Common mistakes in Paid Campaigns and how to avoid them

Most marketers go through sleepless nights, and a lot of soul-searching when marketing campaign costs go through the roof, without getting any conversions. Ad platforms are getting expensive by the minute, with heavily-funded startups driving up the bids.

So how do you make sure your campaigns reach right target audience and also convert well? Here are some common mistakes that marketers make in running paid campaigns and how to overcome them.

1. Not having the right vision

Most websites struggle with getting traffic in the early days. If you have a small website with 5-10 pages, it will take a while for you to build the website with more content, and for search engines to start sending you some traffic.

It’s natural at this point to want to bring in some traffic using paid campaigns, with the purpose of seeing some activity on the website. But the ultimate purpose of any website is conversions, not just traffic.

So, before you start throwing money at people to come to your website, think long and hard about what you want them to do.

  • Create a persona of your target audience – Their age, gender, interests, and ambitions.
  • Map out their journey on your website – The page they would land on, what other pages might interest them, and how they would convert to a lead.
  • Look, relook, and look again at your landing page – Once a visitor comes to the website, you have less than 5 seconds to impress them. So make sure you have all the information they want on the landing page.
  • Make it easy for the visitor to convert – If it takes more than 3 clicks to reach a Contact form, or Purchase link, the customer will leave. Make your contact form easily visible. Make your Purchase button big and bold.
  • Set targets on Cost per Conversion – You know your business and how much margin you get from a sale/conversion. Determine how much you are willing to spend on each lead, and then keep a close eye on that number.

2. Not using the right medium

Different ad platforms like Google Ads, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram get different kinds of audience. If you place your ad in front of the wrong audience, you might get traffic, but not conversions.

  • Understand your target audience and what platforms they use.
  • Understand the platform better – Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook rely on interest-based targeting wherein you can choose the demographics, and interests of your target audience. Whereas Google Ads Search Ads uses intent-based targeting, displaying your ads to those who search for specific keywords.
  • Look at smaller PPC engines – In addition to the bigwigs like Google Ads, Bing ads, LinkedIn, Instagram, there are smaller players like Revcontent, Adroll, that specializes in certain niche markets. This could help reduce your cost while making the ads more targeted.

3. Not having a good ad copy

Regardless of your strategy, targeting, and PPC engine, your ad copy is what makes visitors click on an ad.

  • Make a list of the ads you have clicked on in the past – What attracted you to them? It could be an ad copy that spoke to your heart, it could be the discount that you badly wanted. Make sure the words speak to your target audience.
  • Try different versions of your ad copy to see what works better.
  • Watch your CTR closely. CTR, the ratio of clicks to impressions averages between 1.5 to 3%. If you average is lower than this, it’s time to relook at your ads and see why your target audience is not clicking on it. Remember, it could be a problem with your audience targeting, or with your ad copy.

4. Not having an efficient landing page

Landing pages are difficult to pull off, since you need a designer, a content writer and a webmaster to work together to create one. If you don’t have a dedicated team for website management, and are working with freelancers, this can take forever.

It’s easier to just send the visitors to one of your existing webpages. There’s no harm in doing this, but keep a few things in mind.

  • Continuity of the marketing message – If your ad copy talks about a free trial, but your landing page does not mention it, your customers would be disappointed.
  • Concise, comprehensive information – Your landing page should have all the relevant information about your product or service, without the customers having to click on multiple links to find out more information.
  • Too much clutter – While it’s good to give your customers additional information in the form of case studies or related products, this might distract them and send them down different rabbit holes. Keep the links on your landing pages to a minimum, so that you can guide your customers down the conversion funnel.
  • No prominent CTA – The ultimate purpose of your campaign is to get conversions. If the visitors cannot find a prominent call to action, you lose a brilliant opportunity to get them to convert. Keep the CTA button or link very prominent on the page. Give your customers multiple ways to fulfill this action.

5. Spending too much, too soon

Marketing campaigns are expensive, and the costs can accumulate very quickly. If you do not set a daily budget, or watch the campaign metrics very closely, you might overshoot your campaign budget in no time.

Make sure you set a daily budget, and also watch the campaign closely in the initial days. You might have to set negative keywords, optimize your ads, change ad schedules, or make bid adjustments depending on your ad performance.

If you spend too much, too soon, it will not give you enough time to experiment with the settings or targeting. So, make sure you start slow, set a daily budget and optimize your campaigns, as well as you landing pages to maximize conversions.

6. Not looking at micro conversions

Sometimes, marketers are too focused on the primary goal like a purchase, subscription, or filling a contact form, that they forget about micro conversions. Here are a few things that you could look at.

  • Adding to cart, or adding to Wishlist on e-commerce website
  • Subscribing to a newsletter
  • Booking a demo
  • Taking a free trial
  • Downloading a whitepaper
  • Spending more than 3 minutes on the webpage
  • Visiting more than 4 pages on your website
  • Buying related products
  • Initiating a chat

These are few action points on your website that could denote customer interest. Though the customer has not made an actual purchase, or filled your contact form, he or she has become aware of your product and interacted with it.

They are likely to come back later to complete the transactions. Make sure you track these micro conversions as well, before writing off a campaign as unsuccessful.

7. Not having the right tracking mechanisms

Campaign URLs need to be auto tagged using Google Ads or manually tagged using UTM parameters for effective campaign analysis. You can also use the import option by using utm_id in your URL, and uploading a data table with the parameter values for each utm_id. If you are using Adobe Analytics, campaign URLs have to be tracked using cid, and the parameters defined clearly in the s.variable.

This might be a little confusing for beginners, but it’s crucial to implement this, so that you can do better analysis of your campaign data.

If you would like help with URL tagging for the marketing campaigns, reach out to CampTag, the awesome URL builder.

If you would like to try out how CampTag can help transform your campaigns, you can start a Free Trial now.