If you’ve spent more than five minutes with Facebook Ads or AdEspresso, once or twice, you’ve probably run into the problem of nobody viewing your ad after all the hard work of setting it up. Unfortunately, or fortunately, as the case may be, the answer is usually something so frustratingly simple that you wish you had thought of it before.

To remedy your Facebook marketing heartbreak, we’ve compiled a list of the top seven most common reasons why your ad campaign isn’t working and what you can do to fix it.

1. Your ads have been disapproved

If your ads have been disapproved, Facebook will send you a notification, with the reason of disapproval, to the email address that you have registered with them. Here are possible reasons your ads got disapproved:

•  The ad features or promotes tobacco, drugs and drug-related products (including pharmaceuticals)

•  The ad promotes unreliable and/or unsafe diet supplements

•  The ad is selling weapons, ammunition, and explosives

•  The ad features sensational, excessively violent content

•  The ad promises counterfeit or fake documents, such as degrees, passports, or immigration papers

•  Malware and spyware, surveillance equipment

•  The ad uses unlikely or exaggerated “before-and-after” images to promote weight loss

•  The ad features “Adult Content.”

•  Unrealistic claims or get ‘get rich quick’ schemes

Quick fix!

Make the requested changes. For example, if Facebook cited your graphic as being inappropriate, simply change the image out to one that fits their standards. Once you’ve made your changes and saved the ad, it will automatically be resubmitted to Facebook for further review and (hopefully) approval.

2. Your account spending limit has been reached

When you’re working inside of Facebook, every ad account has an individual spending limit that you can put in place. Usually, this is done to make sure your campaigns do not go over their proposed total budget.

Once that limit has been reached, your ads will simply not spend. But luckily, it’s a simple to fix make.

Quick fix!

Double check your spending limit before you get into the real nitty-gritty troubleshooting.

3. Your image violates the 20% rule

According to Facebook standards, the images in your ads cannot exceed an image to text ratio of 20% – this includes logos, slogans, watermarks, and any other text that may be on your image. To put it another way, you can’t have an image for your ad that’s a giant wall of text. If your image is deemed OK, that means you have the right amount of text, and your reach will not be restricted.

If your image has been given a Low, Medium or High rating; that means your ad has too much text on it and that its reach, in varying degrees, will be reduced.

If you have violated this rule and Facebook hasn’t rejected your ad, the implication is that your ad’s reach has been reduced or programmed not run it at all – usually without any warning.

The exceptions to this rule, however, are book and album covers, games: product images, and event posters.

Quick fix!

Use Facebook’s Text Overlay Tool to rate your image and find out. Based on how text-heavy your image is, you will get one of the following four results: Low, Medium, High, or OK.

If you find yourself in the higher categories (Medium or High) make sure to replace that image with another that has less text on it, and you will see your ads start to deliver again.


4. Your bid is too low

Whenever you send your campaign out into the great advertising beyond, your ads are competing against thousands of others, at the same time, in what’s more or less a giant digital auction. In picking the winner here, Facebook goes with the price. The 3 major things that factor into Facebook’s decision are:

•  Bid price – The price you’re willing to pay for the desired action.

•  Estimated Action Rates – How likely your audience is to take the above action.

•  Relevance and Quality – How interesting your ads are to your audience, and the quality of those ads

Based on these three factors, Facebook calculates a “total value” and this total value is what is used to determine whose ads are shown and whose are not.

When purchasing an ad, Facebook allows you to choose what you pay for as well as how much you want to pay for them. To determine how much you want to spend, you have two options: Automatic or Manual.

By choosing Automatic bidding, you’re allowing Facebook to select the best price for your selected action and bid competitively. Manual bidding, on the other hand, is a different case. When selecting a manual bidding strategy, you’re the one telling Facebook what you’re willing to pay for your action, which is accomplished by designating your average or maximum bid.

Quick fix!

If you’re using Manual bid and you continue to see delivery issues, the easiest way to rectify the problem is to either adjust your bid to a higher price or switch to Automatic bid and let Facebook handle this part for you.

5. Your campaign does not have enough budget

While your actual campaign budget has several factors that play into the cost (billing event, target audience, etc.), the basic price for ad campaigns ranges anywhere between $2 – $10 per ad per day. This amount usually gives Facebook enough money to be able to deliver your ads to a wide enough audience to gather data that is statistically significant.

Avoid running many adsets with multiple ads inside of them – all of which are sharing a tiny budget. Here’s an example. Take a moment to review how much your ad actually has to spend. It’s not just important; it’s imperative to the entire delivery process.

Quick fix!

To manage your budget on Facebook, go to the Ads Manager menu and select the Adsets tab. Once you’ve done that, select which campaign you wish to edit and click the pencil icon on the right-hand side. You can then use the popup to navigate to the budget settings.

If you’re using AdEspresso, you can do that right from the campaign dashboard. Simply navigate to your chosen campaign, and select the pencil icon next to the budget.

You can then edit the campaign total using the Basic tab.

6. Your optimisation goal is hard to reach

When you select an optimisation goal, you are telling Facebook exactly what type of action you’re looking for your audience to take. This, in turn, allows Facebook to target your ideal audience with even more precision.

Using the proper optimisation goal for your campaign objective is a crucial component to narrow down your audience. However, when you optimise for conversions, problems tend to arise.

When you are optimising for conversions, Facebook uses conversions as a “source” for finding good targets for your campaign. But if you have no conversions, the campaign ends up running for a few days and then just stops. Why is that? The simple answer is that Facebook doesn’t know who could be interested in your campaign because it has no data (i.e. conversions) to work with.

Quick fix!

To avoid this issue, use a type of conversion that can occur several times throughout the day, such as using the ‘add to cart’ event instead of ‘purchase.’

7. Your ads are not relevant to your audience

An often-overlooked part of the delivery equation is your Relevance Score. This score (which ranges from 1-10) is Facebook’s way of telling you how interesting your ads are to your audience, and how they’re engaging (positively or negatively).

Someone on Facebook can either engage in a positive way (i.e. likes, comments, shares) or negatively (hiding the ad from their newsfeed, reporting it as spam, etc.) and each of these actions will contribute to the overall score. The better the score, the more likely your ads are to be shown than others (and you’ll also pay less).

To see your score on Facebook, just go to the Ads Manager and select your campaign. Once you’re there, you should be able to edit your columns so that your Relevance Score is displayed. Once you’ve accomplished that you will be able to see your score, as well as positive and negative feedback (Low, Medium, or High).

Quick fix!

If you have a low relevance score don’t worry – there are a lot of ways to improve it. Here’re a few tips to get your score up.

•  Split test your images. Different images can have a drastically different impact across groups and demographics.

•  Refine your targeting. If you’re selling home insurance, chances are your ideal clients aren’t teenagers between the ages of 14-19.

•  Refresh your creatives. No one likes seeing the same ad over and over again (cue cheesy jingles here) – the same goes for your Facebook Ads.

•  Make your ads interesting.

You may not be able to troubleshoot every single error that you encounter, but with the knowledge you’ve gained here, you are free from future heartbreaks.