Advertising on blogs, specifically wedding blogs, is still quite a new and therefore alien concept to many businesses. Not a lot of people really understand it and simply think that flinging an advert or sponsored post up on a wedding blog will instantly conjure a sparkly magic wand that will send a squillion enquiries their way. I’m sorry to burst that bubble, but it doesn’t really work like that. You have to know what you’re doing, you have to have a strategy in place and you have to work and rework at it to keep your marketing campaign effective.
So today I’m going to lift the lid on some of those secrets as well as share with you some of my top tips for getting the best out of your online marketing.
1. Show exactly what you do with the image you choose
This is not the time to be cryptic! Sure it sounds obvious, but I’ve seen many an advertiser get this very wrong. If you’re a photographer make sure the image you choose shows that – don’t pick a pretty shot of a bunch of flowers. To the casual observer it will look like you’re a florist.
2. Make sure the text is legible
You have a limited space to use so this is even more vital than usual. Use fonts that are easy to read and colour combinations that stand out but don’t assault the eyes. Pick just one or two fonts and two or three core colours and don’t overcomplicate it. Check your spelling, punctuation and grammar – or even better, get someone else to check it for you.
3. Make the advert relevant to the blog
If you’re advertising on an alternative wedding blog like this one, don’t choose an image from a really traditional wedding for your advert. The more colourful, quirky and alternative looking ads always perform better on my site but this is not a uniform rule across the board!
Get to know the blog that you are wanting to advertise on. What kind of content do they post and what kind of weddings or images seem to get the best reaction from their readers? (pro tip: check the comments on the blog and on their facebook page).
4. Stand out from the crowd!
Make your ad as engaging and eye-catching as possible. This is not the time to be shy! Ad spaces are generally quite small so be sure to use the space you have in the best way you can. Fill the space and use a bright colour that stands out from all the others on the site.
Although in saying that, something I’ve noticed a few of my advertisers doing recently is not making the advert square, instead having a circle or differently shaped graphic. As long as the overall dimensions are still within the pixel guideline size this is perfectly OK!
5. Compare & contrast
Take a screen grab of the website that you wish to put your advert on and use Photoshop to see how you ad will a) look on the site overall and b) compare to the other adverts currently there. Does it stand out from the crowd? Does it engage readers? Does it show what you do with a quick glance? Would you click it?
6. Have a call to action
Give people a reason to click. I personally don’t allow animated gifs on my site as I think they’re ugly and distracting, but if the website you’re advertising on does this is one way to go about it. A more subtle way to stand out might be to add a special offer or discount code to entice people in. Again, the space is small you’ll have to be quite clever about how you get it on there. If you are going to have extra text like this, a plain background would work better.
A secondary idea could be to have a dedicated landing page for your ad that’s specific to the readers you’re trying to attract. A few of my current advertisers do this and I think they look really great. You can use them to highlight special offers or speak directly to the kind of client you