I know I’m guilty of just throwing out ads, scattering them like grains of sand, here there and everywhere and sitting back feet up on my desk, hands behind my head, waiting for the sign-ups and commission to come rolling in.
I’m also guilty of the set and forget form of advertising. Put many o sites on a rotator and post the rotator link at various TE’s and then sit back, put the feet up on that desk, hands behind the head and daydream of all the things I will purchase with my new-found wealth.
Or maybe you just buy some credits, plug in your links at some of the exchanges assign the credits and then up go those feet again.
Then we get teased of course with a dribble here and trickle over there, a few sign-ups a smattering of loose change in commissions and then the total silence of the void.
That’s the advertising I saw and copied when I started out with traffic exchanges, and with slight differences, safe-lists, mailer and PTC.
There is a better way.
Although since I’ve been confessing to you here, I’d better come clean on this last one…though there is a better way I seem to develop amnesia at times.
The better way is to create an advertising campaign.
Now I know you’ve heard the term, and I can’t remember the number of times I heard the term before I began to understand what the term actually means. Lots of people use the term, it get’s thrown around by marketers, who themselves don’t always seem clear on what it means.
So let’s start with a definition: An advertising campaign is a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme which make up an integrated marketing communication (IMC) (from Wikipedia) .
Running an advertising campaign takes more work, and more thought which might explain why it’s not used more in TE’s.
I’ve run a few successful campaigns and some real dogs. But you learn just as much from the dogs as you do from the successful ones which, as an aside, is why you shouldn’t be afraid of failure: It’s the world’s best teaching tool.
So what makes a successful advertising campaign?
Some of my most successful campaigns had a short run time, with a concentration of one type of media. For instance I did a one week campaign for Learn with Nick using only spotlight ads, and the sponsorship ads at TE Racing League. Another campaign I ran based around someone elses ad and playing off the ad to attract more attention to my ad.
The best way to go about creating an advertising campaign is to ask and answer a series of questions.
- What single theme or idea are you going to focus on? ( note the word single.)
- Define that theme or idea clearly. The more specific the better.)
- What is the purpose behind the campaign. (This might seem straight forward but look a little deeper and put some thought into exactly why this campaign)
- How does this campaign fit in with my other projects, campaigns and goals? What ever you are doing needs to build on an overall design or strategy,
- Is this campaign congruent with my personal values? For instance, are you doing this for a quick buck but offering little value to your subscriber?
- Does it forward my agenda, or someone elses? This is a good questions if you are doing a campaign for say a particular traffic exchange. Does your campaign really forward your goals or are you just building some one elses list?
- Does this campaign advance my branding? You want to brand everything you do.
- How long do I want this campaign to run? Many factors can calculate into this including your resources, money and time. Do you want to have a short powerful burst of exposure, or a long running steady drip see it everyday for a year?
- Are you going to use one type of advertising source, like TE’s or are you going to use a mix of media and track your result and then refine your campaign based on those results?
- Ask yourself what success will look like for this campaign?
That might seem like a lot of work…actually it is a lot of work. However, your advertising gets smarter, is more laser targeted to your audience, produces better results, and saves you, in the end both time and money.
Creating ad campaigns puts you more in control, improves your advertising competences, and demonstrates your level of caring and degree of connectivity to your intended target.
Most people are going to read this and go on doing the easy stuff. So I want to challenge you to make a difference, not just for your self but for you audience. I challenge you to go through this process at least once, design a campaign, schedule it out, and measure your results, and get back to me with a comment on how you did, what you did, what you learned along the way.
Don’t worry I’ll reward you with 5000 XP points for your thoughtful comments. Fluff won’t count.
Bookmark the page so you can find your way back here when you complete your campaign.
I can’t wait to hear from you, but I will have to. Good advertising campaigns take time to set up and time to run and measure results.