Designing a Web Ad : Choose your Target Audience
Many companies gloss over this step, but it is absolutely critical that you narrow down your target buyers into 3 or 4 distinct groups. You need to know exactly who you will be targeting each ad towards. You rarely if ever just want to run your ad "wildly" across an entire website. You want to make specific ads that appeal to specific readers.
Let's take an example. Say you were a pet store. You could make one generic ad that showed 8 different types of pets on it and said "pet food". However, this won't appeal well to pet owners. They already obviously are buying pet food, if their pets are alive! Why would they want to go to you, when you are just a generic pet food store? They probably won't even glance at the ad.
Instead, let's say you decide you have supplies for cats, for dogs, for birds, and for reptiles at your store. You also have a lot of experience in helping parents of young kids, in teaching those young kids how to care for their pets. BellaOnline lets you choose up to six topical areas for your ads to run in. So you would want to sign up for:
* The Cats area of BellaOnline
* The Dogs area of BellaOnline
* The Birds area of BellaOnline
* The Reptiles area of BellaOnline
* The Moms area of BellaOnline
This lets you display a specific and targeted message to each of those groups. For the cats area, your banner ads could feature cuddly photos of kittens and have a specific message: "Stinky Litter? Ours is Odor Free!" For the moms area, your banner ads could offer "Free Ebook: Buying your First Puppy" with an image of a cute puppy and an adorable toddler. The possibilities are of course endless, but they all require this critical first step - target exactly the small groups of people you can best connect with.
If you have not done this targeting exercise before for your business, it is absolutely critical that you do it no matter what type of marketing or advertising you intend to do. Every marketing book will hammer the importance of knowing your target audiences - and that word "audiences" is plural. There are always multiple types of people who you could get interested in what you offer.
Even simple examples become more complex once you go through this exercise. If you're a college, you might say your target audience is high school seniors, looking to enroll. However, how about the parents? They are definitely a target audience, and your message to them needs to be tailored towards what their concerns are. If you support distance education, that would be an entirely separate group of students, perhaps quite older.
Set aside a few hours to brainstorm what your most effective targets would be. Ask family and friends if you get stuck on this part! This is one of the most important things you can know about your business.
Step 2: Choosing the Graphics
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