By Bob West
Any marketer paying attention to digital media of late has heard the many discussions about the demise of digital display ads. In general, I have no reason to doubt the validity of those claims, but one key distinction must be made: most articles or blog posts focused on declining click-through rates focus on general, consumer-focused media. Meister Media’s experience with targeted, business-to-business (B2B) media remains very different, which is good news for you.
In 2015, Meister Media’s brands served more than 32 million enewsletter and website ad impressions for nearly 300 different clients. These ads produced more than 100,000 click-through visits from a highly engaged audience of growers and retailers to the advertisers’ websites. The resulting click-through rate (CTR) of 0.32% is five to 10 teams better than industry benchmarks, albeit slightly down from the average CTR for our digital ads in 2014.
These numbers don’t guarantee success for every advertiser using a Meister Media digital property, but they do demonstrate that our B2B audiences are willing to engage with well-designed digital ads. So, here are some recommendations for producing the most effective digital ads, based on analyzing the performance of every ad we ran in 2015:
- Understand the goal for your digital advertising. Marketers typically have one of two primary goals with digital advertising: awareness or click-through activity. Committing to a clear goal drives the first decisions that have to be made: media (enewsletter? website?) and ad unit (medium rectangle? image / text? popup?). They also help marketers evaluate an ad’s effectiveness afterwards.
- Know that content-oriented ads engage B2B audiences more effectively than any other type of ad. Growers and retailers continue clicking most often on those ads that offer to educate them and help them do their jobs more effectively.
- Be open to new ideas. Effective digital marketing basically requires a commitment to constant innovation. Changes in digital technologies create new opportunities and can even force change at times (no more Flash ads!). Developing HTML5 ads, advertising in slideshow galleries and creating ad units just for mobile display are all relatively new practices that didn’t exist just a few years ago but that deliver considerable value today.
Bob West is Meister Media’s Director of Interactive Sales, and he can be reached at 440/602-9129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.