Whether you've been advertising for a little while or a long while, knowing how to keep your advertisers happy is crucial to your success. And one major component of keeping advertisers happy is making sure they have reasonable expectations about what their ad on your blog will achieve. However, there are as many definitions of “reasonable” as there are people. And generally speaking, people assume the expectations they hold are reasonable…even if they're anything but. So what you can do, as a blogger and publisher, to make sure your advertisers' expectations are reasonable, appropriate, and realistic?
Give advertisers an accurate sense of your reach by sharing your stats.
Of course, this information should already be in your media kit. But just in case it isn't, and a potential advertiser has no idea how many visitors and page views your site gets, now's the time to let them know. And it goes without saying that you should never lie, distort, or otherwise misrepresent your blog's statistics. Not only is is completely unethical, it's also completely unfair to the brands who want to work with you.
Explain what your role is as the publisher and what their role is as the advertiser.
You can do this in your media kit or through some other document, such as a new advertiser's guide (which is what I use). Being explicit, detailed, and up front, even before you're asked a question, goes a long way towards helping your advertisers have the right expectations. What are your policies if an ad isn't performing well? Does advertising come with certain editorial privileges? Are you tracking clickthroughs on your end? You get the idea. Make sure your advertiser knows what's your responsibility and what's their responsibility.
Help your advertiser to see gaps in their advertising strategy.
Remember: as a publisher, you can't control what your site visitors do. However, you can help a brand maximize their ad budget. Do you know if a certain type of ad performs better than others on your blog? Share that info with your advertiser. Is your advertiser aware of the importance of landing pages, split testing, and a clear call to action? If not, let them know. Does your advertiser have a site that's slow, hard to navigate, or frequently down? If so, it may be best for them to invest their dollars internally for now instead of with you. The best advertising relationships are a partnership. When an ad makes a brand money, they're more likely to renew. So if your advertiser succeeds, you succeed.
What are your tips for working with an advertiser and helping to manage their expectations? Please share in the comments!
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