“Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.” – Henry Ford
Display advertising can be a boon for service providers and authors alike. You've asked and now BW is proud to introduce display advertising options as part of our recently upgraded site. We are offering outstanding introductory rates for a limited time.
For a full breakdown of advertising options on BW, please visit our Ad Rates page.
Building an effective advertisement seems challenging at first. Finding the right fit for your target market, testing and tweaking over time and learning what most attracts responses from prospects is intimidating, especially if you are a first-time advertiser.
To put it within in reach, we've compiled a few golden rules of display advertising that will help you convert viewers into prospects, and prospects into sales.
How to Advertise Successfully (on BW or Anywhere)
1) Focus on the Benefit
“Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising.” – Milton Hershey
This is the single more important part of advertising. When putting together an ad, many people default to the features—that is, what your product or service has or what it does.
For instance, if you offer paid book reviews, it would be tempting to say: "500-word reviews in 3-4 weeks." But what does that do for your prospect? Is a 500-word review going to help them sell their book? Is it going to build their brand as an author?
Instead, understand WHY they are interested in your service. Does it help them sell their product? Does it make them happy, secure, smarter, more attractive? In our paid book reviews example, the advertiser should focus on the things their customer gets from the review:
"Build credibility for your book to increase sales."
"Make your book feel like a bestseller."
"A quality review takes your book to the next level."
Lines like those focus on what the viewer gets from their purchase. Not in a tangible sense—they still receive the same review—but rather in the outcome. What is the result of their purchase? Everyone who purchases your product or service wants to get something from it. It's up to you to determine what that is.
Don't know how to find the right benefit? Just ask! Talk to existing customers about why they purchased and what they feel they received for their money.
2) Your First Try is Not Enough - Test!
What do the most effective digital advertisers in the world have in common? They test like crazy.
They test channel vs. channel, ad vs. ad, placement vs. placement, and more. The best digital advertising firms work to build systems that allow them to measure every variable.
While you don't have to be as into the metrics and testing as a big ad firm, at least consider these:
- When working with an advertising partner (like BW) ask if they can alternate between two or more versions of your ad to see which is the most effective with their audience. The software at most partners can handle this.
- Understand what reporting your partner can show you—impressions (how many times your ad was viewed), clicks (how many viewers click your ads), clickthrough rate (the percentage of impressions that converted into clicks). All of this data is crucial to understanding the effectiveness of your advertising, and the value the advertiser is offering.
- Are there types of ads that work better? You can do text ads on search, display ads on websites, ads on social media sites, sponsored posting—the list goes on. Which is the best fit based on the response?
- Don't base all of your decision on clicks or impressions. Remember, you are trying to make a sale. If you have huge clicks on a site, but the clicks aren't converting to sales, that's a good indication that there is a disconnect between what you're offering and what that site's users are looking for. Should you adjust your ad? Is it an issue with the landing page? Or are the advertising partner's users a bad fit?
- Give yourself a few months to get it right. It will likely take a few ad engagements before you do. Expect to learn as you go, and don't be afraid to try new things!
3) Where They Land is as Important as the Ad They Clicked
Picture this: You're looking for a great restaurant to take a date. You see this beautiful building with great signage, and you decide to go in. But... the second you step in the door, something is off. The restaurant is dingy, dirty, and the menu looks just awful. How could the exterior be such a poor match for what you found inside?
That is the feeling that a prospect gets when the click through to your ad and are presented with a landing page that doesn't match their expectations. The most common mistake is to send them to the homepage of your website. Why? Your ad piqued their interest enough to make them click. Why follow it up with general information? Give them what they expect, have the landing page tailored to the ad!
Did your ad focus on a particular benefit of your product or service? Make that the focus of your landing page as well. Did you use compelling imagery in the ad? Carry that over to the landing page.
One of the major rules in getting the sale from advertising is understanding that the ad is only a small part of the equation. The rest of the experience, from the look and content of the landing page to the checkout process, to the customer service, all factor in.
You've got them to your landing page—congrats! Now, what are you going to do to make them a customer?
Note: You can also test the effectiveness of your landing pages. Use an A/B testing (also know as split testing) service for landing pages, such as Lead Pages or Unbounce. They can make a world of difference.
4) Finally, You Don't Have to Be a Creative Genius
The great myth of advertising is that only genius advertising pros know how to advertise effectively. BUNK.
Anyone with an understanding of their prospect and access to a site like Canva can create an effective and appealing advertisement. That's because when you focus on the goal—what you want your prospect to do as a result of seeing the ad—you are doing 90% of the work that an ad firm does.
Have confidence in your offering, match it to your customer, and you can create an affordable ad program that makes a huge difference in your business.
Ready to promote your book or service? Check out BW's options and get in touch!