Online Advertising – No Magic Involved

BrianRooneyI keep seeing a disturbing trend showing up that is really starting to bother me. There are a lot of people out there that think “online advertising” simply means you throw up an ad and then money just starts flowing in to your accounts. That would make things much easier but it simply isn’t how this online advertising (or any advertising) actually works.

I can understand it to a degree because it seems like a lot of people are making it look that way. I see so many ads and posts from folks that make it look like all they did to create massive wealth is run some banner ads, post on social media, and the money just started washing through their kitchen. I think it’s important that we take a moment to understand what advertising really is.

The simplest way I can explain it is to think of “advertising” as “exposure”. Your ad’s first objective is to expose your offer, information, product, service, or benefit to potential prospects. The really good ads we see not only “expose” but “engage” us so that we want to learn more. This is a good ad: The one that engages you in some way so that you want to learn more.

Think about all those billboard ads you see when you drive. Of the dozens or more you may see on your drive, maybe ONE of them captures your attention in some way.

Think about all those direct mail pieces you probably throw away. Direct mail is tough because if the envelope itself doesn’t capture your attention in some way, you are probably just throwing the mail piece in the trash.

Think about those television ads you see when you are watching your favorite shows. Most of the time, you probably mute the TV and/or head to the kitchen for a snack, check your phone for messages, that sort of thing. But every once in a while, a commercial captures your attention because it is funny, crazy, or maybe even interesting.

Think about the online ads you see, such as the ads right here on this post, on your Facebook profile, in your emails, etc… Those advertisers are trying to get your attention. Most of them fail, don’t they? But some succeed. Some of them actually catch your attention.

So the first thing is, of course, to get your ads up and out there so they can expose your offer.

But we can also see that you need to make sure your ad is interesting and relevant enough to capture your prospects’ attention.

The next step is to make sure your ad lets prospects know how to learn more. We call this the “Call To Action”. Make sure your ads include a call to action so that those prospects who are interested will know what to do next so they can learn more. Your call to action might be something like “Call now: 555.555.5555” or “Click here” or “Come See Us Now” …

I’ve seen dead ad campaigns start pulling in strong results with a simple call to action!

The final step to successful advertising is REPETITION. Once the ad layout and/or copy is done … Once you know your call to action is clear … Once you know the ad is getting responses via split-run testing … it is time to repeat, repeat, and repeat some more. This means running your ads with the most exposures you can get. This means your ad is being shown over and over and over again so that interested prospects can take action to learn more about your offer.

When you really look at it, there is no “magic” involved. The process itself is really fairly boring. You are simply creating the ad, setting it up to test response rates, making adjustments and testing again, and then … once the results are coming in … you are launching your advertising campaign on a larger scale.

Forget about the idea that all it takes to be successful with online advertising is to throw up a few ads and wait for the money to come in. Prospects become more familiar and comfortable with you when they see your ads over and over again. After a number of exposures, THEN they may take action to learn more.

My recommendation is that you send prospects to a capture page rather than a sales page but that is an article for another blog post.