Common Facebook Ad Creative Mistakes & How To Fix Them (Part 2)

Welcome back to part two! This is a 2-part blog series where I break down common mistakes I’ve seen with Facebook ad creative.  If this is your first time, be sure to check out part one of this series.

Hopefully, your business isn’t making one of these mistakes. If you are, no big deal, just follow the tweak and relaunch the ad!

The Mistake: Not optimizing for all placements

When running ads on social media platforms it is important to upload the correct aspect ratio for each of the different placements and formats. By not doing this, Meta will limit the number of opportunities your ad can run and the amount of data you can receive.

The Tweak: Size matters, make the edit

Making sure your creative is optimized to show on all placements is the best and easiest way to make sure your ad is running at full capacity. Not sure how to edit current creative to size? There are a lot of free tools (such as Canva) out there that can help you. Heck, Facebook even has a crop tool within the platform that makes this an easy must-do.

Check out this aspect ratio table that Meta provides.

You may find over time that certain placements don’t yield the best results. If that’s the case and you’ve removed those placements from the campaign settings, then it would make sense to run specific creative sizing for the placements that work best. However, you should only do this if you have data to support it, not as your first option to starting a new campaign.


Mistake: Ad Creative doesn’t align with the user’s placement in the sales funnel

If a random stranger came up to you and proposed, would you say yes? It sounds silly to ask because unless you’re on the show “Married at First Sight,” then your answer would probably be a resounding “no.” So why then would we expect our users to convert the first time they see an advertisement from our brand before introducing or educating them about the product or service?

Take a look at the creative and messaging combination you’re currently running. Are you asking a broad audience that may have never heard of you to make a purchase? Or does it align with where the user is in the sales funnel? If not, it’s time to make a tweak.

The Tweak: Meet the user on their terms, not yours

The best way to demonstrate this tweak is to break down the marketing funnel and assign different creative to each stage based on the audience and their familiarity with your brand.

Keep in mind, this isn’t concrete. Sometimes you’ll find ads can overlap and mix depending on the offer. However, this is a good, basic outline to start with:

Top of Funnel

  • Objective: Awareness
  • Ad Types: Blogs, Videos, Podcasts

Middle of Funnel

  • Objective: Engagement/Lead Generation
  • Ad Types: Educational resources, quizzes, survey discounts/offers

Bottom of Funnel

  • Objective: Conversions
  • Ad Types: Testimonials, demos, free trials


The Mistake: Not learning from your competition

The best creative minds take inspiration from all sources, so why not use your competition? One of the biggest mistakes marketers can make is only focusing on themselves and not taking into consideration what others may be advertising. Whether they have found a different formula for success or different messaging that has worked you can learn from them.

The Tweak: Cue Nike’s “anything you can do, I can do better”

One of my favorite tools that Facebook released within the last few years is the “Ads Transparency” page. This allows you to see exactly what ads are active in brands’ accounts (including your competition). Checking out what a competitor is doing is a great way to get ideas for your next ad campaign. Obviously, I’m not condoning copying your competition’s ads but great ideas can come from taking their creative concept and spinning it to work for your brand. The first CEO I worked for, called this “suckerfishing” and it’s quite effective at generating new creative.


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 launched ads that break all the mistakes listed above but it 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! 

Good luck and have fun with it!