How do I know?
As a marketer, you get paid based on results. No one wants to hire a marketer that fails to show the proof in the pudding.
In order to be successful in this industry, you have to create excellence, and you have to know when something just won’t work before money is spent.
The fastest way to grow more clients is through word of mouth advertising.
And the fastest way for word to spread is by knocking the socks off your clients with your tenacity, work ethic, and results!
Just the other day I was handed an ad that was to be placed all over town in an effort to put butts in seats at an upcoming guest speaker event.
It took me about ten seconds of studying the image and copy in front of me, to realize that what I was looking at would never achieve the desired outcome.
The first thing that stood out was the absence of a strong CTA, or call to action. Every ad, flyer, pamphlet, or business card needs to act as a map that the viewer should follow in order to complete the next step in a process. In this case the process was getting as many people to attend an event as possible.
A great CTA will direct a prospect to take action!
Call a number, download a report, send an email, or secure a seat. The best way to ensure that action is taken, is to tell the reader exactly what you want them to do.
“Call this number”, “Email us at”, “Click here”, or “Download now!”
The second thing that I noticed was a mute image. When you design an ad that includes an image,you need to ensure that the image itself conveys a message. A great image will depict a feeling that an individual might have experienced and has lead them to seek out your services, product, or event.
I often talk about defining a group’s “pain point”. By pain point, I am referring to the problem that needs solving, or a broken system that needs to be fixed.
In the example of the ad I was looking over, the feeling was frustration. The speaker would be discussing specific scenarios in the work place that could lead to lack of communication, and overall failure to meet a common goal.
The picture on this ad was way off the mark!
When they say a picture is worth a thousand words, I like to think maybe five hundred, but the point still remains the same. It has to tell a story. If you choose to use an image in your advertising, you are really taking the viewers attention away from the text, so that picture better fill in the blanks!
If it doesn’t…the ad FAILS!
Now the third mistake in this ad was huge!
The copy, or text, didn’t really explain what the event was about. It laid out a vague description, but unless you were part of the planning committee, you would be left scratching your head, thinking to yourself “What exactly is this?”
It’s imperative that when you sit down to write an ad, you look through the eyes of the prospect or customer. Even though you may think what you just wrote sounds awesome, it may actually only makes sense to you!
Have 4 or 5 other sets of eyes read the ad, and then ask them to explain to you, in their own words, what the event, product, or service is about, and the problem it solves.
If they can’t do it accurately, and within 10 seconds, you need to hit the backspace button, and start from the beginning.
It doesn’t take advertising legend Claude Hopkins to tell you that if someone doesn’t understand what you are trying to say, they absolutely won’t take steps to complete the next action.
I always say write your ads like you were conveying a message to your mother. If she can understand it, you just might be on to something!
Then try it on friend’s mother, because your mom might hang the ad on the fridge…good or bad!
Love you mom!
While there are several elements that make up an awesome piece of advertising, I wanted to keep this post short, and convey the three I notice most often.
Now my call to action is as follows:
I want you to hit CTRL+P and print this post out.
Next, I want you to highlight the suggested changes with a yellow highlighter.
Finally, I want you to pin this bad boy next to your monitor, somewhere on the right side of the screen.
Every time you start the task of ad design, take a quick peek over the highlighted checks, and make sure they apply to your final product.
Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, if the information I provided helped you in any way.
My passion lies in the educating part of marketing. I love the technical stuff, but I really get excited when I see someone’s eyes light up because they learned something new from me, and were able to implement it with positive results!
Until next time, keep it real.
I hope you enjoyed reading my two cents on effective advertising!
Please feel free to share this post in an effort to help educate your friends.
You never know when someone might need it!