What Makes Advertising Effective?

August 8, 2022

What Makes Advertising Effective?

People are inundated with advertisements all day long. They hear ads on the radio, they see ads on TV, in print media, while streaming, and online. Companies need to filter out the noise in a world where advertisements are everywhere to understand what makes advertising effective. After all, companies use advertising to stand out from the crowd. 

Your Product or Service Must Stand Out From Your Competitors

Before jumping into an ad campaign, you must be confident that you're starting with a rock-solid product or service - one that is better than the competition, something no one else can offer. Each company, business, or entrepreneur must have a "Unique Selling Proposition," commonly referred to as a USP.

So What is a USP?

A USP tells the reader, listener, viewer, or niche audience to buy a product for a specific benefit. The product or service should be something they cannot get from anyone else, which means uniqueness. Finally, the proposition in the advertisement should ‘move the masses’. This means it should motivate previous customers to buy your product while attracting new customers. 

Here are some USPs that have been effective throughout the years:

  • FedEx – "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight."
  • WooCommerce: "The most customizable eCommerce platform for building your online business."
  • Domino's Pizza: We GUARANTEE – Fresh hot pizza, delivered in 30 minutes or less, or it's FREE!"
  • Best Buy: "Find a lower price, and we'll match it."
  • GEICO: "15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance."
  • M&M's: "Melt in your mouth, not in your hand."

Of course, your USP doesn't have to be a slogan, and your slogan doesn't have to be a USP. Maybe it's a specific product or offering that is unique to you. If you have trouble finding your USP, consider niching down to a particular audience you can specialize in.

The Audience

Imagine you are at a party, and your goal is to find someone you can connect to on some level. How would you go about doing this? For starters, you might look for someone with similar interests; maybe a sports jersey grabs your attention. If you don't see any dead giveaways, you'd need to start a conversation and ask about a person to try to make any real connection. Sure, you could talk about the weather or the color of the paint on the walls, but that's not bound to get you far. You need to know a little about someone to connect with them.

An advertiser is more like a DJ at a party. They can engage and make a connection with everyone at the party at once. But the same risks apply; without understanding their audience before they begin, they run the risk of alienating everyone at once.  

If you are an advertiser with a unique product, skill set, experience, or service, you need to make sure you reach a unique audience. Even national burger chains market to regional audiences in different ways, when they know what makes advertising effective.  

How do you know that your ads are reaching your audience? Well, that's a bit more complicated. At some point, you will need to place your ads, and that's where targeting comes in. Facebook and Google have a lot of advanced features for helping target your audience and can get good results from a small spend if you are willing to learn the ropes and keep up with the curveballs they'll inevitably throw your way. Whether you are a small advertiser looking to master Facebook and Google Ads, or you have a large budget and are looking for something more advanced, like programmatic display or over-the-top streaming ads, we can help you out. 

The Headline

Now that you have a USP and know your audience let's figure out how to combine the two into a headline. The headline is one of the essential parts of any advertising. Think about your time on social media or while going through a news feed. There are tons of stories and posts that are clamoring for your attention. How do you choose which one to read? The headline, of course!

The headline should grab their attention, but it also has to deliver. If the headline is clickbait, you will have many potential customers exiting the advertisement in frustration, which could ultimately cost you. 

The Benefits

Every potential customer wants you to answer one question: what's in it for them? This should be the core idea you build your advertisements around. What are the features of your product or service, and how do these features benefit the client?

For instance; if you are a bakery trying to get new clients with a new muffin you just released, it is not enough to say, "come on in and try our new banana pumpkin muffin." You need more. Why do I, the customer, need a banana pumpkin muffin? Does it taste good? Is it healthy? Low on calories? Is it cheap? Is there a discount? This time you need to be more than better than the muffins down the street - you need to justify your existence. 

Great Graphics / Copy

The copy must be excellent - whether your ad is in print, video, or voice. The graphics must be clear, crisp, and attractive whether your ad will appear in print, on screens, or video. Photos should both show the product and what the product has to offer. What will eating your new banana pumpkin muffin do for me? – show me a picture. Will I be happy? Refreshed? Has this helped me have a more productive morning?

The Call to Action

The Call to Action, or CTA, is one of the most critical parts of the ad. Sure, a muffin is nice. It looks attractive, the baker seems happy, and the shop is well maintained. If you have established why they need this muffin, now you need to show them how to get it right now. Tell the customer what to do:

  • "Click on the ad to learn more."
  • "Call (phone number) today to get more information."
  • "Sign up for our newsletter for the following benefits."
  • "Stop by our location today."

What Should You Do Now?

Now that you know what makes advertising effective and how vital good advertisements are to a business, you should learn more about our advertising agency in Pittsburgh! Visit us to learn more about what we can do for you and your business.

Written by Randy

© 2022 Twothirty Media

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