Common Facebook Ad Creative Mistakes & How To Fix Them (Part 1)

Do you know what hurts me more than my face ID not recognizing me in the morning…?

Putting money behind poor Facebook ad creative and messaging.

It crushes my digital marketing soul when I see campaigns perfectly set up with the right budget, bid, placements, and audiences only for poor ad copy creative and incorrect messaging to destroy it.

So, being the change I wish to see in the world, I assembled a list of the top Facebook advertising creative mistakes and how you can make small tweaks to avoid or fix them.

(Now, my original list ran a little long so I broke it into two parts, stay tuned for the other part of this blog.)

After reading the two parts, reflect on the creative your business is running, and determine if you’re making any of these common mistakes.


The Mistake: Too Much Branding

From personal experience, almost every single brand that I’ve worked with has their logo as its social channel’s profile picture. When they run ads, their brand name and logo appear at the top of the ad, making it redundant to also include the brand name and logo in the image ad. Including additional branding may also call out to a user that this post is in fact an ad and may immediately lose their attention.

Don’t get me wrong, branding is very important. However, when it’s done at the expense of losing the attention of the user and diminishing the ad’s effectiveness, is it worth it?

The Tweak: Ditch the logo, embrace authenticity.

Recently, I’ve been trying out the new social app, BeReal. The reason this app gained so much popularity, especially with Gen Z, is because users are fed up with the “fakeness” of social media, including brands.

When you post an ad, make it feel natural and native to the platform. A good authenticity test is thinking “Is this ad something I could see my target audience posting on their page?” If it’s not, it’s time to reconsider. Too much branding can cause your ad to stick out on a user’s feed, resulting in them instantly “ad blocking” you versus engaging.

Additionally, it’s time to delete the stock photos altogether. Users see right through corny smiles and overused imagery. I understand that resources can be tight, but if you want to seem authentic, you need to find a way around it. Find creative assets that show actual customers using your products or engaging with your brand.


The Mistake: Slow Video Intros

Nothing makes a user scroll faster than a video that either opens with a company logo or a long introduction of people they’ve never seen before/don’t care about. On average, the typical user views a Facebook video ad for an average of 3 seconds…and that’s only getting shorter! This means you have a split second to capture your audience’s attention.

The Tweak: Slice your videos to find the most valuable segments and go all in right away!

Rather than waste your limited time with a user showing them your logo, think of what is important to your audience. This could be a pain point, something educational, or entertainment. Once you find it, boom…jump into the video right away with that opening and then progress into more detail ( less exciting stuff) as the video goes on. This structure allows you to capture your audience’s attention and gives them the opportunity to learn more if they want to (cough cough… self-qualifying themselves).

Not everyone can afford an ad from Harmon Brothers…but here is an example of one of my favorite video ad openers.

Who are the Harmon Brothers? They’re guys that charge $500,000+ for a video marketing campaign because they can. They take on winning products like Chatbooks, Squatty Potty, Fiberfix, and Purple, and accelerate their growth with a video marketing campaign.


The Mistake: Focusing too much on features

Okay before you show up at my house with a pitchfork, yes, advertising the features of your product is important, as they represent a promise to the user. However, benefits are just as important, and only focusing your advertising on one of these can be a big mistake and feel a lot like “me me me” while ignoring the customer.

Sales expert Zig Ziglar sums up this concept by saying “Humans buy with emotion and justify with logic.” Your ads should feature benefits appealing to a user’s emotion and then back it up with logic (features).

The Tweak: Don’t forget about the benefits

A great way to think about how you can show the benefits of your product is to think about how it will change the buyer’s life.

Will this product…

  • Save time?
  • Solve a problem?
  • Save them money?
  • Give them status?

Your product should do at least one of these, otherwise, digital marketing can’t save you. Figure out which is most relevant and role with it within your creative.

PS – in my opinion, advertising the ability to “give them status” as the result of purchasing a product/service is one of the most powerful values I’ve seen. Thanks to social media and the ability to “show your status” to the world, no one wants to keep up with the Joneses; they want to be the Joneses.


The Mistake: Avoiding Pain Points

No matter what you are selling, there’s likely one reason why a user doesn’t want to convert. As a marketer, it’s up to you to figure out what those reasons are and alleviate them along the customer journey.

The Tweak: Educate the pain points away

A great way to call out and alleviate pain points is to address the problem head-on in an advertisement and educate a user immediately. Provide them with the resources to overcome the point of contention, using reviews or testimonials.


What did you think?

Are you currently running any creative with any of the mistakes listed above? The good news is that it’s never too late to go back and make the tweaks.

Don’t forget: at the end of the day, as marketers we don’t know what will work until we test it. Sometimes I’ve seen creative that breaks all the mistakes listed above but still outperforms other “textbook” ads. The best advice I could give you is to always continue to test and use those results to make better ads!

More common mistakes will be coming your way soon – Keep an eye out for part two!