10 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid: Advertising

Welcome to the final installment of a 4-part series dedicated to the avoidance of common mistakes businesses make with marketing, advertising, brand development, and web and social media.

This installment gives an in depth look at not only common Advertising downfalls but also some digital advertising mistakes as well.

1). No call-to-action
A call to action is an essential tool in advertising & marketing. Giving the audience direction as to what exactly it is they need to do. Even the best and most aesthetically appealing advertisements lose effectiveness without a call-to-action. It can be as simple as “Visit your local … and … today!” or maybe more broad like “Get in touch with us”. You never want the audience to be left asking themselves what they should do after seeing one of your ads. Driving your audience to a website or social media can be a very effective, and trackable, call-to-action.

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2). Making unsubstantiated claims
For some time now, the new “normal” has been to claim that your product or service is the… cheapest, best, freshest, organic, cost-effective, money saving, timesaving, and hassle free –“thing” available. Most often no new information is being provided to the audience other than claims that have no proof. Ensure that what you claim is backed by numbers and facts and can be proven.

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3). Accepting poor placement

Placement in advertising isn’t as easy as it sounds. Often enough, we see people striving to get the best bargain when it comes to purchasing ad space. Let’s say you are a golf supply shop that has hired an ad agency to write, produce, and place a television commercial for you showcasing your business. The commercial shoot goes great and you are happy with the finished product–now comes time to place the ad. You are given the cheaper option of buying placement in the middle of the day during a show that has a teenage demographic or you could spend a little more for a primetime spot between two really successful dramas that have a predominately male based demographic.

Which would be better for your business? Needless to say, based on what kind of business you have and the demographic you are looking to reach, you would take option 2. This is a prime example of the choices you’ll be faced with in digital placement as well. Making beautiful and engaging ads won’t make a difference if they aren’t put in front of the right audience. This is why its important to understand how, why and where you place your ad affects the reach and success of the campaign.

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4). Putting style before substance

Don’t insult your audience by trying to woo them with bells and whistles. It’s the substance that will ultimately decide if your ad or campaign will succeed. Develop engaging content and make the focal point of whatever it is you are selling interesting. Sure it can look cool, but what is its purpose? A great advertisement should captivate and ultimately motivate, your audience to do something.

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5). Complacency

This could be said of any field in advertising, as complacency does nothing but stunt the growth of your business. In advertising specifically, you must challenge yourself to look for new and different ways to reach your audience. Continue to be creative to avoid becoming stale and overplayed.

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6). Not utilizing Google analytics

With the ability to measure every aspect of the Internet, it’s good to start collecting data ASAP. Even if it seems like a foreign language, the sooner you can implement Google Analytics, the better. These measurable stats can help illustrate what’s working and what’s not. It can tell you exactly how users are interacting with your website, as well as gauge the success of your digital advertising.

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7). Creating graphics for a banner ad that LOOKS like a banner ad

If you were around during the age of dial-up Internet, your initial reaction to a banner ad is to avoid it. Hello, computer virus! If you want consumers to click on your ad, don’t make it look like a typical pop up. “Organic” ads tend to perform better simply because the users don’t comprehend them as a targeted ad. And with Google Analytics deployed, you’ll know when someone clicks on it!

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8). Neglecting mobile friendly

Search engine optimization (SEO) on Google no longer recognizes websites that are not optimized for mobile devices. What does this mean? If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re not reaching users that are searching on their mobile devices – which 80% of Internet users are. So if you’re running an adwords campaign and your website is not mobile-friendly, its like flushing money down the drain.

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9). Narrowing keywords

How often do people search specific terms when they need something? When developing keywords for an adwords campaign, the broader and more elaborate the better. Of course, the cost and budget will need to be considered, but selecting the right keywords can help your campaign be a success.

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10).Poor landing pages

When consumers click on a display ad, they are showing interest in the product or service. If consumers click through to a website and receive a 404 ERROR message or they land on a page where the information is buried, an opportunity to reach the consumer was missed. Having a designated landing page with the corresponding image is the most successful way to utilize display ads.

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