How to Create an Unforgettable Advertisement in 12 Steps
Creating an effective advertisement can seem like a daunting task, but it’s doable if you take it step-by-step. Here’s a guide to mastering the process:
- Choose your target audience. When working on a memorable ad, it’s important to ensure that it targets potential customers. Targeting custom audiences allows you to develop the proper marketing strategy by zeroing in on the optimal ad design, messaging, and platform.
- Conduct market research. To get a sense of your target audience, it’s important to conduct market research to develop proper campaign objectives. This research will answer essential questions about your audience like: What is their income? What are their interests? How old are they? Do they have children? Where do they live? What social media platforms do they use?
- Choose your platform and ad format. Once you’ve done market research, it’s time to select ad platforms and ad formats that engage your target audience. Social media, television, radio, podcasts, newspapers, and search engines are all arenas for advertising. In addition to knowing your target audience, you’ll want to research the cost of various platforms and formats—print ads, video ads, and audio ads are all priced differently. If you’re a new small business with a limited budget, it’s possible you may only be able to afford a print ad in a local newspaper. If you’re an established international brand, you may have the financial means to do both television ads and a social media marketing campaign.
- Decide whether you’re building brand awareness or product awareness. Where one-off ads are primarily designed to highlight a specific seasonal product, the intention of campaigns is to create long-term brand affinity with a narrative, aesthetic, or intention that stretches for sometimes years. Campaigns are where you see characters develop over time, meaning they extend beyond commercials and into popular culture.
- Craft a memorable message. When crafting your message, one of the first things you want to do is make it memorable so that it stands out from your competition. One way to ensure that your ad grabs attention is to highlight a unique benefit of your product that your competition doesn’t offer.
- Gather creative assets. Now it’s time to decide what types of creative assets you need. Regardless of the medium, you’ll likely need promotional ad copy. Short copy is generally used for image ads, print ads, and Internet landing pages; long copy is typically required for video ads. Online and print ads may also require custom images and, in the case of the former, animated gifs. Typically you’ll hire a graphic designer to work with your own images or stock photos.
- Create custom videos. For online or TV ads, you may be able to generate videos using your in-house team of content creators, but it’s also common to hire outside resources to help produce content, too. It’s important to make sure your asset’s specifications properly fit the specs of your platform, e.g. if your platform is online video then you’d want to check that your video maker is exporting your video in the proper format, size, and aspect ratio for that platform.
- Use striking visuals. As with a memorable message, striking visuals help your ad grab attention. Plain looking text on a dull background isn’t going to catch people’s eyes as effectively as exciting graphics and captivating video footage. Use all the design tools in your arsenal to add visuals that pop to your ads. Fun, vibrant color schemes and unique typography are common ways to achieve this.
- Include a call to action. Make sure your assets contain a call to action (CTA) so that potential customers have more to do than just view your ad. Persuade your target audience to do things like click through to a brand’s website, order a product, or subscribe to a mailing list. Your CTA should use enticing, persuasive language in order to give people extra motivation to follow through.
- Include relevant information. Depending on the intent of the ad, you may want to include essential information about the product, service, or event. For example, if you create the most visually stimulating concert ad ever but fail to include the date and location of the event, it will be useless to whoever views it.
- Develop a tracking system. It’s important that all business owners—especially those launching a new product—have a system set in place to track how their ads perform. Many online advertising platforms already have a data tracking system in place where you can keep tabs on your ad’s conversion rates and engagement statistics.
- Analyze ad data and make changes. After you’ve launched your ad, use your tracking system to analyze your data and make changes that you can apply to your next ad campaign. These tweaks will allow you to continually improve your company’s advertising strategy so that you don’t have to start from scratch every time like it’s your first ad campaign.
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