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How To Avoid the Common Pitfalls of Social Media Advertising

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Starting social media advertising can be a big leap for many businesses – it’s a significant investment of budget that relies on getting a good return to make it worthwhile.

Unfortunately, there are common mistakes businesses make when they’re inexperienced with advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and if you fall foul of these pitfalls, you can quickly haemorrhage money.

Here are the top three things to watch out for – make sure you review them before you start spending money to make sure you’re in the best position to see a return on your investment.

Where do they land?

This one is definitely top of the list! So many times, I see businesses jumping into social media advertising before polishing up their websites.

Regardless of whether you’re running a campaign that sends people to your site, you should be proud of your company’s digital home.

Even when your objective is to increase page followers or social media engagement, don’t underestimate how many people will check out your website along the way. If it’s poorly built with minimal or low-quality content, it’s a massive turn-off – that you’ve paid for.

Even worse, if you’re running traffic campaigns or conversion campaigns that send people directly from your advert to your below-par website, you’re throwing your budget away!

Invest in your website first.

If your overall site is in good shape, it’s worth adding unique landing pages specifically for your ad campaigns so that users immediately land on a page that’s relevant to the advert content and is optimised to convert them quickly by taking the action you desired from your advert.

What are they getting?

Many advertisers have a lead magnet strategy: they attract new potential customers with an advert that offers them something in exchange for an action.

For example, you might promote a free download that promises them tips, advice, or a useful template they can use, which requires them to provide their email address or sign-up to your newsletter to gain access.

It’s a great strategy because it gives the user something of value and you have a lead to follow up – a separate retargeting advert works well here.

However, give them something that under-delivers (a low value resource or something entirely different to what your advert promised) and you’ve lost them before they’ve even started to move down your sales funnel.

It’s not that different to click-bait – you might get a great result from your lead magnet campaign in terms of clicks and sign-ups, but users feel duped if their ‘reward’ is crap, and you’re very unlikely to get results from any retargeting campaigns that follow.

Even if you’re not using a lead magnet, ask yourself: what’s in it for the audience? Your advert content should speak directly to your target audience and resonate with them by addressing how you can specifically help them.

Who are you targeting?

The last point leads me onto another common mistake – not knowing your audience!

You should have a clear understanding of the types of users you want to reach so that you can apply the right targeting filters and not waste your budget on blanket advertising.

You can be really granular about the type of person you want to be served your ad, from their age and location right down to their interests and behaviours.

However, don’t be so specific that your target audience is too narrow. You’ll need to have a large enough audience, or you’ll quickly hit creative fatigue – this happens when your advert has been seen so many times by the same people that it stops being effectively and verges into stalker territory!

A small audience, or if you have a very small budget, means you’ll hit creative fatigue much quicker. You can combat this by having multiple advert creatives (try different formats too, like single image, video, and carousel) and let the platform deliver the one it believes will perform best with each user.

If you want to run a retargeting campaign to ‘follow’ your website visitors onto social media or people who have previously engaged with you online, make sure you’ve built up this audience enough.

If your website traffic and social media engagement or followers is low, you’re not ready for a retargeting campaign – focus on adverts with awareness, engagement, or traffic as your objective first.

It's not all doom and gloom – social media advertising can work extremely well if you get the content, audience and customer journey correct.

It can be complex to set-up and manage though – the above pitfalls or the ones I see most often with first-time advertisers, but there are other hurdles to navigate too.

If you need some guidance, get in touch for a chat.

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