Advertising Best Practices
"Copy cannot create desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears, and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already-existing desires into a particular product. This is the copywriter's task: not to create this mass desire - but to channel and direct it."
Eugene Schwartz, Breakthrough Advertising (Boardroom 2004)
Often a client will ask me "what should we look out for, what should we avoid?" My verbal response to them hasn't been documented until now.
Function on Facts
Bright ideas and "big think" are always welcome in the advertising world - if they align with the facts.
Facts come from researching the audience, the channel, the current scene, etc.
If you find yourself saying "this might work, let's try this", there is an element of guesswork and assuming. Advertising takes no guesswork - it is strictly based on the data gathered from research and the vision the client wants to achieve.
There is an old equation in advertising: guesswork = money wasted.
If you imagine that is was your own business, and the next month of sales will determine if that business stays open - would you leave it up to guesswork?
Any attempt to sell in advertising is met with resistance. If the product or service solves the person's problem, they will buy it. A product that genuinely solves the problem, better than the competition, doesn't need to be sold via advertising. The advertising directs the person's attention to your solution to their problem, it doesn't sell them on it.
Focus the copy, the design, everything, on the problem, and how you brilliantly solve it.
Showcase people who say that your product solved the problem for them - use case studies and testimonials religiously.
"Spend more time with your family" sounds better than "$10 off Our digital calendar software to manage your schedule".
"Affordable, Powerful, Stylish" sounds better than "Buy the New iPhone SE".
Too many advertising campaigns are canceled before they mature. This is common in the entire ad space. A client will sign-up and in two-weeks, they don't quite see enough results, they get shakey, they get nervous - their job is on the line. It's understandable.
Advertising campaigns, especially with companies that haven't pursued real advertising before, require data, analytics, knowledge, responses, and so on, to determine any changes that can improve it.
Since professional advertisers operate strictly on fact, no changes are made until enough data is present to make an accurate judgment.
Allow this process. Let the advertisers do what they know works.
Offer Knowledge For Free
Apple offers free classes on how to do beginner to advanced operations on your Apple devices. You can go to any Apple store and attend these classes.
Educational information that helps the audience understand how to do something better, how to avoid something dangerous, or how to be better at a skill, all attribute to brand loyalty and opinion. It's best to not lock this knowledge behind a payment gateway.
Information is everywhere. A person can learn anything at any time using the internet. If you promote and offer that knowledge for free, they will learn it from you and not another company or a random forum. You have the opportunity to make that connection.
Offer it for free, create connections, improve their opinion of your company.
It is a win-win. If they consume knowledge from you, you also know that they are interested in that topic and you can show them appropriate ads relating to what they study from you.
Never Leave it Open Ended
Every ad, every landing page, every section of the website should direct the visitor's attention to something. There should always be a call-to-action. The ad should direct them to a page, the page should direct them to the benefits and it should ultimately lead to a sale or a lead. Don't be afraid to direct. The consumer is visiting the page to solve a problem. If you are confident that your product or service will solve that problem, direct them to the solution.
For instance: if you want to change how people perceive your company, make more sales, or get qualified leads, contact us.
Devin Manuel | VP Marketing