As an editor, I certainly believe that language is powerful. The right words, in the right order (with the right punctuation, of course) can truly inspire people to do all kinds of things.
One of the most powerful ways marketers can harness the power of words is through a clear, direct call to action. This is no easy feat. So when I came across this blog post from WordStream on “7 Ideas for Upgrading Your Call to Action,” I thought immediately of the marketers we work with at Christianity Today, and how these tips might help craft even more compelling calls to action.
Sometimes it’s as simple as changing one word. They suggest changing the word “your” to “my”—this conveys ownership on the part of the reader. In one experiment described in the post, a marketer at Unbounce found that making this simple change on one client’s account led to a 90 percent increase in click-through rate.
Other times, applying a mental framework helps shape the words of an effective call to action. A great one, they say, could be prefaced by the words “I want to…” This leads to strong action words that immediately connect with the target audience’s felt needs.
For more ideas, check out the full post here.
Laura Leonard is managing editor of IgniteYourFaith.com, ChristianCollegeGuide.net, and SeminaryGradSchool.com, as well as the special advertising sections in Christianity Today magazine.
Posted in Advertising Tips, Email Marketing, Online Advertising
When gauging the effectiveness of a campaign, most advertisers are concerned about the numbers. Results are crucial to demonstrating the effectiveness of an ad campaign. However, my more experienced marketers know the importance of a long-term campaign rather than a one-time, or one-month, campaign.
“It’s critical for marketers to understand how advertising affects brand value over time, as well as how it’s connected to brand loyalty,” said a recent Nielsen report. “Most advertising models show that loyalty is the largest driver of brand choice. The data from a recent study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS) makes it clear that the higher the loyalty, the higher the future brand sales will be.”
Advertising that builds strong consumer connections typically drive sales long-term, but also drives brand loyalty and total brand value. By connecting with the Christianity Today ministry for your advertising, you are reaching highly-educated, faith-centered, influential decision-makers, from pastors and church leaders to lay people within the church. We help to create a niche audience that is responsive and engaged over the long-term. Because our audience is loyal to our publications, our stats are typically better than the industry standard. We represent a trusted voice in this world.
Explore the advertising possibilities Christianity Today has to offer and talk with your Account Executive today to help you craft a long-term advertising plan and start seeing the benefits of advertising with a Christ-centered ministry and connecting with like-minded Christians.
Posted in Advertising Tips, Online Advertising, Print Advertising
Last week Google rolled out a new mobile-friendly search update; this long-awaited and much-hyped update has been designed to boost the search rankings of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results. Back in November 2014, Google rolled out the mobile-friendly tag on mobile search results, and this new update follows in a similar vein. In their latest announcement, Google described the new update as helping searchers “more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.”
With only one week passed since the update launched, it’s hard to say how much of an impact the change has had on search rankings. Google has said that the update may take time to reach full effect, but there are a few details we already know:
- Google will now use the “mobile friendliness” of a page as one of the signals that are used in search ranking.
- The update only applies to searches performed on mobile devices.
- The update applies to individual pages, not entire websites. So, if the single page or article is mobile-friendly, it can still get the boost, even if the rest of your site is not.
So, what does this update mean for you?
First, don’t panic if you haven’t yet built a mobile site. There are still over 200 signals other than mobile friendliness that Google uses when ranking pages. Remember, this update only applies to mobile users and doesn’t impact desktop searches at all.
Next, check how your site looks to a mobile user. Google has tools like the Mobile-Friendly Test that can help. Make sure you weigh the potential costs vs. benefits of developing a mobile site. For some, it may only require a few adjustments to current settings or templates, but for others it might mean a completely new site design.
Regardless of how your site is designed, what your market segment is, or what your online strategy looks like, Google is sending a strong message with this update: they view mobile search as a different experience from desktops, and are going to give mobile-friendly sites an advantage.
As the team’s “stats guy,” Luke Schoenrock is our go-to staff member for analytics and reporting—as well as witty remarks.
Posted in Web Analytics
Every day, consumers get bombarded by messaging from advertisers. So how do your company’s ads stand out from all the others vying for the public’s attention?
Here are a few advertising tips that should help make your advertising investment more effective:
- Create an attractive-looking ad. The goal is capture the attention of a potential customer. To do so, limit the amount of words in your ad (keep it simple), have an appealing image, present a headline that draws people in, and direct them to a clear and simple call to action.
- Be intentional in your design. What do you hope to accomplish with your ad? Is it to communicate your brand, to generate interest, or to educate? Is it to generate sales, and if so, how will that happen? What do you want the person looking at your ad to do? Don’t try to do too much—aim to execute one strategy at a time.
- Create a sense of need. Why should anyone respond to your ad? What’s in it for them? What solution(s) does your product offer?
- Don’t communicate too much. It is understandable that you are passionate about your products and you want everyone to know every feature and benefit your product offers. But if you try to include too much, people will just move on from your ad, not wanting to read all you have to say.
- Keep the message simple. “Your advertising should offer one specific benefit that the customer will enjoy by calling you, by coming into your place of business, or by using your product or service. A seven-year-old child should be able to look at your advertisement and explain to another seven-year-old exactly what you are offering and why it is attractive to a prospective customer. If your advertisement does not pass the “seven-year-old test,” revise it and rewrite it until it does.” (excerpt from Brian Tracy’s The Way to Wealth, pg. 232)
- Plan your marketing efforts with a multi-stage strategy. Campaigns have 34 percent greater effectiveness when they combine both digital and print advertising. Connect with your target audience using several different media platforms. Your customers receive their information from several sources; the more places they see your company’s products, the more open they will be to them.
Walter is a veteran sales manager with a knack for finding win-win solutions.
Posted in Advertising Tips, Online Advertising, Print Advertising
I was driving on the highway the other day when I noticed a billboard with a friend of mine on it. Well, he wasn’t really a friend so much as a stock photo that had seen quite a bit of service over the years. I must confess that I had used that image myself once or twice.
If you’re a blogger or a designer, I’m sure you’ve run into this scenario: limited budget means using stock photography; using stock photography can mean relying on a stale pool of cheesy or over-used images.
Fortunately, the digital age is trending in a new direction. Recently there has been a proliferation of quality royalty-free sites springing up on the web. Costal Creative Reprographics has culled 17 such sites, all with free, high-quality stock photography.
Just a quick note on these sites–they fall into two categories: “really free” and “kinda free.” The really free sites are just that; you can download and use the images any way you want. The downside is that they tend to offer a more limited pool from which to draw, but if you’re willing to take the time to hunt around, you might just find that perfect image. The “kinda free” sites require you to add some form of attribution–be it in the form of a link or a line of text.
Here’s a sampling from Costal Repro’s listing:
You can see all 17 sites and brief descriptions of each, as a well as a decent description of licensing requirements (scroll to the bottom of the page), here.
Michael Chuchvara, our team’s graphic designer, is our creative genius, designing eye-catching flyers, inserts, and e-blasts.
Posted in Advertising Tips
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