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Trading Up Media Blog

7 Reasons Why Your Ads Aren't Working

Advertisements are an important part of a successful, omni-channel marketing strategy. Unfortunately, sometimes these paid campaigns don’t produce the results you're looking for. That  and people will wonder, what did I do wrong and why didn’t my ads work? Creating an effective campaign comes from many different variables, it has to do with the right graphic alongside the right language in front of the right people at the right time. This can seem overwhelming so to turn things around, here is a list of 7 reasons your ads may not be working.


1. Your ads don't have a clear call to action

A call to action is one of the most important things in an ad because it leads a consumer closer to a purchase but only if it’s done correctly. The button should be eye-catching and stand out from the rest of the ad. The wording should also be appropriately timed to meet consumers where they are in the buyer's journey. For example, someone viewing an ad in the awareness stage will be much more likely to click on a call to action button with “learn more” as opposed to “buy now”.


2. Your ads aren’t provoking emotions

Behind every consumer is an emotional human being and the best way to connect with someone is by appealing to their emotions. Whether it’s laughter or sorrow, it makes your brand more memorable and trustworthy because the consumer now feels that your brand is relatable. Ads with purely emotional content perform twice as well compared to ads with rational content.


3. You’re doing too much with one ad

Most ads are viewed in only a matter of seconds, so it’s important that your main idea can be clearly read and understood. Don’t put more than one central idea in each ad because if there is too much copy people will not read it. Keep the graphic simple but relevant. After you finish creating an ad hold it up and if you can’t understand it in 3 seconds, then neither can your audience and they will move on.


4. Your ads are full of marketing speech

When creating ads it’s important to remember that consumers are people too and the best way to talk to them is like you’re having a conversation. Cut out the marketing jargon and big words that will only confuse them. Get on the level of your audience and focus on the audience's emotional state. Appealing to emotions in ads is more effective than a list of fancy sounding criteria and statistics.


5. Your ads don’t have a visual

Part of any successful ad is a successful graphic. This is due to the fact that ads are viewed so briefly that the graphic must be able to tell the story on its own. People are drawn to imagery, 90% of information absorbed by the brain is visual. We know how important emotional responses to ads are and what better way to instantly catch someone's eye and provoke an emotion than a great image. The right image can also help with brand recognition so your ad doesn’t come across as a spam ad to your prospective audience.


6. Your ads and products don’t line up

When advertising, it is important to make sure that your product lives up to the things you say it will and is true to what consumers think of your brand. A disconnect between the two can cause loss of sales, damaged reputation, loss of leads, and angry consumers spreading the word. It is always best to do some research to make sure your ads reflect how your consumers really feel about the product and your brand experience is in check.


7. You need to rethink your strategy

You can have the best ad in the world but if you don’t get it in front of the right audience, it doesn’t matter. It is important to ask yourself the hard questions such as, are you targeting the right audience, are you on the right media channels, and are you paying attention to the buyer's journey? It’s okay to make changes, in fact in marketing it’s encouraged by utilizing things such as AB testing. This is used by marketers to directly put two things in competition and see which one the audience prefers. For example, sending out the same email with different CTA buttons and the one that gets the most clicks is the best one to use moving forward. In advertising it is important to not be married to your ideas and be willing to change the copy or visual if that’s what's best for the campaign. Digital Marketing Agencies can help you create a strategy that works for your brand's goals.


If you're looking to revamp your digital strategy, we can help. Reach out to us today and let's make your ads work for your brand.

Cynthia Zych

Cynthia Zych / About Author

Cindy is an avid writer, singer and current student at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University!

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