Every business dedicates significant funds towards digital marketing campaigns for lead generation, awareness, and a great ROI. However, little do they notice that despite spending tons of money, earning thousands of impressions, it’s never enough. Sometimes, it’s not the inefficiencies or bad UI/UX of the website, a larger issue haunts the marketing department – Ad Fraud.
Studies estimate that a global loss from ad fraud in 2020 was $35billion and is estimated to cross $50 billion a year, by 2025. For businesses, marketers, advertisers, using an ad fraud detection solution aren’t a bone of contention anymore, it has now become imperative.
The question still stands, how do we ensure that businesses are bulletproof to ad fraud? The answer is Earth-shattering- YOU CANNOT. However, remaining vigilant to the warning signs of ad fraud can significantly lower digital spending and help businesses save more by spending less.
Top Warning Signs of Ad Fraud
1. Inflated Clicks
Do not celebrate if you suddenly witness an exponential rise in click volume with a minimal to negligent change in conversions. More often, these repetitive clicks can be from the same IP address. There are chances that the clicks can be coming from areas that were outside your target audience. Say hello to bots disguised as humans.
Businesses need to ensure that they have traffic monitoring solutions in place along with other tracking solutions to analyze the lead origination and conversion.
2. Traffic vs Engagement
A campaign’s effectiveness can be analyzed with the key metric being engagement.
Ad Campaigns help in driving traffic to a page but any traffic without significant engagement is a sign of ad fraud.
Monitoring solutions help advertisers analyze visitors’ engagement with content on a page, the time spent on the website, and other metrics which paints a better picture of the value being created by any campaign.
3. Drained Budget
Red flag! Red flag! Red flag! Where did the money go?
When you have a drained budget and nothing to account it for, it’s clearly a sign of an ad fraud.
For instance, cases of ad fraud have become rampant in the music industry.
Fraudsters are stealing chunks of money from music streaming services by setting up an artist account on a platform and uploading fake tracks. They then deploy a bot to stream those tracks on repeat, thus cutting the artists and producers out of profit.
4. Abandoned Shopping Carts
More often than not, ad frauds are only looked at through the prism of impressions and clicks. But there’s always more to it. An unusual spike in abandoned carts is a sign of an ad-fraud. When there’s a large volume of incoming traffic onto a website (could be bot traffic), one may unknowingly block authentic purchasers (if there’s a viral moment of good marketing or any flash sale.
Keep a close check on all the abandoned carts.
5. An Unusual Trend
There are times when advertisers fail to notice changes which are potential signs of ad fraud. Have you witnessed a drop in conversion rate but the ad spend remains constant? Or how about selecting a location as your target audience but a majority of the traffic witnessed from a location far beyond your imagination? Anytime a predictable spend is not performing or producing ROI, it should be a matter of concern.
All such nuances should be a subject of constant vigilance in digital advertising because just like technology, ad fraud is evolving at a grand scale. No business is immune from it, and it’s a costly problem that continues to grow.