Advertising requires making your product appear appealing to a potential consumer. To be successful, you need to target the right consumer, get your ad in front of them, and make your product stand out. With a few key steps you can make a great advertisement for your product or service.
Part 1 of 3: Planning a Strategy
1. Target your audience.
Think about what kind of customer you want to attract and tailor your advertisement to that customer. Consider gender, age, education, and hobbies of your target group.
- Trying to reach everyone will spread your efforts thin. Choosing a specific target audience can maximize your advertising budget and get more efficient results.
- Pepsi’s “Choice of a New Generation” ads are a good example of targeting. Pepsi decided to focus on younger consumers so they created ads that explained Pepsi as the drink for a new, young generation.
2. Consider your competition.
Think about your competitors, what makes their product good or not so good. Then focus on what sets your product apart. This will help highlight the things that make your product or service special and strengthen your advantages.
- Think about Apple’s “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” advertisements. They make a clear argument about the difference between Macs and their competition and they make the consumer want to be a Mac person because of the difference.
3. Promote a consistent image.
Advertising helps customers easily identify your product and what makes it better, but advertisements have to present a consistent image and message for this to work. Make sure your ad builds on previous advertisements and promotes the message for your product that you want customers to know in the long run.
Part 2 of 3: Developing an Advertisement
1. Choose a type of advertisement.
Advertisements can take a variety of forms including:
- Electronic messages
- Print in publications or on outdoor surfaces
- Audio ads for radio or podcasts
- On-line videos or broadcast commercials
2. Write a headline.
The headline should capture attention and convey the main idea of the ad. If you are working on a video or audio advertisement begin with the major statement of the piece.
- Keep the headline short.
- Be creative, but be careful not to stray too far from a clear, core idea behind the ad.
- One example of a great advertising headline is Nike’s “Just Do It.” The line is short, and memorable, but it also conveys a clear message about fitness and sports behind the brand.
- Another great example is the DeBeer’s diamond company’s “A Diamond is Forever.” This line on DeBeer’s ads helped make the public see diamonds as the standard choice for engagement rings. It is simple, and clear, but it conveys a big idea about the product.
3. Work on the body or main text
Write the “body copy” for a print ad (the text that makes up the main part of the advertisement.) For an audio or video ad, work on the script.
- The main text will convey the whole idea of your ad, including what you are offering, what sets it apart, and how to get it.
- The copy should also remain concise. Balance detail with brevity to hold your audience’s interest.
- The “Got Milk?” ads show how important the main text of the ad can be. The ads featured a short clear headline, “Got Milk?” and great images (celebrities with milk mustaches,) but the ad copy explained the benefits of drinking milk.
4. Draw the graphics in your ad.
Include graphics for print and video ads to draw and hold audience attention.
- Sometimes the graphics make up most of the idea behind the ad. Absolut vodka used just the shape of their vodka bottle to catch attention in famous ads.
5. Create a layout.
Decide how to arrange the graphics, headline, and copy in a print ad. For a video, determine where graphics will appear in relation to the action on screen and the script.
6. Test your ad.
Try testing your advertisement out on a focus group, a small group of people in your target audience. Show the advertisement to the group and ask about their reactions.
- Do they understand the message in the ad?
- Do they find the way the ad looks appealing?
- Would they try the product or service?
- Would they tell a friend about the ad or product?
Part 3 of 3: Distributing Advertisements
1. Choose where to advertise.
Find out what your target audience likes to read, watch, and do for fun then place advertisements where they will be most likely to see them.
- Knowing your audience well will help you determine the best ways to distribute your ad.
2. Consider costs.
Take in to account the relative costs of different ways to advertise. Check with various media outlets to find out about ways to maximize your advertising dollars, such as special sections in print media.
3. Mix different methods
Different audiences learn differently and are receptive to different approaches. Use a variety of media to reach out to target groups and sell your product or service.
- Hand out flyers and brochures.
- Make a commercial.
- Advertise on billboards and on public transit.
- Utilize in-store displays where customers make purchase decisions.
- Advertise by email or social-media.