Facebook ads Troubleshooting methods

Facebook ads can be extremely frustrating. Sometimes, your campaigns just don’t get you the results you need in order to be profitable. And that’s fine — as long as you know how to analyze your campaigns, and make modifications to your store or creative that will get you back on track.

In this article, we’re going to reveal how you can use different data points from your ads manager to diagnose and address issues preventing you from getting results like this:

So, let’s get to it!

The Sales Funnel

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty details of the ads manager, you need to have an understanding of the sales funnel. If you haven’t heard of the concept of a ‘funnel’ before, don’t worry! 99% of dropshipping content out there doesn’t cover this at all, despite it being at the core of what we do as internet marketers.

Simply put, a sales funnel is a representation of the customer journey. And for our intents and purposes, we’ll define the customer journey as a series of steps a customer takes prior to making a purchase on your store.

A dropshipping sales funnel that uses Facebook to drive traffic to your store will look something like this:

The customer begins their journey at the top of the funnel and makes their way to the bottom. Some customers might leave the funnel and return at a later time, while others may never return.

Note: Notice the diminishing size of each category as you go from top to bottom; this is due to some people leaving and not returning.

At this point you might be wondering — why care about any of this stuff? How is this supposed to help me?

By combining information from various parts of the funnel as well as your campaign data, you will know where to look for issues that are causing people to leave your store. And once you resolve those issues, you won’t have as many people leaving without purchasing, which will increase your profit!

That’s about all you need to know for now — let’s get started!

Step 1: Run A Facebook Ad Campaign

We are assuming that you have been running traffic to an existing store and that it is your desire to troubleshoot an existing campaign. We also recommend having at least two days worth of data for whichever campaign you are going to be troubleshooting to account for any fluctuations in a performance that can occur because of the way Facebook functions. If that’s the case, go ahead and move on to Step #2.

If you are new and haven’t yet had a chance to run any campaigns (and don’t know where to get started) take a look at our low-budget Facebook ad strategy video.

Step 2: Top Of Funnel Troubleshooting

Now that the data is in, it’s time to troubleshoot. The first place you are going to be looking at is the top of the funnel. This refers to the first two ‘slices’ of the funnel: people who view your ad and people who click your link.

Top Of THe Funnel

To analyze these steps of the funnel, look at these following metrics:

  • CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions)
  • CPC (Cost Per Link Click)
  • CTR (Outbound Click Through Rate)
  • VAWT (Video Average Watch Time)

If you notice that one or more of these metrics are not quite where they need to be, this is likely due to one or more of the following:

  • People aren’t interested in your product
  • Your advertisement is not that great

Now, it is usually hard to tell what the issue is if you only look at individual metrics. Instead, you need to look at all of these metrics as a whole to see what the story is. Let’s consider this screenshot from one of our ad accounts:

Note: The campaigns shown above have identical setups, except for the creative being used.

The first campaign we launched yielded a $40 CPP, which was above the $30 target CPP. The campaign wasn’t a complete failure; but what’s causing the CPP to be that high?

Well, for one, the CPC was too high at $1.04! Now, don’t get us wrong — in some niches, you will get a higher CPC, and you don’t necessarily want cheap clicks (you may get bad traffic) but this didn’t seem right, given the relatively low CPM for this audience. From experience, we know that with CPM’s in the $5-15 range, you can achieve a $0.30 – $0.80 CPC.

Corresponding to the high CPC, we noticed a lower CTR as well — it was way under 1%, which is what we would like to see.

We also noticed a VAWT of only four seconds, which is under 10% of the whole video!

Putting all of these things together, it becomes clear that people simply weren’t interested in what they were watching.

At this point, we decided that the video creative needed to be refreshed to help increase these metrics.

After introducing the new video in a new campaign, all of the metrics improved quite drastically. We were now profitable at a $24 CPP, and ready to scale.

Now, if you’re in a similar situation and you find that swapping the creative did nothing: you may at this point want to try a different audience. And if that also fails, we would recommend scrapping the product.

Step 3: Middle Of Funnel & Bottom Of Funnel Troubleshooting

Next, you need to go ahead and consider the middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel.

The corresponding metrics to consider at these steps are:

  • Cost per content view
  • Cost per link click
  • Cost per add to cart
  • Cost per initiated checkout
  • Cost per result (CPC)
Middle & Bottom of the funnel

If you find that you have a relatively high cost per content view but an acceptable CPC, it may be an indicator of one (or both) of the following:

  1. Product price is too high
  2. Poorly designed home or collections page

Generally, we stick to the following:

IF # Content Views < 1/2 # Of Link Clicks: try lowering the prices slightly
IF # Add To Carts < 10% of Content Views: check the product page content/quality
IF # Checkouts < 1/2 Add To Carts: target a different audience
IF # Purchases < 1/2 Checkouts: there are likely issues with your checkout sequence or audience

These are just some examples of issues that you may find. At the end of the day, as you gain more experience and understanding of your niche and Facebook ads in general, this will become second nature to you.

That’s about it for this article — you should now be armed with enough knowledge to help troubleshoot your campaigns and get those results coming in. If you find yourself uncertain or confused with a particular scenario, just take a look at the conversion funnel and think about how the data ties into that. And, as always, if you have any questions about this article or any of our content, feel free to drop a comment below or in our Facebook group!