Sorry, But Your Advertising is a Monumental Waste of Money
Ok, not all advertising is a monumental waste of money…
…but if you have an ecommerce or lead-generating site with a poor sales funnel, you are wasting your money on social media ads (or any other kind of ads for that matter).
Imagine it this way:
You open a brand new physical retail store, buy a building, and order a bunch of inventory…and you’re so excited to get started that you put out grand store opening flyers in the neighborhood and open the doors.
What happens when your customers arrive? Well, we’re pretty sure you aren’t selling anything. Even though you’ve gotten customers in the door, all they see is a mess. They can’t find what they’re looking for, there is no one to help them, and they can’t even figure out how to actually buy anything.
Obviously this is a bit of a dramatization, but this happens on ecommerce websites all of the time. Businesses spend money driving traffic to their sites when they really aren’t ready for visitors.
Here are the most common problems we see in the sales funnel:
No or Poor Call to Action
Hopefully it’s clear why this is a problem. You drive traffic to your site and want your visitors to take a specific action, whether that be making a purchase, or simply signing up to an email list. Make sure your CTAs are clear and easy to see as these CTAs are what drive your visitors down your sales funnel every step of the way.
No Custom Landing Pages
Do not advertise a special offer of a specific product to your audience, and then send them to your homepage with no clear path for how to claim that offer or buy that product. We see this all of the time. Targeted landing pages for each campaign may seem like a big investment, but it will greatly increase your returns.
Put yourself in your customers shoes. If they see an ad for an amazing new product, but land on your homepage when they click the ad and have to search your entire catalog to find it, they probably won’t.
I mean, I wouldn’t. Would you?
So make sure that you are creating custom landing pages for your campaigns to make it easy for your customers to get down the sales funnel.
Don’t drive traffic to a site that is broken. Just don’t do it. You are certainly wasting your money if you send users to a page where they cannot complete a form or the display is buggy.
This might seem unlikely to you, but happens all the time. Especially if you’re consistently making updates to your site or creating custom landing pages. Don’t just assume that if it worked last time, it will work this time. Test everything and then test it again.
Poor Mobile Experience
Just because your site is responsive, that doesn’t mean that it’s optimized to convert on mobile. And if you’re spending money to drive traffic to your mobile site, it better be optimized to convert, not just functional.
Pay particular attention to this if you’re running Facebook ads. Even if you don’t target mobile as a device, the liklihood is that the majority of your clicks will be on mobile. So make sure it’s easy for your mobile traffic to convert.
Just having the Google Analytics tracking code on your website isn’t enough. If you are spending money on advertising, you need to have a way to tell if that advertising is effective or not, and why. You need deep visibility into your metrics and to have custom goals and funnel set up that are specific to your business.
When business don’t have this level of tracking, we hear them say “Facebook advertising just doesn’t work for us.”
Your advertising isn’t working for you. And you just lack the visibility and the expertise to analyze why your Facebook advertising is failing and how to make it better.
You are leaving money on the table if you are not using conversion rate optimization (CRO). CRO is the magic sauce that helps you make the most out of every advertising dollar that you spend. By testing different variations and dynamically displaying the ones that are converting best, CRO systematically increases your ROI for any advertising dollar spent.
Want to learn more? Read our series on CRO.
So before you spend money on advertising, there’s a couple of things that you need to do.
1) Make sure you have all of the above in order (obviously).
2) Make sure you have a comprehensive marketing team to run your advertising strategy. You don’t just need someone to set up your campaigns, hit “run” and call it a day. You need a full team to analyze and optimize on an ongoing basis to make the most of your ad budget. You must have this bandwidth in place from the get go to make changes and improve your marketing spend every day on the fly.