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The Ultimate Guide to Advertising

When thinking of advertising, what comes to mind? Massive billboards or a witty TV ad from the 90’s? We can all say we know how to identify an advertisement, but not all of us know how to do it, or do it well. Advertising is the best way to get your product or service in front of your consumer and to connect with your audience. When consumers feel personally connected to an advertisement they are more likely to frequent your business.

But how can you take advantage of it? In order for advertising to be effective, a few considerations are necessary:

  • What are the objectives of your advertising campaign?
  • What format would suit your needs best?
  • What are the costs involved in advertising?

In this ultimate guide to advertising, we will be unpacking the benefits of investing in advertising your business, as well as provide you with insights on how to effectively use advertising channels to grow your business.

different aspects of advertising placed on a table

What is Advertising?

Advertising is a method of persuading or motivating people to take action, whether it is for the purposes of sales or brand awareness. Good advertising cuts through the noise, it is influential, memorable, and demands the viewer’s attention. No matter which medium you choose, advertising can work for your business in many different ways such as:

  • Advertising informs the consumer about your products and services
  • Advertising persuades the consumer to buy into your product or service by emphasising the benefits
  • Advertising keeps your product or service top of mind and serves as a reminder to your target audience

Something that’s often misunderstood is the difference between marketing and advertising. Yes, there is a difference! The main difference between these two business practices is that advertising is a part of marketing. Marketing is the overarching plan of how you will communicate with your audience through various channels and mediums. Advertising is a way in which to send out your brand message.

types of advertising

Types of Advertising

Advertising can present itself in various forms, each with its own objectives and benefits and each targeting a particular audience. Let’s go through a few different formats and channels that advertisers take advantage of.

Radio Advertising

Advertisers pay commercial radio stations for airtime and, in exchange, the radio station broadcasts the advertiser’s commercial to its listening audience. If you want to learn more about radio advertising, we have a great radio advertising guide that explains all the ins and outs.

Television Advertising

Advertising on TV is a method of advertising that has been around since the 1930s. Advertisers create a body of content developed specifically for television, and air it on different slots on channels where their target audience are likely to be watching. Have a look at some of the best tv adverts we have come across.

Out Of Home Advertising

Outdoor, or out of home advertising, is one of the most popular methods of offline advertising. As the name suggests, outdoor advertising refers to any type of advertising that reaches your target market when they are away from their homes. Businesses can publicise their products and/or services via billboards, transit ads, benches, posters, and signage. Here’s a look at some examples of some great billboard ads.

Print Advertising

Print advertising is one of the oldest advertising mediums there is. It is a form of advertising that uses physically printed media, such as magazines and newspapers, to reach consumers. Contrary to popular belief that print is dead, print is still very much alive, reinventing itself as a medium by integrating with digital marketing and advertising to offer a broader, holistic way to reach customers through editorial content. Check out these awesome examples of print advertising done effectively. 

Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is the exercise of delivering advertising content to internet users through various online channels. Effective digital advertising uses online channels such as social media, search engines, mobile apps, and websites to show promotional messages to highly targeted audiences. Learn all about the ins and outs with our handy guide to digital advertising.

Effectiveness of advertising

Is Advertising still Effective?

There are billions of dollars spent on advertising around the world, suggesting that it is indeed a profitable way to communicate a brand message, product or service to a consumer. A profitable advertisement is one that is effective in reaching its target audience and results in action from the consumer that is most likely to purchase the product.

