Creating Value For B2B Print Advertisers

The continued emphasis on e-media solutions as a way of offsetting the ongoing decline in print revenue for trade publications and their corresponding Web sites, has presented online publishers with numerous challenges. Topping this list is the lack of perceived value by traditional print advertisers. So how does an e-marketer create online ad campaigns with easily understood and intrinsic value? By integrating multi-media proposals into an advertiser's thought process come budget-planning time.

B2B publications have largely relied on the strength of their editorial content to create demand in the minds and pocketbooks of their advertisers. By leveraging this inherent advantage with a publisher's online content, e-marketers can tap into the natural tendency of their advertisers to pair their advertising with a publication's editorial calendar. Since the majority of traffic generated by most B2B Web sites is accessed at the article or content level, e-marketers can utilize this to their benefit by creating advertising opportunities based on exclusivity. For example, most B2B Web sites, much like their print brethren, have regular columns authored by dedicated editorial writers. Regular online readers of these columns routinely access them via bookmark, electronic newsletter or direct URL entry. This habitual form of content access provides tremendous value for advertisers in the form of such e-media products as page sponsorship, or page-specific banner exclusivity.



In addition to these somewhat standard means of providing exclusivity to the advertiser, new software technology is available that makes it possible to pair an advertisers' message editorially adjacent to relevant online content in the form of contextual micro-site links. Most traditional print advertisers running an advertising schedule based on a publisher's editorial calendar will quickly see the tremendous value this type of advertising provides. Delivering relevant information at the exact time and place that a reader wants it provides an excellent opportunity for advertisers to capitalize on the moment when a reader is most open to listening to their product and/or service message.

Every trade publication in existence has a handful of clients who are known for their catchy and flamboyant, 4-color, full-page spreads. Since these clients typically like to make the "big splash" when it comes to print advertising, their flair for the dramatic can be transferred online. This is most easily done by creatively incorporating online campaigns that utilize rich media.

It's hard to sell a typical banner campaign to this type of advertiser for many reasons. However, whether they admit it or not, one of the most common underlying reasons is that they just can't get excited about a 728x90 leader board or a 160x600 skyscraper. The creative for their full-page spread doesn't translate well to those dimensions and certainly doesn't provide the pizzazz or "wow!" factor that their print advertising does. Smart e-marketers identify this issue and partner with their ad services or graphic arts department to present rich-media mockups customized with their client's logo, creative copy, and graphics.

Many print advertisers aren't aware of the scope and breadth that online advertising provides -- and most have certainly never seen a full-page interstitial, peel-back, or sponsored game. However, it is these very products that not only make an impact on these advertisers, but coincide with their "big splash" mentality and provide tremendous value in the form of increased ROI -- even if measured by branding alone.

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