Five Biggest Online Advertising Mistakes Marketers Need to Avoid
Many marketers skip a few critical steps in their online advertising. Learn from these common mistakes to make sure you’re not one of them!
The power of online advertising needs no introduction. It’s one of the most powerful and cost-effective marketing tools you can use to reach your target audience, boost your sales, and increase your profit. According to recent research, online advertising is expected to make up 46 per cent of all global ad spend in 2021.
That said, everyone makes mistakes and we’ve all seen our fair share of online advertising blunders over the years. Learn from past mistakes of others and make sure you’re not missing any critical steps in your next online advertising strategy. Here’s our pick of the most common online advertising mistakes and our tips to get your online advertising strategy in-line and on-point!
If you simply throw money at your online advertising channels without measuring any meaningful metrics, you’ll have no idea how successful your strategy was. What’s more, unsuccessful strategies will burn a big hole in your budget if you keep repeating the same mistakes over again.
Figure out what works and either drop or improve what doesn’t. A step that a lot of marketers forget is calculating your return-on-ad-spend (ROAS). It all starts with deciding what you need to measure. Identify a key conversion metric for your campaign and work out the value that conversion brings to your business. This is your conversion value. To calculate ROAS, take your conversion value and divide it by the cost of the campaign. This will help you measure the effectiveness of your advertising campaign. Many marketers focus solely on CPA (cost-per-action) or CPC (cost-per-conversion). While this is useful, it only tells you the cost for that single action and doesn’t give as much insight into how your marketing efforts are directly impacting your revenue.
While ROAS is a better metric, you have to have the right data to properly calculate it. If you’re handling data from several sources—or even multiple ad campaigns—take a look at this handy article about using Mediatool’s data integrations to see how successful your online advertising strategy is.
Online advertising can potentially target everyone with a computer or a smartphone, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do this. You need to keep your target audience narrow and your ad message focused. Thinking about the demographics and intent of your potential customers will give you insights into how to target and engage them.
As you understand your users’ intentions, you can place your brand in front of them when they need it, and this is key to winning their hearts and minds, as well as increasing your sales. One of the best ways to boost your user intent targeting is to take a deep dive into your organic search results to discover search queries your target audience is using. Then, identify focus topics to build your content for your advertising too. Don’t forget how valuable your organic marketing can be to making better-targeted ads!
Many marketers fall foul of a couple of budgeting pitfalls. On the one hand, they set their budgets high and when they don’t see the conversions coming in, they throw more money at the problem instead of examining what’s working and what’s not. On the other hand, they spread their budget too thinly across too many channels and fail to gain traction anywhere. The critical missing step is to monitor your spend proactively and optimize as you go if you want to bring in the conversions and get the results you need, all while staying within budget.
Firstly, be tactical about your budget. Make sure you allocate realistic amounts for each segment of your marketing strategy. Of course, this will be different for every company but it’ll also differ by marketing channel as well. Secondly, keep track of your spend vs. performance per channel and optimize as you go. For example, if you’re getting more conversions via Facebook ads than Display ads, consider rebalancing your budget to increase your ads spend (and your conversions). If this sounds like too much to keep on top of, you could also use media tracking software (like Mediatool!) to view your budget alongside your actual spend so you can adjust it in real-time.
Targeting your existing customers is just as important as acquiring new ones (if not more so). It’s a great way of maintaining a strong customer base, and offering discount codes and coupons is one of the best ways to keep those customer relationship ties strong.
Make sure you’re targeting existing customers in your remarketing. Offer promotions to attract repeat visitors who are keen to buy from you again. Remember, offering a promotion doesn’t mean customers won’t pay full price for other goods. The point is you’ve got them to your website and while they may buy discounted items, other things may catch their attention too.
It’s essential to review the user journey of your ads. Remember that three clicks is the magic number for conversions. Test out your ads yourself, if the user journey feels long or pages take time to load, you need to rethink your ads. If clicking your ad takes interested viewers to a generic page on your website without targeted information or a clear call to action, chances are they’ll simply exit your page. And that will be a huge waste of money for you!
Check your user journey contains the information a potential customer needs at each stage of the buyer journey with as few steps as possible. It should take a maximum of three clicks to convert.
Another huge mistake many make is forgetting the mobile user journey. Whatever you do, don’t forget about mobile users and specifically optimize the journey for them too as more often than not it needs to be different.
It takes time to review user behavior and consider how to improve your sales funnel, so be patient and keep gradually optimizing as you go.
You’ll notice there’s a common theme running through these mistakes, and that’s the need to track and measure all your marketing activities. This is critical if you want to optimize your campaign as you go, increase your conversions, and meet your goals. One of the best ways to track your marketing activities in real-time and optimize on the go is to use a media planning platform like Mediatool. It has a host of features to help you effectively plan, track, and analyze your advertising campaigns, like using data from Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms to track your ad performance and spend across all your channels so you don’t fall foul of these common advertising mistakes.