By: Madison Adams
Director of Paid Media
How to Make Advertising More Effective
Whether you are looking to revamp your advertising strategy for the holidays or if you are thinking about 2019 – it is that time of year where a lot of us are rethinking advertising techniques, working towards an end of year profitability goal, or simply trying to come up with a more effective strategy. The question to ask is, what makes for effective advertising? It depends on your goal, of course, but it is essentially reaching the right customer base and convincing them to make some sort of action. For e-commerce retailers specifically, reaching the right customer base and giving them an online shopping experience that wins their business is crucial (especially during these last few months of the year).
What is a USP?
So, you want to make your advertising more effective, but where do you even start? Go back to the basics and dig in to what makes your business unique. What is your USP? A USP is your unique selling point – something that makes your company worth buying from over another. When rethinking your USP, you should also ensure you are targeting the right audience. Things are more competitive than ever before, so it is extra important to 1) truly understand what makes your business special and 2) know who your target customers are & what they are looking for. Often times this might involve going back to your buyer or audience personas to refresh your thoughts a bit. All of this might sound very simple, but taking the time re-determine your USP, who you are targeting, and why are they buying will pay off in the end.
Refresh your Advertising Messaging
Even if you have a solid USP and have nailed down your target audience, it can still be hard to stand out from the competition, which is one of the main goals in effective advertising. This is where personalization and customization can come in to play. The more specific your targeting audience, the more you can customize messaging. This doesn’t always mean a dynamic ad, but can simply mean ad messaging that shows you know your audience and what they want. Make sure your headline is personalized to the pain point that your audience is feeling, even if it isn’t specifically spelled out in their search.
For example, someone is searching for “holiday gifts” likely means they don’t have a certain gift in mind and they need some help finding a creative gift. Your competitor’s headline reads ‘Holiday Gift Ideas | 2018 Holiday Gifts’ but your headline reads ‘Uncommon Holiday Gifts | Hate Boring Gifts? Us Too’ – by knowing that your target audience is the type that wants something fun and creative, you can personalize your messaging to their needs. You might not always have a situation where your target audience is so specific that your messaging is able to touch on these personalized needs, but you can at least be clever and write messaging in a way that your target audience would respond to.
Try a New Advertising Medium or Channel
Maybe you feel like you have revamped and refreshed your paid search campaigns so many times there isn’t much else you can do…try hitting your audience with a different type of ad or on a different channel! You likely need ads that earn your customers’ attention better and that they actually enjoy seeing, another key aspect in effective advertising.
If you haven’t tried it already, give high-quality, entertaining video ads a try (or even if you have tried it, give it another shot ?). And yes, trying to force potential customers to pay attention to your video can be extremely difficult, especially when there are so many other demands for their attention and money. The best video ads hook the user in the first few seconds by creating a fun, engaging experience but should still ultimately make the user want to buy the product.
Perhaps you don’t think your target audience frequents YouTube or doesn’t watch videos online. My answer to that is – you would be surprised. Your ideal customer might not sit on YouTube watching videos all day, but they likely still consume video content in one way or another. It is those users that are out there searching for specific videos online that are most likely to convert, because they are the ones paying the most attention to the video content and thus the ad content as well.
If you don’t have the resources or want to produce video ads, try entertaining or catchy imagery across paid social platforms. There is also a new feature in Facebook ads manager that allows you to create a “video” using images and text, so you can essentially produce your own. Bottom line, you shouldn’t have to completely rework your entire advertising strategy to add in some new formats or channels.
Take the Steps
All of us need to take these steps (probably more often than we do) to re-evaluate, reset, and refresh our digital advertising. Going back to the basics, determining your USP, and updating messaging & ad formats are only a few steps to take to achieve more effective advertising. Make it a goal to check at least a couple of these off before the end of the year!