Ninety percent of people searching for products and services haven’t come to closure about a particular brand before beginning their search.
That suggests that if you craft an appealing marketing and advertising strategy, one that speaks to the wants and needs of new customers and existing consumers alike, you may just be able to attract people to what you’re selling.
But how, exactly, do you craft a new ad strategy that engages and excites consumers?
Types of advertisements
With eCommerce dominating the selling space these days, it’s easy to forget that digital isn’t the only form of advertising out there. But the fact remains that there continue to be numerous marketing media, just as there are multiple means of selling products — including in person.
Whether you’re a retailer, a healthcare organization, or a pet salon, it’s important to understand the various tools and platforms available to you when you’re spearheading your advertising strategy. Which is the best way to get your message across to your target audience?
Often, your strategy incorporates a blend of the following media.
Despite the increase in focus on more technologically savvy advertising forms, radio remains one of the most cost-effective marketing platforms available. Because these ads only require audio, you won’t need to spend your budget on accompanying visuals. Some radio ads are simply read by on-air radio show personalities.
You will reach people on their daily commutes and be able to target local communities. In fact, if you’re trying to reach a certain geographic sphere, then radio is often a great means of doing so.
That said, there are some limitations. Because many people listen to the radio when they’re driving, it’s important to make your messages memorable — nobody’s stopping the car to write down the name of a great product. Plus, there’s the fact that many people are working remotely these days, which reduces the time they spend in the car.
Print is the most traditional form of advertising. It exists in several different spaces: magazines, newspapers, billboards, signs on trains, and so on.
The format seems simple enough, but given how many ads and vendors occupy the same space, marketing agencies need to devise ways of highlighting their presence and grabbing consumers’ attention.
Pithy taglines, striking and engaging copy, and attractive photographs, graphics, drawings, or other images are all important elements of print advertisements.
People still consume enormous amounts of content on TV — the format has simply changed. Rather than watching shows in real-time via a physical TV and cable connection, more viewers turn to stream platforms like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.
Unfortunately for marketing agencies, many platforms don’t have ads that interrupt programs or have options to pay for ad-free experiences. However, there are still opportunities for advertisers to promote their products and services. They may be able to sponsor shows, for example, or have their commercials play before or after the main content.
There are also events like the Super Bowl, where advertisers can reach enormous markets with short content.
The digital sphere is full of opportunities for advertising, both directly and indirectly, organically and inorganically. These are just some of the forms of digital advertising.
Websites are spaces for posting your business’ material, as well as that of other organizations. More and more companies are advertising via external websites that align with their field, mission, and values.
You can try out a range of media, such as banner ads, video ads, signs, and more.
Search engine marketing (SEM) is a type of paid digital advertising in which businesses pay to move their content up in the rankings of search results. Google Ads are one of the most popular forms of SEM. They help improve the visibility of organizations and their content, driving users to their websites and pages.
No ad campaign is complete without incorporating social media platforms into the fold. Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook ads are a critical part of your social media marketing strategy. Increasingly, newer platforms that have steadily gained popularity, such as TikTok, have also become marketing vehicles as well.
Social media advertising is an important way of reaching your target audience because you can appeal directly to your base — people with the characteristics, qualities, and demographics at whom your products and services are aimed.
Best advertisement strategies
Your comprehensive marketing strategy includes advertising. Depending on your business and your particular goals, it may comprise a larger or smaller portion of it. But no matter what, you should pay attention to and follow these steps.
1. Create user personas for your target audience.
Who is your audience? When conceptualizing your advertising campaigns, it’s critical to always keep your target users in mind and create content that appeals to them and their particular needs.
In order to access the unique identities of your consumer base, create user personas. Who are these individuals? What do they like? What do they dislike? What makes them tick? What’s missing in their day-to-day lives — and how will your product resolve those needs?
2. Incorporate a blend of media.
No advertising strategy can rely solely on one form of media. While the exact blend depends on your product, your business, and your potential customers, any successful campaign usually incorporates digital, print, and other media, such as television and/or radio.
Consider how you will best reach your target audience. To do so, you will need to reference your user personas and think about how you can grab their attention. Do they spend a lot of time on social media? If so, that’s the arena where you want to spend the most time (and money). Or, maybe they are regular commuters who are frequently in the car, meaning you should think about the radio. Perhaps they love podcasts — another place to target your advertising efforts.
The point is, you shouldn’t rely exclusively on digital overprint or vice versa. You should also pay attention to the many channels available to you because overlooking anyone could be problematic for your brand.
3. Consider the end goal and CTA.
What are you hope to achieve with your advertising campaigns? Purchases could be the main goal, but they’re not necessarily the only positive outcome. Perhaps you want to gain more visitors or traffic to your website. Or maybe you would like to gather more leads.
