Crafting a successful digital advertising campaign is a delicate science. You might know the right things to do, but what about the things you shouldn’t do?
Here’s a list of common campaign mistakes to avoid and how to solve them:
1. Targeting an Audience That’s too Broad or Narrow
In an ideal world, everyone who sees your ad would click it and convert. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it goes. No matter how irresistible you think your offer is, some people just aren’t interested.
On the flip side, you may not be reaching an entire audience of potential customers (Ever thought about expanding internationally, for example?). Geo-targets, dayparting settings, and frequency caps are useful tools for fine-tuning your targets, but they could work against you if they’re too restricted.
Solution: Researching your target markets, then testing and analyzing campaign performance, can help you pinpoint the targets that perform the best and eliminate or optimize those that underperform. It’s also a good idea to run different campaigns for different audiences. If, for example, you’re marketing a dating service, you might want to run ads for women on different sites than your ads for men.
2. Ignoring Your Data
You can’t expect to make money with your campaigns without analyzing your performance data. Too often, advertisers and marketers will prioritize campaigns based on performance without taking the time to figure out what caused a spike or drop.
Solution: A campaign’s success could be credited to any number of influences, from a holiday to a technical glitch, and the only way to repeat a campaign’s success or avoid repeating a failure is to identify the cause.
Deep-dive into your data. Filter your reports. Look for trends. Compare your data to the same day last week, month, and year. The more you slice and dice your data, the better insights you’ll find.
3. Using a Crappy Call to Action (or None at All)
Your ad’s call to action (CTA) is the kicker that gets you the click. It doesn’t matter how well you’ve targeted your ad or how eye-catching your creative is; if you aren’t clearly asking the user to take an action, your impressions won’t turn into conversions.
Solution: Finding the most effective CTAs requires testing and optimization, but these tips can help put your CTAs on the right track:
- Promote the benefits of your offer rather than the features.
- If you’re running a full-page ad, make sure your CTA is above the fold.
- Stick to one CTA per ad rather than asking users to do several things.
- Infuse your CTA with urgency. If users feel like they might miss a great opportunity, they’ll be more inclined to click your ad.
4. Overlooking the Competition
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in your own campaigns that you forget others are out there advertising the same products to your audience. Heck, they might even be making the same mistakes you are, or doing something well that could work for your campaigns. Your competitors are scoring conversions that could’ve been yours, and the only way to beat them at their own game is to learn it for yourself.
Solution: First, you’ll need to figure out figure out who you’re actually competing with (it might not be who you think!). You could do a search for the keywords you’re using in your campaign, but it also helps to think outside the box. Even if you sell the most niche product, there are substitutes out there that can accomplish the same thing.
Next, you want to gather as much information as possible about their business, products, and marketing. Who is their demographic? What benefits do they offer that you don’t, and vice versa? What channels of advertising are they using? What keywords do they use to advertise? Are they making or losing money? What do they have in the works?
Your competitive landscape is always changing as new products and businesses emerge, so it’s a good idea to scope out the scene periodically.
5. Linking Your Ad to Your Homepage
So, you’ve got your campaign down pat with relevant keywords, appropriate targets, attention-grabbing creatives, and an irresistible CTA. You might feel like you’ve covered all the bases before launching, but have you thought about what happens after a user clicks your ad?
Solution: In a pinch, you might be tempted to dump users onto your homepage, letting them fend for themselves. Bad move. Instead, guide users from their first click all the way to conversion by linking your ad to a landing page tailored to your campaign. With 50onRed, you can even use macros in your URL to populate content specifically for the user, based on values like country or keyword.
What campaign screw-ups have you learned from? Share your story in the comments.