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Top 10 mistakes to avoid while buying media

Posted by Huzefa Hakim | June 13, 2023

Top 10 mistakes to avoid while buying media

Media buying is a crucial process that involves certain pre-emptive decisions, the ability to think on foot, research skills and a sharp mind to stay in line with the current trends in the industry. While there are plenty of options and platforms that can ease the process of media buying, ultimately, the results depend on the smart choice of the media buyer that integrates your campaign goals with the target audience’s needs.

It is essential to understand a few basic and high-level errors that we may end up committing while taking one of the most important decisions of buying media the right way. Let’s take a look at some of these mistakes that we must avoid.

1. Budgetary control

As the name rightly suggests, the most common mistake one can commit while buying media is not having the exact idea of the amount that you are ready to invest i.e., the budget. There must be flexibility in terms of testing what type of budget spend works well for your campaign.

For a few, daily budgets can help attract the right amount of reach to the right traffic while it may not be the same for those who spend lower amounts as a part of their overall marketing campaign. Thus, it is important to test with daily and lifetime budgets to see which option delivers promising results.

2. Excessive focus on niche

While media buying requires the advertiser to have a specific set of target audiences to market, it is also important to allow the algorithm the room to explore and find the ideal audience for your campaign.

For example, a highly specified ad targeted only to a specific age group in a less concentrated region may not deliver the best results. Instead, expanding the geographical reach for the same demographics can help you attract more customers.

Thus, there must be a test target aimed at a large group of audience with multiple interests and a wide geographical presence.

3. Rapid and highly frequent optimization

No campaign delivers results in 48-72 hours. Patience is the key to success in obtaining the appropriate results from media buying activities. Thus, it is advisable to not optimize the campaign too often. Once the campaign has been initiated, give it some days’ time. Check the results and then optimize

Post optimization, wait for a few more days and then analyze the results. If the volume has increased or the engagement rate has drastically improved, it’s time to continue with the same strategy before optimizing further.

4. Not adopting a multi-format approach

The beauty of media buying lies in the fact that there are multiple formats which can be used to market your brand to your audience in various ways. While display ads and search ads are the most popular ones for local and regional-based ads, video ads can clock the highest number of engagements if delivered in short duration to the right audience.

Hence, it is important to adopt a multi-format strategy and test your campaigns using media in different forms.

5. Zero focus on the traffic quality of publishers

Publishers integrated with Google Ad Sense and similar networks are often kept under check in terms of their traffic quality. By traffic quality, we mean the possibility of IVT and ad fraud susceptibilities of the publishers. A lot of times, publishers attracting traffic in millions may not be delivering the best results to the advertisers through their campaigns. Media on such websites might be exposed to invalid traffic like bots and spam clicks and as a result, the higher engagements and large impressions might blindfold certain media buyers into believing that the publisher is authentic and the traffic quality is superior.

This might lead to additional pressure on the campaign’s budget while in the background, there are no strong results achieved. Thus, it is important to do a thorough background check of the publishers and the quality of traffic on their assets. Publishers with poor traffic quality stand at the risk of being banned by Google Ad Sense and in such cases, the entire campaign can go for a toss.

6. Not involving the media buyers in the creative process

Media buyers are the lenses through which you get a clear idea of the possibility to reach your target audience in no time. However, their role is simply not limited to finding the right publisher, tracking the performance, and communicating the results. Their involvement in the creative process can play a crucial role in sticking to the media buying guidelines related to the type of media.

If your campaign plan is to roll out a banner ad, a media buyer must be actively involved in the process of creating the banner according to the right dimensions to ensure that the creative is in sync with the display requirements.

7. Lower campaign time

As previously mentioned, media buying campaigns take time to deliver effective results. Due to prolonged low-quality results, it is not the right option to shut down the campaign and think of a different strategy.

Rather, the focus must be on running the campaign for a longer duration and resorting to the A/B testing technique to test different variations of the media type and analyze which one delivers the best results.

8. Analyzing the wrong metrics

Every campaign has different payment models ranging from CPC to CPL depending on the nature of the campaign and its objective. While the payments made are in sync with the same, it is also important to understand what are the right KPIs for every campaign.

If you are analyzing the number of leads generated for a CPM campaign, the results fetched will be incorrect and the subsequent action to improve the campaign performance will also become illogical.

Therefore, know the right metrics to be evaluated for each campaign and base your decisions on such analysis.

9. Not paying enough attention to the campaign

It is advisable for media buyers to keep a check on the campaigns at least 3-5 times per day. Given the exposure of the programmatic ecosystem to the bad actors and the fear of invalid traffic revolving around these campaigns, less focus on the campaign may lead to the seepage of an invalid activity in no time and things can get out of control. Thus, it is important to check the campaign as the first and the last tick on the day’s to-do list.

10. Buying the same traffic twice

While running multiple campaigns, it is not a good practice to keep the target audience the same for all of them. If your first campaign is intended at mobile users, the second campaign must be targeted to users with a different device preference to judiciously spend your campaign budget in buying a variety of traffic.

It is advisable to blacklist the traffic of one campaign for another campaign to ensure that you don’t buy the same traffic twice for the same keyword.