Borrow These Elements of Uber-Successful Campaigns for Your Own Outreach Ads

elements_of_successful_outreach_campaignsManaging an outreach advertising campaign is definitely a demanding task, especially when you consider the multitude of factors that are involved in making it work. As with practically every other field of endeavor, the dominant players always find a way to achieve fantastic results, so what exactly are the top advertisers doing to stand out from the crowd? Below are six elements of successful campaigns that you can use to boost the performance of your own outreach ads. 

1. Know thy audience.

This is perhaps the most vital and yet most often overlooked aspect of any outreach advertising campaign. You have to begin your advertising efforts with a clear, precise and unclouded understanding of who exactly it is that you intend to target with your ads. In other words, who are the people that would be the most likely candidates to buy your product or service? What type of demographic factors (e.g., age, gender, income level, education level, etc.) would comprise your ideal customer profile?

Try to gather as many demographic and behavioral metrics as possible in order to hyper-target your audience. This will require time and very thorough research. It can be tempting to rush through this step and just sign off on the ad so you can start to see results, but you won’t see true ROI unless you complete this step.

2. Make your creatives pop.

“Banner blindness” is a real phenomenon, and if you don’t invest the time to design eye-grabbing creatives, your ads may go completely unnoticed. Below are some prime examples of banner ads that have a good feel for their respective audiences, while providing fantastic imagery that appeals to the eyes:

  • L.L. Bean’s “Sleeping Under Stars Shipped for Free
    Every element of this ad keeps the audience a priority. The product is clearly displayed in the center of the ad, and the text is prominent enough to inform the audience of exactly what they can expect when they click through (free shipping on camping tents). In addition, the general look of the ad is right in line with what people generally associate with L.L. Bean, making it very brand-consistent.
  • FedEx’s “Just in Time
    The brilliance of this animated ad cannot be overstated. The design and theme of the ad (a montage of FedEx packages being shuffled in the shape of a running time clock) reinforces all of the major brand characteristics that FedEx is known for, including punctuality, efficiency and systems-based operation.
  • StumbleUpon’s “It’s Time Your Content Met Our Audience
    This is the consummate example of a banner that is exceptionally clean and simple, but yet conveys a clear and concise call-to-action. The color choice and overall look of the ad is also highly consistent with StumbleUpon’s brand.

The important thing to remember is that balance is the key; while you want your ads to stand out, you don’t want them to be overbearing or too flashy, as this can be a turn-off to viewers.

3. Use ad sizes and formats to your advantage.

Each ad creative in your collection should be rendered in all of the main ad sizes in order to maximize the reach of your campaigns. Also keep in mind the unique characteristics of each format; for example, you can tailor the visual elements of a vertical 160×600 skyscraper ad to complement the tallness of that particular format. Meanwhile, a 728×90 horizontal banner can have the same general visual theme as the 160×600 ad, but you can alter the image to accommodate a horizontal format.

4. Include a clear call-to-action in your ads.

Think of every ad as a personal interaction with your target viewer. Your ad needs to guide and instruct people as to what they should do once they’ve seen it. Make your call-to-action succinct and to the point, and use actionable words such as “click,” “download,” “receive,” “request,” “get,” etc., to give a clear indication of what you want people to do as a result of viewing your ad.

5. Split test everything.

The moment that you’re “satisfied” with your campaign’s performance is the moment that it could begin to decline. Try out a variety of calls-to-action, color schemes, formats, images, etc., and closely monitor the results. Just be sure to change only one element at a time, so that you can pinpoint what’s responsible for any changes in CTR, conversion rates, etc. You can also test out other aspects of the campaign that have nothing to do with the visual aspects of the ad, including geographical targeting, time of day and so forth.

6. Exclude ads that show below the fold.

Except in very rare cases, ads that are displayed below the fold will generally not perform as well as those above the fold. Make sure that all of your ad placements are above the fold in order to maximize the effectiveness of your ad’s exposure. Although it may cost a little more and your impression count might be slightly lower overall, you will find a positive trade-off in terms of response rates.

When it comes to outreach advertising, the most important thing to remember is that everything counts. There’s really no such thing as an insignificant detail of your ad campaign, because it takes everything working together to produce a high-performing campaign. Implementing the ideas outlined above will position your outreach advertising campaign to achieve greater success.

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