6 Ad Mistakes to Avoid When Starting an Ecommerce Business

One of the most difficult parts about starting any business is the marketing side. Starting out, you’re likely to be overwhelmed with potential tips, tricks, and ideas coming from all over. One minute you’ll hear people stressing Instagram while others may warn you about relying too much on influencers.

It’s also tough to start out because you lack one crucial component: data. You simply don’t have a ton of data when you’re starting your business. Although you may have a target demographic, that may be slightly altered over time. You don’t know when or how people are buying.  You don’t know what they’re thinking about their products.  It’s hard to market and make ads but over time, it will become more clear.  While the list of tips and tricks may be endless, there are some blanket mistakes you’re going to want to avoid as you get your ad campaigns underway.

Making Your Ads a One-Size-Fits All

Similar to tailoring your resume, you’re going to have to tailor your ads accordingly. Breaking down one of the most basic differences on one of the largest platforms, take a look at the number of male vs. female users on social media.

Credit: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/09/12/its-a-womans-social-media-world/

As you can see, “social media is a woman’s world”. Reddit can hardly be counted as a social media platform, since the website touts anonymity as one of its calling cards.

Tailoring your ads to vary across different platforms is just part of the process, the other side is technical.

Making a video ad for all platforms without properly optimizing it means you could run into various errors. Making an ad for mobile platforms should look a bit different than making an ad for desktops.

Relying on One Single Ad

Think of some of the most successful ad campaigns: the gecko from Geico, the cows from Chick-Fil-A, or the toads from Budweiser. You can’t just rely on one single ad to tell your whole story.

Now, this doesn’t have to be something like the gecko or cows, but you should make your ads follow the same path. If you have ten points you want to get across in your ads, make 10 different ads. You want to add some diversity to your ads.

Think about it like leaving breadcrumbs for potential consumers to gobble up as they eventually reach your product.

Not Optimizing Your Website

All your ads are going to be aimed at bringing people to your website. One of the worst things
that can happen is for your website to be slow or confusing.

Almost 80% of customers who experience issues with a website decide not to buy from the website and it makes sense. If you’re having trouble arriving to the homepage, why should you stick around and go through slow steps to find the product you want?

Make sure your website is fast and streamlined for consumers. You want to be sure the entire process is as easy and painless as humanly possible. First impressions matter, even in the digital world!

Relying on Promotions

Promotions are wonderful! Everyone loves getting free shipping, winning an extra item, or getting 20% off their next purchase. How can you not, to be honest?

While running promotions is a fantastic idea, it’s not good enough to solely rely on promotions to bring people in. Promotions are like jokes at a big speech. They’re good enough to bring people in to listen to you, but only telling jokes at your speech is a way to make people’s attention spans fly out the window.

Don’t run your ads on promotions, lest risk the idea of your business being seen as a temporary stop-gap. People will see your business as a short-term option instead of a long-term solution.

Not Tracking Ad Success

With ads, many may think that once you’ve finished and published the ads that you’re finished.  Unfortunately, you need to be following and tracking your ads, watching the analytics closely.  One great tool for this is Google Analytics, a free tool which can help you follow the success of your campaigns and pages.

You want to make sure you have a high ROI, or return on investment, to see which ad campaigns are working the best and which you should be investing in more.

Not Testing Your Ads

Before you make a website, a domain name must be purchased. When you’re thinking of the name, you probably ran it with your coworkers and others to see how they liked the name. That was a form of testing the waters and the market.

You should also be testing your ads in order to make sure they display properly, you can track their status, and much more.

You can use your tested ads to reach out to new audiences and how large potential audiences are. You can test your ads by gender, age, location, and plenty of other settings.

Aiming Solely for New Customers

One of the best ways to build your business is by establishing relationships with existing customers to make sure they come back. Trying to convince a potential customer to buy something is much harder than making a new customer come back. Not only is it much harder, it’s also much more expensive.

Existing customers will be your lifeblood, not just because of their more frequent purchases. Instead of investing a ton in trying to find new customers, invest more in retargeting customers. Reward them for being loyal and do what you can to make sure they stay that way.

One simple way you can retarget them is by adding their information directly to an email list. Be sure to connect with them about new deals, promotions, sales, and anything else that might seem relevant.

Not only are existing customers more likely to return, they’re also more likely to tell others about
your services. Remember, word-of-mouth marketing is incredibly powerful even if your business
is entirely online.

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