Businesses often turn to paid advertising to bring more traffic to their website, raise awareness about their brand, or to increase sales.
It’s fairly easy for any business to set up digital advertising campaigns through Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or LinkedIn. Though, without guidance or an in-depth understanding of paid advertising and how it works, you may find yourself wasting your ad spend. Here are several common misconceptions about digital ads that beginners often have:
Misconception – “Anybody Can Do It”
Well… anybody can do it, but not everyone can do it effectively. Before getting started, it’s important to get a clear picture of who you’re targeting, why they need your service or product, how they are finding it now, and how they like being spoken to.
It’s also important to gain at least a basic understanding of how different advertising platforms function, how they are utilized, and how you should interpret your results.
Creating ads is about much more than slapping a headline on a photo and linking back to your site. It takes careful consideration and planning.
Misconception – “I Should Get Results Right Away”
Slow down there, hot rod.
In reality, paid campaigns take time to perform successfully. Yes, you’ll start seeing some action right away, but, is it quality action? You’ll need to continuously test, monitor, and optimize using different keywords, audiences, platforms, and methods for deployment over time to see what works best for your business, your location, and your industry.
What works for one company may not work for you, and what works best for one location may not work so well for another. Getting to the optimal results is ultimately an experiment that takes careful planning and attention to detail.
Misconception – “I Need To Focus On One Metric To Measure Success”
A lot of those new to ads will focus on Click-Through-Rate (the percentage of people who both saw and clicked through your ads). Sure, this traffic is clicking through to your site, but are they staying? Are they finding what they need? Are they taking a specified action? You can’t just get the traffic to your site. Rather, you need to convert it.
When analyzing how your ads are performing, it’s important to look at many variables, and those variables are going to depend on your particular goals.
Misconception – “The More Money I Spend On My Campaign, The Higher My Ads Will Appear”
Throwing more money at a low-quality ad may get you nowhere fast.
There are many factors that contribute to how any given platform will rank your ad. Google, for instance, takes many things into account outside of your ad budget. Their algorithm scores your ad based on things like overall ad quality, keyword relevance, and landing page quality to name a few.
Advertising platforms don’t just show the most expensive ad to their users. They want to show the most relevant ads that provide the best experience.
Misconception – “My Business Name Is The Best Keyword”
Yes and no.
If your competitors aren’t bidding on your name, or there’s no other competition for what you offer, then chances are you shouldn’t waste your ad spend bidding on your company name as a keyword. If there’s no contest, and potential customers are searching for your exact business name, chances are they are going to find you organically. However, keep in mind that you’ll want to monitor the potential for competition regularly.
In some instances, it may be critical to bid on your company name as a keyword. A few examples: you are in a highly competitive market, your brand name is similar to generic keywords, your site isn’t optimized for your business name (SEO), or you are in a service-based industry (think lawyer, plumber, or electrician).
Misconception – “The Channel I Use Doesn’t Matter As Long As I Reach The Most People”
The channel you use absolutely does matter! Every business and every campaign is unique. Before deploying ads you should analyze your goal, your business type, your budget, what point your target audience is in the buyer’s journey, and you’ll need to consider which platform(s) and ad style(s) would best capture them as a lead or customer.
For instance, social media is often the best choice for awareness level ads, because it presents you with the opportunity to casually present them with an idea or solution while they’re doing something else. They aren’t actively seeking out your help right now, but you CAN target an audience that has shown interest in things related to your product or service.
When they are actively seeking out a solution or provider, Google Ads will be a more applicable tool. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to be right there as users perform searches for terms related to your solution (search ads) AND as they looked at related information on other sites (display and video ads).
Misconception – “What Worked For Me In Traditional Advertising Will Work In Digital Advertising”
Different tools require different approaches. While traditional advertising typically takes place in disconnected experiences, like watching TV, listening to the radio, or reading the newspaper, digital advertising is very much connected. By “connected”, we mean a few things:
- You’ll be talking to the user online, where they’ll be doing a large portion of their information interaction and buying process.
- You can control the action. You can choose to link to a specific page on your website, where you (should) have more of the intentional journey laid out.
- You can easily see performance data, giving you the possibility (or responsibility) to experiment and optimize.
In short, digital advertising should be a small part of a larger digital strategy and every variable matters. Learn more about strategy in our blog here.