6 DOs & DON’Ts for Building an Effective Ad

By Amanda Bala

Advertising is often times a key tactic in growing a business, especially a business-to-consumer business. You know that. However, what you might not know is that not all ads are effective. When investing time, effort and money into your ad, you want to make sure that you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.  Here are a few do and don’ts to know when looking at advertising.

Do:  Choose targeted media. Ad spaces can be very expensive.  So make sure that you are advertising where your target audience will find you.  Don’t go for a specific newspaper or magazine just because they are the biggest or most popular. You need to advertise where your potential customers are. Choose the correct ad size as well. If you have a small budget, don’t advertise the smallest size ad. Chances are no one will see it. You are better off using that money for more effective and less expensive marketing tactics.

Don’t:  Put too much detail in your ad.  Some business owners feel that they need to put every single piece of information about their company and what they do in their ad.  They literally throw everything but the kitchen sink into the ad. Don’t do this. You do not need to fill every available space with information.  All this does is make the ad look too busy and completely loses your message. No one will read through all that information.  You have 2-3 seconds to get your message across. Make it short, sweet and to the point. 

Do:  Have a headline.  A headline or call to action (a coupon, a special deal, etc) grabs a reader’s attention.  It shows them right away what you are offering.  Keep the information focused and to the point without being wordy. 

Don’t:  Lose credibility.  By creating ads that do not grab attention, are not attractive or simply bore the consumer, you are losing credibility for your company.  If you tout that your company offers a quality product or service but your ad is of low quality and unattractive… People will associate that low quality with your business.  Make sure your ads reflect what your business stands for. 

Do: Add a picture or an image.  You want some sort of picture, image or design element that is associated with your brand.  Keep this consistent throughout your ads.  You want to get to the point where consumers see the image or design and immediately think of your company. 

Don’t advertise just one time. Advertising takes frequency. Do not advertise once and expect results. You will be disappointed. It takes seeing an ad 7-12 times for people to recall it.

Advertising certainly can be tricky, but it can also be fun. Get to the point and give consumers what they are looking for.  You will see returns and not throw your money into wasted ad space.

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