Six Essentials of Creative from Advertisers – By Kim Salvino

by Colleen on September 3, 2014


tl;dr – Advertisers must focus on diversity, size, deep linking, call to action, customer appeal, and ease of use with creative.

Although considered one of many important factors, creative offerings are often overlooked. While performing audits, launching new programs or recruiting, I see too many getting this essential part wrong. feedfront-27-cover-small

If affiliates can’t find what they are looking for to promote your brand, they’ll move on to the competition.

Affiliates come in all shapes, sizes, and vertical specialties. Promotional methods vary from content to display, email to mobile, and offline, so your creative suite must contain variety.

The typical 120×90, 468×60, 728×90 sizes have evolved to include 88×31, 250×250, 240×400, 336×280, 300×100, 234×60, 120×60, 120×240, 125×125, 120×600, 180×150, 160×600 and 300×600. Mobile has its own requirements, with popularly requested sizes including 300×250, 300×50, 320×50, 120×20, 168×28 and 46×36.

Consumers will be frustrated to find themselves arriving on an advertiser’s home page. The search for the product that originally sparked their interest must begin again, placing more required clicks in the way of conversion. Your creative landing URLs should be deep linked to relevant pages within your site.

Banner ads and text copy can be overlooked as images and text if not carefully considered. While all creative needs compelling call to action copy, “Click here” is not as successful as “Book Now”, “Download Now”, “Get Your Free Quote”, or other specific directives.

Flashing, obnoxious creative may catch the eye, but can also place distaste in the mouths of your consumers. Clean, consistent branding appeals best. Verify that your mobile consumers receive a mobile optimized experience. Responsive web design should be a prioritized initiative for all ecommerce sites, if it isn’t already one of yours.

Ease of use should pertain to the consumer, affiliates, and the affiliate manager.

For the consumer, video, search boxes, and widgets personalize the experience and engage the consumer, ultimately leading to increased conversions.

For affiliate managers, your network or SAAS (software as a service) should provide tools to simplify the process for you. Gone are the days of individually loading creative as they have been replaced with bulk upload, API access, and set-it-and-forget-it-features. Your affiliates will appreciate not being bogged down with constant updates.

I’m most excited by container tag creative. With these, multiple images and landing URLs can be specified and auto-update according to start and end dates. For example, if a sale ends and the dedicated landing page expires, you can set a replacement image and landing URL to activate immediately based on your end date setting.

This means less work for affiliates and promotional compliance for the affiliate program. What a win!

Kim Salvino is Client Services Director for Performance Horizon.

This article appeared in issue 27 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in August 2014.

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