Advertising is still effective because it achieves the three main objectives of why a business would choose to advertise in the first place. Let’s have a look at them in more detail:

  • Advertising informs
    When you have a new product or service in the market, you need to make people aware of it. An informative ad is used to introduce a brand new company, product or service to the market. Before you can convince customers that you have the best option, they have to know what your product or service does on a basic level.
    If your product or service offers complex solutions, an informative ad can successfully deliver the message to your customer, as these types of ads are centered around explaining features of the solution and benefits to the customer.
  • Advertising persuades
    If you offer a product or service in a very competitive space, such as the automobile industry, persuading customers will be a key advertising objective of your company. Once customers have a basic understanding of your industry and product offerings, you need to show them why your brand is elite.There are a variety of approaches that you can take to do this. Some options include an emphasis on product quality, service, unique features, environmental friendliness, the cool factor, cutting-edge technology, and low costs. Some also use graphics that tap into the emotional aspect of the consumer, a common tactic used in persuasive ads.
  • Advertising reminds
    Once you have introduced and persuaded the customer, your next step is to make sure they don’t forget you, to make sure you stay top of mind. Reminder ads simply reinforce your brand message to a well-established marketplace. The general idea is to maintain top of mind awareness.
Marketing colleagues discussing the advantages and disadvantages of advertising

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Advertising

There are a number of reasons marketers are attracted to advertising as a method for promoting their products. Let’s explore some of the advantages and limitations of advertising.

What are the Advantages of Advertising?

As mentioned above, there are various types of advertising and selecting one that will achieve the objectives of your business can be a challenging journey. All advertising methods have their various benefits and limitations, depending on your industry and what your objectives are. You may find that taking only one approach doesn’t necessarily meet all the objectives that you have set in place. Which is why it is important to make sure that your advertising strategy incorporates an appropriate mix of the different media available to make sure you get the most from your advertising campaign. We’ve highlighted some benefits of advertising below:

Increases brand and product awareness

Does your target audience and your potential customers know that your business/services are available? Advertisements increase awareness of new products, services, or showing your competitive edge amongst existing products and/or services.

Makes you stand out from the competition

Innovative marketing and advertising solutions are needed for your business to stand out from the competition. Tailormade ad solutions focus on the advantages of your products, the value that they add to your customers, the professionalism of after-sales services and support solutions that you offer as a brand.

Attracts potential customers

Innovative marketing and advertising solutions are needed for your business to stand out from the competition. Tailormade ad solutions focus on the advantages of your products, the value that they add to your customers, the professionalism of after-sales services and support solutions that you offer as a brand.

Educates your consumer

Once your customer base has been made aware of your product and is attracted to it , you want them to choose you. This is where you begin to educate them about why your product/service is superior. Once they’ve successfully made that connection, the goal is achieved. They pick you. Informative content in the ads increases your audience’s trust in your product and service over your competitors.

Increases sales volumes and return on advertising investment

Advertising isn’t only to attract new customers. Use advertising methods to target current customers on new additions to your business and potential customers by making them aware of your product. You already have their data to target them directly, this is a highly effective retargeting method that serves a high level of return on investment.

Improves your brand image

A brand’s image can be improved via advertising by fostering and creating a positive perception about the business and its products and services. Any negative pre-existing perceptions can be improved and thus position your brand at the top. These types of advertisements should focus on the values of your business, the quality of your products and services, professional customer care service.

What are the Disadvantages of Advertising?

Advertising can have some limitations, however once you understand what these are, you are in a position to be more prepared to deal with them and adjust strategies accordingly. Let’s have a look at a few of these limitations below:

Return on Investment isn’t immediate

When it comes to advertising, the return on investment may not always be immediate because the campaign needs time to reach the desired number of people, with the right amount of frequency to result in a conversion.

Cost of production and product

Creating an ad can cost money, depending on the advertising method you choose. Be mindful of what you’re spending from your total marketing budget toward your advertising budget. This is especially true for new businesses, because they need to first create the brand awareness in order to get customers to buy into their product or service. Choose your platforms wisely.

Unequal competition

As a newcomer in your industry, you may find that you are competing against companies that have already established a name for themselves as well as a loyal customer base. As a result of this, they may have a much bigger advertising budget, which means they can do more with their advertising, and possibly outshine you, making it difficult for you to compete fairly in that particular market.

