Make no mistake. There’s plenty of misconceptions out there about what advertising’s all about. No matter your medium, getting the word out about your brand requires a little gumption and understanding how it all works. This is something we actually can help with at Speedlancer in terms of copy, design, writing and so on!
But let’s clear up a few things. Even if you think you understand some of the main tenants of advertising, chances are likely that you need to step back and clear up a few misunderstandings. Here’s some of the biggest misunderstandings you have and what you need to know.
It’s All About the Brand
How many times have you heard this one? Advertising and getting the word out about your products is all about your brand. Brand with a capital B. Pick up any budget marketing book off the shelf and chances are that you’ll get 100 pages about why your brand is your only priority.
Let’s get this out of the way. Your brand is key. Your brand is your company’s identity. But focusing just on your company’s brand just might be the worst thing you can do.
Focus on what your company/product can do. While bigger companies like Apple and Mars have the ability to focus less on product and more on reminding customers about what their brand’s identity is thanks to their ubiquity in the market, you’re up and coming. You need customers to a) know who you are and b) understand why your products matter.
Your advertisements are allowed to focus on what your product does. In fact, we encourage it. Get customers excited about what you do and the rest will fall into place.
Your Target Audience Is Set In Stone
You know that having a target audience is important. Understanding who you’re selling your products to drives the tone of your advertisements and even what mediums you consider advertising through.
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But your target audience isn’t set in stone. You have room for flexibility.
If you find that your product doesn’t take off with your first target audience but it finds a new niche, pay attention. Don’t ignore your new target audience. Follow the passion.
You can have multiple target audiences too. While, in general, you should try to home in on who’s most likely to buy your product, you’re also not restricted to an incredibly specific body of the population.
Advertising Pays For Itself
Just because you put an ad out into the world doesn’t mean you’re going to see immediate results. Ads don’t just pay for themselves. While a well-timed ad can help boost retention and bring customers knocking, they don’t work in a vacuum.
Advertising effectively requires continually re-evaluating what you’re doing and being willing to try new things. If one ad doesn’t do too well, pull it and put another one out into the world. Notice when things work and when they don’t.
It’s the Same as PR
Public Relations is a different beast. Just because you know how to advertise doesn’t mean that you’ll have a clue about how your company’s PR should work. Have a PR team in place to handle PR specific concerns, like how people relate to your company and how to clear up misconceptions about what your company does. Don’t rely on people to glean the same message from an ad.
No One Likes Ads
In the age of Ad Block, it can seem like no one’s paying attention to your ads. It’s true to some extent. But that doesn’t mean everyone hates advertising or that no one will listen to you. What people are sick of, are trite, insincere ads. When ads are done right- when they have meaning and let customers know what you’re all about- people are willing to pay attention. Bad advertisements are the problem, not advertisements in general.
[This post by Jon Westenberg first appeared on Medium and has been reproduced with permission.]