Entrepreneurs have a lot on their plate. As such, it’s easy for things to slip by or escape their notice, even when they’re quite important. Online advertising is one area where this can happen, and it can be quite costly in various ways when they’re not paying attention to the details or have assigned someone to do just that.
For this article, we provide some pointers as to what entrepreneurs (or their team) should pay attention to in online advertising. We hope you find it beneficial.
The Effectiveness of Each Ad Network & Platform
The effectiveness of advertising on a given ad network or across a platform isn’t stagnant. It’s also not the same from network to network, platform to platform either. This might surprise someone new to online advertising looking to generate new leads or complete sales for their business, but it’s important to get one’s head around it.
Costs and Conversion Rates Vary Considerably
It used to be that only the search engine platforms hosted advertising. Then it expanded out to other websites. In time, major social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and others started to jump on the advertising bandwagon. However, not everything is the same here.
A newer ad network may price ad clicks far lower than what’s found on Google’s platform (which still holds the lion share of advertising online today). While this may seem like a bargain, it may not be.
Their demographical mix may not be suitable for the product or service that your company wishes to promote. As such, while the ads may be less expensive on a per-click basis, they may not convert well into new sales, newsletter opt-ins, or whatever the objective of the ad campaign is.
The Quality of the Leads Generated
When advertising is designed to generate leads rather than get a completed sale following the click, then it must be considered differently.
For instance, with higher ticket price items, they usually will be far less successful with getting a sales conversion from an ad click. Most potential buyers wish to consider the purchase, research some more, and then make a decision. This process can take hours, days, or longer. In such a situation, one move is to promote the product and link people who click through to a landing page that lets them opt-in to a newsletter to learn more over time.
The landing page will still have information on the product just in case they wish to purchase then and there, but essentially the ad campaign is designed around generating valuable leads alone. These can be further warmed up through the newsletter until they’re ready to make a purchase.
When the quality of the leads provided through a given ad network isn’t up to scratch, then fewer people opt-in, and not many end up buying the product, service, or subscription later on either. This is why tracking the success of an ad campaign, not just in the short-term either, is important.
The Level of Click Fraud Present on the Platform
Click Fraud is likely to present on every ad network and platform you can imagine. It costs advertisers money with each ad campaign they launch.
Click Fraud Is Not a New Phenomenon
Click Fraud in the PPC industry has been around for over a decade. It’s not new, but it’s become both more sophisticated in its execution and more expensive since it began – both bad news for entrepreneurs. ClickGuard is at the forefront of tracking click fraud to eradicate it on behalf of their clients, so their article linked above is worth reading.
The term relates to when adverts are clicked without true intention. While some ad clicks are lost to people seeing, for instance, a Nike advert and clicking through just to view their latest trainer designs without any intention to buy anything, others are clicked with bad intent.
How Click Fraud Can Be Handled
Bad intent ad clicks are known as click fraud. This is commonly where competitors will click on the adverts of brands that they’re actively competing against in the marketplace. In so doing, they ramp up the cost of running a competitor’s ad campaign by making them less profitable. This either causes reduced company sales overall, or the necessity to spend more on advertising to make up for it.
Companies need to work with professionals that are experts at finding click fraud where it’s occurred and can provide an indication of which companies might be responsible. They will work with ad networks to confirm what’s been happening, and where fraud has impacted the cost of an ad campaign to a significant, costly degree.
Ad networks can provide an excellent promotional opportunity. However, vigilance is needed to account for people and organisations looking to artificially increase the costs of advertising for one party over another. Using a firm that can act as a watchdog towards this is the end is well worth it.