Advertising at Red Hat is, whenever possible, low-cost and high-value. Without the ad budgets of our competitors, we have to be crafty and get the most out of every dollar we spend.
Print isn’t the most common form of advertising at Red Hat, but it can still be very effective for raising awareness or targeting certain audiences.
- Be aware of the physical context of the ad—where is it being placed? What is likely to be nearby?
- Make sure your ad will stand out from the crowd.
- Imagery should reinforce the headline and add a layer of conceptual depth.
Environmental ads and billboards
Creating an environmental ad or billboard comes with special constraints and considerations, in addition to the general guidelines for campaigns and ads. The first goal of any large-scale ad should be awareness. If nothing else, the viewer should know they just saw a message from Red Hat and leave with a positive impression of the Red Hat brand.
Keep it (really) simple. Most environmental ads are viewed by people in motion—so they don’t have much time to read and digest the message. Tell them something they care about—in about 8 words—and leave it at that. Whenever possible, use the opportunity to be helpful.
Most of our advertising opportunities are online, so make sure to consider banner ads and email from the very beginning of a project. When designing web-based ads, keep the following in mind:
- Think brand awareness first. Web ads have notoriously low click-through and conversion rates, but that doesn’t mean the ads aren’t being seen and can’t help our overall brand awareness.
- To encourage users to click, the message should be actionable, relevant to the audience, and accurately reflect what you get if you click.
- Similar to a billboard, you only have a few seconds to grab attention. Keep the message short and direct, 8 words or fewer.
- Web ads come in a range of sizes, and each size needs a different approach. Large displays function (almost) like print, and can support big images, longer copy, and more brand elements. Very small ads must be more economical and focus on a brief, actionable message.
Simple, meaningful animation is a good option for creating an effective ad. File sizes are typically provided by the website hosting the ad. To meet size requirements, keep backgrounds simple and use only 2–3 animations per ad.
Single-offer landing pages (SOLP)
Web ads should always send the user somewhere valuable. For many campaigns, this means a landing page.
A single-offer landing page is a web page with content that describes one thing you want the reader to do, like “download a brochure” or “register for an event”. The offer may be gated by a web form. These landing pages are commonly used with paid search, with the purpose of converting unknown visitors to known visitors. These known visitors can then be further engaged by email or other offers. The landing pages are demand-generation tools that are fully integrated with Red Hat’s marketing infrastructure. When developing a SOLP, consider what you want to happen to visitors after they submit the form.
Email marketing is a direct marketing tactic used to generate a response to a specific marketing offer, such as a whitepaper download or event registration. Emails are sent to a targeted group of known contacts, or segment to try to move these contacts through the buying stages. Red Hat uses a marketing automation platform, which can help marketers send and schedule emails. Whether developing a single email or a series of emails, think about what you want to happen to recipients who take the action promoted in the email.