8 Essential Ingredients that Will Make Your Advertising Campaign Memorable
In this day and age, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to be original and distinguishable from others. In the midst of mass production of ads keeping your brand above the others might seem like an impossible endeavor. On the other side, there are so many examples of campaigns that stuck with us years after they ran and maybe even made us regular customers of a brand. In an effort to learn from them, here are some best practices that will make your campaigns impossible to forget:
Opt for bold visuals!
That doesn’t mean that your visuals need to be over-the-top every time, just make sure they’re noticeable in the sea of other creatives. Whether you do it by choosing hard-to-ignore colors or contrasting borders or statement images, the goal is that your ad is impossible to ignore. Adding a different color border to a Facebook ad might increase its performance by 100%. In their article about how to improve Facebook ad images, AdEspresso notes that wrapping the images in red or orange makes them more noticeable because these colors contrast well with Facebook's blue theme. You should stay true to the brand colors, but you can always use highlight colors for details. You might argue that the message is more important than design, but the ad creative is going to attract the user’s eye before they get to read the text!
Tell a story, but keep it short!
Storytelling is one of those words we can’t get enough of in 2019. It’s also one of the oldest means to convey and make people remember important information and messages. In a great AdWeek article The Psychology Behind Brand Storytelling and Its Effect on Consumers, we’re confronted with important psychological principles that brands should follow when creating a story: it should create empathy or be relatable, inspire motivation, and use social proof. The last one is the most important one – the best stories are those provided by other users. You can use customer reviews and create genuine and relatable stories around them. One major thing to keep in mind is that the attention span keeps getting lower. Having in mind that users crave genuine but short content, social media stories seem like a great 2019 trend to both raise brand awareness and engage with users.
Define your audience and find it!
Making sure that you know your marketing personas, their interests, and habits is crucial for success. Having their general demographic info such as age, sex, or geolocation is not enough. You need to learn their purchasing habits, causes they care about, problems that you could solve, etc. The more you know, the easier it will be to create ads they’ll want to engage with. Check out our blog to learn how to collect zero-party data from your users. Once you have all this data, you’ll be able to find your audience and where they reside. You can identify the publishers they visit, apps they installed, social media channels they follow and create your strategy around this base.
Think multichannel, but also consider consistency!
Your audience has a lot of interests, and you want to keep your brand top-of-mind. That means that you should spread your efforts and follow them on all the channels noted above. A successful multichannel strategy doesn’t only follow the user as they move from one channel to another; it also keeps track of the user journey and adjusts to specific moments. The messaging and creative also need to be consistent throughout their journey, otherwise, the connection between channels will be lost.
Make them laugh and cry
Contextually, your message needs to make sense, but it also needs to click with the audience emotionally. We just can’t get over the big campaign hits like Always’ Like a Girl, Nike’s Just Do It, or Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke. Always made us cry and cheer, Nike motivated us to work out, and Coca Cola connected with us individually by making their product personal. The point is that all of these campaigns made us feel, and that’s what made them memorable. Identifying the challenge that the audience faces (lord knows getting yourself to exercise is one) and providing a solution or motivation to rise above it is what will keep your brand in their memory.
In the words of AdAge‘s marketing expert Erica Huberman: “There are plenty of great marketing commercials and ads that are memorable but do nothing to establish the value of the brand. Being able to entertain and also communicate value is the best way for marketing and advertising campaigns to be the most effective.” If your message stuck with the audience, but they’re not making a connection between it and your brand, you need to do something differently. Adhering to brand colors and showing your logo throughout the ad is only one part of it. The true connection is if you’re able to keep the messaging and the brand as one lasting association in the users’ minds. Just Do It makes you think of Nike’s logo every time and when I see my super-soft Nike running shoes, I’m almost ready for a workout!
Keep track of trends and seize the right moment!
Nivea’s new FaceApp ad, #realtimemarketing hashtag, and the apology KFC ad are 2 great examples of being on trend with advertising and seizing the right moment (even if it’s a bad moment for the company). Nivea decided to ride the new trend and made a fantastic and truly real-time marketing effort. On the other hand, when KFC ran out of chicken in the U.K. (not a joke, this really happened), they took out a full-page ad in Metro, the U.K.’s newspaper and apologized with a fun visual that brought the company back to customers’ grace. It’s easy to keep track of the most relevant hashtags and trends, but you have to have a witty editorial team to leverage them. And if you make a mistake, make sure to apologize and do it fast – if you allow enough time to pass before reacting, the crisis will only get bigger!
Measure and optimize
All your efforts will be for naught if you don’t keep track of what works and what doesn’t. After all, until you try and a/b test different variables, all the ads are just experiments based on best practices. Once you learn what works, go for it, but instead of neglecting those channels that don’t work, try to optimize them until they produce positive results. In this context, attribution is essential and should be integrated into the strategy plan. Make sure you’re implementing separate tracking for all of your efforts, each and every ad – the more detailed the tracking, the higher the control. Also, try to adjust your tracking to the advertising channel (opens for emails, engagement for social media, clicks for everything) and also track user behavior after they click-through to your website. If you don’t know where your conversions are coming from, there’s no way to know what works and what doesn’t!
When you start planning your next campaign keep the best practices in mind. Sometimes one word or a simple change to visuals can make all the difference. One super successful campaign could launch your brand into stardom, so don’t skip any steps to get there - and if you need any help on the way, we’re always here!