One favorite aspect of my job is helping advertisers create and improve their message to achieve their marketing goals. Whether it be targeted content, print ads or banners, I regularly review the creative with the advertiser to evaluate it against our pre-determined measures of success. Is it doing what we had hoped? Is the message clear? How could we improve it?
Don’t wait for the client to come to you.
When answering these performance questions, I often point prospects to success stories with other advertisers. I think this is the best way to illustrate how we could make their message more effective and they can visualize what makes the advertisement work.
Help your advertisers improve their performance.
Recently I was in a review meeting with one of my largest advertisers who allocates most of their budget to our digital products. Their Click Through Rate (CTR) on their banner ad in our newsletter was well below our average for the first quarter of the year. How could we improve it?
I immediately looked at the top five most successful banner ads in our newsletter for that same quarter as far as CTR. Before the meeting, I printed out a copy of each of those banner ads and indicated the CTR. Whereas my client’s CTR was .05%, I was able to show examples of .37% up to 1.12%.
Find solutions together.
In our meeting, we carefully reviewed each of these successful ads. What they had in common was:
- Successful banners had an intriguing call to action (not just Learn More or Click Here)
- The highest CTRs were from banners that had a video viewer
- High click headlines tended to ask a question
Given that information, we brain-stormed with their creative team on how we might improve their banner ads. While using other advertisers’ success is a useful tool, it must be used with caution so as not to reveal too much information. It is also well advised not to show them metrics on their direct competitors. In this situation, I did not give my client the number of clicks on other ads – just the CTR – nor did I share with them any information that I had about that advertiser’s goals or overall campaign strategy.
Seeing is believing.
I know that showing an advertiser what a successful advertisement or campaign looks like helps them to visualize how they could apply similar tactics to improve their own message. When we, as advertising sales professionals, spend more time being a consultant to our clients instead of a nagging monthly phone call, we help them do their jobs better. Plus, we learn a little more every time we do.
More about Nancy: Nancy works for Aviation International News as Associate Publisher and Ad Sales Guru. She also co-teaches Camp Niche Ad Sales Training. She’s a b-to-b publishing vet and previously worked at Petroleum Engineer, Oil & Gas Journal, and Electric Light & Power.
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