Online Advertising: Not Set and Forget

Written by Nick Stamoulis

While SEO isn’t considered to be online advertising, because there is no money exchange for specific placement, it certainly plays in the same space which makes online advertising worth discussing. SEO and online advertising work well together. While SEO efforts gain traction slowly in the background, online advertising can generate immediate clicks to a website and increase brand awareness and exposure.

There are many different types of online ads, such as search engine pay per click ads, banner ads, display ads, social ads, etc. and they each have different recommended budgets. Some options certainly aren’t cheap, but they can be very effective if implemented properly. But that’s where we notice lots of issues. Companies are paying a premium for online ads that just aren’t cutting it. One of the most common mistakes we see is companies taking a “set it and forget it” approach to their online advertising. After they do the initial set up work they just let the ads run, which essentially means that they are wasting money.

Here are 4 reasons why set it and forget it is the wrong approach:

Creative becomes outdated

The shelf life of an ad’s creative varies depending on the ad, but they all become outdated eventually. For example, if you’re promoting blog posts in social media they shouldn’t be more than a few weeks old if the date is on the post. If the date isn’t on the post or the URL you might be able to get away with promoting it for a longer period of time, but only if the content is evergreen. It’s wasteful to continue to put money behind content that is “old news.”

Platforms change the rules

Advertising platforms can change the rules on a whim. Advertising spend, impressions, and clicks can easily be affected by internal algorithm changes. An ad that was previously running consistently at a few hundred dollars a month can jump up to thousands of dollars if you aren’t actively monitoring it and don’t have a spend cap on it.

Target audience changes

While who your target audience is might not change all that much, ways to accurately target them in the online space can change regularly. As your company (and your competition) grows over time, you’ll be able to narrow in on more specific target segments and more efficiently target them by criteria such as age, location, interests, and more.

Spend can fluctuate

It’s important to make the most of your online advertising budget. Keep an eye on spend and if you notice one day, week, month, etc. doesn’t hit the spend budget, invest that money in other ways to make sure that it doesn’t go unused. Or, on the other hand, if you notice that spend ran high during any particular time frame, you can quickly make adjustments to ensure that the overall budget doesn’t go over.

Taking a set it and forget it approach to online advertising is lazy. It results in missed opportunities and can even potentially wreak havoc on your budget. So, if you’re running online ads – pay close attention to them.

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