Today we are going to discuss the common mistakes that marketers make when advertising online. By understanding these mistakes and avoiding them, I hope you can improve your success rate in any form of online advertising.
Without further ado, here is the first mistake:
1. Bark Up The Wrong Tree
I once heard a story that goes like this:
Someone once asked a notorious bank robber why he only robbed banks. The robber looked a little surprised and simply answered, ‘That’s where the money is.’
This story becomes popular in the teaching of success philosophy because that’s the essence of success in doing anything. The same principle applies to online advertising. Before you start to advertise, the first question you need to ask is, ‘which online sites do my prospects frequent?’. Whatever the answer is, your challenge is to find ways to reach out to those sites and channel the traffic to your own site.
One common thing I hear from advertisers is they think their product is for everybody. If you think that your product is for everybody and you simply advertise everywhere to get traffic, chances are most of your advertising effort may be wasted.
2. Not Having A Bait
Most advertisers simply use a hook to catch fish instead of using bait. They have a sales page that tries to sell something and they expect people to buy. This will work if the traffic has been ‘presold’. But if the traffic arrives at the sales page without learning about your product from somewhere else, the chance of making a sale is slim. If you have a mechanism to convert them into your list, you may have a second chance. Else, you will miss them forever.
A bait system is different in the sense that the objective is not in the sales. The aim is to reach out to people who can be your potential buyer by giving them part of your product free (not just giving away a freebie to build list, but to give away part of your product to let them have an experience with what you are selling). Say if you are selling a software, you can give away a ‘lite’ version of the software.
The concept of a bait system is very simple. Basically there are only 2 groups of people, let’s call them to group A and group B. Group A are those who are not interested in what you are offering. Group B are those who are interested. In Group B, there are 2 more sub-groups, Group B1 and B2. Group B1 are those who are ready to pay, and Group B2 are those who are not ready to pay. Most advertisers only target Group B1. In a bait system, your target is Group B. Once you have people in Group B in your net, sales is almost guaranteed, provided you deliver true value.
3. Too technical
Everyone knows it is important to prepare a good ad, but most people are too obsessed with the technical details. One typical example is they focus too much on the ‘features’ rather than the ‘benefits’.
You may ask, what’s the difference?
Features are the language for techies whereas benefits are the language for layman. For example, if you are selling a download manager, one of the features of your product may be ‘to be able to split files into parts and download them at the same time’. If you just leave it as it is, it may not make much impact. But if you translate that feature into its benefit, that may mean that your software can ‘download files 4 times faster’. ‘Downloading files 4 times faster’ is a benefit that will appeal to normal users, as compared to telling them about the technical aspect of it.
Another example is if you are selling a course on how to create a WordPress blog, instead of advertising it as ‘how to create a WordPress blog in 1 week’, you should say ‘how to create a money-making blog in 1 week’, or if you have a testimonial to back you up, you can even say ‘how to create a blog that makes $1,337 in its first week, starting from scratch!’.
Just remember, it’s the benefits that will appeal to people, not the technical details or the process of how to do it.
4. Lack Of Following Up
Last but not least, many marketers focus on generating traffic but fail to follow up with the traffic generated. When I say ‘follow up’, I don’t just mean converting the traffic into sales. That part of following up is important, but it’s not the only follow up you need to do. Another follow up that is equally important is encouraging the traffic to promote you.
As I always said, advertising is like a fire starter. You need it to start a fire, but if you want the fire to sustain and grow big, you’ll need to tactfully position lots of charcoal around it. That ‘charcoal’ is your follow-up system that encourages your existing traffic to bring in referrals.