When you own a business, or run one, one of the first and most important things that needs to be addressed is marketing and advertising – how to effectively showcase your products and services in order to generate sales. Many people think it is as simple as creating a generic add, investing into paid advertising and… that’s it. Everything is sorted out; the sales will come rolling in and everyone will be happy. I hate to burst your bubble but unfortunately it isn’t that easy.
Marketing and advertising is crucial for the success of your company but it is far from easy – it takes time, effort, innovation and brain power in order to produce a well thought out ad, campaign or marketing strategy. You need to remember that you are competing with hundreds, if not thousands of other competitors – what makes your product or service special? Why should potential customers choose YOU? Well, you have to find a way to convey the answers in advertising – the platform that enables customers to see you as a company and worthy contender.
Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong, even if you have the best intentions. Lack of proper strategy or poor creative input can result in lost revenues, PR disasters, or customers ignoring your brand and tuning out your message. To avoid giving searchers a negative first impression, be sure to double-check your ads to be sure you’re not committing these all-too-common advertising mistakes:
Not investing in proper strategies or plans
Right out of the gate, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. If you don’t have a grasp of your business, and how you want to market it, then how will anyone know what to respond to? You may have something in the back of your mind, but you need to figure out how to translate it into effective ideas and strategies. There are several questions you need to ask yourself – What are the potential roadblocks? What milestones do you want to achieve, and when do you expect to see a profit? Doing this will not only help you formulate a marketing plan, but it will also be vital for bringing in new investment opportunities. Your strategy should inform how you differentiate your products from the competition, segment your audience, allocate your budget, define your key performance metrics (KPIs) and design your mix of marketing tactics.
Unprepared for high demand
When you build a great product and advertise it well, you hope that it will be a runaway success. Often, however, many small businesses aren’t prepared for the massive rush of orders or requests as a result of successful advertising. If you’ve got a website, make sure it’s capable of handling an increase in traffic from the interest that your advertising generates. A website crash means lost orders and frustrated customers. There’s also the matter of fulfillment. If you forever to fulfill the backlog of orders you receive, you’ll deal with customers demanding refunds and even worse, posting negative reviews, tarnishing your reputation. Be absolutely sure your advertising plans line up with your capacity to service the orders and attention that will result.
Being unaware of current events
A campaign idea that’s innocuous one day may become offensive or inappropriate the next due to current events. Or the use of certain images and copy may reflect a business’s ignorance of a culture. Pay attention to what’s going on around you to steer clear of PR disasters caused by sending out untimely, insensitive, or erroneous messages.
No spelling or grammar check
Poor grammar, misspelling and jumping between title and sentence case are all things that can be off-putting to your audience. You want your message to be professional and inspire credibility, and it won’t if it looks hastily put together or just sloppy. Incorporating some slang isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you will have to be careful there, too. Not all slang translates well, so make sure you’re saying exactly what you mean to your intended audience.
Not knowing what your competitors are doing
How’s your ads’ performance compared to your competitors’? Look at everything your closest competitors are doing. Look at the ads and social campaigns that the outliers of your industry are creating. What are they promising? Who are they aiming at? Is there a gap in the market that you can fill? If you don’t know the answer, then it’d be hard to ensure that your ads are unique and innovative and that they stand out. Get a better understanding of the competitive landscape by using tools that allow you to check up on your competitors through monitoring mentions, keywords, and ads.
To achieve success in advertising, you’re bound to experience failures and setbacks. With every failed ad, you’ll learn some hard lessons that’ll bring you closer to an advertising win. The paid advertising landscape is always changing, and you have to adapt to new platforms, new algorithms, and new technologies. “Best practices” today may not apply tomorrow. An amazing traffic source today may dry up next week. The key to continued success is to stay diligent with your metrics and keep creating and experimenting – you’ll be well on your way to success with one of your future campaigns.