7 Biggest Online Advertising Mistakes

When it comes to wasting money on advertising, John Wanamaker, a marketing pioneer who died 100 years ago, said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the problem is that I don’t know which half.

But today, with digital advertising, everything is traceable. So, the era of ad waste is surely a thing of the past.

“As the owner of a digital advertising agency, I’ve seen everything from incredibly successful campaigns to strategies that barely generated cricket sounds,” says John Horn, CEO of StubGroupwho spends his days researching ways to thrive at the forefront of the digital advertising world.

Horn and his agency have worked with brands such as Cash America and Amerant Bank, and generated over $350 million in revenue on behalf of their clients. He has also created marketing educational content consumed by over 90,000 students online.

Here are some of the mistakes he finds companies regularly make with their online advertising:

Expecting results too quickly. “Advertising is not a silver bullet,” says Horn. “It takes time to craft the right message for the right audience and then figure out how to scale profitably. Smart advertisers act quickly but reserve patience to let strategies flourish and let data dictate what works. »

Not tracking performance. “Running an ad doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark,” says Horn. “There are many ways to track which ad dollars turn into low dollars, and we invest a lot of time with our clients to build and maintain tracking systems so we can make informed decisions about their campaigns.”

Cut costs by not working with experts. “When advertising is your driving force, should you really entrust it to your nephew who is ‘good’ at Excel?” Horn asks. “I’ve seen countless companies focus on saving a few dollars on management fees and wasting tens of thousands of dollars on advertising spend.”

Investing in the wrong channels. “The right place, the right time, the right message should be the focus of your advertising,” advises Horn. “Choosing and testing the right mix of channels for your business is crucial. Investing in Google search campaigns to advertise a product that no one is looking for will not work. Trying to create a lifestyle brand on Facebook for people who just want to renew their auto-registration probably won’t work either. Good channel, good message.

Ignore website user experience. “You can spend all the money in the world on ads and not get what you want if you send people from those ads to a bad website experience,” says Horn. “Sites with loading times dating back to the 90s, sites that turn finding information into a corn maze, and sites that assume visitors will automatically trust them. You need to invest in your website to maximize your conversion rate.”

Lack of infrastructure to manage leads. “Often when a client complains that their ads aren’t working, we dig into their systems and processes and learn that the ads are generating lots of leads,” Horn says. “But the company literally doesn’t call those people back, or poorly trained salespeople turn away business. Advertising is great for establishing an initial connection with a consumer, but there needs to be an infrastructure in place to deliver and turn that lead into a a long-term paying customer.

Not preparing for sales in advance. “A beauty of modern life is that we have a calendar that tells us what holidays and what seasons are happening,” says Horn. “Unfortunately, the tyranny of urgency often keeps advertisers from thinking about those days until they’re right around the corner, leading to half-baked sales plans and hours to build. ads that should have been created weeks ago.”

Horn says no one is perfect, and that’s why we have to keep learning and growing. Hopefully, these error patterns can help you review your own digital advertising strategies and ensure you’re maximizing your investment.