In last week’s installment of our three part series on building blocks for successful campaigns, we discussed some in-house items that should be addressed prior to starting an online advertising program. This week, we wrap up our series by focusing on the importance of communicating in manner that is both consistent with other advertising initiatives, as well as consistent within the framework of the individual campaign itself.
Building Block #3: Setting Things Straight – Are You Delivering a Consistent Message?
More often than not, an advertiser will use existing content from other advertising initiatives to build out their online programs. In that respect, delivering a consistent message as it relates to other advertising medium is a relatively easy thing to accomplish. Granted, each online vendor has specific requirements that may alter or limit the content a bit, but, by and large, the messaging can be carried through without too many headaches. As is the case with most forms of advertising, it is always good to try and incorporate familiar images and copy points into your online programs.
The area where consistency can become a larger issue in today’s online world is ensuring that addresses and phone numbers match throughout a program. If an Internet Yellow Page (IYP) program listing features a call tracking number, but users encounter a different number once they open up the landing page established for the program, then you run the risk of not being able to track ALL of the calls delivered by the IYP program. Carrying through call tracking numbers to a landing page can get a little tricky, but going the extra distance to achieve this level of consistency within a program is the only way to know exactly how effective the program really is. Along these same lines, it is very important to make sure the addresses featured in the program are accurate and complete, particularly in light of the mapping capabilities of many online sites. A street address that is off just slightly can cause a great deal of confusion among those looking to find your business.
Another battle that must consistently be fought is trying to suppress or clean up any free listings that may conflict with paid listings you are running. A free listing can be very beneficial if there isn’t a paid listing/program in place. However, if a paid program is in place, free listings can work against you by offering potential customers a way to reach you that is not measurable. It is also worth mentioning the impact lead aggregators are having on free listings in the online world. Recently, a new trend has emerged where lead aggregators replace a company’s contact information within the profile page of an online platform with their own contact information. Potential customers are then ultimately contacting these lead aggregators, who then end up selling the leads to the company that the user thought they were contacting to begin with. Go Local’s new Local Perceptions service is geared specifically towards resolving these issues, but to the original point, it is extremely important to maintain control of what is appearing in your company’s listings, whether they are free or paid items. A recent blog on this very site covered the lead aggregator issue in great detail, and it is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.
The thought behind this series of blogs covering building blocks for successful online campaigns was to shed some light on some aspects of implementing advertising programs that can sometimes slip through the cracks. Through the blog and video content on our website, we will continue to share these types of observations and recommendations in an effort to help maximize the effectiveness of your online advertising campaigns.