Ready to dip a toe into online advertising?
It is amazing that many small businesses have made the transition successfully to online advertising channels. I have found that a few of my clients are hesitant to explore online advertising – even when they still buy graphic design service for print ads and want more internet sales. A few even have online stores. At first, thought I thought they were just “scared”.
You may need to debunk a few myths around online advertising.
It is no more time consuming or any “harder” than print advertising campaigns. Small businesses can target smaller niches of people online and it does really work in helping customers find you online and converting traffic back to your website/blog. Developing your campaign will force you to truly look at who your customers are, where they are and what gets their attention.
Do a little work to find your people online.
It isn’t that hard or time consuming to do some practical research to find blog/site that your people are reading. Think like a customer and do some Google searches. Make a list. Make notes and find out WHO is reading the blog/site you are considering advertising on. How much traffic do they have? Study the site and the ads already there. Find out who is a regular and fly-by-night.
Build relationships and ask questions.
Use the contact form or contact email provided. This person will have a lot of insight and should know whether or not your business is a good fit. Look at who is advertising there right now – contact a few of the advertisers. Find out who is a regular advertiser on the site not just a one time advertiser. That is who I would want to talk to. If you think it’s hard to connect with these people or it makes you feel like you are cold calling. Contact them on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. Beware, don’t ask meaty questions about numbers, money or sales figures. They will not respond and you will offend them because you are putting them on the spot in front of their customers. Private message them once the connection is made. Build your confidence or move on in your search for the right place to be.
Read the advertising guidelines or media kit provided.
Design*Sponge a popular interior design inspiration blog for example (and a favorite of mine) has a wonderful media kit for purchasing advertising on their site. They really care about their advertisers and readers and are invested in helping you. If a site promotes advertising on their site it is in their interest to help you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to strangers 😉
Use smart graphic design choices.
Design an ad that shows your product well (quality high resolution photos) or encompasses your personal or brand personality. Don’t put too much information in these ads (keep it simple). Study other ads on the site and make notes and compare what is working and what isn’t.
Be INTENTIONAL with your visual story by:
• be clear about what you are selling
• select readable fonts that visually say something
• make color choices to stand out and connect with your people
• make subtle color shifts that draws their eye to your ad
• aim for inspiring them to want to know more with word choice
• don’t over explain your brand or offer with too much copy
• show a range of products at different price points
• show a range of price points as well
• use animation to show variety of products
• use clear high quality images that are optimized (not print ads)
• learn how to use save for web setting in your graphics program
• avoid using the same ad design on multiple sites
• follow the lead of the site you are advertising for similar aesthetic
• study and test your ad to see which ones perform better
Lastly, but perhaps this should be first, testing is also very important. On Tim Ferris (fourhourworkweek.com) blog he interviewed Mike Geary the creator of the successful info marketing fitness based business The Truth About Abs. In the interview Mike Geary discusses the importance of testing your graphics because one color change, image change or even word can be the difference in your conversion rate increasing significantly. I love that online sales conversions can be tracked and analyzed and that your graphics can be tweaked and refined to what works better or best for your business. When you start advertising online you can use tools to test and analyze your advertisements to create more income.
About the Author Andrea Robinson – Ready to hire someone with who listens and delivers high quality on-time work? Send me a message by clicking here. If you are ready to turn your design projects over to a pro I understand. Please take the time to connect with me on twitter or join the conversations and inspiration on my facebook business page and when you are ready I am one social connection away!