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The Costs of Mistargeted Ads

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In the dawn of highly targeted ads, a mistargeted one can backfire on your company quickly. Not only does it generate insignificant conversions, but it can also have negative consequences for your long-term brand recognition and reputation.

Loss on Advertising Spend

Imagine this: a person is watching a YouTube video and encounters an ad for your online course. However, he doesn’t have any desire to enroll in your course. At best, he will just ignore your ad and move on. At worst, if he keeps seeing your ad and it will leave a sour taste in his mouth, severing any future relationship he might have with your company.

Besides that, these losses raise your CPC (Cost Per Click) since such individuals are more likely to skip the ad because of their lack of interest in it. This doesn’t happen for just YouTube ads though. You can also encounter it with display ads, social ads, and the like.

Mistargeted Users

There are plenty of ways that your targeting becomes awry. Here are three types of mistargeted users as detailed here:

  • Leads that are interested in your business but aren’t shown the ads because of limitations in ad budget
  • Leads that engaged with your ads initially but repeated content has led to fatigue, ultimately disengaging from the business
  • Individuals who aren’t part of the target audience, thereby wasting marketing dollars that could have otherwise been spent on lead #1

On Privacy

People are becoming more and more protective of their privacy, including what ads are shown to them. This has prompted Google to get rid of third-party advertising, leading to a lot of implications on the nature of targeted ads. As such, different companies are finding ways to combat this change.

Some of these include going back to context advertising where ads for online courses are shown in education-related websites or through FLoC or Federated Learning Cohorts which groups people based on their browsing history.

The Education Industry

The education industry is vast, with individuals from all ages and backgrounds as its consumers. It can be tempting to just blindly advertise to as many people as possible. Even more so because of the huge trend of continuous learning among employees who have long been out of school.

However, setting your target audience for campaigns should still follow stringent guidelines in order for them to be effective. In fact, up to $65k out of every $100k location-targeted advertising spend is wasted due to mistargeted ad impressions. This is especially salient for universities, bootcamps, and other educational organizations that heavily rely on their locale for their student population.

Stay tuned for our future newsletter which will discuss some insights on how to prevent mistargeted ads through easy tweaks in your campaign settings.

Have some digital advertising questions? Browse through our Education Center for more industry-dominating tidbits of information.

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