“Creative without strategy is called art. Creative with strategy is called advertising” – Jef I. Richards
Smart business owners know that advertising is much more than simply showing customers a product and expecting them to do the rest. Advertising takes research, critical thinking, testing, creativity, and perseverance. In the digital era, industry changes happen overnight, so you must always be ready to revise and revisit your advertising tactics. To master the ever-changing art of advertising, follow these concise dos and don’ts.
DO have specific goals in mind. Your advertising should always be centered around your goals. What is it that you hope to accomplish? Are you looking to boost sales? Announce a new product? Expand your email list? Identify what it is you wish to achieve and build from there. Each goal should be tied into a different campaign so that your message is clear and easy to follow.
DON’T advertise without a clear call-to-action. What is it that you want your potential customer to do after they interact with your advertising? Your advertising should include a clear call-to-action such as “shop now”, “subscribe”, “call today”, or “sign up”. You want your message to immediately illicit a response from a reader and motivate them to take action.
DO exercise creativity and take risks. Advertising is a science in that it takes theory, practice, and experimentation for results to be achieved. Don’t get discouraged if a campaign doesn’t necessarily do well on the first go. Use the results you get from one campaign to build upon another. It’s necessary to take risks to succeed – that is just part of the process. Allow yourself to be creative when developing your campaigns, so that you will spark interest and build a conversation about your product or service.
DON’T aimlessly follow industry trends. It is crucial for your business to stay current and innovative. However, blindly following industry trends that do not serve your business will do more harm than good. Before you set to adopting a new tactic, ask yourself: Does this align with my message? Does this trend fit my brand? Will my customers understand and appreciate this idea? If you can’t honestly answer yes to any of those questions, then it’s time to drop that idea and start fresh.
DO maintain consistency. While it’s important to be creative in your messaging, you must always stay true to who you are as a brand. What are the things that define you as a business? Think about the tone you want to set for your business. Use a uniform visual presence – your logo, brand, and company colors should remain the same throughout all of your campaigns. Ideally, you want a potential customer to take one look at your campaign and know immediately what brand is behind the advertisement.
DON’T be a follower. What works for one business may be completely different than what will work for yours. It is important to research your industry and competition, and be knowledgable about the latest marketing trends. However, you should never use someone else’s ideas as a blueprint for your business. Your advertising campaigns should stand out against the crowd, and you can’t do that if you’re doing the same thing as everyone else in your industry. Be a leader, not a follower.
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