10 digital advertising traps to avoid
If you’re going to fail, fail fast. That’s a quote I’ve often heard from professors and other marketing professionals. The same is true in digital advertising. It takes time, effort and practice in order for you to develop a super successful campaign. Undoubtedly, you’ll have a couple missteps along the way, but the key is to try different things, test, optimize and measure everything. To help you avoid some of the more common stumbles, here is our list of the common online advertising traps and mistakes to be aware of.
- You haven’t developed a comprehensive plan. As with any ad campaign, develop a blueprint based on research, review and analysis. Determine what your objective will be and let that dictate the tactics. Many digital campaigns fail due to insufficient planning.
- You don’t know who you want to reach. If you haven’t identified the target audience of your campaign, your chances of success drop extraordinarily. Focus on the prospects that are the most relevant to the campaign goals, and then use research tools and any established relationships with media brands to determine where your audience engages online.
- You’re trying too much, too soon. Sure the idea of ad networks and exchanges are appealing, but if you’re just getting started with digital advertising, set your sites a little lower. Explore direct-to-publisher opportunities or social network ads. SRDS.com is a great start to help you discover the sites your prospects are visiting and then once you get a handle on that, other options for third-party digital media buying. Find out more here.
- You’re setting it and forgetting it. An order for an online campaign to be successful, you should start by testing one variable. Run your ad on a few different sites, try different creative, and explore two pricing models. Once you’ve got some data, optimize your campaign and choose the winner and go with it.
- You’re ignoring your data. The real-time tracking and reporting capabilities of digital are amazing. These functions give you the data needed to determine if your campaign is successful and when to make changes. Ignoring your CTRs, impressions, etc. will only hurt you in the long run. These insights should be used to inform decision-making and optimizing an advertising campaign. Examine at the data, do more of what works, and avoid what doesn’t.
- Beware of analysis paralysis. While real-time tracking of click and conversion results from email, paid search and other online media campaigns is critical for success, constantly checking the metrics may lead you to panic and prematurely change the plan. If you conducted research, did the prep work and developed the target audience, give the campaign and the analytics some time to pan out. But when all else fails, optimize.
- Your creative isn’t creative and your message doesn’t resonate. With display advertising, you only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention. Read white papers on creative best practices, test your message through emails to your current clients and always consider running a test.
- You don’t have a call to action. People need to be told what to do in online advertising. Most often, you’re going to want them to click your ad. So add that into your creative: “Click here for your free trial” or “Click here to learn more.” It may sound obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing.
- You’re not using a landing page. If someone clicks your ad, where will they be taken? You should have a customized page that connects with your ad’s message, mirrors the creative and offers then something. That might be a free trial or even infographic – something that will help you capture this lead.
- You haven’t closely read through the contract. Whether you’re working with a publisher or ad network, make sure you understand the campaign’s duration, the total contract amount and the out-clause. The out-clause refers to how much authorized notice an advertiser or agency must give the publisher or ad network to cancel the campaign.
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