Did you know that some of the world’s most effective advertising campaigns started out as miserable failures? Tiny mistakes such as dull headlines and blurry images are often all it takes to bring down an otherwise immensely effective ad campaign.
If you’re an advertiser, it helps to take an artistic approach to your campaigns. Think of them as a piece of rock that needs to be turned into a beautiful statue. You chip off pieces of the rock one by one, exposing the shape beneath as you go.
After enough pieces have come off the block of stone, you’re left with the statue that you imagined. It was always there – it just needed to be exposed.
These eight simple tweaks from Custard Media can help you do the same – they allow you to iron away any mistakes and find the great advertising campaign lurking beneath.
Discard bland headlines for personalised alternatives
One of the best ways to kill an otherwise effective advertising campaign is to suck any remnant of personal appeal out of it. In practical terms, this can be a simple as replacing second-person pronouns with their third-person equivalents in copy.
Instead of using ‘he, she, and it,’ stick to personal pronouns like ‘you.’ The best way to keep your conversion rate high is to build a personal connection with your target customer. Nothing achieves this better than heavy use of second-person pronouns.
Avoid cliché, ‘professional looking’ images
The best advertisements don’t look like advertisements. Instead, they look like an interesting piece of information that simply catches your attention.
An example of stealth advertising is the advertorial – an editorial ‘review’ of a product that’s been the staple of direct magazine and newspaper advertising for years.
Part of the illusion of stealth advertising is the image. Instead of picking an image that’s professional, colour-balanced, and clean – three characteristics that tell every reader that they’re looking at an advertisement – choose images with poor framing, overly high contrast, and features that project the ‘amateur’ look.
If your copy features text links, avoid using unusual colours
Web users don’t want to be challenged, particularly when it comes to getting around your landing page. If you’re marketing a product with call-to-action text links, try to avoid using unusual fonts or colours that don’t typically appear as hyperlinks, like the ones in this sentence.
While changing your link colour may seem insignificant, research shows that it’s an effective way to increase your clickthrough rate and boost sales. A certain shade of blue with a 0022FF colour code has demonstrated a good clickthrough rate amongst direct marketers, making it the web’s de-facto choice for landing page links.
When in doubt, remove extra phrases and needless explanations
Many direct marketers believe that long copy is the best. They’re right. In almost all lead generation campaigns, longer landing pages perform better than short, prompt, and to-the-point sales pages do.
However, long copy and padded copy are different- a truth that many marketers fail to fully grasp.
Making your copy longer should never involve adding needless phrases, repeating useless information, or needlessly clarifying information that buyers don’t care all that much about. Instead, it should be simple and straightforward, focusing on the core features of your product or service and its most valuable benefits for users.
Say what you are going to say
Then say what you have said
One word- concise.
Create an authority image by using testimonials and endorsements
In the golden days of television advertising, marketers knew that a certain celebrity could make a bland product a success. Celebrity endorsements trade on the trust of a familiar face – but trust that in some cases, isn’t as warranted as it should be.
While celebrity endorsements are ideal for products that appeal to a mass market, a more effective option for industry-specific audiences is the testimonial. Use the trust of a leading name in your industry to prove that your product or service works and you’ll reduce friction and eliminate trust issues for potential customers.
Learn which colours offer the greatest advantage for your campaign
Yellow implies urgency, making it the colour of choice for warning signs that require your attention. Blue, on the other hand, projects an image of trust and dependability that makes it the perfect colour for banks, financial advisors, and insurance companies.
The colours that you use in your advertising will drastically influence how potential customers perceive you. Use the wrong colour in the wrong situation and you could compromise an otherwise effective advertising campaign. Use the right colour and you’ll have a winner of a campaign that generates huge profits for your business.
Think carefully about the type of emotions that you want to inspire in your potential customers and select colours that inspire them. Blue for trust, red for danger, green for nature, and pink for empathy – different colours can help your ads and landing pages strike a different emotional chord with your target audience.
Here are 10 colours that increase sales; do you want to come across as inviting and warm, or powerful? Choose a shade accordingly.
Use action phrases and words that sell
Richard Bayan’s legendary marketing book, Words That Sell, has been a source of inspiration for some of the world’s most prolific and successful advertisers. A full compendium of sales-ready phrases; it’s a must-have for modern marketers.
The words that you use in your advertising will have a huge effect on its success or failure. Just like personal pronouns can improve your connection with an audience, sales-focused verbs can inspire them to take real action and make a purchase.
Here are 186 power words for emotional selling.
Use every advertising impression as an opportunity to build your brand
While it might seem old-fashioned to put your phone number in a banner ad, doing so is a great way to improve the performance of your campaign. Likewise, adding a URL to your banner ads is a strange yet effective way to improve ad performance.
Both of these tweaks have one thing in common – they imprint valuable information about your business in the minds of your target customers. Flashing your URL might seem needless – after all, the user could just click on your banner – but it has a huge effect on the amount of direct, type-in traffic that your website will receive.
So there you have it- 8 simple tweaks to make your ads convert better. Have we missed anything? Please let us know by commenting below!
(Images courtesy of Shutterstock)
Written by Matt Fielding
Matt is Head of Search at Custard Media and blogs about SEO, social media and the wider world of online marketing. Follow him on Twitter at @MattFieldingSEO and on Google+.