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.
Some may say that email marketing is a thing of the past, but this is not necessarily the case. With approximately 2.5 billion email users worldwide, a staggering 33% of the population using email regularly email marketing is far from out. It is still a very popular method of online advertising.
However, email marketing can be tricky to get right. It’s easy to spam your audience with 3 plus emails per day, but the chances of generating any positive result from this is slim. People don’t want information pushed onto them, they want to be gently informed, or you run the risk of being blocked by many of the existing and emerging ad blockers.
Below are a few tips and tricks to get the most out of your email marketing campaign…
- Send emails with a clear goal in mind. It is vital that you know what you want to achieve, use content that reflects this and get your timing right to ensure maximum impact from your campaign.
- Don’t spam. Only send emails when they will make an impact, and only ever use email addresses that have been given to you by the user them self. It is also important to include clear contact details for your company, and a clear and easy way to unsubscribe from your emails if users wish to do so. You want to show your users that you are a genuine, respectful company, not drive them away by creating untrustworthy content and sending too many emails in a short amount of time.
- Automate your outreach process. Make things easy for yourself, by scheduling emails to be sent at certain times, so you can carefully plan what you want to say and when, rather than panicking and leaving it to the last minute resulting in poor quality emails that will have less of an impact.
- Keep it interesting! Try not to repeat the same old pushy emails, think of exciting things happening within your company or industry and inform your customers about them. If they are engaging and informative about interesting events or issues arising in the industry, they are more likely to read and be enjoyed by users, rather than deleted or moved to the spam folder.
- Personalise. There are many email marketing tools available that allow you to personalise your list depending on the behaviours, interests ad demographics of your customers. For example, finding out why certain users have visited your website can really help in then sending emails that will be useful to them if they were looking for a certain product or service that you are able to provide. Ensure to use names as much as possible, and take note of the time and location you are sending in, make reference to an event happening or a particular time of the year, Christmas for example.
- Call To Action. Your readers need to know what you want to achieve from sending them these emails. Do you want them to visit your website? If so, include the link, and tell them to click on it. Are you promoting a new product? Include the link to buy it, make it easy for your readers to see exactly what you want to achieve from the email.
- Compatibility with all devices. Research has shown that most people access their emails through a mobile device most of the time, so what use is an email that is only available on desktop? Test your emails out before sending, to check that they are as effective and readable on mobile devices as they are on desktop, otherwise you are losing a huge majority of readers simply because the content is not clear on their preferred device.
- Track and monitor the process. Keep a note of how your emails perform in terms of clicks and conversions. The only way to improve is to keep trying, so if something doesn’t work as well as you had planned, analyse why that was and make changes for the next time. Equally, if something works better than expected, analyse why that is too, and implement these factors into future campaigns.
- Never send without proof reading. Read it, read it again , get someone else to read it and then read it out loud. You can never be too careful when it comes to proofreading. Errors show sloppiness, which is not something you want to be conveying to potential customers. Content always sounds different when reading out loud, and often you can spot mistakes easier. Getting someone else who has not written the content to read it is also a good routine to get into, as they are likely to spot things you’ve not noticed, or reinforce doubts you may have had about the grammar or words used. If they point out something you also noticed, change it because most likely, your readers will notice too.
You may not even realise it, but call to action marketing is all around you. The main purpose both digitally and in print advertising, is to get users to complete an action using enticing, intriguing advertisements, to guide the user through the desired process.
Each sign up you’ve done over the years, more than likely came from effective Call to Action Marketing. Users are guided towards the desired action, perhaps it’s a free trial or sign up form, using design on advertisements or websites that focus on the task in hand.
The entire goal, is to get users to complete the final action, in order for the company to gain members through a free trial, or to obtain contact details by filling out a contact form. The action needs to be short and simple, so that the user does not have time to change their mind about completing the desired action, they need to respond directly, straight away.
Since the shift from print marketing to digital marketing, CTA has become much less cluttered over the years, as people begin to grow in confidence with digital.
For example, CTA marketing is often seen within print magazines, requiring the reader to fill in a form by hand, and post in to an address in order to receive a free copy. These advertisements are often cluttered, and therefore don’t generally generate high response rates, as readers are not drawn to huge amounts of text on a page. Digital CTA marketing techniques are able to say much more, with much fewer text, often it is simple in the way the content is put together that makes the CTA clear to the user. Effective CTA marketing techniques tend to be simple in design, with a real focus on the button or link that is the key to the action. These need to be the centre of the ad or webpage, to be the main area that the user’s eye is draw to, in order to encourage as many people to sign up as possible. If the button or link isn’t clear, how can you expect as many people to complete the action if they are drawn to other areas on your ad or webpage?
At SeeLocal, we can design bespoke ads and website pages, to ensure your calls to action are clear, visible and intriguing to your customers. Contact us now for more information.