Your Ad Checklist

The ad you put out into the world to advertise your business, is without doubt one of the most important ways you can connect with those people you want to provide with your service. It is, quite often, the first-time people have learned of your company’s existence, or felt the need to interact with you as a business, and as with all situations, the first impression is all important! So, how do you make that first impression really count, with a glorious well planned out and excellently appointed advert, so let’s start the checklist of things you’ll need to convert those people your ad meets into your happy customers.

Not everything in this post will be something you definitely need to be sure of before you come to a marketing agency with your ad idea wanting to start your campaign. The creative and targeting teams we have in-house at Seelocal are more than capable of aiding decision making or developing the many of these niche ideas for you to help create a precise and effective campaign. However, no-one knows your company better than you! So, the more boxes on the ad checklist you can tick off the better!

What are you Selling

It’s always good to have a strong intent, so knowing exactly what it is you want to achieve with your ad is paramount, even if you’re not a retailer not every advertisement needs to be selling a product, it’s just as important to sell yourself, your credentials, or even your reputation, the way you structure your ad should be indicative of your overall goal.

Who are you Targeting?

As good as it is to know what you’re selling, it’s also good to have an idea of who you are looking to sell to. Are you a school? Primary or secondary? How old are the majority of your pupils’ parents? Do they use social media? Are you a restaurant? What are the local patrons like? What sort of clientele are you hoping to attract in the future? The more you know all the better to target, the more people will pay attention and move through your marketing channels.

Where are your New Customers?

Of course, by this we mean what location are you hoping to focus on. One of the great strengths of online advertising and something that sets it apart from less quantifiable marketing strategy is the amount of focus a team, combined with a strong intelligent platform, can narrow the displayed ads to a given location. If you know the areas in your region you suspect are the most desirous of seeing your campaign, pinpoint targeting is an excellent tool to help move your campaign forward at a blistering pace.

What is your Brand?

Who are you? In reality all of the above questions to some degree fall within the remit of this big question but there are other factors to consider. A brand is everything about your business you want your customers to see, from the look of your logo to the colour of shirt you wear to the next meeting, if it involves you interacting with someone who is a potential customer, whatever you do, brands you. What is your tone of voice, are you personable and approachable or more corporate and officious? What colour do you use to signify different things about your business, are you letter heads a soft potpourri pink because you want to appeal to specific market, or do you use a striking orange for impact? All of these things can and will impact on the way your company advertises itself.

A Powerful Image

If you think about the last ad you saw it’s likely a few key things stand-out in your mind, one of those is sure to be the image the advert undoubtedly used. When people say a picture is worth a thousand words we like to think they know a little something about marketing. While a good picture is no substitute for some tempting words, we humans are very visual creatures tending to latch on to and remember important scenes we see. A few key things are important to consider when choosing your image: make sure you have the rights to it, no one wants to be sued, so choose an image you own, or can obtain the license to use from a reputable source; frequently, bigger is better, the ad sizes most often used can run between several hundred and 1500 pixels square, having a large high resolution image will help, it’s always easier to scale down rather than up; make it punchy, images are all well and good but the ones that work best are the ones that make the most impact, they usually contain a person where possible, relatable to the audience and preferably show some action or emotion (or both!) that engenders positivity toward your business.

A Strong Message

The other thing you will likely remember about that ad you saw earlier is part of the headline. While the image is likely what attracted you, or a potential customer, to the ad your real first impression of what’s on offer is going to be the attention-grabbing headline. For all the content of your ad a hierarchy will exist determined by the desired result of the campaign, however there will always be a headline, likely the largest and most bold type on the ad it will either be a statement of intent, ‘we are the business you’re looking for’ or an eye-catching query or statement ‘looking for a business?’ or ‘don’t do bad business’, the theory is simple, something that will capture your audience’s attention and make them read further.

Succinct Body Copy

Where you really want to advertise what it is you do is the body copy of your advert. If your image is the plate and your headline is an ostentatious colourful gourmet garnish that draws the eye, the body copy is the meat and potatoes of your ad. The most important thing to remember is that an advert is not something people have any intention of reading, they see it and are drawn to know more, as such its best to extoll your virtues as fast and free of complication as possible to avoid irking the reader. The ad should be a brief but powerful memory, its hard to remember all of that book you finished last month, but easy to recall what the person you fancied wrote in your yearbook, or what you put in your mothers last birthday card, keep it short and to the point.

A Call to Action

In the modern era every ad on the internet is the first link of a chain, whether it is advertising a deal on sandwiches or the services of a solicitor, if you click it, it’s probably going to take you to a related webpage which moves you closer to the eventual goal of the advertisement. But how to get people to click on the ad? That’s where the call to action comes in. Over years of research and psychological observation the common wisdom of our age is people are very much taught and innately follow instructions, as such a good call to action is a pointed statement or exclamation that tells the viewer what to do and hopefully makes it clear that clicking the ad will eventually result in the act happening. Some good examples of calls to action include ‘buy now’ or ‘find out more’ or even ‘improve your online ads’ really anything non-confrontational that creates a sense in the person who sees it that clicking that ad will cause them to be rewarded with knowledge or opportunity.

