5 Scary Mistakes Not To Make In Display Advertising

Posted by WhatRunsWhere on October 20, 2014
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If you want to get some sleep tonight, don’t read this post!

Just kidding. But don’t say I didn’t warn you when you’re up late with display advertising strategy racing through your head. With Halloween coming up we thought we’d get into the spirit, in a spooky marketing kind of way.

Here we give you the type of display advertising mistakes that would give any marketer nightmares!

Avoid these 5 mistakes and you can go to bed scare-free knowing you did your job well done and produced a well-executed campaign. Now, if only there were still free candy involved…

1. Looking for traffic in all the wrong places

Certain traffic sources may seem incredibly appealing. Great placement and size options, a large reach and maybe even budget-friendly pricing for direct buys. I mean, why not stick your ads there? That would be too easy.

It’s important to properly research and strategize any traffic source where you’ll be placing ads, and don’t forget to check out where your competitors are advertising. Otherwise you won’t get the views, and subsequently the conversions, you’re looking for. Think about it as trick-or-treating at a house filled with candy… but no one’s home to give you any.

2. Selling features and not the benefits

Brag all you want about all the cool things your product can do, but don’t be surprised if you’re not getting the conversions you want.

All of the features in the world can’t convince someone to buy, if it’s not something that will positively affect them, or something that they feel like they need. This is why it’s crucial that you advertise consumer benefits instead of just product features. Show them how much better their life will be once they start using YOUR product or they types of problems you can help solve.



3. Split-testing too many things at once

Yes, split-tests are imperative to the success of any campaign. Consistently optimizing will drive higher CTR and minimize costs but it’s important to not go overboard and test every aspect of your ad at once.

Avoid going into a testing frenzy and change only ONE variable at a time – whether that is your CTA, image, layout, price, etc. One subtle change (don’t forget to track what’s working and not working) would make all the difference in lifting your conversion rates!

Also of course, don’t forget to check out the thousands of banners we have in our archives to get inspiration from top performing ads in display and mobile.

4. Boring call-to-action

When you are trick or treating, would you go to the house that is giving out the apples or the full size chocolate bars? Clicking on a boring CTA is as appealing as knocking on the door of the apple givers – not much excitement there right?

Ensure your CTA entices consumers by letting them know exactly what they’ll get by clicking that button. Whether it’s gathering more info, starting a trial, or being able to shop now – they’ll be much more likely to click if they know exactly what lies beyond that button.

Here are a couple examples of generic “Click Here” CTA’s…


While here are the CTA’s advertisers should use – ones that tell the viewer exactly what to expect after the click…


5. Annoying people by following them around with retargeting

Don’t be that advertiser lurking in the corners of the internet, following your consumer wherever they go. Retargeting is a great tool, and highly effective, but avoid using it to the point of being an annoyance.  There is too much of a good thing, so know when to put a cap on your retargeting efforts.

Things to keep in mind are: setting an appropriate duration for your retargeting campaign, removing consumers from the list after they buy, and segmenting your consumers based on where they are in the sales process.

Keeping Your Marketing Nerve…

A certain amount of nerves is good in marketing, it keeps you on edge and always innovating. But a fear-inducing mistake? Not so much. Keep these scary mistakes in the back of your mind year-round so you know what to watch for (and avoid) in your strategy. This will lead you to success, profit, and restful sleeps with no nightmares of negative ROI!


Topics: Display Ads, Digital Advertising, Split-testing


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