This is probably the most exciting time in the world of advertising. The landscape of business advertising has changed dramatically over the years, and digital advertising has taken the lead in accessibility, impact, and ROI over more traditional methods, like television, print publications, or radio.
In the business world, you know you have to stay at the top of your game if you want to remain a step above your competitors. With advertising, it’s no different. That’s why you need to build an effective ad strategy that speaks directly to your target audiences and authentically showcases your brand, your story, and your products or services.
Have you adapted your advertising strategy to reflect current digital trends? Are you talking to the right people, in the right ways, and in the right places? It’s time to revisit your advertising game plan to reach maximum effectiveness for your budget.
The global spend on advertising is 500 billion, and the average American is exposed to between 4,000 – 10,000 ads per day. It all speaks to advertising’s huge impact. Whether they are watching a video on social media or browsing through their local supermarket aisles, people are receiving advertising messages in all areas of their life and from all directions. The key to your effective and impactful campaign lies in making sure you rise above the fray.
In the “golden age” of advertising, television and radio were it. Most ads used a direct sales approach, often delivered by iconic characters and celebrities who personally endorsed whatever it was they were selling.
Fast forward to the age of the internet – where audiences are increasingly savvy and even more cautious when it comes to hard-sell tactics. While celebrity endorsements are still popular, advertising now focuses on influencing, selling the brand and by associations and through demonstrating values, rather than selling the product alone. More businesses are aiming to build relationships with audiences, instilling long-lasting trust and loyalty.
Effective advertising today is far more complex than telling someone that your product exists and that they need to buy it. Consumers want to relate to a brand, believe its authenticity, and know that it provides solutions to their problems.
The more prepared you are, the better your campaign will be. So, get ready to do some serious work (but know that we have your back!).
There are six steps of preparation that you need to complete. Skipping just one component of the process could prove to be a missed opportunity and a costly mistake.
Each component requires you to have a solid understanding of how to implement and measure your success. That’s why our free eBook, “What you need to know about advertising… before you start,” covers each step in detail. Check it out!
While digital advertising is on a meteoric rise, don’t entirely rule out using traditional methods. People still watch television, listen to the radio, and read print publications. Depending on your product or service, a sole focus on digital runs the risk of alienating some of your audience—which could do your brand more harm than good.
A blended approach of mixing some digital advertising with some traditional methods ensures you cover your entire audience and achieve maximum exposure. A television ad directing customers to a sale on your website or a social media ad containing a coupon to use in-store are examples of blending the old with the new.
If you don’t set a realistic budget from the start, you are putting yourself at risk of getting carried away and spending much more than your business can afford. And this will be catastrophic if the campaign doesn’t have the desired effect.
Protect yourself by setting a reasonable budget using a tried and true technique. The size of your business, as well as how long you have been in business will determine which of these methods will work best for you. Here’s a formula to help you get started.
A diverse range of advertising channels tempts advertisers to aim for a presence on all of them. This is not the right tactic though, since it will water down your message to the point of being completely ineffective—as well as completely blowing your budget. The best strategy is to choose a few channels that you know will have the biggest impact.
Study your target audience, their buyer’s journey, and your own goals to help you narrow down the channels that are going to work best for you.
Before you start creating ads, you need to understand a few essential elements of advertising to your audiences, starting with how a customer goes from knowing they need something to making an actual purchase. This is known as the buyer’s journey, and you’ll want to consider impactful content that resonates with each stage.
Understanding the buyer’s journey will help you determine what kind of content you need to write and produce. Whether you’re putting out blog articles, an expert guide, or inspiring social media posts, your content must resonate with your audience so that they take notice and take action.
A compelling message will get your customer moving through your sales funnel, but getting it right is harder than it may seem. Use the guidelines below to create messaging that speaks directly to your audience—telling them what they need to know to make a purchase.
Working emotion, logic, credibility, and values into your ad campaign can help you grab the attention of your target audience and trigger a strong response. That’s known as persuasive advertising, and it’s used to invoke a strong emotional reaction. Some popular tools include:
Other persuasive tools include using celebrity endorsements and product placements. The use of music and colors are also powerful tools.