So there’s the beginnings of a checklist you’ll need to make the most of your marketing ads, there is a chance whoever makes and distributes your ads may want more specific guidelines as to how you want the ad formatted, what your branding entails, where you want your ad to redirect to, and importantly what your budget for the campaign is, however taking the above points as a base you’ll be able to approach your first (or maybe even 1,000th!) campaign with the confidence that the ad you’re going to show the world will give an unsurpassed and appealing impression of your company and what you offer to the world.

 

Why location based marketing is so effective.

Location based marketing is arguably the most exciting development in the marketing industry, to date. With the ongoing increase in how people use and rely on mobile phones in day-to-day life, using these devices to personalise messages to potential customers, in real time and based on their current location is an extremely effective, successful way of marketing. Depending on where they are in the world,  advertisers can choose to send  different ad types, such as display ads, banner ads or search ads, to appeal to a particular activity or area.

At SeeLocal, our speciality is running highly targeted, local online advertising campaigns across multiple advertising platforms. We tailor ad campaigns to be shown to particular demographics, based on your target audience, and make sure ads are shown to relevant users, so your budget is not wasted and your campaign is a success.

Being so personalised, means that your potential customers who are seeing your ads, are more likely to convert as the information they are seeing is relevant to them. Using a particular dialect in an area, for example Yorkshire, means your ads are appealing to the specific ways of speaking in that area, which makes ads seem more personalised and therefore encourages more sales.

Ads are served up in real time, meaning they are seen in the moment. Ads shown based on location are relevant to what the user wants to see at a particular time, and encourages them to complete an action simply based on where they are. For example, in the retail industry, apps can serve up unique discount codes for nearby shops to encourage impulse purchasing. After all, we’re all human, we are much more likely to make a purchase if we have the opportunity to pay less than it is supposedly worth.

The fact that location based ads are so highly targeted, means they are even more relevant to users. Over time, due to consistently seeing relevant ads, this then increases the attention that users pay to display ads, due to reduction in generic irrelevant ads. In the past,  statistics have shown that around 46% of people used ad blockers due to seeing irrelevant ads, but with the development of location based marketing, truly relevant ads can be shown to those who are actually interested, which in theory should lead to a reduction in the use of ad blockers.

When targeted properly, location specific ads are almost certainly relevant to the audience you are targeting, making them more likely to be noticed and lead to a sale. Better, higher quality ad targeting means businesses are spending less money on ad campaigns to people who simply are not interested.

 

What makes a good Banner Ad?

Banner ads are one of the most common forms of online marketing- they’re affordable, measurable and effective in building brand awareness and generating leads.

We’ve put together a few tips on what it takes to make a really successful banner ad…

 

  1. Use effective standard banner ad sizes.

At SeeLocal, we recommend using ads in the following sizes only:

  • 336 x 280 pixels
  • 300 x 250 pixels
  • 728 x 90 pixels
  • 300 x 600 pixels
  • 1200 x 628 pixels
  • 320 x 120 pixels

This is because ads in these sizes will be visible across all online networks, and will work on any device such as mobile, tablet or desktop. If ads are in  any other sizes, they risk appearing distorted, hidden or not shown on sites at all.

 

  1. Place your ads in correct places

Online advertising is all about where you put your ads. It’s no use having beautifully designed ads, if they are being shown in the wrong places, to the wrong audience, there really is no point. The SeeLocal network specifically chooses sites relevant to each campaign, and ensures ads are only shown to audiences with a genuine interest.

 

It’s also important that banner ads are placed above the fold of a site, i.e. in the first section, not requiring the user to scroll down to view. This is because, the majority of website users will not scroll further down, so the likelihood of your ad being seen is significantly less than if they were placed at the top of the page.

 

  1. Logo, Value and CTA

The three key things that NEED  to be on your ad, are your logo, clear indication of what you’re advertising ( including images) and a clear, creative call to action.

 

Your logo should clearly show your logo, and be designed with your branding in mind so it is recognisable to your customers. We recommend using images of your product, or using images of people, as these tend to get higher engagement. You also need to include your proposition, such as a special offer or trial in a clear position on the ad.

 

Finally, your call to action needs to be short, punchy and inviting. CTA’s are usually positioned inside a button, so that they become a focal point of the ad. We recommend avoiding phrases like ‘click here’- it’s overused, obvious and generally unexciting. Try to some up with something different, to draw customers in.

 

  1. Use clear fonts

It is advised that you avoid script fonts, i.e. any fonts that could be difficult to read at first glance. You want to keep your font as simple as possible, making it easy for users to read straight away. We also recommend keeping text down to a minimum of 3-4 lines, and having your headline and body text in different sizes for maximum impact.

For more information on banner ads, or if you’re interested in running a campaign with us, get in touch!