3 Common B2B Digital Advertising Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by Lauren Glover
  |  January 14, 2021  |  
January 14, 2021

Digital Advertising Mistakes

With an overabundance of platforms, tactics, and an ever-growing list of new options, tackling B2B digital advertising can be packed with potential pitfalls. However, often the biggest mistakes can be the most obvious. Here are three common digital advertising mistakes and how to avoid them.

3 Common B2B Digital Advertising Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

So you’re running a digital advertising campaign, and it isn’t performing up to expectations. What do you do? In our experience, most digital advertising mistakes can often be found in one of three areas: targeting, creative, or offer. While that may seem obvious, sometimes the specific problem takes careful analysis to unveil and proper testing to solve.

1. Targeting the Wrong-Sized Audience

If your campaign isn’t getting the clicks, leads, or conversions you want, you probably first jump to the question: is my campaign hitting the right people? Maybe you then go in and adjust the targeting by swapping some interests if it is a Facebook ad or adding some job titles if it is a LinkedIn ad. While doing so may end up solving your problem, have you ever sat back and considered the size of your audience? What’s your first knee-jerk reaction? Do you need a larger or a smaller audience?

Think of it this way; if it takes someone five times to see your ad to click or convert, then your ad is going to need to be getting some major impressions at a high frequency. The most obvious way to increase your frequency is to up that budget, but even that may not do it as platforms like LinkedIn limit the number of times your ad can be seen by a single person in a 24-hour period. If your campaign flight is running on some tight time constraints, you may not even have the advantage of time to slowly increase your frequency.

Sometimes decreasing that audience size by narrowing down your audience to the most important individuals can help increase your overall frequency, and thus your conversion rate. Determining who the most important individuals are can be tricky. For some advertisers, the ideal target audience may be segments most likely to convert. For others, it may be repeat customers. Yet other advertisers may select potential customers more likely to spend big bucks. 

Determine who your most valuable customers are and narrow down to that group. Then, track your results to see if your conversion rates increase or decrease. Just don’t go too small because, typically, the more narrow audiences drive up advertising costs. 

2. Forgetting there is a Human Sitting on the Other End

So this one comes down to your copy and ad creative. As B2Bs, it is often so easy to slip into the mistake of forgetting there is an actual human making decisions on the other side of your advertisement, not a faceless company. Symptoms of this mindset include the following:

  • Company-first language
  • Boasting about features
  • Copy that sounds too sales-y
  • Poorly-performing ads

When constructing your ads, constantly talking about how awesome your company’s products and services are can often put you at a disadvantage. No one likes to be sold. But, the solution to this problem is actually quite easy: focus on how your company can solve your ideal customers’ most pressing needs and make it seem so, so simple to work with you.

Don’t talk about all of the great features and upgrades included in version 3.0 of your software, but instead talk about how that software will make your customers’ lives easier. This should ring true in every component of your ad, from copy to image to landing page

If you can hit home the message that your company is the solution to your customers’ problems, and if you can do that simply, then your ads will be winning all day, every day. For an in-depth look at how to craft customer-focused digital ads, check out the messaging section of our new eGuide The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn B2B Marketing.

What is Customer-Focused Messaging?

In digital marketing, customer-focused messaging aims to solve your ideal customer’s most pressing problems. If you can drive home, repeatedly and simply, how your product or service can make your customers’ lives easier or make your customers more money, then you’re halfway to an incredible digital advertising campaign.

Try out a few different copy variations that address your customers’ problems in different ways. When testing, make sure you are only changing one component at a time, like the headline, copy, or image. That way, if one version outperforms another, you know what contributed to the increase in performance.

3. Focusing on the Wrong Offer at the Wrong Time

The last place we often see digital advertising mistakes is with the offer, and this mistake often comes in two variants:

  1. Serving a bottom-funnel offer, like appointments or consultations, to a mid- or top-funnel prospect
  2. Spending too many advertising dollars on bottom-funnel offers instead of mid-funnel offers.

Either way, if you are committing one of the above mistakes, it’s likely you are not getting the results you want from your digital advertising campaigns. 

At Vende Digital, we have often found social campaigns promoting bottom-funnel offers, like appointments, demos, or free-consultations, really struggle to get the conversions our clients desire. However, we have had great success at mid-funnel offers like downloadable eBooks, guides, tools, and webinars. We have even seen surveys do well when they are accompanied with sufficient motivation, like an Amazon gift card.

When deciding on the offer for your next campaign, consider where your prospects likely are in the funnel. If you haven’t already invested in top-funnel campaigns that introduce your company to your audience or mid-funnel campaigns that further show your company’s efficacy, it’s likely you aren’t ready for a bottom-funnel campaign. This is even true for new products or services for a company that has a long digital advertising history. Basically, don’t expect your potential customers to have significant buy-in on their first, second, or even third exposure to your company.

Don’t worry; when focusing on top and mid-funnel campaigns, you’ll still be able to move prospects down-funnel. Simply have a way to collect leads (we often do this with lead generation campaigns coupled with a mid-funnel asset), move those leads to a CRM, and set up an email nurture campaign that will further get your name and service in front of your prospects.

How Can We Help You Avoid Digital Advertising Mistakes?

Do you need help addressing your digital advertising mistakes? Do you want help on your next campaign? Schedule a consultation today, and let’s see how we can help. In the meantime, don’t miss out on our Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn B2B Marketing. It’s chock full of advice, tactics, and strategies to get you started on LinkedIn advertising, including a deep dive into lead generation.

Key Takeaways

  • Make sure your audience size is small enough to earn a high frequency while also being large enough to avoid high advertising costs.
  • Write copy and create ad images that are customer-focused, showing how your company can make your customers’ lives easier.
  • Deliver the right offer to your audience at the right time by focusing on top and mid-funnel campaigns then nurturing your leads with email campaigns to bring your prospects down the funnel.
UX Checklist 2024

B2B UX Checklist for 2024

B2B Topics

Demand Generation

AI for Marketing

Content Marketing

Analytics & Attribution


Social Marketing

Online Advertising

Digital Strategy

Email Marketing

Marketing Automation

Paid Social

PPC / SEM Marketing

Website UX