Branding Solutions

Make the Most of Your Web Ads

Advertising on the MarketingProfs website gives you the unique opportunity to put your brand in front of half a million unique monthly visitors, consisting largely of active marketing professionals on the lookout for new ways to up the ante on their marketing strategies. Now is your moment in the spotlight, so make the most of it. Here are some key things to keep in mind as you prepare your web ad campaign to ensure you get the best possible return on investment.

Grab Their Attention

Whether you’re running a Topic Targeted or Run-Of-Site ad campaign (see here for what examples of each look like), your goal should be the same: create eye-catching ads that attract interest and compel visitors to act. You have only a small window of time to capture readers’ attention, so daring to be different can pay off big.

If you have the resources, video or animation can be great eye-catchers. Just one note of caution when using these creative types: keep the call to action up front so viewers don’t have to wait for it. Otherwise, you risk losing their attention and potential for conversion.

Equally as important as eye-catchings ads is appealing to your customers’ needs. Instead of gushing about how fabulous you are, discuss your value by focusing on these three questions:

  1. Why do my customers need this?
  2. How can I help their business?
  3. What’s in it for them?

To create clear, actionable copy, keep the following tips in mind:

  • DO get to the point. Even at a quick glance, your message should be clear.
  • DO make sure all text is easy to read by avoiding fancy or small fonts.
  • DO keep your ad copy relevant to your selected topic (especially for Topic Targeted ads). It probably goes without saying, but if your topic is email marketing, your ad probably shouldn’t be about video or social media.
  • DO stick to one topic or off er per ad. Have more products and services you want to promote? We’re happy to discuss additional ad campaigns with you.

Seal the Deal with Your Landing Page

 If your ads have done their job of converting eyeballs to clicks, you’re now one step closer to generating a lead and prospective customer. Will your landing page hold up its end of the bargain?

Your landing page is your opportunity to nurture interest sparked by your ad so that it grows into genuine enthusiasm for your product or service. Use powerful verbs to engage readers and drive actionable results, enticing them to “go,” “buy,” “sign up,” “download,” or “shop now.” If you want maximum conversion (and who doesn’t), your landing page should simply focus on the offer at hand, not provide an in-depth overview of your benefits or product lineup.

Also, don’t even think about making your homepage or shopping cart your landing page; having a dedicated landing page that relates precisely to the offer presented in your ad is an absolute must.

To make the most of your campaigns, follow these landing page tips:

  • DO keep it legible by using large fonts and keeping text to a minimum.
  • DO maintain branding elements from your website and ads for consistency.
  • DON’T go overboard with images. The more images you have, the longer your load time and the greater your chances of losing prospective leads.
  • DO think mobile first by employing a responsive design and ensuring that your landing page renders well for all visitors, regardless of device.
  • DON’T use Flash, which isn’t supported by all mobile devices.

Final Thoughts

As you create your ads, remember the goal: to attract attention and give them just enough information to make them want to click and learn more. By keeping your message simple and focused, combining that with a strong visual presence, and pointing prospects to a well-thought-out landing page, you’ll be in a great position to get the most value from your ad campaign.

Jason

Salesforce Ninja (and Web Ads guy)

How to Best Get Your Polling Rolling

A bit of a cheesy title, I’ll admit. But just be glad I didn’t try to make Roll-y Poll-y a thing. (It wasn’t from lack of trying.) Regardless, if you’re considering implementing an informal poll of a specific audience, there are a few major considerations and some resulting best practices that you should be aware of. Because acronyms make everything easier, just think D.E.O. (not Dio, the amazing metal band from the 80s.) Design, Experience, Outcome.

Design

Let’s be honest—if people click through to your Sponsored Poll, and it’s a boring, tedious mess, they’re going to bail on you. Bailed-on polls tell no tales. So how do you get around that?

Keep it light and fun

Remember, this is something people are participating in as either a distraction, or probably instead of working. It shouldn’t feel like work (see examples below). You’re literally competing with the entire Internet here. Keep text minimal and concise. Avoid a ton of jargon and industry terms. You may be dealing with people from all expertise levels, so don’t lose them by burying them in geek speak.

