We can all recall past advertisements that the public has criticized for completely missing the mark. Think back to 2017 when Kendall Jenner starred in a Pepsi ad ending police brutality. In the same year, Dove created a commercial in which a black woman transforms into a white woman for their new soap line. Since then, tons of controversial advertisements have been criticized due to their lack of knowledge about advertising. To ensure that your business does not make these detrimental mistakes, we advise that you look at the top five advertising mistakes that we have seen from small businesses. 

  1. Set and Forget: 

Digital advertisements allow businesses to manage campaigns by tracking the performance data. However, we commonly see companies disregard this benefit and never edit a failing advertisement. Many social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, provide useful information to track how much money is spent. You can also follow who sees your ad, when it is most popular, and where it is located. Advanced advertisers use this information to determine whether an advertisement should be changed or remain live. 

  1. Choosing the Wrong Media: 

Media is categorized as either old or new media. Old media consists of radio, newspapers, magazines, or direct mail, while new media consists of social media, search results, websites, or text messages. Depending on what you want to advertise, a particular media may work better than another. For example, you wouldn’t want to advertise a blog through old media because there is no way to provide a direct link. Instead, think logically about how a prospect can use your advertisement to locate your company as a solution to their wants, needs, or problems. 

  1. Putting All Efforts into One Advertisement: 

Businesses often stick to a routine in which they only use advertising plans that were successful in the past when creating future campaigns. However, we encourage businesses to be open-minded and use multiple types of media when reaching their audiences. By doing this, your business will appear to be more experienced in multimedia advertising. 

In addition, you should budget strategically. We recommend businesses research the cost of different advertisement campaigns and plan how much they are willing to pay. From here, you can determine how long you can run each campaign. By dividing your budget between different mediums, you will also reach a broader range of prospective customers.   

  1. Advertising to Everyone: 

Before deciding what type of advertisement you would like to use, analyze the demographics of your target audience. An audience’s demographics include age, sex, income level, race, employment, location, homeownership, and level of education. This information can help determine what type of media is best to use. If your product or services appeal to younger generations, like Generation Z, use new media. On the other hand, older generations will most likely respond to advertisements made on television or through direct mail.

If using social media to advertise, look at your audience insights. We recommend advertising to people who have visited your site within the last three weeks. 

  1. Ignoring Audience Awareness: 

There are five levels of product awareness that businesses must evaluate when creating an advertisement. The first level involves the Most Aware or those who have purchased from you in the past. Next is Your Solution Aware or those who are aware of your products and services but don’t know precisely how well your product works. There are also those who are aware that a solution is available but don’t know which to choose. These people are Solution Aware and may be more difficult to advertise to. The Problem Aware also knows they have a need but don’t know it is a problem. Lastly, the Unaware don’t know that they have a need, problem, or solution. Evidentially, these types of people will need to learn a lot of information through your campaigns. 

When a company ignores audience awareness, they miss what specific needs must be addressed. Doing this will often lead to a loss of money and a lack of reach. To prevent causing an advertisement disaster, be cautious when selecting where, who, when, and how you want to advertise. This specific selection will prepare you for future advertisements. 

If you have any questions regarding advertising, please contact one of our team members at Absolute Marketing Solutions.