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How To: Turn A Low-Performing Digital Ad Campaign Around

Written by: Carolyn Berk, Content Marketing Associate

Face it: not every social media ad campaign will be a runaway success. But just because marketers aren’t rolling in revenue every time they run an ad doesn’t mean they aren’t getting value from the experience. In fact, smart marketers often use results from less-than-stellar campaigns to optimize future iterations. So if your ad campaign is a flop, focus on the following:

Targeting - Fix Ad Campaign Failure1. Refine Your Targeting

When an ad isn’t generating clicks, the creative components may not be at fault; your campaign could just be targeted to the wrong people. After all, a young college student would likely have no reason to click on an ad promoting mortgages, and a parent taking care of many young kids doesn’t have much use for an ad showcasing a small, two-door sports car.

A couple things to try:

  • Ensure that your ads get in front of people who are more likely to click. Zeroing in on interests, age, location, gender, and relationship status are all ways you can boost ad relevance through improved audience targeting
  • Use Website Custom Audiences to advertise to people who have already researched your products or services on your site, or abandoned shopping cart items

Creative Testing - Fix Ad Campaign Failure2. Run A Creative Test

Sometimes a campaign flops because the creative fails to resonate with audiences. Running a creative test will help you determine which ads attract the most clicks and conversions. Best of all, a creative tester tool will automatically pause down ads that fail to meet performance thresholds, so you won’t be paying to serve weaker, less successful ads as you figure out what works.

This approach is also helpful for identifying what elements you should continue to use. For example, a creative test may reveal that ads featuring your logo get more attention than ads without one, or that a CTA button reading “shop now” nets more conversions than “learn more.” Armed with this knowledge, you’ll know what to do when crafting creative for your next campaign.

New ad types - Fix Ad Campaign Failure3. Try A Different Ad Type Or Channel

Facebook and Instagram offer many different ad types, which means there are a variety of ad units to test out. What may not have worked as a photo ad may perform better when repackaged as a link ad or carousel ad. The important thing is to experiment with ad types until you find one that works for you.

Expanding your range doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of extra work. For example:

  • Carousel ads can be assembled from several photo ads, or comprised of video ad stills
  • Video ads can consist of photo ad images that have been spliced together to form a slideshow
  • Existing Facebook ad campaigns can easily be repurposed on Instagram

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