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Why Ad Campaigns Underperform and How to Fix Them

We all expect our online ad campaigns to get us the best results possible. However, the truth is not all ad campaigns fare well in the box office. Some of them do fall behind the mark. That makes us think about what could be the reason behind it. How do we fix it? Here we discern the key ways to optimize a failing ad campaign.

To understand what leads to underperforming campaigns, we looked into our historical data. The insights from them led us to crucial factors that affect the performance of the campaigns. Here they are:

Why Google Ads Underperform and How to Fix Them
  1. Audience Creation: Selecting an inaccurate type of audience, demographic profile, the target location of the ad campaign, ad duration and budget

  2. Campaign Objective: Choosing the campaign goal that doesn’t align with the ad viewer’s stage in your sales funnel

  3. Visuals & Copy: Unappealing visuals and messaging

  4. Landing Page:  Making a landing page that doesn’t sync with the ad’s message, bad website navigation and broken webpages

Most importantly, the advertiser needs to consider these areas within the context of their brand and industry while creating the adcampaign.

Let us shed more light on optimizing the campaign by working on these factors.

1. Consider Your Audience

Sometimes an otherwise well-executed ad campaign can fall short because of inaccurate audience targeting. For instance, if you have selected a broader campaign audience targeting a large area, you may find that those users are not familiar enough with your brand to convert. Similarly, sometimes when you select a narrow or exact audience, there are chances of fetching fewer leads or low reach due to a sparse target audience. Key parameters that influence the campaign audience include demographic profile of the audience, campaign’s target location, duration and budget.

Solution:

  • Audience Selection

    One of the best ways to continuously improve your ad performance is by testing and optimizing your campaigns. Initial audience research is crucial to understand whether you want to target a broader audience or a narrow one.

Here is an example of an audience selection for a real estate business on

Mediaqart.

 AI Audience Targeting

Scenario 1: Narrow Targeting

Suppose you want to advertise 2-bed residential apartments in a high rise. Selection Path: You can directly browse for 2 BHK on the search bar and you will see the audience selected for that. Result: This will show your ad to people who are interested in the purchase of a 2 bedroom apartment.

Scenario 2: Slightly Broad Targeting

You decide you would like to target buyers interested in all kinds of configurations in the hopes of getting more inquiries.

Selection: You can search for Real Estate, under that click on Residential Sell and then Apartments, tick mark all the boxes, and then click on ‘Add’ button at the bottom of the page.

Result: This will target a slightly broader set of buyers who are interested in the purchase of all kinds of apartments from studios to 5-bed configurations. This could work if your project has apartments of different sizes or if you are a broker with a wide range of inventory.

 Optimize Campaign Audience With One Click

The above example shows how one must select the campaign audience depending upon the campaign objective and customer segment on Mediaqart.Learn more about audience targeting for your industry in our advertising guide.

  • Demographic Settings

    Choose the right demographics settings as per your product/service. For example, if you sell beauty products for women, you can target ads to female users within a specific age group and economic profile. When it comes to real estate, it s better not to choose a specific gender. For age group selection, in case of a real estate business, it would be ideal to choose a range from 23 55 years. In the case of banking products, say like loans and mortgages, it is again advisable to keep a high age range.

  • Location

    Consider your business type and operations while selecting the location of your ad campaign. For example, fitness centre advertising in its locality can find more inquiries than advertising throughout the city

  • Duration

    When you select a campaign budget, Mediaqart automatically suggests an optimum duration for your campaign. When you increase the duration manually, it can affect the performance of your campaign. A reduction in the daily ad budget also reduces the volume of results. This can impact the ad campaigns that are required to target higher-value purchases.

    On the other hand, reducing the number of days on the same budget can still affect the performance. The longer the campaign runs, the more time the ad platform’s AI gets to analyze and optimize the campaign.

  • Budget

    With higher budgets, auto bidding is higher. The campaign is likely to receive more traffic. With lower ad budgets, the campaign could receive fewer clicks and conversions.

The budget you choose is inversely proportional to the results you can get. Though this is a variable concept, let s say for example, you already are running ads with higher budget (approx 2 5 lacs per campaign) and getting good results from your ads, then most of the people tend to increase the budget and expect higher results.

But this cannot be held true in all cases, if you have a limited location selection and you have increased your budget, you have already covered your TG, then at this point increasing the budget will not make any difference and might end up increasing the cost per result.

The same holds true for low budget ads, if you think you aren’t receiving the desired results and your ad spend is below Rs. 1 lac, and your targeting is broad, in such scenarios you cannot expect to get good results or lower cost per result. You need to either increase budget or curtail your broad targeting.

2. Choose the campaign objective wisely

While creating the campaign, we select an objective to optimize our campaign towards a specific goal, such as lead generation or website traffic. But sometimes we choose a campaign objective that does not align with our business goal. For example, a real estate business searching for leads does an engagement or promotion campaign instead of a lead generation campaign. This affects the response of the ad campaign.

