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Are you a small business owner and you are looking forward for promoting your business online? I am almost certain that you would have heard that online advertising give you much better returns as compared to other mediums. Well, that may not be entirely correct for everyone. Truth be told, online advertising does give more leverage because of the ability to collect and analyse data, but small businesses may have to be wiser because of their budget constraints.

So here are some common mistakes that you can avoid to increase your success rate with your online marketing.

#1 – Not Having an Objective in Mind

While every business’ end objective is to get sales and increase their revenue, it is not going to happen the moment you start your online advertising. You need to have very clear short-term and long-term goals set to ensure that the campaign you are running is in sync with your current objectives.

While starting your online marketing campaigns quickly, sounds very exciting, it can be devastating if you doing it without a clear purpose of what you want to achieve. Because your entire campaign strategy starting from your targeting to your communication and your call-to-action will depend on the objective you wish to achieve.

#2 – Having Unrealistic Expectations

Assuming that you will start getting conversions as soon as you start the campaigns is like expecting a baby just after having sex.
Online Advertising platforms are extremely cautious about new campaigns since there is no historical data to understand the effectiveness. Hence, things will be slow initially and you may not achieve the best results at the start. Once the campaign has run and the data start showing up, the metrics will improve.

The first 3-4 weeks may be quite discouraging but will be required to optimize a campaign and ensure that you are getting the expected results. This can be considered as your learning phase. You succeed in online advertising when you approach it as a long-term strategy rather than a quick-fix to revenue.

Also read: 5 Tools To Help You Increase Followers & Boost Your Instagram Marketing Strategy

#3 – Not Parking Budgets for Experimentation / Over Experimentation

While these are two completely opposite pointers, I have seen businesses make both the mistakes. Since there is always a budget constraint it is extremely essential that we spend the money smartly.

While experimenting it is extremely essential in the initial phase to identify different strategies/avenues that work for your business, over-experimenting will lead to one of the following issues:
A – You spend a majority of your budget in experimenting, where your ROI will not justify
B – You allocate menial budgets to your experiments leading to less data which is not sufficient for you to make a further decision.

Hence, please ensure that you only allocate 5% – 20% of your budget in experimenting and do not have more than 2-3 experiments running every month.

#4 – Thinking it’s all about the ad. Not optimizing the LP & the Sales Pitch

One of the biggest mistakes that small businesses do not take a holistic approach. If the ads are not performing, it may not always be about the advertisement.

Running the campaigns / modifying the campaigns may not work, if the landing page or in the sales pitch is not proper. We need to ensure that there is consistency in communication at all the touchpoints in the customer journey. Hence, it is extremely important to check all the aspects before making modifications in the advertisement.

#5 – Running Campaigns on Auto Pilot

The biggest mistake that I have realized that small businesses do in order to save time/money is to set the campaign nicely, optimize for a couple of months (either themselves or through an agency) and then once the results are as expected, leave the campaigns on Auto Pilot till things start falling south.

The biggest advantage of spending online is that you have access to data which can help you make smarter decisions. Also, optimization is a continuous process and cannot happen just once a month or once a year.

Apart from analysis & optimization, if the campaign is put on auto-pilot, the scope for experimentation becomes zero. Since digital is an extremely dynamic field, new things come up almost daily. If we are not trying the things relevant for our business, it’s an opportunity loss which is far dangerous than a monetary loss.

Also read: Brand Owned Website vs. Marketplace: How should a new brand sell online?

Online advertising can be extremely beneficial for small businesses when done effectively, but there are potential pitfalls. Avoiding the common mistakes identified here can make a large difference in your level of success and in your budget expenditures.
Hope you are now in a better position to kick-start your campaigns. In case you have any specific doubts, do reach out to me at [email protected].