The chances are high that you’re already very familiar with most persuasive advertising elements:
No one is going to buy from you if they don’t believe in your brand. Therefore, establishing brand credibility and trust is vital for any business looking to implement a successful ad campaign. Modern consumers no longer trust direct sales tactics. Focusing on brand awareness rather than increasing sales is a more effective route to making lasting connections with your audience.
Once people see your brand as trustworthy, you can gain a fiercely loyal customer base that will support and even defend your brand. Improving your brand credibility and building a strong following takes longer to establish than other methods, but it is worth far more than a brief flurry of increased sales.
Americans spend almost 24 hours per week on social media, making this an advertising platform you cannot ignore. Social media’s vast global audience can be targeted and refined to reach your ideal customer directly and it’s often less expensive than more traditional methods—meaning you can stretch your budget further.
Social media has come a long way since Facebook first emerged. Now, you can harness the power of sophisticated algorithms that pinpoint your ideal customers. If you’ve already established what your buyer’s persona looks like, you can use social media to target the right people for your ad campaign.
One of the best things about targeting on social media is that you can adjust the settings as you go. This means that you can refine your targeting mid-campaign if you find something isn’t working as well as you hoped.
Of all the social media platforms, Facebook is by far the largest—with more than a third of the world’s population as users. Aside from its huge user-base, Facebook has a range of benefits that makes it easy, effective, and affordable to advertise on its platform.
Native advertising is another digital advertising tactic that doesn’t look or feel like traditional digital advertising because it is incredibly subtle. And, it can be extremely effective.
Most web users consider banner ads that flash up on a web page to be a nuisance. So, fewer and fewer people click on them. Instead, imagine that that brand has created a useful piece of content that answers questions and provides real value. That’s known as native advertising.
Native advertising provides useful and informative content that appears on related web pages. For example, if you’re browsing a website about make-up tips, a video might appear that demonstrates eyeshadow techniques. The whole point of native advertising is to create an ad that matches its context. Instead of interrupting the user experience, it is used to enhance it.
Native advertising can lead to a much higher click-through rate than intrusive ads. This tactic can also lead to a stronger recall when it comes to your brand since consumers don’t view it as a hard-sell.
Just about everyone has a smartphone these days. Unlike a television or a newspaper, people tend to keep their mobile device on them at all times, which makes mobile phones the perfect tool for direct advertising.
Using advertising to drive people to your e-commerce store is a great way to increase visits and build up your bottom line. But your strategy needs to be executed well to reduce the potential for costing you more than you make in sales.
Most website visitors don’t convert to becoming a customer on their first visit, and 98 percent won’t buy right away. So, think about how you’re going to remind visitors of your products and get them to return to make a purchase. That’s where retargeting ads come in.
Website cookies are like little pieces of data that stick to a person once they’ve visited a website. They follow that person around the internet. These cookies are what drive retargeting ads.
For example, imagine that someone has just been browsing your website and looking at security devices you offer. If they leave your site without making a purchase, you can lure them back by using the information in your tracker cookies. With retargeting ads, your potential customer will start to see ads for your security devices on some of the subsequent sites they visit.
This advertising strategy reminds the customer of your brand and reinforces their intention to buy. Make sure you have a clear call-to-action within the ad and consider showing a promotion or coupon to entice the consumer further.
You’ve got your ad campaign set up and ready to roll, but how are you going to know if it’s given you a decent return on investment (ROI)?
If you’ve done the groundwork and established clear goals for the campaign, you’ll already know what the measures for success are. Now you need to determine the metrics.
ROI = (Gain from Investment – Cost of Investment)
Another way to measure your success is by calculating your return on ad spend (ROAS). This method is particularly relevant for digital advertising campaigns. You can find your ROAS by taking your ad spend and dividing it by revenue.
Advertising is a crucial investment for your business. Calling in the experts will give you the peace of mind you need that your ad campaign will be as effective as possible, and you’ll stick to your budget.
Great advertising campaigns begin with a solid foundation of planning and preparation. They achieve great results through precision targeting on the best channels for your business.
Take your time to approach each step with a thorough understanding and strategic execution, and you’ll reap the benefits in reaching new audiences and revitalizing your brand. For practical advice about creating an advertising campaign that stands out or to boost your advertising with help from our expert team, reach out to C-leveled today.