Digital Advertising Myths

How to Amplify Your Content Distribution Channels

Digital advertising has changed quite a bit in the past decade – from new platforms to new creative types to the way that consumers respond to ads online. Unfortunately, these changes have brought along confusion and hesitation surrounding online advertising.

Myth 1: Digital Advertising works best for B2C marketers. Digital advertising is just as important for Business-to-Business (B2B) marketers as it is for Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketers. In fact, 71% of B2B researchers begin with a generic online search, making this a receptive audience to digital ads. What Marketers Should Do: Target your audience where they already are online. For example, if you are hoping to reach a buyer persona that largely depends on a mobile phone for work, you can choose to display ads on mobile-specific platforms and apps.

Myth 2: All conversions are good conversions. Google AdWords has a feature called “negative keywords” for a good reason. Let’s say a company sells a software for pop-up calls-to-action. If they don’t set their targeting settings correctly, that business could easily end up receiving traffic from users who were searching for a “pop-up” greeting card or a visitor hoping to find a “pop-up” sale near them. Search can be tricky and without the right setup of your campaign, you’ll pay for clicks from unqualified prospects. Make sure that you are using clear copy in your ads so users don’t click through for the wrong reasons just to inflate your click counts. What Marketers Should Do: Targeting the right audience will help you get the most for your ad budget and turn prospects into sales leads. Here’s a guide on setting up your audience in Facebook.

Myth 3: Ads are disruptive and spammy. Digital advertisements are only disruptive when the user is not considered. Sure, the flashing neon “free iPod” pop-ups of the past were intrusive and annoying, but that’s not what online ads look like today. By creating high-quality, informative advertisements that represent your product or company, you can promote your brand, create awareness, and gain potential customers. What Marketers Should Do: Check out these native advertising best practices for 2018. Hint: focus on quality, engaging, educational, and humorous content, and steer away from clickbait.

Myth 4: Ads are only for sales prospects. OnBrand reports that for 70% of brand managers, building an audience online is more effective than direct sales. Advertising is an extremely effective (but sometimes less measurable than direct sales funnels) method of increasing brand awareness. What Marketers Should Do: Promoting your brand via social and digital advertising can improve your sales cycle, create an audience of prospects, and re-engage your existing audience.

Myth 5: Digital advertisers should focus primarily on desktop viewers. In the US/EU, more Google searches are done on mobile phones than on desktops. Additionally, 49% of those researching new products do so on their mobile device at work. Mobile advertising is becoming increasingly more important than desktop ads. What Marketers Should Do: When creating mobile ads, try to use more local targeting and language, have fun with copy, and include specifics like prices or current deals. You can also create mobile-specific deals and target only mobile viewers with something like, “Free shipping on mobile only.”

Myth 6: Creative and copy have the biggest impact on your ad’s performance. Audience, relevance or quality score, and timing are actually some of the most important factors that can impact your ad’s success. What Marketers Should Do: Optimize your ads and run tests to determine the content with which your audience engages most.

Myth 7: Digital ads should be goaled with generating website views. Digital ads can be more than sources to drive visitors to your website. You can use ads for brand awareness, email signups, and sending visitors to product or event-specific landing pages. What Marketers Should Do: Landing pages are a great tool to track ad performance. Send visitors from ads to custom, targeted landing pages for a campaign to get granular data.

Myth 8: Digital advertising is a game for big businesses only. Small businesses greatly benefit from online advertising. Local targeting on Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Twitter, and search engine ads can help your business be discovered. What Marketers Should Do: 60% of small businesses don’t have a website or online presence, so make sure your customers can find you (and not your competition) first.

Myth 9: My industry is too boring to make good digital ads. Just because you have a stereotypically “boring” industry doesn’t mean you need to make boring ads! Think of your audience and make content that appeals to them. Post-it does a great job with their social media and advertising. At the end of the day, their product is just small, sticky pieces of paper. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t do awesome marketing or create great content for their consumers. What Marketers Should Do: Check out these tips for making your “boring” industry stand out in ads.

Myth 10: Digital advertising is guaranteed to get your company immediate results. Patience is indeed a virtue. Depending on the advertising platform, the cost of your product/service, and the ad itself, ads can work quickly or take a bit more time. On Facebook in particular, it takes time for the algorithm to find the right audience for you and present your ad to the right folks. What AdsMakers Should Do: Set goals, experiment, and determine a price-per-click (PPC) or conversion that’s worth it to you and your business. If you aren’t seeing results after spending a certain amount of your budget, try something new, adjust your targeting settings, or try a different platform. Search Advertising Myths: Search advertising is an extremely powerful tool for both B2C and B2B businesses. While mainly composed of Google AdWords as well as Yahoo and Bing search, search advertising also encompasses search ads featured on social media networks.

Myth 11: The top ad position is always best. While ad position and conversion rate data are disputed, it is a fact that the number one position on Google AdWords is 100% more expensive than the number two position. Because of that, the top spot will make it harder to qualify your clicks or get the return on investment you require. What Marketers Should Do: Focus more on cost-per-click, conversion rates, and your own goals. Don’t let striving for the number one spot blow your whole ad budget!