It’s a sprint, not a marathon

You need to be considerate of polltakers’ time, so try to keep your questions to 10 or less in an informal poll. If you can provide a progress bar or a “# of #,” people will appreciate it. That way, they can see an end in sight.

Think ease of use

Multiple choice or multi-select questions are best. This not only makes it easier to answer, it also lets you make sure your data is usable. Fill-in-the-blank and open-ended questions just leave things too vague, and “I don’t know/No opinion” will not get you much worth reporting. Also, check your poll on multiple devices. Are the questions and answers easy to read and mobile/tap friendly? Does everything render well? Could you communicate with vibrant images rather than lots of text? Yes? Do that.

Experience

The content and relevance of your questions are equally important, if not more, than the design. Don’t make people feel like they wasted their time filling our your poll because you asked questions that provide useless data.

Don’t lead people on

Your questions need to be as neutral as possible. Ask what you want to know without leading people into the direction you want them to, whether that’s with the question or the answer. For example, don’t ask “Don’t you think that marketing automation is the best thing ever?” And don’t provide answers like “of course” or “obviously.” Those allude to the fact that these answers must be the obvious truth, and can skew your results.

Check their koalafications

If data comes from the wrong audience, does it even really exist? Consider asking a qualifying question at the beginning of your poll (see example below). While this isn’t an absolute, it can really help you make sure you’re getting data from the people you really want it from. For example, “Are you currently, or do you plan to be seeking a marketing automation solution this year?” Then continue with questions around what they’re looking for and their experiences. The qualifying question itself could even end up being an interesting data point.

MPMS_SponsoredPolls_Example1_650x340.jpg

No fluff stuff

As I mentioned earlier, many people are filling this out in their spare time, so respect that time. Don’t waste their time asking questions you’re not even going to use the responses to. The only exception to this could be maybe ending on a humorous tone, as a “Thanks for getting through all that. Which of these is your favorite marsupial?” Leave ‘em with a smile, and they won’t hate that (see example below).

Outcome

As with any marketing strategy, your end result should be considered at the beginning of the plan. How will you use this data? Are you informing assumptions? Creating shareable content? Simply taking the temperature around a topic?

Don’t incite a data scientist riot

An informal poll comes with a caveat—this isn’t scientifically collected data. The sampling isn’t random, and it’s not representative of an entire demographic. That kind of research can take an exorbitant amount of time and be very expensive. So with that in mind, when reporting your results, be cautious of your verbiage. It’s ok to say “73% of respondents want a marketing automation solution” but you can’t say “73% of B2B marketers want a marketing automation solution.” It’s a fine line, but an important one, especially to people who conduct true, scientifically relevant research.

All forms of bribery accepted

You know what you want out of this scenario, but what’s in it for the polltaker? Consider your audience and what their motivations might be. Would winning a gift card be in their interest (see example below), or would first dibs at the final results of the poll be more in their interest? You’ll need to think about whether your audience is intrinsically or extrinsically motivated and cater to that.

Seems like a good deal of work, right? And we haven’t even discussed promotion of the poll. Luckily for you, MarketingProfs offers a Sponsored Poll product that helps you achieve all of the above, and Content Creation to help you put together your results. Chat with one of the fine folks on our team to learn if we can help you get a feel for the audience you’re trying to reach!

Your fellow pollster poll-star and
Marketing Manager,

Rob

How To Attract Newsletter Eyeballs

Ahh the MarketingProfs Newsletter (wistful sigh)...that's how everything began. Newsletter Ads in MarketingProfs Today (don't receive it yet? sign up here) are one of our best performing products, due in large part to the fact that we keep things super simple. We bring the content to our audience, so all you have to do is follow a few tips on how to get those folks to click on your ads:

Keep the ad simple

Overall less copy is better (e.g. one line/benefit) and make sure the point size of your font is easily readable.

Company logo should be prominent.


Feature a Strong CTA that pops (contrasting color to ad background).

And that's pretty much it!

Resident Email Geek and
MarCom Manager,

Nina