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The Top 8 Reasons Why Businesses Fail at Paid Advertising

8 Reasons Business Fail at Paid Advertising - Find out what mistakes are made and how to overcome them.

It's incredible just how powerful the internet can be and the ability it has to transform businesses whether it be through social media, websites, SEO, and everything in between. However, one thing I hear time and time again from business owners is that they've tried paid advertising in some way, shape, or form, and have come to the conclusion that it doesn't work for their business.

Of course, what is considered 'not working' can be a multitude of factors, but it's generally down to a lack of results, or results being too costly where it isn't feasible to continue. When I hear this, I usually ask a few questions and then everything becomes clear, and even more usually, it's not because paid advertising doesn't work, but that is hasn't been done correctly and/or effectively.

In order to combat this, why don't we take a look at exactly why it doesn't work, and how businesses can take better identify mistakes they make and (hopefully) take action to correct them. So, Why Do Business Fail at Paid Advertising?


1. They Confuse Their Audience - one aspect of this could be the targeting. If you're trying to sell ice to eskimos, there's going to be no interest and therefore no engagement. You want your ad to be relevant to your audience and you can achieve this a number of ways through targeting, interests, behaviours, and creating similar audiences to ones that you know are already converting. If your ad relevancy is low, then it won't deliver results, so change things up and review who you're showing it to.

2. They Have A Horrible Follow-Up Process - You've spent all this money getting someone down your marketing/sales funnel to the point where they're sharing their contact information with you, literally telling you that they are expecting you to call and sell them something. The best time to do this is....immediately! Not 1 hour later, not 2 days later. As soon as a lead submits a form, their interest has peaked, so the longer they're waiting to continue their purchasing journey, the more likely they'll lose interest and the lead will go cold. Additionally, it's vitally important that the content of the follow-up call/email is dealt with in the right manner. You should have your best salesperson on this task, if possible, with a clear goal and structure to move the prospect towards the sale.
3. They Think They Can Do Everything Themselves - there is absolutely nothing wrong with a business running its own adverts and trying and testing the different elements of paid advertising, but the problem there is that this is not their job. Especially as a business owner or marketing manager, there are a hundred other tasks to complete so the time spent on learning and developing these skills is minimal, when they could not only be freeing up their time by outsourcing the work, but also significantly increase ad-spend efficiency and sales revenue.

4. They Expect Too Much Too Soon - there is no such thing as an overnight solution with paid advertising. Yes, you can set up and begin running campaigns, but if you expect it to explode your business within a few days, I have some bad news for you. Not only do you need to give paid advertising enough time to be optimised, but you also need to give time to the prospects at the top of your funnel to reach the bottom. This can take anywhere between a few days and a few weeks depending on the involvement level of the purchase and the campaign structure. Of course, it is also possible for the business to lose sight of their own responsibilities and slack on their follow-up time of leads, and then wonder why they aren't converting.

5. They Don't Track Conversions - What?! You can track when someone comes from Facebook or Google onto your site and track if they become a lead?! Well, yes, to put it simply. If you haven't heard of this before, you're probably coming from a traditional marketing experience of tv/radio/print where it is extremely hard and/or laborious to track where leads are coming from. But fear no longer, you can now tell exactly what's working and what's not by setting up customer events (e.g. Contact/Lead Form Submissions, Add to Carts, Purchases) and connecting them to your campaigns. This will tell you how much your paying per lead, where they're coming from, and it will also help your campaign to be optimised for that event i.e. Facebook/Google will know that you want more of those events, and will show your ads to higher converting audiences.

6. They Set and Forget aka No On-Going Optimisation - If you're looking to spend money for the sake of it, get a few more impressions, and hopefully get some more business, by all means, set and forget. But if you're looking to get the most out of your ad-spend, reach new winning audiences, and grow strategically, then you're going to want to analyse and adjust your ads on an on-going basis. This should be done frequently, not just once every month or other month. By doing this, you'll be able to identify and grow audiences that are converting well, while reducing or removing audiences that aren't converting. You might even see results from demographics you never even considered to be your target market. Not only that, but you'll be able to identify trends and get a much better understanding of how your audience is reacting to your ads. Of course, it's important to regularly update ads or at least put a structure in place so bottom of funnel ads aren't seen by top of funnel prospects or visa-versa, as you don't want to experience ad-fatigue or high ad frequency levels.

7. They Structure Ad-Text Poorly - this is where we get into the copywriting side of things, and it related to the text that accompanies your ad. Some business make the mistake of sounding too corporate, while other businesses flood the text with irrelevant information which can confuse the prospect. What determines this is dependent on a number of factors, such as the stage the prospect is in your funnel, the product/service you're offering, the audience demographics, and a number of other variables, but what's important to consider is the framing and the 'why'. By this, I mean the 'why' someone should care about your ad. Now, there is no template or text that any business can adopt, but when you construct your ad-text, keep in mind the prospects pains, frustrations, and the 'what's in it for them.'

8. They Choose the Wrong Agency
- it's easy to go with the cheapest agency, or the agency that promises the moon and the stars, but if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is and will likely lead to heavy disappointment down the line, and even putting the business off using another agency again. But if you're in the market of looking for an agency to outsource your paid advertising to, make sure that they understand your goals and they ask the right questions. If they're jumping in to offering a service without going through your goals, who your audience is, what you're tried before, or your follow-up process, then it's likely they'll put you on a package deal rather than a tailored and on-going service. Shop around and find someone who makes you feel both listened to and valued. It's so important to start these relationships off right, so don't settle for less.

So that's it! 8 of the most common reasons business fail at paid advertising. If you feel you're in a rut with yours or that you're ready to grow and out-sourcing is something you're considering, we'd be more than happy to set up a call and speak with you to see if we can help your business succeed.

- James

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