4 Common Mistakes In Online Advertising

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 does 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 a bait. They have a salespage that tries to sell something and they expect people to buy. This will work if the traffic has been ‘presold’. But if the traffic arrive at the salespage 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 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 encouragng 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.

21 thoughts to “4 Common Mistakes In Online Advertising”

  1. #3 Too Technical.

    Yeah, still see a lot of merchants stating just the features and not the benefits. Most consumers won’t get “wow” with the features. They are only willing to spend and buy the product when they realized how the product is going to solve their problem.

  2. Another good blog Ken I especially like part 4 Lack Of Following Up. You do need to do more than just follow up to make sales but you also need to follow up to build relationships as well. It was funny that I was thinking about all the advertising mistakes I may have been doing wrong when it hit me like a ton of bricks and it fits perfectly with this blog and that it you need to build raving fans and loyal followers. I knew this when I was an inspiring song writer but seemed to forget it when I got into the internet business, Thanks again Ken and Happy Memorial Day :)

  3. Gosh Ken, I think many of us are guilty of all these. However, #1 is the strategy that sticks out most. Many people who build their own sites believe in the strategy or principle that more is better instead of targeting the one area that matters the most in terms of sales or subscribers. Because the internet is getting bigger and bigger each day and competition is growing at the same pace or even higher. The key is to focus your promotion and advertising in the areas of your niche. You wouldn’t want to waste time advertising on blogs, forums, discussions or other sites that promote muscle building if your product is ladies handbags. Like I said, we are all guilty of using the broad advertising approach at one time or another. The problem is if you keep doing it and expecting better results. It is worth taking the extra time and effort to research the area that will produce the greatest results for your product or business. Thanks Ken,

    Stay Hydrated

  4. Once again ken you have knocked the ball out of the park. It’s rare to get this type of value and it is well received as a great reminder not to go off base.

    People want benefits of course and creating a solution for them is key to easing their pain a little. Trust and honesty online is like a relationship off line. We need to nourish it and let it grow and as we learn more we can adjust our sails a little.

    Great post there,


  5. Great post!

    Just to add one more point. Before you roll out your ad, ask yourself the following 4 ‘whys’:

    – why should people click your ad?
    – why should they read your salescopy in full?
    – why should they take action now? What if they don’t?
    – why should they get from you and not somewhere else?

  6. Very well written post on the common mistakes that many marketers make, including me of course. I could agree the more that the main focus is not to sell but to gather leads, to collect the emails of those whom you can later sell more products.

  7. You have touched on 4 HUGE mistakes even experienced marketers make. Targeting the correct market is the first essential step to creating sales, while describing the benefits your product offers is another key component. Great explanations.

  8. Trust me do use free advertising sources like google, U Tube, Facebook and Twitter. Within just the last weeks alone I got over 20 new followers on Twitter. It took me a few long hard months of advertising but it’s now paying off. So like I said on here before you need to get Raving fans and trusting followers to all your social network and email lists and don’t just try to sell them something but get them to trust you as a leader.

  9. Yeah, nice explanation. I do agree with the points you shared. Among those, Lack of following up is the major problem that the online advertisers have. Thanks for the great post.

  10. Thanks for the good explanation. My business is niche conservation research scuba diving in the Mediterranean, so I am targeting a very limited audience. I use free advertising avenues that work quite well.

  11. If someone could answer this question I would be very thankful. I just started selling Amazon Products threw my own site, however it’s not finished just yet, so I have time. Once I do get everything going, what would be a good sales pitch for selling Laptop’s, Tablets and accessories to go with it all? I am struggling really bad to figuring how to make the perfect sales page, optin page, banners, etc….

    Please any advice, websites to go to, to create sales pages, and definitely how to make banners that I can also put video’s in….

    Thank you very much and I hope everyone has a bless day,


  12. I’m so glad that I read this article. To know the difference is very useful. It helps me to understand what I have been doing wrong, and what needs improvement. I’ve sometimes wondered if the wording in my ads were not appealing enough. I guess I was too focused on not misleading potential customers. Now that this info has been broken down. I think I have a better chance of attracting customers. Thank you for this lesson. This should help me a lot.

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