5 Ways Online Advertising is Like Thanksgiving Dinner (And Why You Cannot Forget the Gravy!)

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Turkey = The Campaign

Everyone knows the Turkey is the main event. After all, isn’t Thanksgiving often called “Turkey Day?” When envisioning the perfect marketing strategy, you’re focused on your campaign. In the same way families might debate on the best way to cook a turkey, (Breast up? Breast down? Deep fried??!) one could argue there are many ways to target your ideal audience with digital advertising:  A specific channel? Online consumer behaviors? Or high quality remnant sources on CPC or CPM model?

Vertical targeting can be great for broad awareness, whereas behavioral and keyword targeting targeting may reach fewer eyeballs but garner more qualified clicks. Of course there are mobile display options too! Learn more about the optimized use of each here.

Of course you’d like a hearty slab of that target audience brought right to your plate, but as humorist Kin Hubbard said, “A lot of Thanksgiving days have been ruined by not carving the turkey in the kitchen.” Meaning, your marketing team might be inclined to disagree. Before we have a food fight, let’s look at the other vital elements.

Stuffing = Goals

Stuffing. Savory, sage-filled, ooey-gooey stuffing. Traditionally, stuffing is placed inside the bird and cooked along with it, serving as an integral part of the cooking process. Similarly, your goals need to be just as integrated into your campaigns. What are your goals for your onlined advertising? Brand Awareness? On-Spot Conversion? Be up front. While we’ve already touched on different targeting options that can service these, reflect on your company’s advertising goals and design campaigns to clearly fit defined, measurable goals.

Mashed Potatoes = Design

While Mom’s mashed potatoes are a personal favorite of mine, perhaps you prefer to load up on yams, cornbread or green bean casserole. When searching for hearty starches to add to the table, there are plenty of options. Yet, this gluttony serves a purpose, rounding out the table aesthetically. Display advertising craves great design composition; even a novice can master banner design essentials:

1. Attention-grabbing visual

2. Bold headline

3. Special deal/offer

4. Engaging call to action

Got it? Good. Now pass the rolls, please.

Cranberry Sauce = Landing Page

Opinions on cranberry sauce are divisive. Either you see it as a thing of beauty or a can-shaped catastrophe. Landing pages are equally a make-it or break-it in the world of display advertising. Not just the way it is designed but how it delivers a message. A great display campaign can drive a million clicks, but if the landing page isn’t optimized for conversion, you’re wasting budget.

So how can you keep your landing page from becoming a bittersweet mess?  We’ve defined 11 tips for a better landing page, but here are the key elements to consider:

1. Stay on Top: keep all relevant, important information above the fold.

2. More than Words: videos can increase conversion rates not only by showing how a product works, but also by supplying customer testimonial. Video is proven to boost conversion rates.

3. Be Honest: the unique value proposition should be clear and honest. Avoid pandering sales language.

Remarketing = Pumpkin Pie

Ah, pumpkin pie, that satisfying sweetness after the Thanksgiving Day gorge. Everyone gathers back around the table for dessert right? Remarketing is the idea of bringing back prospective customers, often for a reward.

Remarketing through Display Advertising: After placing tracking tags on a site, savvy marketers are able to show display ads to previous visitors, no matter what site they are currently browsing. Remarketing or Retargeting can become especially effective when you target based on activity to specific parts of your site.  Not only can you entice prospective customers to revisit a specific product page, but reactivate those you lost at the conversion point!  By tagging the shopping cart page (but excluding converted users), you can set your sights on leads who were close to ordering but never completed the check-out process.

Insider tip: Be sure to exclude visitors who have completed the conversion process. After all, you don’t want to inundate a customer who has already bought your product. Consider retargeting this segment for an upsell or complementary services. Wow, that is pretty sweet.

Gravy = Reporting

Gravy brings it all together. In the case of online advertising, reporting and conversion statistics are the sacred sauce. Many a marketer fail at inferring the correct data from reports. While click-through is great, are you paying attention to the results? The length of your sales process? While the methods vary, you’ll want to implement a lead management process to determine your true display advertising ROI.

Just as every family’s Thanksgiving dinner can be very unique, taking to account regional and cultural difference, an online advertising campaign can be equally distinctive. Testing is an important part of reporting. Design several campaigns utilizing different methods of audience targeting. Test design and landing page options! While Thanksgiving happens only once a year, marketing is a year-round smorgasbord. Dig in.