I struggle to talk engagement sometimes when I am selling our papers. It’s so easy to just talk about raw numbers like I was taught. It just flows off the tongue. Circulation this. Reach that.
What we should be doing is sending things like this to our advertisers and letting them know that you can have 1 billion people looking at a website, but if they didn’t engage with the content they didn’t see any of the advertising either.
If they buy an ad with your paper you know that whatever that circulation is paid for the content, will likely engage with it for a decent amount of time, and you have a highly likely probability that someone will see the ad. If it is designed well and is engaging itself then we just did our jobs, and then it will be up to the vendor to sell those customers.
Engagement is the best tool we have and it is a hammer as powerful as Thor’s.
One thought on “Engagement matters”
The key: ” nicely designed ad” — some graphic artists get it; most don’t. Most graphic artists I know from past experience are young, fresh out of college or vo-tech school with a vast amount of book knowledge with little practical experience. They try to “put together” an ad with little understanding of font usage or composition. A graphic designer, on the other hand, has the experience of software programs, understands the hierarchy of ad content, and a really good designer will research their customers, shop in their store, and gets to know the owners. That added effort produces effective advertisements. As a designer, I have found from past experience that goodwill field trips, possibly with the ad salesperson, gives that added insight to producing good advertisements. Ask the owners if they have seen an ad they would like their ad to look like, look around their store or even their person and pick up on pleasing color schemes, look for product logos in their business and incorporated them in their ads. Look at magazines or high-end websites and study their current font usage. Steer away from goofy fonts or stale ancient fonts. Use effective white space so products pop off the page. Everything doesn’t have to be in a box — circles, cutouts, rounded corners, etc. breaks the blocky look of a page and sets the ad away from other ads. Of course, these suggestions don’t work all the time because in a fast-paced environment, sometimes ads have to produced quickly to meet deadlines. But publishers need to encourage their graphic artist/designers to produce effective ads for their customers and not something slapped together. No matter if the ad is a 2×2 or a full page, money is the same color and whatever the customer can spend to promote their business is important to them.