How to Create Effective Online Advertising

Online Advertising to Capture Email Subscribers

Online Advertising

Let’s pretend you bought into my argument in the last post that you should use social media advertising to generate email subscribers.

If you did – smart you – then your next logical question is or it should be:

How do I advertise effectively online? 

“Advertising” is a very broad and deep topic and online advertising can be deceptively simple.  There is so little space.  How could one go wrong?

In reality, this space limitation means that every word and image needs to work harder to deliver results.

Let’s begin with an advertising checklist of the top 9 elements you should include in all of your advertising – online or offline.

1.  Clear measurable objective

This step is so critical.  Why?  Your objective defines your ad content and how you are going to deliver that content.

If you don’t know what you want your ad to accomplish, advertising won’t work.

Plus you want to be able to ‘measure’ your advertising objective so you can determine if the ad is worth repeating.

2.  Determine your budget

Do not – repeat DO NOT – just throw money at advertising.

One of the key advantages of online advertising is you can easily and inexpensively test one ad against another to see which one meets your objective.

Start with a small daily or weekly budget to determine the best ad.  Then ramp up your budget to run the most effective ad or ads.

You’ll also want to know what each new customer or email subscriber represents in revenue so you can calculate the ROI of your advertising efforts.

3.  Think ‘ad campaign’

If you’re trying to grow your email subscriber list, then you want to start thinking about on-going advertising campaigns and not just a solo ad.

Often, a combination of similar and reinforcing ads can do more to generate interest than relying on one individual ad.

4.  Simple yet strong headline

The headline has to attract your audience’s attention. This means it has to be strong, provocative and, most importantly, identify exactly who you are trying to reach. This is why know your Buyer Personas is so important.

There are lots of creative techniques to creating headlines, but one simple way is to imagine yourself in a crowd of people and you want to get the attention of the one gal with blonde hair in the blue blouse.  To get her attention from the rest of the crowd you need to let her know you’re talking to

In this silly example, your headline might read:

Hey, you, the blonde in the blue blouse!

Instead of a blue blouse, identify her by the problem she has that you can solve – be that finding the perfect condo, in need of new insurance, new windows or a new car.

Get in the habit of having your headline PULL your desired audience toward you.

5.  Avoid industry jargon

Ever call Tech Support?  You know how they talk in industry terms that sound like a foreign language and how confusing and frustrating the experience is for you?

Well, that’s how it is when you start spewing your industry jargon in your ads.  Most find that kind of ad a turn-off.

Your ad should be talking about your audience’s problem and how you are their simple solution.  Don’t waste the space by talking about yourself.

6.  Stay away from grandiose claims

The only exception to this guideline is if you have customer testimonials or research to support your claims. Far better your customers say glowing things about you than that you be viewed as a braggart.

7.  Include specific keywords 

If your online advertising objective is to generate traffic to a specific page on your website, then you want to use keywords that are very specific to what you sell or deliver on that page.

Yes, broad keywords generate a lot of traffic, but you don’t want lookie loos.  You want people who are ready and interested to take action.

To leverage your ad and your media dollars, consider using specific brand or product keywords that will be more likely to convert serious shoppers into buyers.

8.  Use really great images

You want to use images that a) reflect your audience and are b) eye-catching.  Spend some time and resources testing out your images as they can make all the difference.

9.  Include a Call to Action (CTA)

By now, a CTA is a given in any and all of your communications, but most definitely in your advertising. Stay away from the boring online ‘submits’ and focus your CTAs on the benefits  you are offering your audience be it…

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In the next post I’ll cover how to grow your email subscriber list using Facebook and an interesting technique.

In the meantime, ask your questions about advertising below. Let me know if you’re currently doing any online advertising with Facebook, mobile campaigns, Twitter or LinkedIn and what you’ve experienced to date.

Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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