Maximize the value of digital campaigns with these strategic moves.

By Elaina Hundley

Digital advertising can and should be a key source of non-dues revenue for your association. Monetizing the digital side of your organization and its publications is essential to staying relevant, as most advertising prospects are looking for opportunities that allow them to reach new prospects and more clearly measure performance. At the same time, the fact that digital advertising does allow for more measurement can be either a positive or a challenge, depending on the popularity of your digital publications. Regardless of your audience size, there are a number of ways that you can help maximize an online opportunity for an advertiser. Below are some of our tips for setting your digital advertisers up for success.

Position Is Important

When selling digital advertising, you should be very familiar with your publication and its metrics. This insider knowledge can help you steer advertisers towards positions on the site that generate the most views and click throughs. That said, if you have ad placements on your site or in your newsletter that don’t generate much traction, it’s important to periodically evaluate why and think through how you might improve the metrics.

Clearly Communicate The Audience And Theme

First of all, make sure that each advertiser is a logical fit for your publication and its audience—this applies to print too. A classroom technology vendor that wants to reach school superintendents is not going to have much success advertising in a digital publication about health insurance that reaches an audience of healthcare administrators.

When communicating with a lead, make sure you are crystal clear about the subject of your publication, any themed e-newsletters that might be relevant and how they can best speak to your audience. As an expert on your membership and the readership for your digital platforms, you have key insights that can help the advertiser—don’t forget to share them.

Ad Creative And Content Impacts The Success Of The Placement

Your advertisers are paying for the opportunity to be associated with your publication and reach your captive audience. You are providing them with the platform and space to do so. While the popularity of your publication plays a role in how well-received the ad or sponsored content is, the article or ad creative and copy the advertisers provide you with does too. Do moving ads work well on your site? Are there any topic categories that are hot with your readers? Does changing out the ad periodically increase clicks? Share this information! It will help the advertisers tailor their campaign to your audience and remind them that you are invested in their success.

Sell Premium Placements In High-Traffic Emails

Do you have emails that go out while members are on-site at events? Does your publication share any special updates? Think about which emails and email newsletters your organization sends that have the highest open and engagement rates. Emails like these are perfect for premium placements. Additionally, what time of year does conference registration open? Running a campaign on a website during the time most people register will also help an advertiser get more attention from your audience.

By thinking critically about which platforms and times of year garner the most traffic and suggesting those options, you will ensure that advertisers will get strong value for their dollar and higher visibility than normal. Ultimately, the price should reflect that and so should the results.

Success For The Advertiser Is Success For The Seller

While it may feel like extra work to be strategic and offer an advertiser detailed tips on how to best execute a digital campaign, this legwork up front will set both you and the advertiser up for success. If the advertiser feels like the campaign they ran was successful, they are more likely to renew. Even if they don’t renew, having a success story in your back pocket is great for selling new advertisers and better understanding your audience. And finally, this work shows the advertiser that you understand their goals and strategy and that you want to make sure they get the most for their money. Your investment in an advertiser’s success will help build their trust in you. 

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