Advertising refers to a process of buying a space to promote products or services by a business. Advertising may be personal, targeted or general. But in context of digital marketing, advertising is almost always targeted.
Advertising strategy refers to the plan to reach targeted customers (new or old) on predetermined platforms for a longer period of time. In simple words, Advertising strategy is a blue print of all your actions plans to reach prospective customers. One thing we need to understand here is that advertising is not always direct. It means advertising is not always directed to the end user and is non-personal. It can also be directed to people who influence buying choices or indirectly choose what products to buy. Like friends, spouses, children. Depending upon the goals advertising can be further categorized into 2 groups. First is where the goal is to sell. Second is where the goal is to build visibility.
Now lets see how we can create a advertising strategy for a small business.
Understanding the Product :
The first step in the process is to identify the USP or Unique Selling Proposition for your business. Understand your products or services, the value they provide, and the problems it solves. For example the differentiation between a knife and a knife which sharpens itself gets clear when the business owners advertises it like that. Sometimes also called the ‘Positioning statement’, it tells the clear differentiation between competing products, services.
Ice Age (A hypothetical Ice Cream shop in Ontario) provides ice creams that don’t melt in room temperatures for up to 4 hours. So the USP for our business is that our product can be transported without cold refrigeration for up to 4 hours of travel time. The Value is that the Ice cream lovers can enjoy it without worrying about it melting. It solves the melting Problem in Ice creams. After fully understanding all facets of our business, we will move to decide something very imperative, which is the target audience.
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Understanding the audience :
Now that you know your product and the value it gives, let’s move forward to understanding your target audience. It is the combination of people that you will want to reach out. They can be defined by their gender, age, marital status, location, interests, languages spoken etc. An already established businesses will know their customer base through their constant data reviews and surveys. This problems generally occurs with new Businesses.
Our advice would be to decide between 3 broad types of customers and target one group.
1. A customer who looks for the right price which doesn’t harm the pocket or,
2. A customer who doesn’t care for the price but wants the best product. or,
3. A customer who keeps a balance between both value and competitive price.
Choose one segment from these and then focus on where will you find these Kings and Queens.
Further customer segmentation can be done by understanding the products. Your customers needs, age, interests.
How to reach your target audience (Ad mix) :
In this step, we need to find out the medium of communication. This means deciding which type of advertisement will be the best considering our Business environment and products. Depending upon your audience several type of different advertising platforms or advertising mix can be used. Some examples are :
- Traditional advertisement platforms :
Video : Television, Movie product placement
Audio : FM radio
Print : Newspapers and magazines
- Outdoor advertising : Billboards, hoardings.
- Direct Mail
- PPC or Pay per click marketing (Google Adwords) : The advertiser pays only when a user clicks on the advertisement and visits the web-page. We personally recommend this method.
- Social media advertisement : You can also try Ad placement on Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin etc.
Choosing a advertisement strategy largely depends on the budget of the advertisers and the customers. For example young people spend more time on YouTube, Instagram then reading newspapers. So of your target audience is young people, it would be logical to spend on social media ads.
Choosing the right creatives is as important as the strategy itself. Content, Fonts, Colours, Pictures, Music, Videos etc play vital role in the advertisements. Creating a strategy would help in keeping consistencies within all platforms.
Tell us your about results on the comments.
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