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Top Three Mistakes Advertisers Make With Online Advertising

And how Quality Digest can help you avoid them

Published: Friday, May 10, 2019 - 10:33

Who’s minding the store? Wait, where is the store? These days as often as not, it’s riding around in customers’ pockets in the shape of their smart phones. Brick and mortar outlets, along with the advertising strategies that go with them, simply won’t translate literally into the digital landscape. Although this is by no means breaking news, it’s surprising how often advertisers forget it. The one thing that holds true across all sales fronts is how important it is to match the message with the medium.

Online advertising blunders are legion, and there are nearly as many blogs that will gleefully itemize them, but here we focus on three of the most common mistakes to avoid. Start by eliminating these, and reap the positive results.

Creating ads instead of campaigns

We live in a storied world now. Everybody and their parrot has a blog. Most online purchases include a parade of comments from both satisfied and irate customers. Even our household appliances weigh in with collaborative data. Every online action comes with multiple viewpoints.

Similarly, a single ad can never tell the entire story. If you have 10 points to make about a product, create 10 ads. Better yet, link those ads into a story, which will promote better use of the data to inform customers’ decisions.

How QD can help: We’ve taken every opportunity—from simple solutions such as larger ad sizes, to complex innovations like content marketing-focused inbound campaigns—to give our advertisers the chance to focus on the stories and actions behind their ads. We encourage our partners to sell not just their product, but also their leadership, expertise, and the stories behind them; we then work to build this into a campaign designed to raise awareness and generate action.

Investing in great production without great copy

You’ve seen them. Splashy presentations, eye-catching and impressive. The designer was clearly at the top of his class at school. But like fireworks, these ads can quickly fade to nothing. They are guilty of promoting creativity over persuasion, and so they end up a waste of everyone’s time and money (although the designer had fun). But perhaps more troubling, these heroic, design-driven ads can lead advertisers into false assumptions about customer response: Something that looks fabulous to the design team might leave customers puzzled. What, exactly, are they supposed to get excited about? The art?

Informative and believable always make more lasting impressions than slick and clever.

How QD can help: Our data prove it: Readers time and time again respond better to contextual links that are part of well-written, useful leadership content than they do to a flashy ad that goes to the same place. Trusting Quality Digest as a news source for more than 30 years, QD readers expect quality content and will happily engage with a company that can show it knows its stuff through special reports, webinars, and content marketing. Even our newsletter sponsorships, traditionally a branding option, always include the opportunity for our partners to provide a paragraph of text to position themselves with our readers. Any company can pay a marketing firm to make a nice-looking ad, and our readers know it; we’ll help you showcase your pedigree in a way that readers will appreciate and understand.

Failing to diversify

Writer and humorist Mark Twain once said, “If you put all your eggs in one basket, then watch that basket!” These days it would be more accurate to say, “...watch that basket get buried by an avalanche of other concerns.” This is especially true for online advertising. A single channel for messaging is limiting to the point of futility. Given that the digital generation switches content channels more than 25 times an hour, on average, an ad that runs in one channel—such as a banner atop a website—will quickly get buried by other online information.

As a general rule, it helps to promote a product three different ways online to truly gain customer attention.

How QD can help: More than a decade ago, Quality Digest left the print market, realizing that the online space was full of opportunities other than just a banner ad. If you can dream it, we have a solution for it: video content, branding ads, inbound marketing, email campaigns, social media remarketing, webinars, and more.... Not only have we developed trackable solutions for any marketing need, we’ve also figured out how to combine them effectively to create truly long-lasting campaigns that stick.

To learn more about how Quality Digest can help you make the most of your online advertising dollars, check out our Media Planner.


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Quality Digest

For 38 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.