Advertising do’s & don’ts for beginners

Guest post contributed by Catherine vanVonno

Advertising is more than just a brand function — it’s a valuable skill. Not all people have the talent, timing and savvy to speak to people in a way that influences their lifestyle. Fortunately, the knack for advertising and marketing can be learned.

There are many different forms of advertising that brands can use to reach their target markets. However, not all forms of advertising will have the same impact. Technology trends have shifted the game. Today, brand managers can drive tremendous impact by prioritizing social media.

Learn more about why social media matters for today’s brands.

But before you get into the specifics of social media marketing, you must first learn the basics of advertising. Here are some advertising do’s and don’ts for beginners.

The do’s: Helpful tactics to help you connect with an audience

Get to know your target customers

Many companies only have a big-picture view of the target market they want to reach. While this is a good starting point, it pays to refine your understanding of prospective customers. What is the age bracket of the people you want to reach? Are your prospects still studying, seeking career opportunities, employed or retired? What types of entertainment do they usually spend their time and money on? These aspects are vital if you want to make an impact that will truly resonate with your desired audience.

By knowing what makes your customers tick, you have leverage to connect with them and understand how to best fulfill their needs.

Strive to have a consistent voice & message

While it’s true you can have an impact by being unpredictable, you build up a stronger following by being consistent. By having a singular purpose and consistent voice, you increase brand recognition and loyalty. Stick to the vision and mission of your business, and soon, people will recognize your brand across every advertising channel you use.

Be accessible & proactive

People are more likely to trust a brand if they’re confident they can reach you whenever they need to. No wonder nearly every business has social media profiles now. Through sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, you have a direct line to your customers.

The question is: will people hear back from your company when they tag, message or tweet you?

If you’re strapped for resources, hire a virtual assistant to help your brand stay accessible and proactive not just on social media but also through email and comments on your blog or website.

The don’ts: Pitfalls your brand should avoid

Failing to craft a call-to-action

Share this message if you agree. Email this tip to a friend. Tap ‘like’ if you enjoyed this video. These are just a few of the calls-to-action that social media users have grown familiar with, and that’s because they work. Each communication you share with your audience should be geared towards building your relationship and, ultimately, moving them down the conversion funnel. At the end of any ad campaign, make sure your audience knows what to do next.

Jumping on every advertising fad that comes along

Many advertising gimmicks have come and gone, but how many of these have really helped the brands who tried them? Just because a tool, fad or practice is creating some noise doesn’t mean you should immediately jump in. When a new trendy tactic tempts you, scrutinize how it will genuinely reach your customers and build your brand. This goes back to the principle of knowing your target audience better. If you truly know what makes them tick, you won’t be jumping on every bandwagon that rolls by. Just the ones that matter.

Making an impact isn’t exclusively for big brands. Keep in mind these advertising dos and don’ts for beginners, and you will soon carve out your own niche.

Eager to adapt your brand to social media channels? Grab a copy of our free eBook: How to adapt your brand to social media

About Catherine vanVonno

Catherine vanVonno is the president and executive director of 20Four7VA, a global virtual assistant (VA) service provider. She holds a doctorate degree in applied statistics, research design & program evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and has over 10 years’ experience in facilitating evidence-based strategic planning, product development, brand management, legislative communications, and medical policy. She is married and has four children.

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