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We’ve all seen ads on television where we were scratching our heads, wondering, “What was THAT?” Whether it was bizarre, offensive, or simply completely disconnected from the product offered, we weren’t inclined to make a purchase after seeing it.
You never want your advertisements to have that impact, especially because as a small business you don’t have resources to waste. You want to ensure that every ad you pay for makes a difference to your audience and brings in new customers.
How can you do that? Let’s look at ways to ensure your ads hit the mark with your audience.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is that they focus so much on being memorable, funny, or unusual that they forget to highlight why their product or service is ideal for the audience.
As a result, you might laugh or get a catchy phrase stuck in your head, but you won’t remember the company’s name or offer. That means the company spent a lot of time and money and isn’t going to get new customers from their efforts.
When you create an advertisement, make sure your product or service takes center stage. You can be memorable as well, but no one will forget who you are.
Broadcast advertising like television and radio is losing favour with businesses of all sizes, and for good reason. The audience is so broad that you aren’t able to effectively target your ideal customers. It costs a lot of money to reach such a large audience, and you aren’t assured of connecting with your target market.
Instead, find ways to target your audience more precisely with your advertising. For example, social media ads or pay-per-click advertising on Google can help you get going while your long-term marketing strategies are gaining traction. These ads can be very specifically targeted, meaning that you can tailor your message very precisely as well.
Instead of reaching “Women from 25 – 50”, you can reach women in a specific neighbourhood who are 25 – 35, have one child, and have recently purchased a home. That means your messaging can be about very specific problems those types of people face, and you can present your product or service as the solution.
You’ll get a far better return on investment (ROI) with more precise targeting and messaging.
Keeping in mind your target audience and product or service, be original and creative with your advertising. One of the reasons Dollar Shave Club was such a major success was because the company’s online ads were perfect for the audience while also being very memorable.
The razor maker was funny, irreverent, and very focused on men who need razors. The company lampooned common problems these men faced, such as expensive replacement razors and the trend of including more and more blades into a razor over time.
By trumpeting the simplicity and low cost of their razors in a funny way, Dollar Shave Club attracted a lot of attention and grew very quickly.
What can your small business do to inject some humour and fun into offering your products and services?
When a small business tells us that advertising hasn’t been effective for them, we ask them how consistent they’ve been. Unfortunately business owners are so busy that many of them do “random acts of marketing,” where they put out an ad occasionally, usually when business is slow.
If your advertising is not part of an overall digital marketing strategy, you’re going to struggle to get the results you need. That means you need to be working on search engine optimization (SEO) and other long-term strategies as well as advertising. Once those efforts take hold, you can spend less on ads while still getting new leads and ready-to-buy customers on a regular basis.
One of the reasons why advertising is good is that it can bring short-term results while long-term strategies take hold.
Most business owners know that lying in advertisements is not just wrong, but it won’t build the business in the long term either. Once leads and customers realize you’re misrepresenting yourself, word will spread quickly and you’ll lose your reputation.
However, there are other considerations when it comes to ethics in advertising. Sometimes you don’t lie about things, but you’re insensitive to specific social groups. Maybe you try to capitalize on a current event in a way that looks exploitative or pandering. Perhaps you make a joke or try humour that is offensive.
There are dozens of examples of companies that have crossed the line with their advertising and have had to pay the price. Poor publicity, online outrage, boycotts, and petitions have all resulted from bad advertising. A larger company might have the money to hire a PR professional or ride out the anger, but a small business can be ruined by this type of misstep.
Make sure your advertising is ethical in terms of honesty and sensitivity. There are a lot of ways to be funny and original without being offensive.
If you’re going to invest in advertising, it should be highly effective. When you follow the tips above, you’ll be able to get the attention of your target audience in a fun, original way without losing sight of your products and services.
Need help with digital marketing? We’re here for you. Contact us today to learn more!