You want compelling advertisements that drive hordes of traffic to your website that converts to sales, am I right?
Advertising that “gets the click” can translate into business growth and revenue.
But how are you supposed to improve your advertising and where should you even look for ideas?
One place to look is commercial advertising. Magazines, televised commercials and infomercials, world-recognized brands’ online advertisements and even the radio are all a goldmine for advertising inspiration.
Advertising Online – Watch the Pros
This isn’t a license to go out ripping off everyone’s advertisements. What I’m suggesting is that if you’re not savvy with wording, colors, layouts, or making creatives in general then fear not. You don’t have to be a revolutionary thinker.
Master the basics by learning from others. Study the ads you see in your Facebook sidebar or the wording used in ads scattered around your email inbox. I’ve even gone mining for inspiration at Graphic Mania and came away with some creative “aha” moments.
You also can scan Adage.com and Creativity-Online.com for a collection of some of the craftiest advertising out there. The only downside is after viewing a few ads on Creativity-Online, they start pushing for paid membership before you can see more detail.
Also try flipping advertising on itself by watching a TV commercial and critique it based on:
- Types of imagery
- Layout of graphics and text
- Calls to action: How many? What kind?
- Emotional triggers: Which ones?
- Social networks the advertiser uses
- Tone of voice
- Colors they use to entice
- Real-world benefits to the buyer
Listen and watch closely at what the advertisement pushes. Are they selling benefits or are they just giving you a bullet list of bells and whistles? If the advertiser is on their game, they’re conveying the benefits of their products and services.
When you’re just starting out and clueless you’ll want to experiment with ads similar to the pros. After all, a well-known brand with a deep advertising budget has likely poured substantial market research (and dollars) into their ad campaign. We’d be fools not to riff off what works.
Take a look at this Nike page and scroll below the fold at the apparel category buttons. The simplicity and strong, direct copy written in their rectangular buttons are inspiring. They don’t have to say much because they did a great job blending compelling imagery and text.
Try Innovative Advertising
Studying the pros for guidance can save you advertising dollars if you’re at a loss for ideas. The logic is, if you follow what works then at least you’re building on solid ground.
But thinking outside the advertising box is certainly worthwhile. Feel free to experiment with different colors, voice inflection, strong calls to action, or even weaving client testimonials into an advertisement.
Do most of your competitors advertise online? Try marketing offline with direct mail pieces (see Nextmark).
Are other advertisers in your space using the same old and tired text-only advertising? Create a short video slideshow to pitch your product or be brave and get in front of the camera.
If you sell a physical product, solicit some of your buyers to film themselves happily using (or in possession of) your product. Then, after you get their consent, create a video mashup of those buyers. Just remember not to put out over-hyped, over-promised or misleading ads because all you have is your credibility.
Once your credibility is shot, you’re back to serving tables.
Try to keep your ads direct and use the language of your buyers. This will resonate with them and make them say, “hey, Company XYZ sounds like they know exactly what I’m feeling and think. They get me.”
You don’t have to go this alone. Growing your business with punchy advertising can be as easy as studying the market around you. Find reputable businesses and advertisements that appeal to you or your target market and take notes. Listen intently and watch how the winners in your industry are capturing leads.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Have you already been spying on industry leaders to enhance your advertising?