You don’t have to watch American period drama Mad Men to know that advertising is a tricky business.
You don’t have to watch American period drama Mad Men to know that advertising is a tricky business. Successful campaigns usually have a ton of funding behind them — only that agencies and companies didn’t actually know for sure if the campaign would be successful when they signed the cheque.
It’s a lot of risk. For big companies, advertising is worth millions, and even for smaller companies, it’s usually a big percentage of company revenue. The chance of failure is always high since no one can predict exactly how consumers will react. Visit mindpun.com to learn more guides on marketing your small business.
It’s a big risk, but when done right, it comes with huge rewards. After all, advertising is the best and arguably, the only way to reach out to consumers and engage potential customers directly. So how does one come up with a marketing strategy with the highest probability of success? Here are four dos and don’ts to help you along.
#1 DO: Keep up with the trends
If you want the target audience to care about your ad campaign, you need to be relevant to them. One way to stay relevant is to ride on current trends; be it a funny meme, a new social platform, or buzzworthy news that has everyone riled up.
The good thing about trends is that interest from your audience is organic. In other words, your audience isn’t being force-fed information. Instead, they’re naturally interested in what’s going on. If your marketing strategy is able to accommodate and align with this natural interest, it makes your job of generating desire for your service or product much easier.
That said, the downside to trends is that they come and go. So. Quickly. In today’s fast-paced media world and 24-hour news cycle, what works on one day might not work as well on the next. Releasing your campaign just a day late might mean a missed opportunity at generating a lot of profit.
As such, you should stay on your toes and keep up with the trends. Look at social media, use SEO tools to see what people are searching for, and study data to see what headlines are soaring. You may choose to use a local SEO service, such as Online Advantages, to help give your business higher visibility by driving your company website to the top of the search engine results pages. On top of that, do keep in mind your industry trends as well. Take cues from your competition from both their successes and failures. Think and move fast, and you can make the trends work for you.
#2 DO: Be diligent in market research
Ask any marketing professional what’s the key to success in any campaign, and they’ll tell you it’s research. After all, you can’t know if something will work based on assumptions alone, regardless of your experience and skill. It’s the same with science — without research, you won’t have data to back up your ideas.
It’s important to do research in two main areas. First, product research. Simply put, it’s research to show if your product is even worth selling in the first place and if you need to make any changes to the price or the place where you’re selling it. Advertising can only do so much to increase awareness of your product, but ultimately it’s the product itself that will determine if it’s a huge success or not.
The second area of research is audience research. It’s so easy to get swept up in all the creative ideas and technicalities of an ad campaign, that people tend to forget who they are doing the campaign for. It’s a rookie mistake to think of only what you like and what you prefer, instead of what your audience will want to see.
As such, take some time to do audience research before starting out on any campaign. Establish a demographic you want to reach out to based on factors like age, occupation, income, and the like. Then test your ideas with members of this demographic, gather data and tweak your campaign to match their preferences.
#3 DON’T: Fall back on shady marketing tactics
Putting it biblically, shady marketing tactics are like the forbidden fruit in the garden of advertising. These are your hooks like clickbait, use of fine print, and misleading headlines — basically, anything that over-promises and under-delivers.
Admittedly, these look good and effective on the outside. Which customer wouldn’t turn their head at “100% Cashback” or “Guaranteed 10-Pound Weight Loss”? However, unless your product truly delivers and does what it says, customers will catch on. They’ll realize that these flashy headlines are there only to grab attention, and will start tuning out your business altogether.
Not only will they tune out your business, but they’ll also attach a label on it and associate your brand with dishonesty and low credibility. That’s not good news if you want things like brand loyalty which will spur company growth in the long run.
Instead of these shady marketing tactics that rely on dubious hooks, the hero is quality content. Sure, at first glance, content that’s honest sometimes looks unassuming, but if the product brings real benefit to consumers and the campaign is thoughtful and relatable, the results will show. You’ll gain new customers, along with their trust and free word-of-mouth marketing from happy consumers, too.
#4 DON’T: Be afraid to fail
Truth be told, most companies are perfectly fine with mediocre ad campaigns. Now, these aren’t bad campaigns — they’re polished, professional and do the job of creating awareness about a product.
However, assuming the product isn’t one that sells itself, you need more than an average ad campaign to truly thrive and get remarkable results. You need to think out-of-box for something creative that will reach your audience. Something that sets you apart from the competition. Something inspired that will resonate with the audience.
The best ads tend to be really good entertainment that’s either funny or heartwarming, and at the same time persuasive in its messaging. So be bold to suggest that idea you have, as that’s the first step to a truly great campaign that’s a cut above the rest.
In light of that, note that testing your ads is still paramount to success. In the process of developing your great idea, test and tweak it as it comes to life. As lofty as your campaign ideas are, make sure you consistently bring it down to earth.
As you can tell from these four marketing tips, balance is key to get your strategy right. Be brave and at the same time, be grounded in research and reality, and you’re well on your way to creating a successful ad campaign. However, if you find that you don’t have the time to plan your own campaign, we’d suggest hiring an ad agency; like those on Sortlist to help you out! They are professionals and will give you a higher chance of launching a successful campaign.
Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.