Advertising Mistakes to Avoid if You Want Your Ads to Work

Advertising is a tricky thing. There are so many ways to get it wrong and so few ways to do it right.

From the content you’re putting out there to the way your branding looks, even the fonts that you use for your logo, all of these things can make or break an advertising campaign in today’s market.

This blog post explores some common advertising mistakes that business owners need to avoid if they want their ads to work effectively.

What is advertising?

The term ‘advertising’ is used in a variety of ways. However, for the purposes of this article, I’m going to try and define it as broadly as possible.

Advertising can be anything from TV commercials, radio adverts, marketing campaigns on social media such as Facebook or Twitter, banner ads on websites (like this one), marketing e-mails, printed material such as leaflets and posters, salespeople who pitch products to customers in person… The list is endless.

Any time you attempt to get people interested or involved with a product by using mass marketing is advertising.

The Importance of Advertising


Marketing is incredibly important for any business. However, if you want your business to succeed, you need to have an effective plan in place for marketing your products and services, whether it’s online or offline.

Gone are the days when people would just stumble across a new product by accident. Nowadays, everything is plan-driven.

We search on Google for the things we want or need, buy them from Amazon, eBay, or other similar websites, and go to Facebook or a blog when we want more information about a product or service that interests us.

This is why it’s no longer enough just to release your products onto the market without thinking about how you’re going to sell them.

You need to think about how you will get your potential customer’s attention and make them interested in what you have to offer.

Why is that Important?


We’ve established why advertising is important, but why is it vital that you do it well?

Well, if your advertisements aren’t effective, then the chances are that you’re going to be spending a lot of money on things that don’t work.

For example, if you buy lots of banner ads for your website, but no one clicks on them, then it’s just wasted money.

If you pay for newspaper adverts, but nobody buys anything. As a result, that’s also a waste of money.

The most effective ad campaigns are the ones that get noticed and work, so it makes sense to try and do something original and innovative as opposed to paying for adverts where the chances of them being successful are slim.

What if You Get it Wrong?


Sometimes, even the best campaigns can go wrong.

Many successful businesses have had a disaster or two over the years, and they’ve come back from those disasters stronger than ever.

However, there’s no point in risking such a disaster in the first place. If you get your advertising wrong, then you’re going to end up wasting a lot of time and money.

What is a marketing campaign?


A marketing campaign is a series of advertisements for your product or service.

It’s where you promote your brand and products, encouraging people to buy them.

For example, the iPhone is on numerous TV adverts at the minute, part of Apple’s massive marketing campaign for their new device.

Apple isn’t just releasing the iPhone into stores and hoping for the best. Instead, they’re doing everything possible to make their product appeal to as many people as possible.

However, advertising can be expensive to do well, which is why you must know what you’re doing before you start spending lots of money on things that might not work.

The most common mistakes when advertising


It might seem odd to start this article by discussing the mistakes that you should avoid, but I think it’s important to do so.

The fact is, there are many things that businesses do wrong when they embark on an ad campaign. Of course, you can’t always get it right the first time, but if you learn from other people’s mistakes, it will make your job a lot easier.

Failure to evaluate your campaign


The first and most important thing that you need to do with any campaign you partake in is evaluated how effective it was. In other words, were people interested in what you had to offer, and did they buy things from you as a result?

If the answer is no, then your campaign failed. However, if it was very effective, then you need to work out why that was so you can do something similar in the future.

You fail to measure your success

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You can’t work out whether a campaign you undertook was effective or not if you haven’t measured its effectiveness. If your only measure of success is the number of sales you made over a set period, then that’s not really going to tell you much about how good your campaign was.

Not spending enough money on it


Sometimes, businesses try and save money by not spending as much as they should on their ad campaign. 

For example, if you’re running a television advert, but the viewing figures are low, then that’s probably because you didn’t spend enough money on it in the first place.

You don’t spend enough time on it


In other cases, businesses don’t spend enough time on their ad campaigns. For example, they get a few banners done and then stop working on them after that. 

It takes more than a couple of days to get something right, so you need to be prepared to work hard when you embark upon a marketing campaign.

You fail to produce different ad types

Another mistake that businesses make is they expect one type of ad to work for them. So, for example, they might pay a lot of money for a Facebook ad but then forget about it after a week.

