The aim of advertising, like most things, is simple but not easy: to persuade someone to purchase your product or service right now or when they are ready to buy. It sounds so simple that it’s easy for advertisers to forget about the basics. Here are 7 small changes that can make a big difference:
#1 Define who your target audience really is.
Defining your target audience is the most basic aspect in being able to reach out to them. Before you design an advertisement for your product or service, you must identify and understand who your target audience really is, very specifically. Don’t cast a wide net and hope the numbers play out. Take a laser-focused approach to reaching exactly the people you want…and to the extent you don’t have to bother with those you don’t, you’ll avoid overspending by reducing wasted impressions.
#2 Understand the media usage of your target audience.
The most effective way to reach your target audience is to understand their habits surrounding media usage. Once you know that, you can design your message to fit that media outlet, not the other way around. Often advertisers establish their message or even their design their copy prior to deciding what media to buy or how this advertising will actually be displayed. We’ve all seen billboards with tiny print or a ton of detail – these ads may have looked great in a magazine, but the effect is lost in another format. In short, pick the BEST mediums to reach your target audience, and then design the most effective copy possible for that format.
#3 Ensure that your ad copy is clear, easy to understand and compelling.
When creating advertising copy, you must ensure that it is clear, easy to understand and compels the viewer to act. It’s great to be creative, but creativity at the cost of making the advertisement complicated does not serve the purpose of advertisement. Aesthetic beauty is not (necessarily) the goal. The goal is to get the attention of your target audience and compel them to act.
#4 Highlight how your product or service will help target customers
It’s one thing to tell the viewer about your product. It’s entirely another to tell them (and show them) what the benefit is – how it will make them feel; how it can make their life better, easier, more fun, etc. It’s the classic sales line about focusing on the benefits vs. the features. Sell the sizzle, not the steak.
#5 Always include your contact details in your advertisement
This should go without saying, but it doesn’t. Having some way to contact you is imperative and you can dramatically increase the effectiveness of the ad by making the contact method memorable. A memorable phone number and/or web domain is probably best, although a cell phone number or street address, if it fits your message better, will also do the trick.
#6 Highlight the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of your product or service
The USP of your product or service is the one aspect that will set you apart from your competitors in the mind of your audience. Your target audience should be able to instantly identify (and be attracted to) your USP and associate that with your product with a lasting impact.
#7 Be creative, unique and original while creating your advertisement
Take a look at Chicago advertising in outdoor, print, electronic and online media and you’ll conclude that a majority of them are borrowed concepts. Humans have evolved over millions of years to pay particular attention to what is new and novel (we notice what’s changing because it could be a Saber Tooth tiger approaching and we tune out what we’re familiar with so we have enough attention to pay to what is new and moving. Borrow the best ideas but keep things new, creative and original.
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