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There are a lot of small businesses out there that think Facebook Ads don’t work because they weren’t able to see results for their business. In some cases, these businesses are right because running paid ads on Facebook won’t generate purchases in some industries. I would argue, however, that most businesses misunderstand how Facebook Ads work—leading them to give up on Facebook far too early.

A common misconception is that Facebook ads work like a light switch—you turn them on and suddenly high-quality traffic is sent to your website and the purchases start pouring in. We wish this was the case but, unfortunately, it’s rare to see results like that from day one. Even if you do see results right away, you still need to make changes in the long term to continue seeing those results. A better way to think about Facebook Ads is as your very own robot salesperson.

That may sound a little bit crazy, but if you have the mindset of Facebook being a salesperson, it will help you understand why Facebook Ads take time to see results. This is because the Facebook Ads marketing funnel is pretty much the same as the typical sales funnel that most salespeople use to track how close each lead is to closing. First, potential customers become aware of your brand, then they consider buying from you, and then they actually buy.

Facebook Ads Marketing Funnel

So with that in mind, imagine you started a brand new business and hired your first sales rep named Facebook Ads. You will provide Facebook Ads with a list of people to reach out to (your target audience) and a script of what to say (your ad). Now let’s say Facebook Ads goes to work and starts reaching out to people right away. It would be unrealistic to expect to see several closed deals right from the start for several reasons:

1. Low Audience Quality

Your business is new, so the list you provided may not be as targeted as it could be. This will improve with time as you better understand your audience.

2. Facebook Needs Time To Learn & Optimize

Facebook Ads is new at their job so they are likely just going to reach out to the people on the list in no particular order. As they learn more about your brand and the audience you’ve given them, they will know who is most likely to close and when to reach out to the right people at the right times in the right ways. The experience Facebook Ads has can be measured by how much data the Facebook Pixel has collected.

3. It Takes Time For People To Move Through The Facebook Ads Marketing Funnel

This is the most important point so pay attention. Since you are a new brand, people aren’t familiar with your company which means your Facebook Ads marketing funnel is empty. It takes an average of eight quality touchpoints with your brand to move someone from the awareness stage to the conversion stage of the funnel. So if you’re starting out with an empty funnel, you can rest assured that it will take some time before your ads start converting.

Hiring Facebook Ads as a sales rep may have been a silly example, but do you get the point? If you start running Facebook Ads with zero brand awareness, you will have to build a lot of awareness for your brand before you start seeing consistent results. As marketers, there are things we can do to help improve the audience targeting by either using strategic testing or speeding up the Facebook learning process by increasing the budget.

At the end of the day, we are working with people, not machines, so all we can do is provide people with an A+ experience (both with the ads and on the website), and then the choice is up to them. Don’t give up on Facebook ads too early. If you do, you’re likely leaving people in the funnel who just needed more time with your brand before they felt ready to buy. If you’re curious how this process can benefit your brand, sign up for a free consultation with one of Set Fire Creative’s client strategists today!