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The 5 Sins of Media Buying in 2024

Every year we learn more about where the opportunities are in the media buying ecosystem. Campaign types, testing, creatives, the list is endless and applies to agencies and media buying experts alike. There is no success without failure, no growth without missteps, and no path to optimization without data. 

And for those already putting AdBeacon to use – props to you – you are already a steep ahead. 

All of this to say, there are also some basic sins that we see being committed every day that every media buying pro should be avoiding in 2024. Not pointing any fingers so don’t come at us on X aka Twitter.  

But we are calling out what you should NOT be doing this year so we can all see more effective campaigns, profitability, and success. 

Let’s get into it!

Sin #1: Relying on Traffic Campaigns

A few videos were floating around the ether promoting Traffic Campaigns for your full-funnel approach on META. So much so that even META is advocating and gifting advertising dollars towards these efforts. 

Why are we not fans of them? 

Because they very seldom, if ever, result in profit. Imagine pumping cheap traffic to a taco stand just to find out everyone is vegan!


Qualified traffic, which will be optimized with conversion/lead campaigns, has shown to be far more effective than a traffic campaign. 

If the argument is that the cheap traffic will then convert at the retargeting level, that’s a very expensive way to work the funnel. A recommendation from the majority of paid media marketers? Ditch the traffic campaigns.

media buying traffic campaigns

Sin #2: Not Segmenting - Endlessly

This is going to be the year you need to learn to love your audience segments. 

The idea of Recency, Frequency, and Monetary (RFM) is at the core of this segmentation discussion. Just as you would not be using the same campaigns for new customers vs retargeting interested or current customers – targeting frequent purchasing customers the same as a single purchase customer from two years ago – makes ZERO sense. 

 

  • Which customers have purchased most recently?
  • Which customers have purchases most frequently?
  • Which customers are purchasing with the highest order values (monetary)? 

Media buyers and agencies need to keep their eyes on all of these areas (as a start) and create separate campaigns and ad creatives that speak to their buying preferences regularly. 

Beyond effectiveness, segmenting at a deeper level helps ensure the effectiveness of your campaigns improves and remains profitable. Segmented messaging and creatives are more personal to the experience of these customers which can improve purchase conversions and keep ad costs in check. 

AdBeacon recently launched “audiences,” into our platform with several prebuilt audiences for you to choose from as a starting place -based on your first-party conversion and campaign data. So if you did not have audience segments on your holiday wish list – make it one of your resolutions for 2024.

AdBeacon custom Audiences 2024

Sin #3: Not Taking “Risks”

We have lost count of how many times we have experienced brands fighting the need to break from their media-buying traditions and dive into untested waters – at least for them. 

Breaking out new campaign types, using lifestyle images vs product images (or vice versa), or even leveraging cross-channel conversion data to change up their strategies. 

We will be very clear about this – if you are not regularly taking some “risks” in your campaigns there are two things you need to know – you will never break new ground and your competition will eventually surpass you.

taking risks in media buying - AdBeacon

Taking calculated risks is not the same as just being risky for the sake of variety. It is in our nature to say something like “We have always used lifestyle images and we just need to find the right ones to use.” 

Change can be challenging, but consider this question, are you catering to your media-buying ego or the desires of your target audience?

Audiences taste change, as should your strategies, creative approaches, and goals. 

As the adage goes, “What got you here, won’t get you there.” Take a step back and see where you have not changed things up in a while all allocate a small portion of your budget for “risk” in 2024 and see what you can learn – you might be surprised.

Sin #4: Failing To Test Creatives

Dovetailing off of the preceding risk section is not testing ad creatives. 

We will go a step further, testing ad styles, placements, frequency, formats, etc. If you are not testing, constantly, there is an opportunity you are missing and advantages you are failing to unlock. 

Audience segments, first-touch creatives, remarketing creatives, images, videos, reels, traffic links, etc. As a media buyer you know we are just scratching the surface. 

testing your paid media creatives

You also know there is always something you can be testingwe get it if you have a rockstar creative that performs, awesome! Add it to your evergreen set and start testing new creatives. 

But remember this, you would have never found your best evergreen creatives without initial testing. 

Testing is how you find your next winner – the sentiment and engagement with your testing creatives is your audience telling you how they love it – or hate it. And the more feedback you get the better you can adapt and optimize your campaign as it matures. 

Make testing a priority this year – you have everything to gain and very little to lose.

Sin #5: Not Sending Interest To Product Pages

Okay, we need to have a little chat. 

If you see an ad for a product, on Facebook, Instagram, or Google – where should the click take you? That’s right! The home page of your website, where you now need to search for what you saw and filter through the myriad of other products you were not looking for in the first place. 

In case it wasn’t clear – that last line was sarcasm. 

Your friendly AdBeacon team is begging you – if you are featuring a product in your ad – send the click directly to the product page for the product being featured. Sure, if you have a series of products you can have your clicks go to a category page featuring those products. 

But if you are trying to tank your conversions and frustrate customers not sending interested customers to exactly what is being featured in your creatives is a 100% perfect way to do it.

sending paid media traffic to product pages

But consider this: you have great creative, with pinpoint perfect targeting, with a fantastic CTR, but the data shows that customers are not purchasing. You might decide that people don’t like the product or the ad messaging has failed because you don’t have the BOF conversion to show for it. 

Or, customers were being sent to your home page, getting confused or frustrated, and bailing on the idea of your product altogether. You had everything right except the final step of sending customers to your product page. 

Don’t let all your hard work fail because of a simple oversight make purchasing simple for your customers, you will convert more often and keep them coming back for more!

AdBeacon - Your Guiding Light!

Alright, let’s bring it home. We’ve dived deep into the 5 big no-nos of media buying in 2024, and hey, it’s a lot to take in.

But here’s the kicker: dodging these sins is just part of the game. It’s all about hitting the bullseye with your campaigns, and that’s what you have AdBeacon for, right?! 

So if you haven’t experienced AdBeacon yet – add us to your New Year’s resolution list and click here to Book an AdBeacon Demo. Let’s chat, explore, and catapult your media buying into a whole new realm of awesome. Ready to make some ad magic happen? Let’s do this! 🚀🎯