As a fairly new Account Executive, I have had both fun and challenging times in my job. The learning curve has definitely been steep and the pace, fast. MPUs, skyscrapers, billboards, home page takeovers, HTML5… little did I know that online advertising came with its own unique dictionary!

digital advertising

These are the five tips I would like to share with anyone who is considering delivering their first online advertising campaign.

  1. Google is your friend
    Before drowning under the hundreds of options each online publication or advertising network offers, take some time to read up on standard ad sizes and specifications. You will find many are common to most advertisers, even if they are given different names. It will save both you and your developers a headache.

  2. Communciate with your developers and your client
    Agree with your developers on a method to share what work must be done in a way you both understand. This is even more important if the creative assets are developed by a third party. Ask developers what exact information they need: specifications, file types, deadlines, submission formats etc. If you are displaying ads in more than one publication and not using an automated network, each one will have different specifications you must stick to. Read them carefully, highlight their commonalities and differences and summarise them for your team as concisely and clearly as possible.

  3. Mke three schedules and stick to them
    Organisation is key when running campaigns across online platforms and publications. I have streamlined my master documents to three. If you and your developers agree on these from the beginning, you will save a lot of time:
  • Master schedule – this should contain the dates that each ad will be published, how long it will run for, when performance will be reviewed and the number of impressions to be delivered. I have found a week-by-week calendar useful, but this will depend on the length of your campaign.
  • Specifications spreadsheet – this is where you will list all assets that must be created for each publication or ad network. Listing their key specifications will quickly uncover common denominators between them. This means you will need to generate less assets in total, as you will be able to reuse them across publications.
  • Publication checklist – this will help you keep track of each ad’s submission deadline, its file name and tracking code and whether you have submitted it or not. The checklist will keep you on track of the campaign on a daily basis.
  1. Be friendly and ask for help
    Online publications make money out of each ad you show through them so your sales representative will most probably be lovely, friendly and happy to advise you on anything you don’t understand. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification through a short email or to phone them up. Every time you submit an ad, be sure to send them a copy of the creative and the tracking codes. They will make sure that it gets passed on and checked by the right people, and published successfully.

  2. Report and recommend
    Most online publications will offer weekly or monthly campaign reports and updates. Each one will provide data differently. Again, it will help if you find the commonalities in each set of data – it will help you compare how different outlets are doing against each other. Ask your ad network or publication to provide audience insight if they have this. This information is a lot more valuable than a some simple CTR figures.