6 Ways to Completely Blow Your Online Advertising Budget

When you’re spending money on ads, you need to be fully aware of where that money is going, and more importantly what return you are getting for it. 

The number one rule of digital advertising is: Facebook, Instagram, Google and YouTube will spend your money if you don’t stop them.

It is your job as a marketer to stay on top of your budget and make sure that you are getting a return on investment for your money. This post explores the 6 mistakes you should never make when setting up your digital campaigns. 

They are:

  1. Not setting a defined goal
  2. Spending money on the wrong channels
  3. Using the wrong messaging
  4. Not using the right targeting strategy
  5. Not tracking the right data
  6. Not setting a budget

Let’s explore each of them further.

 

1. Not setting a defined goal

The most important step of any marketing (not only online marketing!) campaign is setting a strategy. Your strategy is what is going to define your success. Without a strategy, you will never know whether your efforts have paid off or not.

When working out how to advertise online, this is one of the most common mistakes business owners and marketers make – don’t be one of the statistics!

Here’s some steps you can take to set your online advertising strategy:

  1. Understand what your primary goal is
    1. Reach/exposure
    2. Brand awareness
    3. Conversions
  2. How long do you have to execute
  3. What are the outcomes which would define a good and bad result of your campaign.

Making sure you have a clearly defined strategy is the first and most important step in making sure your advertising budget doesn’t go to waste.

 

2. Spending money on the wrong channels

With so many digital advertising channels available, it can be difficult to know which ones to focus on.

For example, if you are an eCommerce store selling men’s clothing, it’s highly unlikely that the best platform for you is LinkedIn. Understand where your customers hang out, and whether you can reach them efficiently where they are.

Here are some example’s of what each of the big online advertising channels are great for:

  • Facebook/Instagram: eCommerce, Crowdfunding
  • LinkedIn: B2B
  • TikTok: Gen-Z
  • YouTube: Very targeted options, with high matching

Choose your channels wisely. Understand where your customers are. Understand what the ballpark cost per acquisition figures are going to be.

 

3. Using the wrong messaging

Again, this step comes down to knowing your customer thoroughly. If you don’t have a proper customer persona planned out, you won’t know how to craft your messaging to target them specifically.

Here are 3 ways to write effective advertising copy:

  1. Be specific
  2. Solve a problem
  3. Tell a story.

 

4. Not using the right targeting strategy

Not using the right targeting strategy is an easy way to waste your digital advertising budget. This is especially true if you’re using social media advertising.

For Google Ads in particular, It’s not enough to just use the demographics that you want to target. You also need to use the right keywords, and understand what part of the customer journey the person you’re targeting is at.

Here are a few tips to help you use the right keywords when targeting your ads:

  • Use the same keywords that customers would use to find you.
  • Check on your competitors keywords.
  • Use the keywords that people look for when they search for an answer to their problem.
  • Use the keywords that people use when they’re ready to buy.
  • Get inside the head of the buyer and try and imagine what they might be searching for.

 

5. Not tracking the right data

Another thing that a lot of marketers do wrong is not tracking the right data. You need to track the data that will tell you if your campaign is a success or not.

You may see a big spike in sales, but if your conversion rate isn’t high enough, it may not be worth continuing the campaign.

Here are some metrics that you should be tracking:

  • Conversions
  • New likes/subscribers/registrations
  • Reach/exposure
  • Cost per acquisition
  • Cost per click
  • Cost per lead/sale

Use these along with your budget (coming up in the next tip) and strategy to define whether your campaigns are working or not.

 

6. Not setting a budget

The biggest mistake most people make when setting a budget is starting too big.

Even if you’ve got, or been given, a large online advertising budget, you should start off small and then scale up as you have got control over your metrics (discussed above). 

On the flip side, the worst thing you can do for your overall digital ads success is not setting a budget at all. Without a fixed budget, your costs can run out of control in no time at all. Remember, the default setting for Facebook, YouTube, Google etc. is to spend your budget as fast as possible. 

All of these online tools have max budget settings – use them!

 

Wrapping Up

In this post, we discussed 6 ways to blow a digital advertising budget.

If you’re new to digital advertising, make sure you avoid these common mistakes!

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