Solution:

Choose a campaign objective that aligns with your business goal and the stage of your prospect in the sales funnel. For instance, targeting a cold audience with a sales objective like website traffic or lead generation would likely fail. This is because your audience is not familiar with the brand yet. On the other hand, a promotion objective can first help create brand awareness. Based on your business goals (lead generation, website traffic, conversions and more), you can then run campaigns for transactions or increasing sales.

3. Examine the visuals and content cop

When people browse Facebook or Google, the advertiser has just a split second to grab the audience s attention. There are ads with great strategy and targeting that do not have the right words either on the ad or the landing page.

Solution:

While making the creative, you can follow the below tips:

  • Noticeability: The image should have one focal point to grab audience attention.
  • Brand link: Consider the stage of your audience in your sales funnel while writing the copy. Make it easy for the user to identify your brand.
  • Beneficial: Offer a clear incentive and benefit for the customer through your visuals and copy.
  • Informational: Your copy should explain the product well enough.
  • Emotional: Make the ad appealing to the viewer by offering discounts or free returns that lower the buying risk.
  • Call to action: Choose the right CTA that urges the audience to act.

On Google Ads Network, apart from following the above tips, keep the following things in mind:

  • Headlines & Descriptions:

    There must be an adequate number of headlines and descriptions informing the audience about your products.

  • Insert keywords:

    Strategically use keywords related to your business search query in both your headlines and descriptions. These keywords will help match the search query of the user with your brand. Using a free keyword tool, you can find the keywords with a good volume of search.

Headline Tips for Google Ads Network

By writing an ad copy that includes your target keyword, you are effectively telling Google that your ad is relevant to the user’s search query.

  • Use Brand Keyword::

    Depending on where your customers are in the buying process, they might use different search queries to find your product. For instance, someone in the research stage might search using generic terms. As people become aware of your brand and move toward the conversion stage, they might search using your brand name. This can be true for returning customers as well who might use brand names instead of generic search terms. When people search for your brand name, you can rank #1 for your brand keyword in the search results.

  • Use Extensions:

    With extensions such as sitelinks, call, directions, etc in ads, customers can see detailed information about your business like contact number, unique offers, and USPs, among others.

Adding Call Extensions in Google Search Ads
Some examples of high performing Google and Facebook ads:
Examples of high performing Google and Facebook ads
 Why Facebook Ads Underperform and How to Fix Them

On Visuals:
Research your industry about what works the best on visuals. For selling a residential apartment, you can showcase the various amenities and views from the apartment using a 3D home tour.

On Copy:
Write a copy that resonates with your target customer segment. For example, audiences tend to show interest in real estate ads displaying the pricing, certification, and benefits of the apartment.

On Facebook ad headline, you get 40 characters before the headline may be truncated

Go Mobile:
Most of your potential customers are the mobile audience. The type of device affects the display of the ad campaign.

For example, on mobile, the post copy of Facebook ads is visible up to 120 characters and the rest is truncated inside the ‘Read More’. So, write those first few characters as engaging as possible to make the viewer read more.

Avoid using pixelated images or images whose content is not readable. One of our checklist for real estate advertising

4. Create a smart media buying plan

Performing ads boil down to targeting the right audiences and keywords, reducing the cost per acquisition and driving potential customers to your landing page where you have set up a well-thought-out funnel that will improve conversions.

However, many advertisers fail to take care of having a landing page that syncs with the ad campaign. As a result, the conversions suffer.

Solution:

Get Google Analytics to find the pages and exact points where users are dropping off once they visit your website. Set up UTM links in your ad campaigns that help you track where website traffic comes from when users click your ad. If the visitors leave your landing page quickly, you may need to check the following things:

  • Match the information on the landing page with the ad campaign
  • Make the lead form easy to fill with ideally up to 4 fields
  • Check the pricing and USPs
  • Help the customer navigate your website easily
  • Simplify the checkout process
  • Direct the ad viewers only to the stated landing page and not redirect them to a third party website
  • Optimize the loading speed of the site
  • Set up conversion tracking for your website. Conversion tracking can help you see how effectively your ad clicks lead to key customer activity on your website, such as transactions, sign-ups, and form submissions. Learn how to create it here.
5. Pay Attention To The Landing Page

Don’t just spend your advertising budget on one platform, try and include as many digital channels as possible. You don’t know which platform your audience is spending the most time on, so don’t just put your oranges in one basket, distribute it equally or as per your business requirement and run ads on Facebook, Google, Instagram and YouTube.

Learn from those campaign performances and results and then create a detailed media plan as per the most effective platform. Until and unless you do not try and experiment, you will never know

Advertisers need to vet the areas of audience creation, campaign objective, budget, visuals & copy and landing page and more before and while running an ad campaign. Also, it is essential to identify underperforming online ads and evaluate ad performance consistently. As we stated in the beginning, it is important to remain consistent in your advertising efforts to optimize campaigns and fetch the best results. That leads us to another important topic on why consistent online advertising is the key to more sales. Dig it!

Cheers!