Digital Ads Techniques to Drive Engagement – 6 Things You Should Consider

Digital Ads Techniques to Drive Engagement – 6 Things You Should Consider - Brandwidth Solutions

If you have a B2B business, digital banner ads with industry media outlets can be very effective tools to help create awareness of your company or products and even generate leads. But, how do you get your audience to engage? Here are 6 things you should consider.

1. Define your Audience

B2B Industry pubs have well-defined audiences, so you’ll want to do your homework to ensure your message gets in front of the right people. This goes beyond the industry type; you can also target by geography and job function. Are you trying to reach executives or lab managers, or maybe the researchers and scientists who can influence buying decisions? All publications have media kits that spell out the demographics of their readers that you can download from their websites or request from the ad reps. Are you working with an agency? Tap into their expertise in this area for recommendations.

Tip: Once you find an Industry pub you think would be a good fit, also look at the articles and ads on their website. Do the topics resonate with your audience, and do you see your competitors running ads with this pub? If so, you’re probably in the right place.

2. Book Premium Ad Locations and Sizes

Remember the newspaper phrase “above the fold?” The same is true with digital ads – your ads will get more visibility if the reader doesn’t have to scroll down to see them.

Plus, many of the ad locations at the top of the page are often exclusive positions where you don’t have to share the space with other companies. If you have the budget, we recommend buying exclusive spots whenever possible. But, keep in mind, these spots often sell out early in the year – so don’t wait to make your annual plan.

And, not to worry, even if your ad will rotate with others in a non-exclusive position, you can still achieve great results – just buy the best positions available in the largest sizes.

Most industry sites have standard banners, such as 300×250 box ads and 728×90 leaderboards. Many now also offer a 300×600 size, which gives you more real estate for your message, along with specialty “pinned” ad spots that stay visible even when the reader scrolls.

Speaking of size, when designing your ads, don’t forget about mobile-friendly ads. Many pubs now ask for a small ad (320×50) to run on mobile devices, so make sure you create an additional shorter version of your message.

Tip: Even if not running a small ad on mobile, we stay away from animation in most digital ads because readers on mobile won’t wait for your ad to scroll through your animation before moving on. Unless your primary message is on the first screen, it will be missed.

3. Ad Frequency Matters

When you run digital banners, you’ll want to make a long-term investment. If you only plan to run a banner for a month or two during the year, you should spend your money elsewhere. Frequently-run ads help build momentum and create awareness by getting noticed in an increasingly cluttered digital landscape. It will likely take 16 views of your ad before a reader notices it and decides to click.

4. Create an Eye-catching Image and Message

Even if you’re running your ads in the right pubs, in the right positions, in premium sizes, and running them often, your ads won’t get noticed unless they feature an eye-catching image and message. Again, consider the cluttered landscape – your ads need to stand out to be effective. What resonates with the audience you want to reach? What makes your company or product unique? What will make the reader stop and take notice? Carefully designed ads are critical!

5. Include a Call to Action

Once you have your message honed and design crafted, you must include a call to action (or CTA) to compel the reader to click on your ad. This is essential! Don’t assume your readers will click on your ad if they notice it. You need to tell them why they should. Do you want them to download a white paper, learn more, or request a demo? Whatever you want the reader to do, you need to tell them, and it must be compelling enough for them to act. We can’t tell you how often we hear from clients that in the past their ads weren’t effective and didn’t get clicks only to find out that they neglected to include a CTA.

6. Finish the Message with a Landing Page

Just as important as including a CTA, we strongly recommend that your ad clicks to a dedicated landing page related to your message and not just to your website.

The landing page has two main purposes: to complete your ad’s message and to capture a lead. You want to guide the reader through your message, and this will be a challenge if an ad clicks to a general web page – the reader won’t know why they are there. Tell them! Remind them why they clicked on your ad and give them the information they are looking for.

Plus, if your platform allows you to include a download form on the Landing Page, it will allow you to collect a lead. Just make sure that what can be downloaded is worthy of the reader giving you their contact information. Typically, this would be a less-promotional, high-value, educational piece such as a white paper or webinar recording. This is a crucial step in moving the engagement with your ad from awareness to an MQL (marketing qualified lead).

Digital ads don’t have to be a mystery. For more ideas and best practices for creating and executing your digital ads strategy, contact us to start a conversation about your particular organization’s goals.

Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, energy, and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.

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