There are many types of ads, and you need to try lots of them out before you can work out which ones work best for your business.

Different forms of ads will appeal to different people, so don’t just spend money on what you’re good at. Instead, try lots of different things so that you can broaden your customer base.



Targeting the wrong people with your ads is another mistake that you should avoid. 

For example, if your product appeals mainly to children, then it’s no good to advertise it during a football match on television because only adults will be watching that program. 

You need to target the right people for your campaigns to work.

Unsubstantiated claims


To get people to take an interest in your product, you need to make claims about it. However, if these claims are unsubstantiated and false, then you’ll soon be getting into trouble.

You might have a great new product that can do certain things, but don’t try and fool people into buying it by saying it can do everything. Instead, be truthful about what it can and cannot do, and you’ll get more people interested in what you have to sell.

Great product but has bad copy


Lastly, if you have a great product but fail to communicate that effectively in your ad campaign, it will fail.

In other words, even the best product or service won’t sell if the copywriting on your website or leaflets is flawed. 

Take some time over this and get it right so that people can find out about your product as quickly as possible.

Well, there are many mistakes that you can make when running an advertising campaign, but hopefully, this list will point you in the right direction and help you avoid making critical errors. 

The most important thing is to measure your success to know what’s working and what isn’t.

Tips for successful marketing campaigns

There are some tips that you can follow which will act as a guide for running your advertising campaigns. Let’s look at some of the most important ones:

Use a consistent message

One of the most common mistakes that businesses make is they don’t have a consistent message in their marketing campaigns. 

People need to know what your product or service does and why it’s different from other products on the market.  

If you keep changing what you’re selling and how you’re selling it, your customers will get confused and will probably stop buying from you.

Don’t overestimate the effectiveness of an ad campaign

Businesses tend to overestimate how much of an effect their ad campaigns have had on their profits. 

If you run a successful ad campaign, this will positively impact your sales, but it won’t be as big an impact as you think.  

You need to use other marketing techniques and not just rely on one effective form of advertising to help boost your profits.

Test your campaigns

Remember, it’s important to try different types of advertising and measure their effectiveness to know exactly what works for your business.  

As long as you find the right audience for your message, any type of marketing campaign is likely to work well. You just need to be patient and measure things correctly to know which campaigns are likely to be the most successful.

Keep your marketing materials consistent

Just like you need a consistent message in your marketing campaigns, you also need to look at how effective they are.  

If the advertisements you use all have different logos, layouts, and messages, this will confuse people rather than make them interested in what you’re doing. 

Invest in influencer marketing

Influencer marketing
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This can really help to increase the reach of your ads. The key is to find an influencer in your niche who has a large following and engage them directly about marketing your product.

People will listen because they trust this person, so you need to make sure that they are credible.  

Once you’ve started a conversation with them, you can then work together to create some great content that will increase your sales.  

Make videos

Make videos
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Videos are another great way of increasing the impact that your ad campaigns have.  

You can use them in various ways, such as for tutorials and demonstrations or to share short clips about what you do. 

You could also make videos that inspire people to buy from your company by showing them how much better their lives will be once they’ve bought your product.

To run successful ad campaigns, you need to make sure that you choose the right marketing techniques and stay away from the ones that are likely to harm your business.  

You should always abide by copyright and intellectual property rules so that other people don’t steal your ideas.    

You also need to make sure that you stick to a consistent message when sharing your product or service information.  

How important is truth in advertising?

Truth in marketing
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Consumers are bombarded daily with advertising messages that try to convince them to buy products in the modern business world. 

These advertisements come in all shapes and sizes, from the local classifieds to billboards and pop-up ads as you browse the Internet.

You see these ads almost everywhere you go, and they’re put there for one reason; to sell you stuff.

Truth in advertising is very important because it affects just about everybody. Its purpose is to inform the public and build a trusting relationship with customers.

It’s not always easy to build this trust, especially when you consider how many advertisements there are out there in the world (online and offline) that have been designed to exploit people’s emotions for financial gain. 

Last thoughts

Advertising is a tool that many businesses use to reach people. However, the most common mistake in advertising is not knowing who your target audience is and what they are looking for in a product or service.

When you know this, everything else falls into place – from the ad’s message to where it should be placed on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram.

We hope that you enjoyed this article and it gave you some good ideas on how to advertise your business.