Get Your Campaigns Soaring: Insights From This Year’s CTA Conference

July 8, 2016

Being a digital marketer is fun. Being a digital marketer who gets to look at the actual performance metrics of the campaign first hand is beyond fun – it’s exciting. Getting the audience behind the ads to do exactly what you want them to, well, that’s where the challenge sets in. It’s no real secret that every marketer eagerly hopes and even somewhat expects that their next campaign will be received even better than the last; that CTRs will be even stronger than before; that conversions will be even higher than ever. Now this may seem like a dream, and with no change in behavior or perspective, it is. When learning and growing from insights shared by established, renowned marketers though, things can really start to change.

In attending the CTA Conference just a couple of weeks ago, I gained many useful and actionable ideas on how to better our campaigns and I’d love to share them with you too. With my top three takeaways from the CTA Conference, you can jump into your next campaign with a whole new level of inspiration, insight and intelligence.

First off,

A successful campaign revolves around the content experience that it creates for the user/viewer.

With all of the hype buzzing around the idea of content marketing itself, it is easy to assume that content alone is what will make or break a campaign. Truthfully, this is not so. Using Hana Abaza’s analogy from her presentation, though pina coladas are widely loved, a pina colada is quite simply a different thing altogether when consumed in a dark, dingy basement than when enjoyed on a sunny, tropical beach. Transferring this over to marketing terms, it’s easy to see that ads are not merely just an image and text either. How the ad is presented and displayed can change the reception and impression of it altogether. As Oli Gardner pointed out, emails, banners and pop ups CAN actually be delightful; we are what stands in the way of this reality, not the technology. If an ad provides a great experience, meaning, if it is simple, clear, genuine, obvious, and it nurtures and guides a viewer down an engagement path, then you know that your ad is on track to be accepted and enjoyed. On the other hand, if an ad or a request within an ad induces a level of “effort anxiety,” as pointed out by Stefanie Grieser, then you know that your ad is bound to produce poor results.

If nothing else, stick to these simple steps:

  • Be clear with your expectations for the viewer. The receiver should never have to guess what they are supposed to do.
  • Remove all distractions that can pull away from engagement with the ad.
  • Advocate for the user. In fact, it’s all about the user. Avoid bringing the message back to yourself.

Second of all,

Treat customers and viewers for what they are. 

In an ad, a call to action is always a necessity, but if it isn’t geared in accordance to what “user temperature” the viewer is at, then it is a total waste. Johnathan Dane expressed this idea best: one call does not match all! A universal offer or request across every channel and platform will not service your wishes as you would expect. Each call to action that you use should be crafted to suit the level of interest and intent that the user holds in the specific placement.


In the end, the hard numbers win. 

As Andy Crestodina remarks, “You can’t bring an opinion to a data fight.” Sure, your gut knows, but the results know better. When it comes down to analysis and decision making, data should always be the true determiner of direction. Follow the data, and you’re sure to get your campaigns soaring.

By Brianna Abbott