4 Easy-to-miss Tips To Help You Avoid Digital Marketing Horror-Stories

Some of the worst horror stories in digital campaigns(be in Adwords, Facebook ads or mobile campaigns) I’ve known have happened because of simple oversights.

This is the way these typically happen – you set up campaigns, go away for a couple of hours, come back to see unmentionable things having happened – usually it’s that you’ve blown a couple of thousand dollars through your account and got nothing for it – or that you wait forever and get no results whatsoever.

Here are 4 simple things that many startups and businesses miss, and burn their fingers with. Thankfully, they are easy to fix – and it takes only a moment to make sure you have them all covered.

1. Make sure you don’t overspend

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Make sure you set your budget parameters prudently. This is by and large the biggest cause of disasters, be it on Facebook ads, Adwords or a mobile platform.

Double check your campaign budget and daily budget. Make sure your campaign end-date is set correctly.

2. Make sure you’re targeting correctly.

Often, ads end up getting targeted to the wrong regions. You might want to target one city, and you end up targeting an entire country. You might want to target only search, or only one category, or one handset – and you might pick the setting to target all categories.

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Before you know it, you have a big fat addition to your campaign bills. Double-check that you have picked only the targeting parameters that you want.

You have to be especially careful on Google Adwords, where the system politely suggests ‘all available sites’ as ‘recommended for new advertisers’, but which can typically eat up entire budgets quickly.

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3. Make sure you’re above minimum bids/budgets

Now, if overspending is a cause for headaches, so is under spending. Often you might start a campaign, and see hardly any traffic.

This is typically because your bids aren’t high enough compared to competition. If you’re on Google, use the Google Keyword Tool to get an idea of bid ranges(do note: use this only for ballpark numbers – the exact bid numbers on the keyword tool are wildly inaccurate).

If you’re on Facebook or any other platform, increase your bids gradually until you start getting traffic. The key, as always, is to wait, watch, experiment, and see what works.

4. Make sure your ad creatives conform to specifications.

Often you might find your ads not running because they’re awaiting approval, or because they’ve been disapproved. Check that your creatives fit ad specs – number of characters, file size, file format – the works.

These simple, easy-to-fix tips should make sure you don’t make those annoying minor oversights that end up becoming quite nasty.

[Shamanth Rao is the head of campaign management for APAC at InMobi (http://InMobi.com ). His writings are at http://BywayStar.com ]