do after checking your ad unless you tell them that. So, always add a call-to-action to every ad you post.

Need more examples of creative ads with original call-to-actions? Check how HP does it:

call to action example

3. You Use the Wrong Images

Another mistake you can make when creating your Facebook ads is to add the wrong images. Images that are blurry, dark, with small details or too much text won’t draw people’s attention. Also, images that are irrelevant to your products or services will neither help you improve brand awareness nor increase your sales.

And here’s the biggest mistake of all: using free stock images. Remember, choosing a random, boring free stock photo won’t provide any value to your offer and so, won’t help get the message across.

Photos that will work best in your ads are those you take yourself. So, check Facebook tips for taking great photos, take your camera and be creative!

If you’re worried that taking photos will cost you a fortune, here are a few useful tips on how to do it on a budget:

  • Perfect lighting can be costly, so use sunlight
  • Don’t spend money on a new camera. Instead, take photos with your phone
  • Take all your pictures at home (just declutter your space)

4. You Don’t Add Captions to Your Videos

According to research, video ads that play loudly when you don’t expect it, annoy and irritate 80% of people. Captioned video ads, on the other hand, increase video view by 12%. Impressive, isn’t it?

Also, 85% of Facebook users decide to watch videos with the sound off. Why? Well, because most people check Facebook several times a day and often, they do so while being outside, in public transport, in a store or at work. If you don’t have earphones, the sound may disturb other people, and so, people decide to watch videos on mute.

Now, if you don’t add captions to your videos and people will watch them without the sound, will they be able to figure out what you’re trying to communicate to them? I guess not, right? So, to make sure you don’t lose potential customers, add captions to your videos. Take example from Cigna Global:

social media captions

5. You Provide No Value

If your advertising strategy focuses on selling and nothing else, you won’t be able to build strong relationships with your customers. You won’t be able to strengthen customer loyalty either.

The first and most important tip to increasing your sales is to give value first.

Remember: First give, then take. Make a positive impression on your customers. Post DIY ads, offer free webinars, create competitions with rewards, and so, entertain your audience. Once you do so, offer them your products. Then, you’ll have more chances to increase your sales. How come? Well, if you’re given something for free, don’t you feel like returning the favor? Ah, you do, right? And so will your customers.

Time to Start Creating Better Facebook Ads

To get a higher ROI from Facebook advertising, be smart and creative when creating your ads. Follow these five tips and you’ll see the results:

  1. Invest in different types of ads
  2. Always add a call-to-action
  3. Take photos for your ads by yourself
  4. Add captions to your videos
  5. Give value