Online Advertising

Behold, the Power of Words!

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


Advertise for Long-Term Effectiveness

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


6 Tips to Make Your Ads Stand Out

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


Why You Should Consider Video Advertising

videoIn the article “The 4 Digital Advertising Trends That Are Reshaping Advertising” for Entrepreneur magazine, writer and CEO of engage:BDR Ted Dhanik spells out the importance of video marketing–most importantly, how to cultivate video consumption on handheld devices. He points out that 30 percent of all online videos are played on smart phones and tablets, and that with the rise of the phone/tablet hybrid–the “phablet”–we can expect that number to continue to climb.

Video might now be one of the most lucrative ways to advertise, as smartphones are becoming a way to avoid more traditional advertising. Dhanik explains: “When TV commercials begin, people look down at their phones. On the bus or subway, people focus on their digital screens instead of the ads passing by in the cityscape. When radio ads begin, people change the station. However, when people are already looking at their smartphone, nothing is going to distract them.” Digital Sherpa reports that “80 percent of online visitors will watch a video in its entirety, while only 20 percent will read content in its entirety,” while “80 percent of Internet users recall the video ads they see online.”

The article includes lots of other helpful tips, such as developing “native advertising” and looking at viewable impressions and behavioral data.Read more here and consider how these trends could shape your advertising strategy.

Kirsten Privett is our email operation ringmaster, who oversees all house Newsletter and Eblast production.

Posted in Advertising Tips, Online Advertising, Video


Nonprofit Marketing Trends for 2015

What is your number one priority in 2015? In today’s fast-paced society, marketing tactics and communications channels are constantly changing. Quickly identifying areas of growth and adapting to new technology are essential to success.

The fifth annual Nonprofit Communication Trends Report sheds light on current nonprofit marketing strategies, failures from 2014, and upcoming plans and challenges in 2015. The report gives an excellent baseline to the norms for nonprofit communications in 2015.

Expect many nonprofit marketers to increase the frequency of email and print marketing efforts. Another key shift in 2015 is making donor retention a higher priority than new donor acquisition.

Some of the biggest challenges facing nonprofit marketers are: lack of time to produce quality content, lack of budget for direct expenses, and the inability to measure effectiveness.

Communication and Marketing at your average nonprofit in 2015 include:

  • “Engaging Our Community” as a top priority.
  • Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the most important media sites.
  • Email newsletters and email appeals are both sent monthly.
  • Direct Mail appeals are sent twice a year, print newsletters are sent quarterly (if at all).

The full report is available online at NonprofitMarketingGuide.com

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Serving as a Marketing Analyst, Josh Wood whips our team into shape with his eye for strategy and trends. He also has over 20,000 Twitter followers.

Posted in Advertising Tips, Email Marketing, Online Advertising, Print Advertising, Social Media