You don’t have to scour the internet to find a ton of examples of bad advertising and cringe-worthy mistakes made by big brands. (Think back to Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner disaster as just one example.) But small businesses can sometimes make mistakes too, especially when it comes to deciding where, when, and how to advertise.
In this post, we list some common mistakes to avoid when evaluating your advertising options.
5 Advertising Mistakes that Can Spell Big Disaster for Small Businesses
- Guessing About Your Audience
The fastest route to wasting marketing dollars is to guess about your target audience. If you are not absolutely certain of who you are trying to reach, it can lead to choosing the wrong creative execution, investing in the wrong media mix, and advertising on the wrong schedule. When evaluating your advertising options, every step you take should be grounded in solid research and data.
- Spreading Yourself Too Thin
You should be everywhere your target audience is, but remember, your target audience isn’t everywhere. In other words, don’t invest resources trying to cover every media outlet or social platform. Another related mistake to avoid is spending too much on ad development and not enough on placement. You may have strong creative and a powerful message, but only scheduling a few placements or a short digital campaign run may not give you the frequency required for it to make an impact and reach its full potential.
- Being Inconsistent
If you have one message and creative strategy for your TV ads and a different one for digital, your campaigns will be not be as efficient or effective as they could be. An integrated campaign that uses a consistent message across channels is proven to strengthen memorability, improve audience engagement and significantly increase ROI.
- Thinking You Can’t Afford TV
Assuming that you can’t afford TV advertising is a big mistake that may be costing you business in the end. A recent study indicated that the influence of TV on consumer purchase decisions is greater than all other media combined. The reach of TV is unmatched, and the average adult spends more time watching TV than on any other media platform or device. TV continues to be the leading influencer at all stages of the purchase funnel across all demographics. With the return in mind, you can’t afford not to be advertising on TV.
- Setting and Forgetting
Launching a marketing campaign and then failing to track its performance is another big but all too common mistake. For one thing, a set-and-forget-it mentality takes away the opportunity to make adjustments if you’re not seeing the results you’d expect (or like) to see. For another thing, you’re missing out on the chance to learn from your results. It’s important to monitor your campaign’s impact so that you can understand what works well and what needs to be adjusted for the next initiative.
As a small business, you can’t afford to make big mistakes with your advertising. For a business of any size, resources should be allocated and used wisely. At the same time, it’s important to avoid being penny-wise and pound-foolish. Knowing your audience, investing in great creative plus the schedule to make it effective, and committing to tracking performance are all critical elements of a successful small business advertising campaign.
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