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.