Wastage in ad spend has been an increasing problem in the advertising industry. In 2018, Rakuten Advertising, formerly known as Rakuten Marketing, published a survey that claimed that 26% of all media ad spending was a waste.
Fast forward to today, that number has only gotten bigger — up to 40% in some reports — and the estimation process is even more complicated. Each year, the waste rises to unimaginable heights, towering over the preceding year.
There has been so much talk around this phenomenon, and who is really to blame is another issue entirely. Nonetheless, businesses can't afford to wait until the public verdict is passed. Each advertiser needs to take active measures to stop their budget from pouring down the drain if they're to remain competitive in today's fast-paced digital landscape. In this article, we pinpoint a few ways to reduce such wastage in your daily ad budget.
Unfocused campaign goals will always yield unhappy results. It is paramount to define campaign goals before selecting which ad campaign model to go for. Lead generation, brand awareness, or conversions, all have distinct approaches in crafting and execution that'll make it worthwhile whatever you're planning on spending.
Clear campaign goals will also help you select better KPIs to gauge the success of your campaigns. CTR might work well for some campaigns, for example, but for others, it might be more productive to aim for measuring conversions. By using a different metric, you might be able to more accurately judge how you spend your money.
Don't be too broad with your keywords. Spending your money on broad keywords doesn't necessarily mean you'll get much traction. Instead, narrow down your keywords. Make sure the keywords resonate well with your target market both in terms of audience interests and contextual relevance — it should be both what they are searching for and what they're looking for at that point in time.
On Facebook and similar social media ad platforms, the game flips to that of audience and target groups instead of keywords. The narrower you get, the more likely you'll be reaching that precise audience that'll bring in the necessary value to justify your ad spend.
This is mainly applicable to geo-targeted PPC ads. When targeting through Facebook or Google Ads, you have many options for targeting status. Choosing an option incompatible with your campaign goals could result in draining your ad budget by advertising to people you didn't mean to reach.
An example would be reaching people who had recently been to Paris with a campaign that was meant for the locals in Paris — both could be targeted with the key location "Paris," but your ROAS depends on which of the two target groups you end up reaching.
If you're dealing with online business advertising, it is paramount you invest in a robust anti-ad fraud tool. With the prevalence of ad fraud in recent years, this is more of a necessity than it is an option.
An advanced fraud detection tool that thoroughly analyzes ad campaigns can easily detect inconsistencies in the data from your ad campaigns at an early stage. It will lower the chances of your ad campaigns being compromised for any exploits by fraudsters. This will give you added assurance over your ad spend, make you more confident in your ad budget, and allow you to better streamline your entire marketing operations.
Landing pages are your audience's gateway to conversion. Although the pages don't make up the main focus of an ad campaign, they constitute the most significant point of any sale. The pages should be optimized for speed, image/video appeal, clear call-to-action buttons, a harmonious color scheme, and generally a more intuitive UI/UX design.
An ill-conceived landing page, therefore, will not yield any returns on your ad spend and could even harm the relevance and quality scores of your ads.
While Facebook and Google Ads are widely popular, there are other ad platforms to consider — such as Bing Ads, Pinterest Ads, LinkedIn Ads, AdRoll, Yahoo Gemini, and others.
Every platform has its pros and cons, which means not all of them are going to be suitable for your business and campaign models. If you believe you're wasting your ad budget despite several attempts to mitigate the issue, perhaps you should start to experiment with other platforms.
If you're already using two or more of the ad platforms, don't try to diversify further. At the end of the day, each platform that you add to your arsenal takes resources away from a primary platform you could be dominating.
Make sure you use tactics that work best with the platform you are using. If a platform supports your objectives better, don't feel pressured to switch it. It is in your best interest to ensure your ads are being shown most of the time to the people you're aiming to reach.
Retargeting can save you a fortune on your cost per acquisition and convert up to 10x as compared to regular ads. With retargeting — also called remarketing — you'd be paying to reach people that previously interacted with your website or socials.
Almost all ad platforms support variations of the feature. When done right, it is a fantastic way to deepen engagement with users and keep them engaged with your brand for a longer time.
Several factors can explain why you're wasting your advertising budget, from the obvious promotion of Halloween products in January to more granular issues like poor targeting. It is ad fraud, however, that stands out.
Fraudsters have become more adept at hiding their tracks and exploiting technical vulnerabilities, and the human element is often the weak link. Don't wait until you find out how severe the issue is before you take action. Implementing anti-ad fraud solutions can often be all you need to save your ad budget and take better control over your marketing operations.
Why wait when you can stop ad fraud in its tracks today. Sign up for a 14-day free trial with Spider AF to get started!
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