10 Common Mistakes the Best Online Advertisers Avoid

10 Common Mistakes the Best Online Advertisers Avoid

Everyone makes mistakes. But in the world of marketing, some mistakes are far greater than others.

If you’re brand new to the digital marketing sphere, it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of terms and options available to you.

Don’t sweat it, this is entirely understandable. If you want to compete in today’s market, you’re going to need to come up with a great strategy for your brand.

One of the best ways to create a custom strategy is by looking at what you shouldn’t do. Here are 10 common mistakes that the best online advertisers avoid so you can learn from their example!

1. Failing To Establish Clear Goals

Imagine that you’re getting ready to embark on a road trip. You have clothes, food, a destination, and you just topped off your car’s gas tank.

It isn’t until you’re a few hours into your trip that you realize you forgot your GPS. Without it, you have no idea how to get to your destination and run the risk of getting stranded with no clear indication of where to go.

Avoid making the crucial mistake of charging headfirst into the digital waters by setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for your campaign.

What are S.M.A.R.T. goals? Here’s a quick guide to help you out.


How you define the general parameters of your campaign matters. Use as much specific information as possible (growing your company by X% or gaining X number of followers) to get the best results.


You need to have a way to measure your goals using either qualitative or quantitative methods.


How you’ll achieve the results you’re hoping to get.


Are you setting your sights too high? Make sure that your goals are something you can realistically achieve.


This is the general time frame in which your campaign will take place. Timeliness has a direct influence over how realistic your goals are, too.

By fleshing out your campaign, you’re setting yourself up for success.

2. Ignoring Industry Trends

If this is your first digital campaign, it’s so tempting to rush in and start creating advertisements or content for your brand. But remember what we’ve already discussed so far.

You need a plan. And much of that plan is directly influenced by the results of others’ previous campaigns as well as current industry trends.

Take an afternoon or so to study current hot topics surrounding digital marketing. Learning from industry trends can help you get a better picture of the current marketing landscape as well as its potential future.

3. Focusing Too Much On New Customers

Maybe you’re an established brand already, who wants some exciting new ways to attract new customers. That’s a great idea! New customers mean new opportunities to grow your business.

But make sure that you’re not solely focused on attracting new customers or else you’ll end up spending far more than you anticipated.

According to expert estimations, acquiring a new customer can be five to 25 times more expensive than retaining your current customers. Top advertisers understand this, which is why they split their focus.

Yes, it’s so important to attract new customers in order to facilitate growth. But it’s also important to keep your current batch of customers happy.

If your advertising campaign is going to focus on a new sale or promotion, make sure it’s applicable to current customers in some capacity.

4. Not Having A Clearly-Defined Target Audience

Every brand has a perfect audience, whether they’ve discovered it already or not. Of course, finding them is often the tricky part.

You can make things far easier on yourself by creating a customer profile. Once complete, you can use this profile as a tool to better inform your advertisements.
Admittedly, this can be a bit complicated, so let’s go through an example.

Let’s say you’re a sportswear company looking to target a younger demographic. That’s already a good start, as you have a generalized age group you’d like to attract.

However, you’ll want to get even more specific with your information. What is the exact age range of your ideal customer, for instance?

Then, consider their sources of income and compare it to the price of your goods. Are you setting your products at a price point that’s actually attainable to your audience?

Finally, think about the types of language they use. This is a particularly important piece of information, as it’s so easy to mess up your copy and come across as out of touch or appear as if you’re pandering.

5. Neglecting To Create A Brand Identity

Today’s marketing strategies are a great deal different than those you’d see a few decades ago. Thanks to the Internet and social media, companies have to have unique personalities.

Your copy can’t just be copy anymore — it has to be compelling. Furthermore, it has to be one part of the brand-oriented puzzle known as branding.

Branding is a term that gets tossed around a lot, but maybe you’re unclear about its definition.

In essence, branding is anything that establishes your company’s identity. This includes elements such as your logo, company tagline, and how memorable your company is to your audience.

One of the most crucial elements of branding, however, is your company voice. This determines how you’re going to talk to your audience, which is why it’s so important to create that customer profile we talked about earlier.

Top advertisers understand the importance of message personalization, and so should you.

Meet your audience where they are and try and match their tone of voice. You’re likely to get far better results than if you used colder, less personal language.

6. Forgetting To Put The Audience First

No matter what types of content you create or how you market your business, always make sure that you’re serving the customer’s needs.

After all, that’s the entire reason you’re in business — to serve the customer.

Ranking at the top of Google is fantastic, but it’s going to be short-lived unless you take a customer-first approach.

As you begin to experiment with content creation and branding, put yourself in your clients’ shoes. What would you like to see from your company if you were the customer?

7. Using The Wrong Online Channels

Part of the reason that so many companies get online marketing wrong is that they try to be too many things to too many people.

It’s a great idea to improve your web presence and ensure your company is available just about anywhere, but that’s a good way to spread yourself thin if you’re not careful.

Again, this is where the customer-first approach matters.

Focus your efforts on the channels customers rely on. If your audience is primarily on Facebook, use Facebook. If you’re targeting businesses only, LinkedIn is a far better channel.

There is no universal right or wrong channel, but where you choose to spend your time can have a massive impact on your results.

8. Posting Too Much Or Too Little Content

If you want customers to keep coming back to your awesome website or your social media pages, make sure that you’re giving them a reason.

Content is a great, relatively passive way to do this. Whether you’re writing a blog for your website, posting a quick video to Snapchat, or just coming up with a clever tweet, audiences appreciate the power of content.

With that said, make sure you’re consistent about your posting schedule. Finding the right balance can be tricky, so it may take some experimentation. See what’s right for your audience, then come up with a posting schedule to keep your posts consistent.

9. Viewing Advertising As A One-Channel Form Of Communication

The Internet is the great equalizer of all things. Now, everyone has a voice, and boy are they happy to use it.

Make no mistake, customers are happy to engage with your content, but be prepared to interact with them, too.

The top advertisers understand that online marketing isn’t a monologue, but a dialogue. Treat everything you post as a conversation starter and don’t forget to come back and respond when appropriate.

10. Forgetting To Consult Your Analytics

Last but not least, make sure you have the means to measure your success. The use of analytics can save your company a lot of potential trouble and money.

Glancing at your analytics can help you course correct when necessary.

If your social posts aren’t quite hitting the target, for instance, you can experiment with minor tweaks until you find a solution that works for you.

The Best Online Advertisers Know What To Avoid: Now You Do, Too!

As you can see, there are a whole lot of seemingly minute decisions that have major implications for the success or failure of an online campaign.

Take a deep breath. The best online advertisers got to where they are by exercising creativity, experimenting with their metrics, and learning from the past.

You can do this and we’d love to help. Schedule your consultation today and let us help you come up with a winning strategy, no matter how small or expansive your budget may be.

Jason George
Jason George
Jason George is an athlete, outdoorsman & marketing expert. He is the CMO at Sunbay Marketing with 19+ years of marketing experience. Additionally, he has a black belt in brazilian jiu-jitsu and teaches MMA in his spare time.

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