Ask almost anyone and they will tell you that ads annoy them. In fact, some advertising agencies will tell you that ads are supposed to annoy you, their job being to get your attention. But do they have to take that approach?
As a businessperson, do ads annoy you? How about standard television commercials, or those new ads that creep along the bottom of the screen in the middle of your favourite program, or the ones that stalk you when you are surfing the internet? On the face of it, you should be more accommodating, after all you probably advertise your company, or what you sell. But are you?
Netflix and other streaming services have become increasingly popular in part because they are free of advertising. But then, Super Bowl advertisements are fan favourites. So, perhaps it's not so much advertising that is unpopular but the advertisements themselves, or the way they are presented.
As a business you need to promote yourself in one way or another and if you use advertising, do you know whether it's working or not? Do people find it annoying or offensive? Is it making people more or less likely to do business with you? If you don't know the answers to these questions, your advertising may not only be a waste of money, but it could be alienating the very people you are trying to attract.
People don't hate advertising, they hate bad advertising. They hate intrusive advertising and advertising that insults their intelligence. So how do you create advertising that works, whether that's television, radio, print media, online or whatever?
Whether you are trying to build brand, or name awareness, or simply encouraging people to come to your retail outlet and check out your merchandise; here are 11 tips to give your outreach a better chance of success:
- Create a strong narrative – tell great stories.
- Make your ads content rich.
- Relate your message/story to your target market.
- Make your ads relatable to real life customer experiences.
- Use actual customers in your advertising. See next point.
- Be honest in your advertising; advertise with integrity. Prices from … rarely tells the whole truth.
- Avoid exaggeration and hyperbole (it's very doubtful your product will change someone's life forever!).
- Make your ads entertaining and accessible.
- Never underestimate the intelligence of your customers or prospective customers.
- Make your advertising educational (articles, tips, advice, how-to videos; useful apps etc.) Make yourself valuable.
- Demonstrate social awareness – let people know what your company stands for; its position regarding the local community, the environment, charitable giving.
An advertisement is only effective if people actually read, listen or watch it; otherwise it's just background noise at best and annoying and detrimental to your credibility at worst.
Do not develop your advertising campaign in isolation, reach out to real customers and use them to test market your advertising before launching it the world. Just because you like it, doesn't mean your customers will.