Tips to Creating An Effective Ad

It is important that business owners understand the basics of writing a good advertisement.

It can take a bit of trial and error (testing) to build an ad or ad campaign that really works, but following these tips can help you get the results that you’re hoping for.

What Makes You Stand Out From Your Competition?

People come in contact with advertisements from all types of businesses all the time.

So, what will make your potential customers buy your company’s product or service versus going with one of your competitors? That’s what you have to figure out and focus on with your advertisement. Show your potential customers why your business is their number one choice and why they shouldn’t even consider your competitors. Then, there is a good chance that they won’t.

What I am talking about here is commonly referred to in marketing circles as the “Unique Selling Proposition.” In his excellent book Reality in Advertising, author Rosser Reeves defines what a USP is:

  1. Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer-not just words, product puffery, or show-window advertising. Each advertisement must say to each reader: “Buy this product, for this specific benefit.”
  2. The proposition must be one the competition cannot or does not offer. It must be unique-either in the brand or in a claim the rest of that particular advertising area does not make.
  3. The proposition must be strong enough to move the masses, i.e., attract new customers as well as potential customers.

Here are some good examples of products with a clear USP from Wikipedia:

Please keep in mind that any USP is almost better than none, and that this can change and be refined later.

One more thing to keep in mind is that you do not have to be the only one doing something or delivering some product to include it in your USP. It can be something others are doing, but no one else is really promoting.

Use A Powerful Headline: Grab Their Attention

People scan things quickly. They come into contact with so many advertisements each day that they can’t possibly read each one. This is why you have to make sure that your advertisement actually grabs and keeps their attention.

The question you need to ask is “Who are your trying to attract? What would get their attention?”

Whether you’re offering an unbeatable price, a free trial, free shipping or a bundled package, going out of your way to provide your customers with a good deal will help you be successful.

Once you come up with your irresistible offer, make sure that you advertise it proudly. When people see that you have something great to offer them, they will have a difficult time resisting it.

Explaining the features of your products or services is important, but explaining the benefits for the customer is really what it’s all about. After all, people are more interested in what they get from your services than what you do. Make sense?

This is not complicated. Here’s what you do to figure this out:

  1. List out all your services (or products).
  2. For each one, list out everything that service (feature) does.
  3. Then, next list out what the result of each feature is – the benefit for the client.

For example, say you are a tax accountant. One feature of your service is that you have a website where clients can log in and access their tax documents 24/7. The huge benefit is that it saves time and inconvenience for the client.

Take Away Their Fear: Make Your Offer As Risk-Free As Possible

People are nervous about spending their money. There are too many scammers and low-quality products out there. People worry that they’ll be wasting their hard-earned cash when it comes to many products and services.

If people fear that they’re going to lose their money and regret their purchase, they are unlikely to purchase your product. But, if you remove these doubts, people are given an incentive to give your product or service a try.

So it’s a great idea to offer a risk-free guarantee. Knowing there is no risk and that they don’t have anything to lose by purchasing your product or service, is a powerful purchasing inducement. This “reverses” the risk and places some of it on the seller. This is called “risk reversal.”

If potential customers know that they can get their money back if they aren’t satisfied, they’ll be less concerned about wasting cash and will be more likely to give it a try.

Plus, a lot of people instantly feel better about a product if the company is willing to stand behind it. It shows that your product is worthwhile and that you aren’t afraid to back it up with a risk-free guarantee.

Make it seem urgent. Give them a reason to buy now.

You don’t want to just plant the seed with your ads, you want people to move forward and do something about your offer NOW.

When people see an ad and think about giving a company a try later, they might actually mean to do so. But, people most often move on with their lives and forget all about the ad and the product that they might have been interested in. Therefore, you have to encourage people to act now rather than later.

You can create this urgency in any number of ways.

For example, you can make your irresistible offer time-limited. If people see that they only have a set amount of time, such as a few hours or days, to snag an unforgettable deal that they’re already pretty excited about, they will be more likely to make a move now than later. Many people assume that they’ll be able to get the same deal later on. But if they know that they can’t, they’ll be more likely to take the deal now.

That isn’t the only way of creating a sense of urgency. You can also bring in an upcoming season or event when your product will come in handy to make people buy now.

Regardless of how you might choose to do it, it’s important to let your potential clients know that NOW is the time to make a move.

Use Testimonials

One of the most important parts of creating an effective ad is building up trust and interest in your company.

Remember that people have a lot of concerns these days, particularly when they’re online. It is important to build trust in your business, its products and services so they know that your company is the right choice. You can do this by showing that others in the past have been pleased with their decision to buy from or work with you.

A great way to do this is by adding a testimonial or two to your ads from those who are satisfied with your company and its products.

Today, countless people rely on online reviews when shopping for new businesses, products and services.

People trust other consumers and want to know what they have to say about a company. You can’t make people look for online reviews about your business, but you can give them the same peace of mind by adding a testimonial from a current client who is pleased with what you have to offer. Seeing that other consumers who are just like them, are happy with your product can encourage potential clients to give you a try.

Use Exciting Graphics

Plain text on a plain background can be boring. People don’t always want to read everything that has been written in an ad or an article.

You can appeal to the visual interest that your clients have by adding exciting graphics to your advertisements.

For example, you can post a picture of what you have to offer, or you can post something that is going to grab attention. You can take the pictures yourself, or you can look for royalty-free, no-cost images online. Regardless, adding something visual will help draw more attention and interest to your company.

Complete Contact Information

You should use your ads to link people to your website for more information as part of the contact information. This is imperative for several reasons.

One, if people check out your site and are impressed with it, you have a better chance of turning them into real clients.

Secondly, you can track how your ads perform and what leads are generated on the website to get an idea of how well your campaign is working. So, if you are not achieving the results that you’re looking for, you will know where you need to make changes.