Panel or board discussing the right advertising objectives and plan for digital marketing

How to Choose the Right Advertising Medium for your Business

Choosing the right advertising media for your business can feel like a daunting task, especially when there are so many options, all of which come with their particular benefits and limitations. But it is very important to come to that decision and it doesn’t always have to be one medium; many businesses take an omnichannel approach when it comes to their advertising strategy, especially if they have a broad customer base. Let’s have a look at some factors that you should consider when choosing the right advertising media for your business.

What are you selling?

Products and services can be classified in two broad categories; namely consumer goods and services or industrial goods and services. When it comes to consumer goods, you can consider taking advantage of media such as radio, tv, digital and outdoor advertising, whereas with industrial goods you might want to engage in specialised trade and technical journals.

What is the nature of the market?

Are you trying to reach a local or international market? If you are aiming to reach a national market, you may want to consider advertising in a national newspaper or approaching national broadcasting radio and television stations. The nature of a market is influenced by various factors such as geographical location, size of population and economic standing relating to purchasing power.

Why are you advertising?

As previously stated, when looking at advertising, one of the main things to consider is WHY you are advertising, what is the main adjective of your advertisement. Once this objective has been established, you will be able to determine the best medium to help you achieve it.

How much will the chosen media cost?

It is vital that you take into consideration the costs involved in the medium that you choose. If you are a small business, you might not have the robust advertising budget of a mega corporate, so it is important to choose a medium that will give you maximum results with minimal impact on the pocket. Take into consideration the funds available to advertise and as well as the reach that the chosen media will give you. We will go into more detail on the costs involved in advertising in the upcoming chapters.

customer purchasing product or service as a result of advertising

What Makes an Advertisement Successful?

The simple answer to this question is IMPACT. You need to impress your audience in a limited time. A great ad should make an impact on the viewer fast, and make them want to take action. Let’s take a look at some points to consider when looking at a great ad.

Keep it simple and straightforward

Some of the greatest and most effective ads we have seen are the ones that keep it simple. You are competing with other advertisers, so make sure you cut through the noise with a message that is simple, easy to digest and highly attractive.

It holds the consumer’s attention

A great ad should be interesting enough to captivate the consumers immediately and keep them captivated. You want the consumer to have ad recall. This is when they remember what you were offering and immediately look to you for the solution to their problem.

Great ads are memorable

Suggestiveness implies giving the reader an outline of the benefits of the product or service. Make your ad memorable and impactful by telling them what you are offering without giving away too much. Lead them to want more information and actioning your call to action.

It educates the consumer

A great ad also teaches the consumer about the use and operation of the product and or service, especially for those consumers who may not be too familiar with what is being sold. It should be able to inform consumers where they can get the product or service, cost of it and any other accompanying benefits.

calculating the costs of advertising on a spreadsheet with a calculator and pen

What are the Costs of Advertising?

The cost of advertising varies depending on the advertising mediums you choose to work with. This can be a daunting task for someone who is not particularly well informed about the advertising industry, how costs are calculated, and how to calculate the return on investment. In this section we will be looking at the factors to consider when setting up an advertising budget and how to calculate the return on investment.

Calculate the CPM

Calculate the total cost of an advertisement and size of the audiences likely to see it to determine the cost per thousand impressions. For example, if an ad costs $50,000 and generates 5 million impressions, the CPM is $10.

Research your target market and determine advertising channels

Everyone wants to get their ad aired during peak times, it can get difficult to secure yourself a spot in these slots. It is vital to work with an agency that has relationships in the radio industry and will be able to negotiate to get you onto the prime spots.

Factor in the production costs and airtime

Once you know where to find your audience, you need to look into the cost of creating the actual ad as well as the best times to reach your audience effectively, on the various mediums or channels that they consume.

For more information on factors to consider when setting your advertising budget, click through to our ultimate guides on these advertising mediums.

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Your International Advertising Partner

Empire has 8 years industry experience and we would like to think that advertising is something we’re experts in. We have helped a multitude of brands execute great advertising campaigns on all sorts of advertising mediums, and we would be happy to partner with you and get your brand the exposure it deserves at competitive rates. Get in touch with our team to get rolling on your next great advertising campaign.