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Where Do I Invest More (or Less) of My Advertising Dollars?

In 2021, digital ad spend accounted for 55% of all advertising worldwide. Yet much of this tsunami of advertising has little or no effect on internet users, who have become increasingly adept at ignoring all those appeals to spend money. 

No fewer than 42.7% of internet users employ ad blocking software on their web-enabled devices. This is understandable when you consider that the average person gets targeted by 6,000 to 10,000 ads daily. Add in shortened attention spans, and you have the perfect storm for advertisers to lose money. 

For advertisers with a limited budget to work with, the problem of allocating funds optimally is an especially pressing issue. So how can they do the most with the money they have? They can start by avoiding some all-too-common marketing errors.

How Can Advertising Dollars Be Misspent? 4 Common Errors

  1. Inaccurate reporting

A lot of inaccurate reporting can be traced to the ad platform itself. For instance, Facebook lost access to a ton of data when the iOS 14 update was rolled out. It then rolled out the probabilistic attribution model to compensate for the data loss. The problem is that the data is incomplete, and the modeled data is not completely accurate.

On the other hand, some advertisers effectively sabotage their own data-collecting efforts. For instance, they may set a buy button as a purchase event instead of the Thank You page. Consequently, the ad platform will count all button clicks, including cancellations and payment errors, as sales. 

  1. Short attribution windows

An attribution window is the predetermined period of time in which an ad impression can be credited to a later conversion. It’s an important concept in digital marketing, as consumers typically don’t purchase an advertised product or service the instant they see an ad for it. 

For Facebook, the default attribution window is 7-day click and 1-day view. Prior to the iOS 14.5 update, it was 28-day click and 7-day view. If it sounds like attribution windows are getting shorter, you’re right—Facebook’s changed policy is just part of a larger trend in social media tracking. It’s a serious problem for marketers, though, because the full customer journey can easily fall outside these brief windows. This leads to undercounting and overcounting of sales. 

  1. Platform biases

An advertising platform has something to gain by attributing a purchase to itself. If you’re getting data suggesting that Facebook drives the most sales, you may be moved to spend more ad dollars on Facebook. That’s why platforms tend to be too eager to claim credit for a conversion, which complicates your view of customer journeys. 

  1. Optimizing inaccurate data

Again, without a first-party tracking and optimization platform, media buyers will pump spend into the wrong campaigns, ad sets, and ads. This, above all else, is the most important consideration. As the economy fluctuates, every dollar in paid advertising counts. It is imperative to utilize accurate data when allocating ad dollars in 2022 and beyond.

How to Target Audiences in Facebook Campaigns

Now that we’ve had a look at behavior to avoid, here are a few tips for making a positive difference in your campaign management efforts:

Define your ideal customer

Knowing your ideal customer is the first step to selling anything online. You need to understand your audience’s pain points, what messages they respond to, where they hang out online, and what keywords to target with your ads. Too many advertisers just do basic demographic targeting—for instance, gender, age, and location. Go beyond that and target organic searches, past internet activity, and topic interests.

Analyze your competition

Look at your competitors’ ads to see what marketing strategies and value propositions they are using. While you don’t want to copy their ads, you could take inspiration from a specific element or a broad approach (e.g., proportion of text vs. graphics) that they seem to be employing with success. Competitor analysis also helps you to differentiate your ad solutions from the current ones in the market. 

Take advantage of previous campaigns

Save ads that perform particularly well so you can learn from your successes—and it’s wise to preserve data on the ones that failed as well. Ideally, you should keep tabs on every single ad you release on any platform to increase your knowledge of how to manage marketing campaigns effectively. 

How AdBeacon Enables You to Make the Most Informed Decisions with Your Advertising Dollars

AdBeacon includes several useful features that help advertisers make the right decisions about where to allocate their advertising dollars and learn how to maximize ROAS. These features include:

Full Customer Journey Tracking

AdBeacon can track customers across multiple domains to accurately map out their conversion journeys. This gives you insight into the relative impact of your various marketing strategies, including SEO, organic traffic, paid search, TikTok, and Facebook. And you don’t need to contend with the newer cookie restrictions, as AdBeacon uses UTM parameters to track the source, medium, campaign, term, and content data associated with every specific link click.

Accurate Reports

AdBeacon can generate accurate ad reports that help advertisers understand where to invest their resources. Unlike Facebook, which grapples with customer privacy issues and uses probabilistic data modeling, AdBeacon gathers first-party data and produces actionable ad reports in real time. 

Some of the data metrics marketers collect from their AdBeacon dashboards are:

  • Best Performing Ad Channels

AdBeacon can integrate the reports from different ad channels into one dashboard. You can easily see which channels are performing the best for you, whether it’s organic SEO, Google Ads, Facebook, Reddit, or TikTok.

  • Most Engaging Ad Creatives

You can also see which ad creatives resonate the most with your audience. You get the engagement levels for each creative and the conversion rate.

  • Actual vs. Reported ROAS

See a full customer journey from first click to last and determine whether this ad/ad set truly contributed to the sale.

  • Highest Performing Data Sets
  • Accurate Revenue Attribution

Use AdBeacon to integrate all your ad data sources into one dashboard. Get real-time marketing insights and optimize your ads in real time from inside the dashboard. Use an attribution window that goes as far back as you have history. Get AdBeacon free for 30 days.