Advertising is the hammer of any company’s toolkit.
It is an inherently powerful tool, but you need to hone your technique to get the most out of it.
This is what separates mediocre advertising from competitive advertising. In this article, we will discuss the considerations you should be taking to elevate your advertising game.
First and foremost is to set a clear goal. This could be anything from getting rid of soon-to-be deadstock to simply building brand awareness. No matter what it is, a clear goal at the start will give you a clear path and focus.
Leading on from this is targeting the right audience. Your target audience determines important factors such as where you advertise, who you work with etc. so you must establish this early on to once again give you focus.
Next is properly marketing your company’s benefits. Not only talking about what your product or service is but what it offers. This helps to avoid unnecessary jargon that clutters your ads and confuses your audience.
It also helps as you are directly solving your consumers’ problems, sometimes before they even know it’s a problem. Therefore your advertisements are showing them how your company can help them which ultimately is every consumer’s primary concern and what they want.
A big part of marketing is framing, the product is obviously important but how it is presented is equally as important.
For example, with phones the adverts don’t mention the state-of-the-art chipset or the premium materials used to construct it – they emphasise its ability to multitask, its speed and its sleek design.
This is what grabs the consumers and takes them to their website, then they can find the actual numbers and specs. Even then, this type of information is even in small print because the average consumer wants the purchasing process as simplified as possible and don’t want to be overloaded with information.
In terms of information overload, advertisements should be as simple and engaging as possible. To achieve this, you should be using a lot of visual aid as opposed to walls of text and numbers.
For example, they should use a lot of colour and iconography relating to your brand that should stick in the mind of the reader and make it so that whenever they see said items or colours, their mind instantly goes to your brand.
Another tip is to include as many ‘call to actions’ as possible. These are prompts that encourage actions by consumers such as a ‘buy now’ button or ‘sign up now.’
No one can resist a big red button
These imperatives are effective as they work subconsciously to command action, as it leaves no room for doubt or optionality. On top of this, providing a clear next step removes any confusion and engages the audience more which should promote greater retention.
Furthermore, you should be using 3rd parties to make sure your adverts are good in terms of visual appeal, information density etc.
As the owner of the company or even just an employee, it is virtually impossible to be biased. You inherently have more knowledge than a consumer about the product/service as well as your goal.
This is why it’s vital for someone unrelated to the company to check and get them to try and guess the aim of the advert and tell you as much about the brand as possible. This will give you a more accurate idea of how effective your advertisements actually are and how they appear to the general public.
These are all ways to make your advertising more effective which will definitely put you on the map but in the next section, I will elaborate on the ‘competitive’ part.
Competitive means you are matching and exceeding other companies in your marketing techniques. However, to make sure you are doing this, you need to actually know what other companies are doing.
This is where a landscape analysis comes in. To summarise, this is when you survey competitors in your specific sector and the current state of your industry as a whole.
Therefore you can observe what techniques or keywords they use that gives them search priority as well as pinpoint market trends and techniques that the industry is using. You must keep ahead of these curves as they can change at a moment’s notice.
To undertake it, you first have to identify a handful of competitors including those at the top of a specific sector as well as those of similar size as you. Then observe how they market and structure their adverts.
I’m not saying you should blindly copy them, far from it. I am saying though that you should evaluate their ads, see what works, what doesn’t and develop yours from that.
Doing this with multiple competitors should ensure you gain a good general understanding of the landscape and should reinforce your own marketing immensely.
Treat these suggestions as guidelines as opposed to a strict checklist as there is no perfect advert. I made it as universal as possible, but not everything may apply directly so apply what you can and mould it to fit your brand.
Hopefully, this has gotten the ball rolling and given you more ideas on how to take your advertising to a new level!