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A summer refresher on display fundamentals

Published: July 2, 2013

Author: Judy Morimoto

stages of conversion funnel
What your client wants will determine where in the funnel you’re targeting.

Whether you’re new to display advertising or relatively knowledgeable, it’s always good to reinforce the basics.  Here are three things I always keep in mind when setting up a new client or campaign.

1) Know your clients and their objectives.

What does your client want to achieve?  How will they measure if a campaign is successful?  Who’s your target audience?
Understanding a client’s objectives is key in setting up the appropriate campaign as the strategies can be very different for each objective. Suppose one client wants to reach new users and another wanted to create demand for lapsed customers; along with these very different objectives comes very different target audiences — and different messaging.
Once you have a good understanding of your client’s objective, as well as the audience you should target, you can begin setting up your campaign strategies. But how will you measure whether the campaign is successful? This is where the KPIs (key performance indicators) come into play.
How does the client measure success? Are they concerned with driving clicks or incremental revenue? Do they want to drive more uniques to the site, or are they more concerned about eCPA? Based on the client and their objective, KPIs may vary, but you have to know them cold to successfully optimize a campaign once it’s launched.

2)  Make sure your creative and message are relevant.

As important as reaching a user “in the wild” is the message you’re conveying to them.
If we can tell from their site behavior that they’re in the market for a new sweater and you serve them a banner touting a sale on bikinis, they’re going elsewhere for that sweater.
In the same vein, the creative that houses the message should not only be “on brand” but eye-catching and clean so it’s easy for the browser to read the message it contains.  Keep in mind, you only have a few seconds to catch a user’s attention, so you’d better make every impression count.

3) Landing pages are important.

So you’ve got your users’ attention! Relevant message, beautiful, clean new sweater creative…so they click on the ad— and land on the bikinis page!
You’ve gotten them this far…don’t lose them now!
There may be tons of beautiful bikinis on the page, but they’re in the mood for sweaters. You’ve just lost them. You’ve done all this work to get a user to engage with the banner and get to the site, so don’t drop the ball; land them gently on a relevant landing page.
If it’s a general landing page, make sure it doesn’t contain an over-abundance of content or a confusing user flow. The creative or message should align with the landing page and contain clear instructions on what to do next. You’re almost there; let’s get them all the way down the funnel!
I hope you enjoyed this basics refresher; of course, these are as true for search and social channels as they are for display. Know your KPIs cold, massage your messaging accordingly, and keep your implied promises to your users, and you’re a long way towards a great campaign.

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