Myth 12: Investing in search ads is the best way to increase your ranking. Google (and other ad platforms) are pretty smart. They have separated organic from paid ranking so paid content doesn’t directly affect organic rank. However, there are factors that can link paid with organic. For example, visitors who see paid ads may be more likely to click on an organic article in the future. What SEO Should Do: Find out your current rank, target keywords, and optimize your content, then evaluate which ads will complement your organic strategy.

Myth 13: Search ads should be completely evergreen. Timely offers, short-time deals, seasonal promotions, and ads associated with current events perform well on search ads. The key is ensuring you turn off and on your ads so you don’t waste your budget on ads with expired offers. What Marketers Should Do: Try promoting a deal that ends at a certain date and use Google’s countdown timer to include a real-time countdown in your ad copy to see improved engagement.

Myth 14: The best keywords to go after have high volume and high competition. Unless you’re a major brand, keywords that are high volume and high competition will likely be out of your price range. Use keywords that are relevant to your industry, match what your prospects are searching, and have a reasonable price. What SEO/PPC Should Do: Use this step-by-step guide to choose the right keywords for your next search campaign. Don’t be afraid to go for keywords with low search volume: the people that will search for those terms will likely be higher-quality prospects than those searching for broad and competitive search terms.

Myth 15: Search ads don’t need a CTA since they’re listed in SERPs. CTAs (calls to action) are extremely important for search ads. If you don’t give your viewer something specific to do, they’re more likely to scroll past your ad. Try running ads with CTAs like “subscribe,” “start trial,” “claim your discount,” or “learn more.” What Marketers Should Do: Here are some tips on writing great search ad copy and CTAs. Make sure your copy is short, helpful, and actionable.

Myth 16: Search marketers should focus their ads on internationally relevant keywords. No matter your product or service, you surely want to advertise to your target demographic. Being the number one result internationally when you only sell to the US won’t help your return on investment – it’ll only succeed in buying you poor quality clicks. Bid on your own region and tailor ads to different audiences. What Marketers Should Do: Need help ensuring your ads are only targeting specific regions and audiences? You’d be surprised how many ads aren’t optimized. To make sure yours are, check out tip #3 in the post about using local audiences and timezones to target your search ads.

Myth 17: Google is the only relevant search advertising network for marketers. While Google does have 74.52% of the search market share, Baidu, the top search engine in China, processes billions of searches monthly. What Marketers Should Do: Test out campaigns on search engines like Yahoo, Bing, AOL, Baidu, and Ask.com. Use your best performing email marketing landing pages for search ads. Don’t miss out on the 25% of searches that occur outside of Google.

Myth 18: Target all possible keywords for a given topic. Not all keywords for a topic are a match for the intent of your product or services. Don’t forget to exclude negative keywords, for example, and only target for what’s actually relevant to your company and products. What Marketers Should Do: Let’s say your company hosts or helps plan birthday parties but not bachelorette parties. The keyword term “bachelorette party,” in this case, would be a negative keyword you would want to exclude from your targeting. Here’s some advice on writing effective search ads. Social Advertising Myths: Social media advertisements are an effective way of delivering content to your target audience where they already are online. Social Media Examiner found that 61% of marketers find social media advertising effective. With the ability to target specific demographics and create custom ads, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are good options for any budget. Social ads also lead to more sales conversions than their organic counterparts.

Myth 19: Ads need to be relatable to a very broad audience. The beauty of social media advertising is the ability to target hyper-specific audiences. Facebook allows you to target based on a user’s page likes, location, age, gender, interests, job title, and more. What Marketers Should Do: The more specific, the better. Creating specific ads for specific target audiences will lead you to create higher-quality content and bring in higher-quality leads.

Myth 20: The most attention-getting creative assets are best for ads. Some advertisers find that ads that provide content similar to what users are used to seeing are the best performing. What Marketers Should Do: Try creating ads that blend in with organic content. After all, social ads that live on a user’s newsfeed are, in a way, native ads. Rather than stand out with spammy ads, promote content that is engaging to the reader.

Myth 21: Creative and copy have the biggest impact on your ads’ performance. The only way to find this for your business is to test and analyze multiple ads. Creative and copy aren’t always the most impactful. Sometimes it’s the targeted audiences you set or the time of day your ads are running. What Marketers Should Do: Check out these tips for creating effective ads to test. Make sure to analyze everything: your audiences, time of posts, platforms, creative, and copy.

Myth 22: Remarketing is creepy. Remarketing is effective, cost-effective, and plays into human perception and decision making. Your audience may need to see an ad between three and seven times before purchasing. What Marketers Should Do: Setting up ads that target those who have visited specific pages on your site, are already customers, or who follow you on social media are just great reminders of your brand rather than “creepy.” Here’s how to get the most return-on-investment (ROI) out of retargeting efforts.

Myth 23: There aren’t many creative options for social ads. Social ads aren’t just static images anymore. Experiment with carousels, video, images, or promoted posts. Carousels can fit up to ten images and are great for visual products or for telling a story. What Marketers Should Do: Try out all different types of creative in your ads. Find out what works best for your audience! Remember: testing and analyzing results is the key to figuring out which ads are performing best for your audience. Instagram has a new feature where users can swipe up to shop – learn more here.

