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5th March 2021

5 Common Advertising Mistakes You Need to Avoid

minute read

As a small business owner, making the decision to begin an advertising campaign can often be overwhelming. From audience numbers and budget to where your ad should run, you’re trying to accomplish a lot and it can be only too easy to make a mistake. 

Marketing campaigns can take a lot of work and aren’t always easy to get right. You might have a very creative ad, but if it isn’t published in the right place or doesn’t contain messaging relevant to the target audience, it’s going to miss the mark.

Here’s 5 common mistakes your business should avoid in order to create a truly successful ad campaign.

1. Don’t… overlook your website

If you want to stand out to prospective customers, a company website is the way to go. But with visitors forming an opinion in about 50 milliseconds, you don’t have much time to make a good impression.

The credibility of a company is powerfully linked to how a website looks, and 75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on their website design. This means that the best way to get rid of snap judgements on your homepage is to update the layout; invest in eye-catching images and typography, as well as the optimisation of your site to make it accessible for users on mobile. 

While the aesthetic quality of your website should be a central focus, it’s important you don’t lose sight of your business’s brand voice. Is the tagline you’ve used in campaigns the same as on your site? How about the tone and personality? If not, it’s vital you work to keep everything consistent.

2. Don’t… advertise everywhere

Almost as important as what you say, is where you say it. If you advertise in a publication or website which doesn’t appeal to your target audience, you’re going to struggle to get eyes on your ads.

Businesses that know their stuff place their ads in premium environments, where research shows they can expect increased engagement of 50%. This means that even if you have a limited budget (and even if you don’t), you can't afford to waste your money in generalist publications. 

Instead, find the ones that appeal to the specific niche or the prime market for what you have to offer. You wouldn’t put up a flyer for a funeral home in a joke shop, so the same rules should apply when advertising online. 

Trust has never been more valuable right now, and more people are turning to our local news titles for local news updates, coronavirus information and a valuable environment for their advertising

3. Don’t… overdo the ads

Everytime you advertise your business, you aren’t just promoting your product, you're representing your brand and what you stand for. So with this in mind, it’s important you only create ads you're proud of. 

Don’t be satisfied with sub-par ads just because “they sell a ton of stuff." Less is more when it comes to advertising, and 10 ads that are accurate are far more effective than hundreds that aren’t. 

So invest in superior art work that’s aligned with your brand personality, taking the time to write (or have written for you) intelligent, pithy copy that will engage the reader. Doing this will not only make you look good, but encourage passing users to visit your website and eventually do business with you.

4. Don’t… try to target everyone

You might want your product or service to be universal but more likely, it won’t appeal to everyone. For example, does your 18-year-old daughter and 90-year old mother spend money on the same things? We’d hope not.

Instead, figure out who your product is best for and focus on them specifically. This means determining the gender, age, location and interests of your target audience and reaching them through the design and tone of your advertising content.

If you don’t make your targeting specific and try to speak ‘everyone’s language’, you risk becoming too vague and not appealing to anyone. And, in fact, new research has found that 56% of people actually unsubscribe from emails that feature content that’s no longer relevant to them. While on the flipside, businesses that have gone ahead and segmented their campaigns have noted a 760% increase in revenue

5. Don’t… play it safe

These days it can be tempting to pause or halt your marketing efforts altogether. And while the coronavirus has certainly been tough on everyone, continuing or maximising your efforts will help you come out the other side stronger than ever

If you want to stand out to customers now and after lockdown, consider investing in a new look, platform or marketing tool. Times are increasingly competitive and slowing down your efforts could allow your rivals to push ahead.

The first thing to do is to analyse your marketing budget. See what areas are working, what you could improve and whether there’s a new trend or affordable platform that could help you reach new audiences.

We’re all human

To achieve success in business, you’re bound to make a few mistakes. But with every failed ad or discouraged customer, you’ll learn some hard lessons that’ll help you next time.

Learn from these five mistakes, and kick off a campaign that will really make a difference to your business

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