Be honest, if this is an opinion of yours, we urge you to continue reading…

A HUGE mistake we commonly see nowadays is this mindset when running ad campaigns online. 

The ultimate goal of paid media is to consistently generate sales profitably, but paid media isn’t solely responsible for doing so.

Paid media IS responsible for driving relevant traffic that can easily convert into sales. 

The harsh reality is, the buying journey of today is extremely different to what it was 3-5 years ago. 

Gone are the days of uploading a Facebook ad campaign to a “best practice” sales page and seeing your business be flooded with leads and sales. 

With restricted tracking, heightened buyer consideration, pricier CPMs and more competition online, it’s not that simple.

There has always been multiple factors that tie into a successful online marketing strategy, but the balance between them all, is more important than ever before.

So let’s assume (because you follow us) that you have a superbly kitted out ad strategy with multiple objectives, pinpoint targeting and optimised tracking, what could possibly go wrong?

Well, from highlighting holes many times before, we have narrowed it down to 4 key factors that are often overlooked:

  • Website conversion
  • Messaging
  • Branding 
  • Customer service

Website conversion

- Arguably the most common hole we see when auditing online products. 

You have a great product which you start driving traffic to, yet your sales notifications aren’t popping off. In this instance you need to ask yourself honestly about the user experience. 

How easy is it to navigate on mobile? Have you added order bumps at checkout? Are there genuine reviews on product pages? Does the page load after 3 seconds? How many hoops do people need to jump through before purchasing? Are there part payment plans available?

These are just some of the questions you need to be asking yourself before expecting traffic to immediately convert into sales. 

Every possible interaction on your website could be a reason to close the tab. So any minor inconvenience can cost you hundreds of conversions. Drop off rates can be viewed in Google Analytics so you can even see which pages in particular are causing the problem.

Additionally, the user experience needs to be optimised for maximal conversion. In other words, giving people reason to take action. An example of this is having a “frequently bought together” section or even a banner along the top of the homepage highlighting core benefits such as free shipping or money back guarantees. 

If your website is fully optimized for conversions, you will be able to either spend half as much on advertisement to reach your goal, or spend double to maximise profitability. Alternatively, if it isn’t optimised for conversions, you are essentially throwing ad spend down the drain. 


- To incite influence, your message has to speak directly to the consumer.

We would give away £1 million to anyone that can go about their normal day without seeing an ad. It’s literally impossible. We live in a world where advertisement is consumed on billboards, on phones, on TVs, on newspapers/magazines, probably VR headsets soon.

Point being, the messaging in your ads need to be unique, relevant and sometimes personal to stand out from the rest and have impact. Advertising online will never be a one size fits all strategy. Some people will convert after seeing the first ad pop up on their feed and some people will need to see your brand on every platform before considering. Most people however, will need to interact with your brand between 7-12 times before making the decision to buy. 

Why is this important? 2 reasons.

The first being, if your messaging is the same throughout each of those 7-12 interactions, you’re not going to influence their decision to buy or opt in. The second being, having multiple campaigns with different objectives on different platforms is absolutely necessary. 

The biggest mistake we see however is the first. Not adapting your message in accordance with what stage people are at in your funnel. If someone is being introduced to your brand for the first time, you need to capture their attention and summarise the morals of your brand. If someone has abandoned checkout, you need to be overcoming all the possible objections such as price point, trust/authority. If someone has opted in for a lead gen piece, thank them in an advert that upsells them into a paid product. 

It’s really about adhering to multiple touchpoints with relevant messaging that looks to relate, inspire and eventually sell. 


- What sets your brand apart from your competitors? 

Closely related to messaging is branding. But this is less about personalising your message within the ad, and more about what message you want to get across to everyone that views your brand online. 

If you overheard someone talking about your brand, what things would you want them to say? Whatever this is, make sure it’s prevalent on your website, in your ads, in your emails, everywhere. 

Be real about your unique selling points and what you’re genuinely trying to accomplish with your business. And make sure this is something that is going to resonate with your target audience. 

The truth is, nobody cares about when or how the company was founded. They care about what message their presenting to their peers by representing your brand, as well as which brands contribute to their core beliefs. If environmentalism is at the core if someone’s belief, sustainability is going to be key in their buying decision.

Recognising that branding is more about representing your target audience and less about representing your organisation will lead to better results in advertisement. Because rather than convincing people of who you are, you are influencing people to align with you. 

Videos are the best way to get this brand message across. From 10 second snippets of people representing your target market, to 3 minute case studies, videos are vital for delivering core messaging for a brand. 

Customer service

- Return rates and repeat business. Watch these numbers. 

A lot of time and attention is spent on sourcing traffic (expectedly so) but too much emphasis on the front end can have damaging effects on the backend.

Customer service with online businesses is actually overlooked more often than you would think. And many people don’t seem to realise that return rates and repeat business is heavily impacted by customer service and not just quality of product. 

The customer journey needs to be thought about at all stages, and if people don’t feel good before, during, amd after buying from you, you can assure they won’t be giving you their business again. 

So what can you be doing to ensure your customer service is up to scratch. A lot. People like to be heard. Increasing the contact rate between customer will build a rapport with them, showing that you care, and aren’t just there to empty their pockets. 

A few examples of this are:

  • Having an online chat service
  • Responding directly to comments on social media
  • Offering an SMS support service 
  • Following up with emails post-purchase 
  • Acknowledging repeat purchases 

It ultimately comes down to how people view your brand. Is this a brand that looks after their customers and are invested in providing a quality service time and time again. If this answer is yes, you can expect your repeat business percentage to increase month on month. And if the answer is no, you will suffer with high return rates and a lack of returning customers. 

SO there you have it. The 4 key factors that are often overlooked when advertising online. If you can master the implementation of website conversion, branding, messaging and customer service, you will never suffer from rising CPMs or increasing competition. As a result you’remonline marketing strategy will thrive and the growth of your business will skyrocket.

As we always say, paid media accelerates everything.

If you have an online product that is optimised for conversions, has consistent branding, relevant messaging and quality customer service, it will accelerate the impact of those.

And if it doesn’t have the above…it’s not paid media that’s costing you sales!

Tyler Wait

Tyler is the Senior Account Manager here at SV. He is responsible for scaling our e-commerce clients, developing ecosystems and creating awesome ad campaigns. Tyler first joined SV at 19 years of age and is fascinated by buyer psychology. When he’s not working, you can find him on the golf course, playing football or breaking girls' hearts.