Monday, February 23, 2009

How to Advertise

By Charlie Reese

Any pencil pusher can follow the rules, but an effective advertiser is the one who breaks them. Above all, effective advertising means knowing your audience and being willing to do anything to get in touch with that audience. Many people differentiate advertising on the web from more traditional forms of advertisements, such as newspaper ads, billboards, etc., but this is nonsense. There are always new strategies available, and always new ways to look at things, and a good marketing and advertising company uses all of them.

For example, takes targeted search ads. Targeted advertising is nothing new, and although electronic tools give us new ways of doing it, the old rules still apply. Whether you are targeting your advertising by putting your billboards in certain neighborhoods or inserting certain key words so that your target demographic will get it, or by using search engine optimization, targeted Google ads, and other high-tech tools, you are basically doing the same thing. You are looking for your niche consumers, and speaking to them as directly as you can. This is an effective advertising strategy as old as the industry itself.

Of course, search engine advertising differs from other forms of effective advertising in one way: it is difficult to target everyone. Most Internet users lockout typical mainstream advertisements as chatter, so if you want to hook someone with your ads, you had better be selling in such a way that you would target their needs and interests, and the needs and interests of their demographic. People interact with different media in different ways, and you need to understand the differences. People reading a newspaper don't particularly try to block out ads, and might even find some of them interesting and entertaining particularly if they are included between articles. TV viewers are more likely to tune out effective advertising ideas, and Internet users are more likely still.

This teaches us something about effective advertisements: the more sophisticated the media, the more people demand that ads address their needs in particular. Although using electronic advertising gives you more sophisticated tools and a better ability to target a demographic, it also raises the bar. Effective advertising has to be better and more interesting to make an impression. Otherwise, people aren't even got to see it in the first place.

Sometimes, low cost advertising is the best way for this reason. Even in this day of jaded consumers, a clever slogan combined with a clever image in a billboard advertisement can get inside people's heads and make them want to buy this or that. Although these forms of advertisement aren't quite as powerful as they once were, they still are surprisingly potent. A skilled advertiser will use this sort of traditional means to advance his message. - 16651

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