Whether done via social media, pay-per-click ads, broadcast ads, print media, or in-store promotions, an advertising campaign helps make your brand more visible, increases sales and referral opportunities, motivates repeat purchases, and generates the revenue you need to survive. An effective advertising campaign also enables you to increase brand awareness, stand out from the competition by positioning your brand as having a strong competitive advantage, educate your customers about the benefits gained by purchasing your brand, increase sales and ROI, and more. It also allows you to launch new products or services while attracting new customers to your existing product lines.
John Wannamaker famously said, “I know 50% of my advertising budget is wasted, I just don’t know which half”. In the age of digital marketing, we’re better at determining which half of a marketing budget is wasted but that doesn’t help you craft an effective advertising campaign to start with. This article outlines eight tips to help you create an effective advertising campaign that delivers benefits to your organization.
What is an effective advertising campaign?
First, let’s distinguish advertising from marketing.
Advertising is a part of marketing but it doesn’t encapsulate all of marketing nor can it stand alone without good marketing to back it up. Marketing is defined, according to the AMA (American Marketing Association) as:
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
This definition makes it clear that advertising (communicating offerings) is only one of 4 core elements of marketing, called the marketing mix. Thus, unless you develop a product that solves a consumer problem (consumers buy solutions, not products), price it so the marketing judges the product as having value, and distribute in places considered convenient by your market, you’ll fail even with the most effective advertising campaign.
Assuming you do have all your ducks in a row regarding the 3 core elements of the marketing mix, you can still fail without effective advertising.
The role of advertising is to:
Without advertising, the old adage that “if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door” is hogwash. According to the roles established above, you must first INFORM consumers that you have built a better mousetrap, laying out in clear terms what makes your product better than existing products. You must then PERSUADE them to buy your product by pointing out that they have mice (establishing a problem), that your product is effective in removing the mice (solve the problem), and show evidence that your product solves their problem better than any competitor (ie. it’s cheaper, it works better, it’s easier to use, etc). Finally, you must REMIND consumers who know about your product that it’s a great option for solving all their mousetrap needs.
Generally, advertising involves sharing these types of information over time, since it takes more than one exposure to a product message to change behavior. Studies suggest that consumers must see your ad (termed frequency) at least 7 times before they make a purchase. Of course, this number depends on a wide range of factors, such as how close the exposure is (ie. seeing frequently reaches the purchase threshold with fewer exposures than spread over a long period of time), the relevance of the product, who promotes the product, and more.
Each exposure to an ad helps move consumers toward a purchase decision. Using a funnel analogy, the decision process looks like this:
An important element to consider in developing an effective advertising campaign is to create content aimed at consumers in each stage of the funnel process designed to drive them to the next stage in the funnel.
Building an effective advertising campaign
Below, you’ll find 10 tactics that will help you build more effective campaigns. The tactics are listed in no real order since there’s a lot of interplay between them.
1. Hire an ad agency
Advertising is a complex business activity that requires expertise in a variety of tasks, experience to know how context impacts results, and training. Hiring the right advertising agency allows you to work with a team of industry creatives with a range of experience and specializations in various areas, like SEO, web design and development, video production, content marketing, social media advertising, and more. Or, hire an ad agency specializing in traditional media to create newspaper and TV ads, billboards, and other forms of traditional advertising. I once watched a graphic artist working for one of the world’s leading ad agencies, spend days getting the model’s image just right by adjusting it one pixel at a time.
An ad agency’s experience, expertise, and skills are vital to creating an effective ad campaign. Working with a trusted advertising agency such as eraserfarm.com allows your campaign to access the latest marketing software, trends, and reports for business growth. An agency can also track your goal’s performance and monitor various KPIs, analytics, and metrics to gauge your marketing efforts’ effects and identify the campaign optimizations you should do. Often, you find an agency is the most economical choice, as well, as they spread the cost of expensive tools across multiple clients and help you avoid costly mistakes that can damage your brand irreparably.
