9 Common Advertising Budget Mistakes

Managing your advertising budget when running Google Ads is no easy task. Especially at the beginning of your campaign, even one small misstep can result in wasting your already tight budget.

Fortunately most people fall into the same traps as one another, so we’ve had an easy time assembling this list of common budgeting mistakes that marketers make. Do your best to avoid these and you’ll be on the right path to efficient spending.

#1 - Not Defining Your Goals/KPIs

Defining KPIs is crucial for optimizing how your ad campaigns are run. Before you start running ads you must define KPIs otherwise you’ll have no measurable way to track your campaign’s performance. More importantly, you won’t have a definitive way of knowing if your campaign has been successful.

KPIs are not the same for everyone. Sure, there are general indicators that a lot of people use. But you can’t apply the same KPIs to every business and every campaign – they’re set on a case-by-case basis. You’ll need to spend some time thinking about what you want to measure. It could be CPI, ROI, retention rate, etc. As long as you believe what you choose is an indicator of your campaign’s performance, it can be a KPI.

#2 - Setting the Wrong Budget

Setting a balanced budget is key for making sure you don’t overspend. On one hand, you need to have a budget that is affordable to your business but that isn’t too low to just be a waste of money. On the other hand, you also want to make sure your budget is spent efficiently and your campaign can be profitable.

A common advertising budget mistake is having a very low budget. If your budget is too low then you risk wasting your money altogether. You won’t be able to get enough data for accurate conclusions therefore your whole campaign will be built on a risky dataset. It’s better to wait until you can afford a good-sized budget than to spend what you have now.

#3 - Not Targeting the Right People

Finding the right group of people to target can be challenging and the results aren’t usually what you’d expect them to be. Your first step should be to create a buyer persona. After that, you can run a test campaign and collect valuable data about the audience you’ve come up with. How much did they engage with your ads? Did certain ages engage more than others?

It’s important to look at age, gender, and if you haven’t gotten too specific with the location, look at the locations of your most active users.

Your goal is to show your ads to the people who are most likely to convert. If you target the wrong people, your advertising budget won’t be spent as efficiently. This is one reason why AB testing audiences is a key part of any campaign. Start with a buyer persona and adjust your targeting strategy as you continue to collect data.

#4 - AB Testing Too Much

On the topic of AB testing, some people fall into the trap of AB testing more than they need to. You’re not going to hit gold with your first ad, this very rarely happens. So, over time, you need to adjust your ads and test different things. Maybe it’s the ad copy, your ad creatives, or the offer – switch things up and see how it affects performance.

That being said, experimenting with your ads too much is going to waste your budget. Taking a data-driven approach where you give your ads plenty of time to capture data (2-3 days per AB test is ideal) puts you in a stronger position to determine what your audience responds to the best.

The mistake we see people making is running AB tests every day and this is a recipe for disaster. You won’t get enough data to get a clear picture of how your audience responds, resulting in inefficient spending.

#5 - Not AB Testing Enough

On the other side of the coin, you might not be AB testing enough. AB testing is an investment that won’t necessarily get the results you hope for – there’s a chance your ad variation performs worse than your current ad. But this doesn’t mean it’s a waste of money, even though that’s what a lot of people assume.

Even if your AB test performs poorly the data you collect is still valuable. It tells you what your audience doesn’t respond well to which is just as important as what they do respond well to.

AB testing is also a great way to avoid ad fatigue. If you only run the same set of ads repeatedly then your audience will get tired of seeing them. It’s important that you AB test regularly so that you keep your ads fresh and your audience continues to engage. So, use an AB testing strategy that isn’t over-the-top and drains your advertising budget, but which still gets you enough data to improve your campaigns.

#6 - Only Targeting Cold Audiences

This is something we see way too often and it’s a massive advertising budget waste for any business. Don’t get us wrong, targeting cold audiences does have its uses and at the beginning it’ll be your only option. But you also need to work on warming up a cold audience.

Why? Because audiences that you “warm up” to the idea of buying from you are going to perform significantly better than any cold audience you target. You can do this through the likes of Facebook Sequential Ads.

Whether your goal is to grow your email list or simply get more sales, running a series of ads before taking your shot will always improve your campaign’s results.

Another aspect of this to consider is your existing customers. Rather than going for an audience of people who have never heard of your business before, running a campaign targeting people who have bought from you before in an attempt to upsell them is viable too.

#7 - Having Bad Ad Copy

Never underestimate the power that a couple of lines of text can hold over your campaign. To you, it might just be about 50 words, but to your audience, it’s a deciding factor. Poor ad copy might have an abundance of spelling/grammar errors or could just uncompelling. A more common problem though is that the ad copy isn’t relatable.

Your ad copy can be perfect in every other way but if your audience can’t relate then they’re less likely to convert. How can you relate? The best idea is to go after their pain points. Figure out what problems they have which your solution solves and focus on that.

Of course, you also need to make sure there aren’t any grammatical errors and that your ad copy is convincing enough, but relating to your audience is a huge driving factor.

#8 - Using Low-Quality Data

Whether or not how your advertising budget is being spent is a priority (though it should be), data is still the center of any campaign. Who you target, how you target them, and what you’re targeting them with are all crucial points that revolve around data. So, if you have low-quality data, your entire campaign is going to flop.

Auditing the data you currently have is one option, but it’s much easier to follow good practices as you run your campaign. Getting enough data from your AB testing is one method, and you’ll want to keep all the data you collect from your campaign. All data is valuable, no matter how old it might be.

Poor data management will indirectly impact your advertising budget. Think about it: if you’re running a campaign using low-quality data then it won’t perform well, and you won’t get as much out of your money than if you were using better data.

#9 - Not Researching Your Competitors

Your competitors have already done the heavy lifting for you. They’ve researched an audience, they’ve been AB testing for months (if not years), and they’ve probably got a set of ads that they continue to invest in.

By using PPC spy tools, you can find out everything you need to about them. You can discover which keywords your competitors are bidding on, how much they’re bidding, and even view those ads they keep running.

Chances are if they’re running the same ads over and over again, it’s those ads that are getting the sales. Use this to your advantage and create similar ads for yourself. This will save you a lot of money that would otherwise have to be spent on finding out what they already know at the beginning of your campaign.

Avoid Budget Mistakes with a PPC Agency

Big or small, managing an advertising budget is a challenge that everyone has to deal with. Not only will you want to make sure you’re spending enough to make it worthwhile, but you need to make sure that money is being spent efficiently.

For a first-timer who hasn’t run a campaign before, falling into these common mistakes is almost unavoidable. That’s why we’d recommend consulting a PPC agency like KonvertLab. At a time convenient to you, we can discuss what our experts can do for your business. Click the button below to book a call and let’s get to work growing your business.

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