Advertising isn’t what it used to be. Gone are the days when posting ads meant running a piece in the local newspaper or going door to door to get people excited about your product. Today, advertising has moved significantly into the online space. It’s not enough to just tell local folks about your products. If you want to beat out the competition, you have to start reaching out to people around the country or around the globe with information about your products and services.
If you’re new to advertising or are simply looking for ways to mix things up, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll show you some of the most common advertising techniques to get your products in front of your target audience. When implemented properly, you’ll see an increase in sales and a boost to your bottom line.
7 effective advertising techniques to try
Once you craft the right formula, digital advertising can make a world of difference for your business. Since businesses are inherently different, some of these advertising ideas will be better suited for some industries than others. Pick and choose a few and use analytics to track their success. Once you find what works, you can pour more effort into those channels. Try some of these effective advertising techniques to boost your business and increase sales.
Focus on feel-good moments
There’s a reason that people remember that 2014 Budweiser Super Bowl commercial. What’s not to love about a puppy befriending an enormous Clydesdale pony? It’s heartwarming and makes viewers feel good. Creating an advertising campaign—whether in local ads, print, or as a video you can post on social media—is a great way to tug at the heartstrings of your customers. It also helps your brand build a story and share values in a fun and endearing way.
Work with famous people and influencers
One of the best ways to launch your sales into the stratosphere is to get a celebrity or industry influencer to endorse it. That’s why uber-successful companies like Under Armor and Uniqlo partner with athletes from Roger Federer to Steph Curry to promote their products. Barilla—the pasta company—even works with ski-superstar Mikaela Shiffrin, getting their name on the podium and in front of their customers.
As a local business, you may not have a direct line with the world’s superstars, but that doesn’t mean you can’t implement this type of advertising effectively. Instead, compile a list of influential social media stars or entrepreneurs in your industry. Look for people who have a following of 10,000 or more to start with. You can target individuals with larger followings if your brand is more established.
Reach out to these individuals and ask if they are interested in a partnership. Some influencers and famous people will charge a fee to promote products while others will do it gladly in exchange for free products. The goal here is to get your products and services in front of people who can share their love for it.
Additionally, you can hire a celebrity for a one-time event promoting your product. This is a more affordable way to get celebrity approval without having to pay for a longer-term endorsement deal. You can also send direct-mail samples for celebrities to try or reach out to swag companies that service the Oscars and other high-profile events to get your products in the line-up.
Join the party with bandwagon advertising
Bandwagon advertising creates the idea that everyone is using this product or service, so you should too. Sometimes these ads frame the situation as “you’ll be missing out if you don’t join.” These ads typically include glittering generalities—virtue signals that are meant to elicit feelings, not share information. Coca Cola’s “It’s the Real Thing,” Nike’s “Just Do It,” and American Express’s “Don’t Leave Home Without It” are all examples of bandwagon advertising and glittering generalities.
Bandwagon advertising is a great tool to deploy when something is trending in your industry. For example, if you sell nutritional products or meal plans, using bandwagon advertising when new diet trends take off—like last year’s keto craze—can help you gain new customers. Bandwagon advertising is also ideal for target markets that tend to display difficulty making decisions. These groups may need more information to make a decision or they may be more likely to make a decision if everyone else is doing it.
Use language in your ads to convey that tons of other people are buying your product or service. Some good examples of bandwagon advertising include the Apple iPhone 5 ad saying “Loving it is easy, that’s why so many people do” and Maybelline’s ad featuring the words “America’s favorite mascara.”
Run TV commercials
While print ads and local magazine ads are useful for targeting local customers, TV commercials reach a wider audience, helping to boost sales. TV commercials can be run on regional programming in your area or during national programming to target the entire country.
To make a successful TV commercial, be real. Create a script that focuses on offering solutions and new products for a real person. These ad campaigns are typically only 30 seconds in length, so stick to the main points and highlight why someone may need your product or service.
Pro tip: Add a jingle or auditory signals in your commercials. The more senses you target, the more likely someone is to remember your commercial. Think of the way McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it,” Huggies’ “I’m a big kid now,” or Subway’s “Five dollar footlong” sound. These sing-song tones stick with people better than plain old talking.
Advertise using pop-ups
It’s hard to visit a website now without having a little pop-up appear on the screen asking you to subscribe, buy a product, or learn more. That’s because these pop-ups are extremely effective at catching a user’s attention and focusing their searches.
When adding a pop-up to your site, decide what your main call to action is. Do you want people to buy a specific product? Do you want them to sign up for your email newsletter? Whatever your main goal is, feature that in your pop-up. Use creative advertising language to get people engaged. An emotional appeal can drive a person to complete your call to action. Avoid weasel words like “leading” or cutting edge” that don’t really mean anything. Instead, use language to explain succinctly why a potential customer might want what you’re selling.
Prove your worth with case studies
Case studies, testimonials, and reviews are known as social proofs. They’re examples of why your business or products are so useful. They show potential customers why existing customers love your products and use them time and again. These persuasive techniques can also help customers discover new ways to use your products that they may not have thought of.
Think of this common technique as a form of street cred. It basically sums up why people love your products and why new customers will too. You can use feedback tools like surveys, product reviews, and email follow-ups to inform your case studies and testimonials.
Target luxury with snob appeal
If you have a product that adds luxury to one’s life, using the snob appeal technique can be incredibly effective when it comes to advertising. The snob appeal is a technique that focuses on speaking to plain folk’s desire to live like the rich and famous. It plays on people’s desire to live better lives and their love of fancy items. To employ this technique effectively, use luxurious language that makes people feel unique and worthy.
Dior’s J’adore perfume ad is an excellent example. It features famous actress Charlize Theron, gold silks, crystal chandeliers, and a sparkling cosmopolitan skyline. The highlight? The stunning image of a backlit, brilliantly gold perfume bottle at the end. The message? You too can indulge in luxury like a movie star with this exquisite perfume.
Reach customers with these advertising techniques
Using these different types of advertising can help you launch your business and take it to new heights. From social media and Google to website pop-ups and TV commercials, there are so many different ways to support digital marketing efforts to boost sales.
With each of these advertising methods, the key is focusing on the message you want to send. Try to answer the question “so what?” Why should potential customers care about what you have to say or what you’re selling? By answering that question, you can focus your advertising efforts on providing solutions that solve pain points for consumers.
Not all of these techniques are a good fit for every brand. Serious brands will see little use for humorous commercials while snob appeal doesn’t work for speaking to the masses. Understand your brand’s values and who you are as a company to find the best advertising techniques and tools for your local business.