Troubleshooting Facebook Ads

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Facebook Ads can be finicky things.

Getting an ad to perform well (meaning actually sell books at a cost per click that doesn’t break the bank) can be a complicated formula. In theory, it should be simple:

  • One part good ad copy (that’s attractive to your target reader)
  • One part finding the right audience (again think about your target reader)
  • One part good landing page (your Amazon book page or other sales page)

So if you’ve got all those things right, your FB ad should perform well! Facebook-Icon

But what happens if it doesn’t? How do you know which part of the formula isn’t quite right?

Here are a few tips to troubleshoot: 

Problem #1 – High Cost per Click:

First, you may not be sure if your cost per click is high or not. Every audience is a little different, but typically CPC for the Romance genre is lower (somewhere in the 5-50 cent range) and Thrillers/Mystery/etc. are in the higher range (40 – 75 cents).

High cost per click is usually either a sign of audience targeting not right or your ad copy doesn’t match your target audience.

To address poor audience targeting, you’ll want to play around with the interests your ad targets (at a low daily budget, say $2/day) until you find your people. One of the significant advantages of Facebook ads is the excellent targeting abilities. Here are some interests you can test:

  • People who like authors of books similar to yours
  • People who like specific aspects of your branding (for example, are your books set in the South? Set in major cities? The California coast? The Colorado mountains? Beaches?) Try to target the interests that are highlighted in your book.

As you’re going through this process, look at your ad text and image and make sure they match what your book is about, which should also match the interests you’re targeting.

You’ll know when you’ve found the right audience to target because your ad’s cost per click will go down and its relevance score will go up.

Problem #2 – Ad Not Selling Books (also known as Ad Not Converting)

This is usually a symptom of problems with your product page. Look at your book cover and book blurb (product description). Make sure they draw your target reader. Then make sure they match both the feel of your ad copy and the interests your ad is targeting.

For example, if your ad targets people who love beaches, and your book is a mystery about a New York City cop who finds a dead body washed up on one of the city’s shores – your targeting doesn’t match. They may both reference water and a shoreline, but beach life is usually synonymous with slow days and light fun reads. Very different from an intense murder mystery. That example is extreme, but hopefully you catch my meaning.

scalingProblem #3 – Scaling Too Quickly

Scaling basically means increasing your ad spend so it can increase the number of people reached each day, and hopefully increase the number of books you sell. A general rule of thumb for FB ads is not to raise your daily spend budget more than 50% at a time. So if your budget is $5/day, you can increase it up to $7.50/day, then leave it alone for a few days to allow the Facebook algorithm to catch up. Once you’re happy with the cost per click again, you can increase your spend by up to 50% again (in this case, you can raise it up to $10.75). Any more than a 50% increase usually makes the algorithms go crazy and will likely make your cost per click skyrocket.

So there you have it. Once your ad copy, ad interests, and product page all match up, you should be able to sit back and watch your ad perform (make sure you keep an eye on it!). And I guarantee you’ll  have learned something along the way! 🙂

What about you? Do you have any experiences troubleshooting these problems? What worked (or didn’t work) for you? 

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