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Timeless Tips for Creating Good Advertising Content
Good advertising content, for print, broadcast, or narrow-cast, should follow guidelines for effective marketing communications. To create effective content, the writer needs to place him or herself between the product/service and the prospective customer. The writer should always be on the lookout for things that might ignite a “spark” between the product/service and the prospect; something that could be the beginning of a beautiful “relationship” between the product/service, and the prospective customer.
Excellent advertising visual concepts and writing make a memorable impression on prospective customers. To create memorable content, writers need to search for the “inherent drama” that is contained within the product/service, or within the benefit the prospect will gain if she/he uses the product/service. Knowing the prospective customer well is the key to finding out what the product/service has that is most meaningful to the prospective customer.
Good advertising writing:
- Offers the reader/viewer some kind of reward for his/her attention. It might be something funny to make them laugh, something that makes them realize something that is/should be important to them, or it might remind them of something they might want or need to do.
- Is easily understood. Readers/viewers don’t want to have to “figure out” what you are trying to say to them. If content is not easily understood, remember that it is very easy to lose the interest/attention of your prospect.
- Is honest and believable. Many of the most important and most widely spread perceptions of companies begin with marketing and advertising content. Since reputable companies want to be viewed as honest and trustworthy, they care about their reputations and about how they are perceived by the general public, as well as by prospective customers.
- Informs and motivates prospects. Companies that use advertising for promotional purposes do so to get some type of return on their investment. Even when placement of the ad message comes at low or no cost, there has still been an investment of time and human resources to prepare the message content. Therefore, advertising content that works to inform and motivate prospective customers represents a good return on a marketer’s investment.
- Is memorable. Advertisers spent, in 2011, in excess of $70 billion on television advertising alone. This wasn’t done because advertising doesn’t work—it was done because it does. Even though we, as consumers, often work hard to tune it out, a lot of it gets through anyway, based on creativity and ingenuity. In fact, when it’s done well, advertising is entertaining, informative, and memorable.
- Is appropriate for prospective customer and the product/service being advertised. Advertising content that is designed to identify/select the best consumer prospects for a product/service has a better-than-average chance of gaining the desired attention/interest. Knowing your audience well will help you create content that will speak, effectively, to those most likely to want your product/service.
When searching for new ideas or new ways to present a product/service to prospects, it is a good idea, in addition to trying to think like the prospect, to also consider the competition. What other products are vying for the prospect’s attention and interest? What product/service might they be already using? What benefits and images are already floating inside their minds about products/services such as yours? What consumer habits are associated with similar products/services, or with the product/service category?
Remember, it's not just what you say, it's how you say it. It's the "language" you create for your product/service that sets it apart from the competition. In addition to being clear and concise, you must speak one-on-one, person-to-person, with your most likely prospect. Be strategic in staying on point with your sales message, but do it in a way that will resonate with your target audience. Organize your thoughts and your selling points, then add that special touch, your personal style. It could be wit, charm, logic, wisdom, humor, intelligence, skill, or wild creativity, and it makes your best consumer prospect stop and pay attention, because you've hit the right spot, in the right way.
© 2013 Sallie B Middlebrook PhD