The Magic Of The Landing Page

110909-N-ZZ999-001Landing pages are a simple but poewrful tool, if you’re looking to Improve the effectiveness of your ads. Used properly, they can help make it easier to measure response. Better yet, they make it possible to turn your ad into a recurring interaction with your prospects. And a landing page allows you to use the limitless real estate of the web to free your ad to really stand out.

Evolve or Die

I’m an old-school advertising guy at heart. I really like a well-crafted print ad. Every so often a wave of prognosticators come along decrying the death of print advertising in the face of the digital revolution. But it isn’t dying… it’s evolving. The smart marketer finds a way to marry the strengths on one form with the strengths of another to create somthing greater than the sum of it’s parts.

True, print-style advertising has its limitations. Print or Digital, an ad can only accomplish so much– it’s a function of the fact that an ad is really just a small piece of real estate. But the advantage is, its in a publication that already has an audience of its own. It’s a great way to be seen by the people you want to be seen by.

The digital revolution, however, removes the weakness of limted space. Instead of trying to use the limited resources of your ad to try to convince someone to buy something or call your number or visit the homepage of your website… use it to dive deeper into the ad itself.

When An Ad Is More Than An Ad

This is accomplished by using a landing page specifically designed to receive traffic from that ad placement. Even if you run the same ad in three different publications, you can change the URL on each to direct the readers of each publication to a different landing page.

If you sell fishing gear, for instance, and you have an ad in a saltwater magazine, one in a bass magazine and a third in a flyfishing magazine, each readership has a different relationship with fish and fishing. By changing the URL in a single ad, you can provide a different, tailored interaction for each audience.

Think about what that means for your ad design. Liberal use of landing pages frees your ad to serve one single purpose: get attention and drive them to your landing page. Your magazine ad is now simply a gateway, and not the workhorse of your marketing program.

Plan Your Ad And Landing Page Together

As with any ad, you should plan your ad and landing page with your core business objectives in mind. When you know exactly what results you are trying ot achieve, then you set out to plan and design:

1. What do you want the visitors to do?
2. Where are they coming from?
3. What are the steps they need to take to get them from #2 to #1?
4. What themes and ideas can you use to make a smooth transition from the publication to the action you want them to take?
5. Use text, video, promotional offers, an email capture form, a facebook comment feed or any other means necessary to guide them along that path.
6. Create your ad with the sole focus of getting them to click through or visit your landing page(s).