As marketers, we spend a lot of time analyzing the details of every advertising campaign we see. But it never hurts to review the basics! Taking a look at how a campaign works can help generate new ideas and get your creativity flowing.
Whether it's traditional advertising or digital ads, the truth is that all advertising campaigns share a number of common characteristics. Let’s examine the 10 most important characteristics of effective advertising.
As consumers, we’ve all seen our fair share of ads that wow us, and ads that, well, flop. So what makes a good advertisement? There are 10 aspects that make for a strong ad or campaign. You can read all about them in this post, or head on over to our YouTube channel to watch our video on this topic! Let's begin!
At its core, advertising is a form of communication that aims to publicize a product or service and encourage sales. By nature, good advertising is promotional.
While some may refer to advertising as "propaganda", they are in fact two separate concepts. Propaganda seeks to influence a population's ideology and ways of thinking, while advertising focuses on influencing purchasing habits. A good advertisement is promotional in nature, though this promotion can be more or less subtle.
To achieve their main objective of increasing sales of a certain product or service, effective ads must convince consumers that the featured product or service is better than a similar offering from a competitor. Persuasive advertising assures that a product can solve a consumer’s need or improve their life in some way.
Advertising employs a variety of tactics such as appealing to consumers' emotions, winning their trust with authoritative arguments, or using logical reasons to justify the purchase of a product. Remember those lessons about ethos, pathos, and logos from high school? Effective advertising uses these tools all the time.
This can be seen in the campaigns that the diamond corporation, De Beers, has launched over the years in which they aim to convinced people that diamond rings are essential to an engagement.
Behind every campaign, there is a lot of strategic thinking involved. Advertising always aligns with a specific marketing objective that connects with the global interests of a brand or company. A strong advertising strategy should be framed within the general marketing plan, like in Nike's "Just Do It" campaign. This succinct tagline is memorable and fits with Nike's image as a brand that propels both professional and amature athletes to push to achieve their goals.
In the past, advertising relied on mass media such as radio and television to reach as wide of an audience as possible. Effective advertising in today’s world requires highly targeted and segmented audiences.
Every brand has a buyer persona or ideal customer profile they are trying to attract. The more focused your advertising is on a particular audience, the more effective it can be. The content of your ads should be specially designed to appeal to the wants and needs of your audience. Ads do not work well if they are not trying to appeal to a specific type of person.
Advertising campaigns require an investment of time, resources, and of course, money. Generally, the channel issuing the advertisements charges a certain amount in exchange for its dissemination.
A good ad campaign will increase the company's profits, and this should exceed the invested cost. To understand the relationship between costs, advertisers measure the campaign’s ROI (return on investment). A positive ROI indicates that the advertising campaign has been a success. One way to get a better idea of what will make a successful campaign is to A/B test your ads. This allows you to test different variables and variations of your advertisements and see what produces the best results.
It’s no secret that advertising suffers from market saturation. Consumers are exposed to hundreds of ads a day in different formats, and many don’t even pay attention to them. Therefore, effective advertising stands out from the competition by using unexpected formats and resources.
You can grab a user's attention by emphasizing the novelty of your product or service, offering a great deal, or doing something completely out of the box, like Coca-Cola's "Share a Coke" campaign. For this campaign, Coca-Cola replaced their logo with some of the most popular names in each of the markets where they sold their product. This campaign was relatively simple but at the same time hugely successful. They even expanded it during the holidays to include "names" like Santa.
Funny videos, shocking images, unforgettable speeches, catchy jingles, etc. Effective ads use creativity to stand out and make a brand immediately identifiable or memorable. The best creative ads manage to surprise users, encourage them to take action, and become instantly memorable, all while remaining faithful to the principles of the brand. A great example of this is Old Spice's viral ad campaign, "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like". This campaign successfully used humor to get the point across. Take a look!
Truly great ads stay consistent with the core of the brand and the values associated with it. Generally, a single ad can’t achieve this goal, especially in a saturated environment. Therefore, a key aspect of advertising is consistency.
Ideally, each consumer within the target audience should receive enough impact to remember the brand and its message, but not so much that it becomes annoying. It is also interesting to consider that impacts can be repeated through the same medium. For example, watching the same TV commercial several times or transmitting the same message by adapting it to different channels (cross channel or multichannel advertising).
Personalization is an increasingly important trend and it’s getting easier than ever. Truly effective ads are increasingly personalized to the characteristics and needs of a particular user. For example, you can use marketing automation to send emails with personalized content, like the one below from Sephora. These kinds of emails directly address your customers wants and needs and provide them with offers and information that is relevant to them. Remarketing is another great way to use personalized ads, especially for ecommerce or retail stores.
Customized experiences, offers, and interactions give brands the opportunity to build connections with their customers and build loyalty.
Because of its persuasive power, advertising should be controlled to prevent misleading information or unethical campaigns. While there are several public bodies that regulate the ethical aspect of advertising, it is also essential that advertisers and agencies take responsibility. In the end, honest advertising reflects the values of the advertiser, contributes to improving a brand's image, and is beneficial in the long run. If consumers feel that they can trust your brand and that your values align with theirs, they are much more likely to purchase from you, tell their network about your brand, and become loyal customers.
Below are some important metrics to help you monitor the success of your advertising campaigns. This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some key metrics to help get you started!
When it comes to paid traffic sources, some will always be more effective than others. It's up to you to figure out which ones work the best for your business! This often depends on where your audience spends time online.
You may already be familiar with click-through rate. It is the ratio of clicks to impressions for an ad campaign and is often used to measure the success of an ad campaign or an email marketing campaign.
This is the most important metric of your campaign because it tells you the percentage of users who completed a certain action on your website. The action can be anything from filling out a form to signing up for a free trial of your product or service. Conversion rate optimization is also something that can be worked on to improve results.
Retention rate measures how many of your customers you have managed to retain over a certain period of time. It typically equates to a person or company using your product or service more than once a day, week, month, etc.
Lastly, we have social media metrics. Social media is one of the most important tools for brands when it comes to running ad campaigns. Indicators like the number of shares, views, likes, comments, and so on help you understand how your ad campaign is performing.