Myth 24: Number of impressions is the most important metric of success. ROI/ROMI is different for every marketer. First, set up the goals of your campaign using this guide. Then, once you’ve defined your goal, align your campaign to meet your goal. If you’re looking for website visitors, make that the goal. If you need product purchases, set up your funnel accordingly. What Marketers Should Do: In advertising, unqualified impressions on ads are most often a statistic that isn’t focused on. Visitors who get past step one and end up on your website or product page are the ones you want.

Myth 25: Facebook is the most important social advertising channel. Diversified strategy is key. Those who see your brand on multiple channels will have more awareness and be more likely to purchase. It is also important to be aware of ad fatigue and mix up your messaging and creative assets. What Marketers Should Do: Experiment with multiple ad sets across different social platforms. If an ad begins to perform poorly, try changing up the color, copy, or target audience.

Myth 26: If you already have an ad set up for Facebook, you can copy it for other social channels and you’re good to go. Tailor ad campaigns to the channel. The types of content on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram are much different, and viewers will expect different copy and creative that matches each channel. What Marketers Should Do: Find your voice on each channel and create consistent ads with that platform’s style.

Myth 27: Your advertising strategy is successful if you end up with a huge following. Most marketers aren’t looking exclusively for more followers. Define your goal whether it’s product purchases, website visitors, ebook downloads, or followers, and create a campaign around your goal. If you are looking for followers, your ad copy will be much different from a marketer with a goal of purchases. What Marketers Should Do: If you create lovable and informative ads, you’ll gain followers, don’t worry. Don’t be afraid to create different ad campaigns for different goals. Sure, some of your campaigns can focus on gaining followers, but others might be increasing sales, generating leads, or promoting a specific piece of content.

Native Advertising Myths: Native advertising is a non-disruptive advertising tactic that seeks to blend sponsored content in with organic content on the page. It consists of paid social ads, sponsored posts or advertorials, paid search, paid discovery modules like Outbrain, or promoted listings on sites like eBay or Amazon. 25% more visitors look at native advertisements over banner ads and have twice the brand recall, so they are a great way to target your audience.

Myth 28: Native ads are the same thing as display ads. Display ads are obvious advertisements like banner ads whereas native ads blend in more seamlessly with organic content. For example, Facebook ads that live on the right side panel are displays ads, whereas sponsored content Newsfeed ads are considered a type of native ad. What Marketers Should Do: Viewers spend 308x more time looking at native ads over banner ads. If you’re not already spending time testing native ads, you should. You may not even realize that you’re already creating native ads if you’re running sponsored content on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, or Instagram.

Myth 29: The best ads will stand out on a webpage. Many studies have shown that content that looks like organic content performs better than obvious ads, however, make sure your viewers do know that it’s an ad. Your goal isn’t to trick the consumer. Rather, your goal is to create content that will be interesting to your target audience even though you’re paying to reach those people. What Marketers Should Do: Outbrain found that 83% of viewers could recognize native content as advertisements, and that 56% were interested in purchasing the product after reading. Don’t be afraid that your users won’t like native ads. Instead, focus on creating remarkable content and think of it as paying to promote that content to reach new audiences rather than wait for it to reach them organically.

Myth 30: Users shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between native ads and native content. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has two rules for sponsored content: ads should include copy that denotes that they have been paid for or are sponsored and it should be visible to the average reader. What Marketers Should Do: Don’t trick your readers. Here’s the difference between native ads and content marketing so you know which is which. At the end of the day, if you’re paying for placement, you should let users know that. At the end of the day, users are more likely to trust you if you’re upfront with them about your marketing tactics.

Myth 31: All content networks are created equal. Each content network like Buzzfeed, Mashable, and ESPN has a different audience, viewership, price, and topic. What Marketers Should Do: Choose the content network that most closely aligns with your target audience. You don’t need to go after large networks like Buzzfeed or Mashable to create successful native ads.

Myth 32: Focus on getting users to click. Clicks aren’t always the most impactful goal. Tell a story to engage your audience with multi-channel campaigns and create brand recognition. What Marketers Should Do: Here’s how to get the most out of native ads without necessarily just getting clicks.

Myth 33: Native Ads are paidfor-placement editorial articles in publications like Buzzfeed. That’s just one type of native ad. Native ads also encompass social media ads, related/discovery content, paid search ads, and promoted listings. What Marketers Should Do: Find out where your audience lives online and what they read, then target them there.

Myth 34: Native ads are hard to target at niche audiences. Native ads were made for niche audiences. It’s all about creating content for specific audiences and promoting that content where they are already. Facebook allows you to filter your audience based on family and relationships, fitness habits, industry, and more. What Marketers Should Do: Target and retarget your audience with content that relates to them on a personal level. By utilizing each platform’s wealth of information, you can find who you’re looking for and save money by only focusing on them. Conclusion: 2018 is the first year ever that internet ad spending is projected to surpass television. Marketing and advertising for both B2C and B2B businesses has moved online and with that, the way we market has changed.

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