2. Know your audience
A market is frequently composed of many consumers, although they may have different preferences, needs, and decision processes. By dividing the total marketing into more homogeneous subgroups, then targeting one or a couple of these groups to form a target market you vastly increase your chances of success. Focusing on your target market’s needs enables you to create an effective marketing campaign that concentrates your advertising efforts on persons who are likely to buy your brand. This helps you generate more qualified leads affordably and effectively. When looking to learn more about your audience, consider your existing customers and their characteristics. Social media is also a great tool for learning more about users, what they want, and what they look like. Using this information, you can build personas like the one below that help direct your advertising efforts.
These personas help you better understand why the target audience needs your products, how and where to reach and convert them, and build lasting relationships with them. Conducting surveys, keeping an eye on your competitors, and monitoring customer and prospect comments, engagements, and feedback can also help you know your audience. This helps ensure that your advertising reaches the right people and resonates with them.
3. Set your advertising goals
Setting advertising goals gives direction, vision, and purpose to your advertising teams and agency. With clear, measurable goals, your marketing department can determine their campaigns’ effectiveness and impact on sales, engagement, and performance. Achieving your advertising goals helps your business see improved growth and revenue. Some of the marketing goals you can set for your campaign include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Generating leads
- Becoming a thought industry leader
- Increasing customer value
- Improving SEO
- Growing social media presence
- Increasing conversion rates
These goals now form your KPIs or key performance indicators. Monitoring your performance against these KPIs helps you know that your campaign is on track, identifies elements that exceed expectations (as well as those that are underperforming), and allows you to optimize future campaigns to achieve more.
4. Tailor your advertising message to suit your customers
Your advertising campaign’s success significantly depends on how you communicate with your customers and prospects. And since consumer groups vary from one another, you must tailor your message to suit individuals in your target market. When creating an ad message, you should convey what your brand offers to its users as accurately as possible, while not rambling on to discourage your target marketing from viewing the entire message.
Highlight what’s important, including how your customers will benefit from buying your product. Consider creating personalized ad messages depending on your target group’s interests, preferences, lifestyle, and expectations so it resonates with your target market. Your advertising messages should be simple, understandable, legible, and precise.
Every ad message aims to reach the target market, encouraging them to familiarize themselves with your offer, creating a brand image, grabbing your audience’s attention, and building a relationship with them. Your ad message should emphasize your offer’s unique selling proposition (USP) that distinguishes your products or services from the competitors. Your ad messaging shouldn’t leave room for speculation.
5. Know where to advertise
Effective advertising requires you to market your offerings depending on how your customers move through their day. Advertising on the right platforms ensures your message reaches the intended audience for increased conversion rates and sales. Deciding where to advertise should be informed by where your prospects and customers spend most of their time, the media they consume, and the content they enjoy.
6. Set an advertising campaign budget
Developing a marketing budget lets you choose the campaigns that enable you to achieve your business goals within the bounds of what you can afford. It also gives you control over your spending by outlining how much you should spend, where, and when.
Creating a budget allows you to determine which campaigns are performing well by estimating the ROI or more likely ROAS needed to break even or achieve your goals. It also enables you to drop campaigns that aren’t generating any profit. To create an effective marketing budget, identify your short-term and long-term marketing goals, know your market and competition, understand your audience, and select marketing channels.
7. Consider advertising tests
Test advertising is the initial part of your advertising. It’s meant to assess various ad variables to determine what works for your ads and what doesn’t for optimum advertising campaign success. Using AB testing, you can determine your ad campaign’s effectiveness while understanding how your audience will respond to the ads and the changes you can make to ensure they suit your customers.
8. Create effective CTAs
A CTA or call to action is part of every advertising campaign. It tells those viewing your ad what action to take. Maybe you want them to subscribe to your mailing list or buy a particular product. Your call to action can make or break your advertising campaign because it directly impacts conversion rates. The right CTA with the right market spells success. When writing CTAs, use strong action words and provoke enthusiasm or emotion that will prompt your prospects to convert.
Successful advertising is crucial for business growth and improved bottom line. Use these tips for an effective advertising campaign.
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