Facebook Advertising Mistakes Duplication - StrengthInBusiness

On the way back from my recent Facebook Advertising workshop in Berlin I reflected upon the mistakes that popped up during the sessions. Some of these mistakes were common, whereas others were directly correlated with the level of know-how each participant had.

One of these Facebook advertising mistakes stuck with me as I’ve seen it come up over and over again in my workshops irrespective of the country or continent. It had to do with duplication.

Duplication is a phenomenon that isn’t strictly correlated with a particular industry but rather something that can emerge in all markets. It can kill your campaigns, ad sets and ads.

Duplication per se isn’t a bad thing, however, when you have say 140 ad sets in a single campaign with each ad set having 2 ads that you have duplicated over and over again, ending up with 280 (2×140) ads with different ad IDs – than you have a real issue.

The attendees were wondering why the campaign wasn’t performing. Pouring in more money wasn’t delivering better results. Adding new ad sets wasn’t solving the problem. More so, duplicating 2 creatives on ad level was digging the whole thing deeper into the ground.

They desperately needed a way out.

When Duplication Kills Your Ad Performance

Let’s recap briefly:

We have 1 campaign.

There are 140 ad sets in this campaign.

Each ad set is made up of 2 ads with two different images; the copy is the same, the CTA is the same, just the imagery is different. So we’re talking about a total of 280 ads.


  • The budget is set on ad set level. The company running these ads is not using Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO). This feature will become a default as of September 2019 (see latest announcement by Facebook).
  • The 140 ad sets are targeting cold traffic only. None of the ad sets was targeting email subscribers, a website custom audience, engagement custom audiences or lookalikes based off of these warm audiences.
  • The only exclusion that was made on ad set level was for customers. So we’re dealing here with huge audience overlaps. BTW the feature ‘audience overlaps’ found inside the “Audience” tab was unknown to the attendee.
  • As all ads were duplicated, there are 280 different ad IDs (!!!). Social proof was almost non-existent.

Leaving Money on the Table

The crazy part of this story is the following:

The market these people are in, is absolutely amazing. They have a hugely engaged audience, individuals that are devouring every piece of content that was put out organically on the Facebook Page.

Whereas they were getting tens and hundreds of likes, shares and comments organically on their posts, their ads were “cold” in social proof. Nobody was engaging.

Not only that: conversions weren’t happening either.

The ads simply weren’t appealing to the audience. Everything the company was doing successfully on their Facebook Page couldn’t be duplicated in the paid advertising world. The reason for that is listed below.

Avoid These Rookie Facebook Advertising Mistakes

Here are some of the typical beginner Facebook advertising mistakes:

  • Not promoting existing Facebook posts. Up until our workshop, the company didn’t even know about the existence of this feature. Using an existing Page Post ID in your ad not only helps you capitalize on all the social proof you already gathered organically but also avoids duplication frenzies.
  • Duplication bonanza. When you have roughly 300 different ad IDs in a single campaign with only one distinction, a different imagery – there’s no way on earth you can succeed long-term.
  • Targeting exclusively a cold audience. There’s nothing wrong in targeting people based on interests and behavioral patterns. However, leaving warm traffic totally out of the game is a huge mistake.
  • Using no exclusions. This company was excluding existing customers but that’s about it.
  • Competing with yourself due to huge audience overlap. Those 140 ad sets based on interests were significantly overlapping themselves, leading to Facebook spending the money on vastly the same audience.
  • Juggling with different ad types. The creative is the variable of success therefore it’s crucial to test video ads, carousel ads along with image link ads. The company was only doing image link ads.
  • No Facebook advertising funnel. When your entire Facebook ad funnel is made up of only one campaign, namely conversions, it’s just a matter of time until your ads stop working.
  • No content marketing strategy. What most companies don’t understand is that running profitable ads on Facebook consistently requires more than setting up a conversion campaign and rushing people to a sales page. People want to get to know you as an individual and business. Therefore putting out content in different forms (written, audio, video) is a crucial part of every successful marketing and sales process nowadays.
  • Low budget issues. When you have 5 USD daily for every ad set to spend and run 2 different images inside each ad set, well that’s a little bit too much for Facebook to take. The “image test” won’t be conclusive.
  • Not giving Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) a try. Fact is, the company didn’t know about this option.

As of September 2019, CBO will become the default setting.

FACEBOOK ADVERTISING TIP: Advanced Facebook advertisers will still be able to adjust budgets by setting min/max spend limits on ad set level.

The above-mentioned issues aren’t a onetime happening. Actually, these mistakes are quite common among advertisers.

Whether in Berlin, London or Dubai, I like to ensure that my workshop attendees leave the sessions with solutions to their problems as well as a set of proven frameworks and systems that help them #1 run profitable Facebook ads and #2 better tackle future platform changes with more certainty.

This being said, I look forward to welcoming you to one of our upcoming Facebook advertising workshops. You can find more info on Eventbrite.

What were some of your biggest Facebook advertising mistakes?

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