Why your Online Ads are a Waste of Money

Why your Online Ads are a Waste of Money

So you’ve commissioned new Online Ads for your Brand X and you’re pleased with your early steps in to Digital Marketing. Your bosses are satisfied. When passing you in the hall, they mention that they just saw the ad this morning while reading Fast Company. You, the wise brand marketer, nod indulgently.

In all likelihood, your ads are hemorrhaging money.


You’re treating them like press ads. Here are some conceptual difference between press ad and online ads:

1. Data is Collected

This seems like a no-brainer. We all know that computers are great at computing – this means the collection, calculation and storage of data. Anything you do on a computing device can be tracked, measured and quantified. We know this, but we don’t KNOW this. Use the data you’ve collected to tweak, justify or abandon a brand message.

2. Humans are Active

A press ad is passive. The online world is active. Make your ads active by inviting your audience to do something. In fact, the audience WANTS to do something. Ever tried reading for 30 minutes straights on the web? It’s near impossible – you want to click, move, explore. Don’t place your passive ad in a hyperactive playground. Encourage your audience to click, like, share and explore.

3. No Companion Pieces

In the press, your ad is all your audience sees, therefore it is all you need to produce. Not so the web, if you’ve successfully invited your audience to engage with you, you’ve got to provide a second experience for your audience after they’ve clicked your ad. Your second “ad” should be as good as, if not better than, your first ad.

4. Profile your Audience

The Trinidad Express can boast of a readership of 75,000 persons. But not all 75,000 people are interested in your aluminium windows. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to target only home-owners? Wouldn’t it be more efficient especially if it cost less to advertise to just those 15,000 home-owners? Not only would your cost of advertising be less, your conversion rate would be higher. 1 in 20 home-owners may be interested in your ad, instead of 1 in 1,000 Express readers.

Imagine how much more impactful your ads can be with a little profiling. Target home-owners undertaking extensions with your online ads, then your ad can actually resonate with “Match your existing windows” messaging instead of the generic “We have aluminium windows.”

 5. No Follow-up

Congratulations, marketing manager, your press ad ran on a Thursday in the Trinidad Guardian. Box checked, move on to next task. But the wise online marketing manager realizes running an online ad is not the end. It’s the middle.

After profiling your audience, crafting your message and running your ad comes…. crafting your message again. Yep, if you want to squeeze the utmost out of your online ads, you follow-up by reviewing the data so see if you can improve your effectiveness or outdo your competition.

Save Money

Don’t make these basic errors when building and judging your online ads. You can’t simply take a press ad, resize it and slap it on the web.

Actually, you can, if you’re prepared to waste money.