There was a popular TV show in the ‘90s with a title song stating “love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage”. The same analogy works perfectly for business and advertising. You can’t have one without the other (I think I’ve quoted that ear-worm TV tune again, but never mind…).


So, since your business cannot survive without advertising, you should master the art of paying the right amount of money for advertising strategies that really work. Otherwise, you keep pumping money without getting any new customers in return. And that simply doesn’t make sense.


However, there are still a lot of business owners who continue to spend money on ineffective and outdated advertising strategies. I’ve searched high and low and, after careful consideration, I’ve managed to create the top four mistakes which drain your advertising costs without bringing in any actual results. Here they are:


1. Pumping Money into Irrelevant Channels
If your business targets elderly people, you wouldn’t display a billboard near high schools or skate rinks. You simply will not find any of your target customers in these places. By posting your billboards in areas where your target audience is not likely to go to, you are wasting money.

The same type of argument is applicable to online advertising. You must know what types of websites and what social media platforms your target customers visit most frequently, and place your ads there. A gaming website is an ideal place to display ads for products targeted at teenagers and young men. If you sell beauty products and bio cosmetics, this is absolutely not the right channel to find your customers.


2. Not Setting a Proper Schedule for Your Ads
Out of sight, out of mind. This proverb is not true only for relationships, but also for advertising. If you decide to invest in advertising, do it the right way: find out the ideal schedule for your ad to be shown to people. Every day is too much, while once a week is too little.

There’s a valid theory, called the “recency theory”, stating that you must continue targeting the same audience because you never know when they might need your product. If you display your ads once or twice, you may hit the right moment when a person is looking for a product like yours. Then again, your ad may be displayed the next day after they bought the product from a competitor. By continuing to display ads you increase the odds that the client sees it exactly when they need the product.


3. Targeting Everyone
Well, that sounds like a good idea – you want to get as many clients as you can, right? Nothing wrong with that, but it would be a really bad idea if you target men with a ladies’ hygiene product ads. You have to be selective if you want your ads to be relevant, and if you don’t want to waste money. You must remember that – on the social media especially – the price for an ad campaign is calculated in proportion to the number of people who will see the ad. So, why spend money showing ads to people who really do not need your product?


4. Redundant Spending
“Show my ads on all the relevant websites and social media!” That sounds like a solid strategy to make sure your ad reaches everyone in your target audience. But in reality you will spend a lot of money to display ads on various channels to the same people. Once you are done with the behavioural analysis, you know what social media platforms your target clients use more frequently and you should select one – the one on top of their preferences.


There you go. Now you know what mistakes you should avoid when you plan your advertising strategy if you don’t want to waste money purposely.


Phil McGregor

Phil McGregor  

Phil has a strong reputation for being Australia's leading expert on Facebook Advertising. He has presented to thousands of business owners and marketers both nationally and internationally. Phil is passionate about sharing his firsthand knowledge of how to harness the true potential of Facebook Advertising via live-on-stage events, masterclasses and workshops. Phil started his career as an Intelligence Officer for the Australian Police Force, with an entrepreneurial spirit and clear passion for generating a strong return on investment, he made the leap into his own business in 2003.