How to Design an Outreach Advertising Campaign That Really Works

outreach_advertising_campaignDriving traffic to your website is the starting point for most of your online lead generation and sales. And one of the best ways to boost that traffic is by running an outreach advertising campaign using display ads – that is, running a campaign that actually works. You see, typically, display ads receive low click-through rates (roughly 0.07% on average), and that may make you shy away from this strategy. But the reason for this is that the majority of display advertising campaigns fall victim to poor optimization and a lack of sound campaign practices. This doesn’t have to be the case for you! Below are the steps to designing an outreach campaign that will pull in the clicks and conversions.

1. Determine your advertising objectives. What are you looking to gain by running this campaign? Are you trying to build brand awareness, generate sales, obtain qualified leads or further nurture prospects already in your conversion funnel? Having a clear “win” established is the most vital step in the entire process, as it will directly influence all subsequent steps.

2. You must also have a clear idea of who your target audience is. Knowing exactly who you’re advertising to is an absolutely critical foundational element of your outreach advertising campaign. The best way to go about this is to build a thorough audience profile (a.k.a. “buyer persona”) that represents your ideal customer, the one with whom your product or service will most likely resonate. This is the key to bumping up your conversion rates; after all, it’s not good enough to get hordes of traffic coming to your website if the majority of those visitors have no interest in what you’re offering.

Clearly identify details such as demographic information (e.g., age, marital status, gender, education, income level, etc.), buying habits, social network participation and any other data points that will give you a solid idea of who you’re marketing to. Then, get into the mind of your customer and create ads that will resonate with them.

3. Use eye-grabbing images and design for your banner creatives. Make sure that the graphics and design of your banner ads properly represent your brand, while being visually interesting enough to stand out on whatever web page the ad will appear. Banner blindness is a very real thing, so be sure to create ads that will sufficiently grab your viewer’s attention. Here are some tips along those lines:

  • A single image, along with a prominent headline, sparse body text and a clear call-to-action tends to perform the best when it comes to getting your ad to stand out. Be concise and emphasize the most important value proposition with your ad text.
  • Several studies have shown that rich media and video ads tend to garner more eyeballs than static ads. Experiment with rich HTML5 ads, video-in-banner and pre-roll videos, and gauge the difference in audience response.
  • Clean images, large fonts and bold colors tend to make a bigger visual splash than excessively busy or overly wordy ads.

4. Placement can have a huge impact on CTRs and conversion rates. When at all possible, make sure that your ads appear “above the fold” (i.e., the part of the website that you don’t have to scroll down to see). In addition, eye tracking studies have shown that people tend to read web pages in the pattern of the letter “F.” If you can score a placement for your banner in one of those popular heatmap zones, your ad will stand a better chance of getting noticed and clicked on.

5. Be sure to use a wide variety of ad formats. Try not to have any preconceived ideas about which banner size or format will work best; just make allowances for several different formats and let the data do the talking. Some of the most common ad sizes are 160×600, 728×90 and 300×250. Make sure that your batch of creative includes at least one of each size. If you have access to resources that will allow you to create new banners, you will have a wider range of creatives to test and optimize for the purpose of increasing click-through rates and conversions.

6. Your landing page should be optimized to drive conversions by providing the visitor with everything they need to make an informed decision about your product or service. Be sure to keep the look and feel of your landing page consistent with that of the display ad. This will help to preserve continuity, enabling the prospect to make a stronger correlation between the ad that they clicked on and the page that they’re now visiting. This will ultimately help toward increasing customer follow-through and boosting conversion rates.

Designing an outreach advertising campaign definitely has a lot of different moving parts, but you don’t have to feel scatterbrained or overwhelmed while you’re developing your strategy. By keeping the above tips in mind, you stand a much better chance of creating a winning campaign that will achieve the objectives of your business.

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