Whatever the main purpose of your advertising efforts, this is something to pinpoint when you think about how to attract an audience. In fact, in some cases, you can even target the specific outcomes you want to achieve, such as through Facebook ads.
Think of everything that’s part of your image — your website, your social media accounts, your physical storefront (if you have one), and print materials — as a vehicle for advertising. Together, these elements contribute to the perception people have of you as a brand and can attract or repel consumers.
That’s why everything needs to be optimized. As part of your marketing strategy, think about search engine optimization (SEO), for example. This is a critical tool for ensuring that people find your brand and are prompted to learn about your products and services.
Additionally, think about how to make your marketing platforms more appealing and interactive. This is a way to ensure that they engage audiences. Would adding a pop-up here and there help? How about a chatbot? Be creative with your efforts, and align them with the main mission of your brand.
5. Think about organic vs. paid advertising.
Blog posts, webinars, podcasts, infographics, and video content don’t seem like advertising, but in many ways, they do contribute to your overall advertising strategy.
This is where it’s important to think about the distinction between organic and paid advertising. These are both important pieces of the puzzle.
Content marketing is an essential part of organic marketing. It’s critical for building up your brand and grabbing the attention of your current and prospective audience. It also establishes a sense of trust and makes you an authority in your area of expertise.
Paid advertising is important, too. These efforts have specific, intentional outcomes and are more direct, in that the hope, usually, is that they will lead to sales.
When formulating your strategy, reflect on how much time and money you should invest in these two overarching groups in your marketing campaigns.
6. Evaluate your results.
Advertising campaigns don’t end with deployment. In today’s world of big data, you have access to an enormous amount of information — so use it! Analyze the results of your efforts, including how many people you reached, click-through rates (CTRs), traffic to landing pages and websites, and other metrics that will give you information about how well your ads performed.
This isn’t synonymous with the number of customers you attained or purchases they made, although those, too, contribute valuable data. Generating publicity and attention is also valuable information that will help you with your future efforts.
Our ranking of the best ads
Draw ketchup. It seems like a simple enough task.
In this ad, when prompted to do just that, consumers featured from around the world universally draw a bottle of Heinz ketchup. The message is clear: overwhelmingly, Heinz is synonymous with the product it sells.
Employing a minimalist approach, in this print ad, National Park Rescue sends a clear, straightforward message. Despite being jarring, the image is visually appealing and draws the viewer in, prompting them to take notice and be more aware.
AD: Amazon´s Alexa
Combining humor with tongue-in-cheek messaging and celebrity appeal, this advertisement for Amazon’s Alexa is surprising, fun, and engaging. While not everybody has the budget for a cameo by Michael B. Jordan, the ad does prove that brand representatives can take your marketing up a notch.
Dove is well-known for its campaigns focusing on body positivity and inclusivity. Here, the beauty brand depicts the “reverse” aging process as part of its #TheSelfieTalk campaign and Self-Esteem Project. There is no direct advertising of Dove’s products; instead, it focuses on driving home its mission and values and prompting conversations about unrealistic beauty standards.
Through a voiceover by Kermit the Frog, Adidas focuses on promoting values, rather than directly attempting to advertise its products. The campaign for respecting the environment also features cameos by Stan Smith and Yoda.
AD: Mc Donald´s
In the early months of the pandemic, advertising agencies and business owners around the world were scrambling to find ways to retain customers and gain new ones — despite the fact that most people were under lockdown orders. In the UK, McDonald’s decided to embrace the state of the world and appeal to consumers’ direct needs at the time. This simple design empathized with people and presented a solution to their most urgent problems.
This ad dominated the Super Bowl with its charm. Featuring cameos by Timothée Chalamet and Winona Ryder, it spoofs the cult classic Edward Scissorhands and makes the appeal of a hands-free Cadillac all the more obvious.
GEICO is no stranger to superb advertisements. This one features a cameo by Lisa Loeb, a 90s icon, and combines humor — having an audience critique one of Loeb’s greatest hits, modified for GEICO — with nostalgia and celebrity presence.
A helmet is always a good idea — and the Danish Road Safety Council makes that clear with this important PCA. Blending humor with real advice, the ad hearkens back to historical times and engages the audience. As a result, the ad went viral around the globe.
What do they have in common?
These ads are all very different, but they do share some elements that make them successful. Many are focused on conveying their mission and values, in some cases without even pitching their products and services.
They also engage consumers with real-life scenarios. Clearly, they intend to appeal to their target demographics to build greater brand awareness. They also include a subtle or not-so-subtle call to action.
A careful blend of creative copywriting and compelling imagery makes these ads appealing to a wide variety of audiences, who will remember the messages and the brand behind them.
With so much competition in the ad space today, whether in the print or digital marketing sphere, agencies must employ innovative — and even, at times, shocking — approach to making themselves stand out in the space. These ads demonstrate how success happens.