Advertising 101 & fundamentals for getting customers

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How do you attract customers? That is a question most businesses or ad agencies will ask at one point or another. With new means and methods of customer acquisition cropping up seemingly everyday, it can be confusing to figure of how to go about advertising your product and services to consumers. Then there is the business of keeping these customers coming back for repeat business.

The modern consumer is savvy. With a wealth of information available through the internet, a potential customer can quickly decide that the competition is a better option than you. How can you stay ahead in this environment? That’s what Advertising 101 is here to do.

Advertising 101

Advertising has employed a certain set of principles for a long time now. The good news? Many of those same principles can be applied to the modern market. The not-so good news? You have to get acclimated to new ways of reaching and retaining your audience and a new audience. Here are ways you can attract more customers by using a mix of newer and older strategies to navigate modern audiences through Advertising 101.

Narrow Your Audience

Running an ad in the paper and having millions of eyes glance over an ad isn’t a strategy that will work for every brand in today’s environment. For one, unless you have a focused audience (such as trade magazines and the like), you can’t be sure the audience will respond to your ad in a positive manner. Online audiences can be turned off when ads bombard them with messages to buy stuff that they don’t need or want.

That is why this first Advertising 101 lesson will be simple: narrow your audience. For Facebook marketers, Facebook ads provide what feels like an endless choice of options to target an audience based on age, income, company role, interests, page likes, activity, religion, and so forth.

Even if your brand hasn’t employed Facebook as a marketing tool, you can still follow these tips to narrow and market to your audience:

  • Offer bargains to appeal to your audience
  • Determine your desired audience’s demographics and psychographics
  • Focus on selling one product or line at a time

Give Them What They Want

In older Advertising 101 classes, it was common to build up to a product reveal by building anticipation while selling a consumer on that new offering. Modern audience have time constraints, are often multi-tasking, and are wary of scams and misleading tactics. This is why video marketing has emerged as such a valuable advertising channel.

Attract customers with valuable content. Customers want to be offered something relevant and useful before they fork over their cash or fill in that lead capture form. Because of this, you should prioritize helping over selling. Free resources such as e-books, infographics, blog posts, how-to guides, and other offers provide information to customers and lets them know that your business has real knowledge of the industry. These resources are not there to simply sell; they build trust in your brand while drawing in the customer. Customers are no longer coming to your business simply for the product, they begin to consider you as a useful source of relevant information.

Be Authentic

If there’s one thing Advertising 101 teaches us now, authenticity is the biggest quality millennials want out of brands. The small screen has a hold on many millennials — they browse through blogs and social media websites while sharing information across platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Because social media has become an important part of the millennial community, they want to share things that are authentic. Authenticity for millennials often come from their peers.

Millennials are drawn to buy a product with the recommendation of their online and offline friends. When millennials share your posts or invite friends to try your product, they are signaling their trust in your brand, one of the most important goals of Advertising 101.

They are also more likely to consult a trusted source (such as content creators’ blogs and Amazon.com reviews) before they purchase a product.

Build your customer-business relationship with the millennial generation by figuring out how to speak with them. Influencers are one such way to speak to millennials.

Influencers have power because of the need for authenticity. They work using the same principle of “word of mouth” that has been a staple of Advertising 101 for years. In the digital age, this is accomplished with brands partnering with influencers that their target audience knows and trusts.

Working with influencers require that you engage with them and their audience with humanity. Influencers are often creatives and you don’t want to stifle the very characteristic that made them attractive to both you and the audience you wish to market to. A symbiotic relationship between you and these influencers is necessary for a successful Advertising 101 effort.

Be Human

The last Advertising 101 principle in this article is possibly the most important: be human. Ads that incorporate human faces that promote a cause or a product are memorable.

When people engage with a brand, they want to feel as though they are interacting with something real and human. That is a component that makes influencer marketing so effective. Brand interaction is valuable when using Advertising 101, they want that human connection to feel as though their support is valued and that they are apart of something greater.

Advertising 101 teaches that even fairly impersonal industries such as tech, brands have been scrambling over the pass few years to imbue their marketing efforts with humanity. This focus on humanity can be found all over. In recent years, airline company JetBlue launched a campaign called “Air on the Side of Humanity.” Being human is a strategy that engages customers far more than just pushing products on them, and a valuable component of success with Advertising 101. Engaging through human to human marketing requires a willingness to open up the brand.

  • Reach Out – A Facebook post thanking customers for their support during your brand’s journey lets customers know they are appreciated. The last thing you want to do with Advertising 101 is leave your base feeling ignored.
  • Tell Your Story – A brand’s story expresses what a brand stands for, how it came to be, and what kind of customer will benefit from the work. Stories are made for the customer to relate to — your struggles and successes with past clients craft a story to communicate your brand’s values and messaging. In the age of authenticity, brand stories are an almost necessary advertising 101 lesson.
  • Show That You Get It – Hill Holidays helps prove the value of Advertising 101 with its campaign for LG struck a chord with its audience because it depicted some of the reality of its target audience in a humorous, understanding way. Customers want to feel understood. The product being sold isn’t just a money grab. It was designed with the customer’s lifestyle in mind.

The success of Advertising 101

Advertising 101 is all about humanity. Whether it is using the power of peers to engage with millennials or incorporating humanity into the brand, your first step in attracting customer is through brand and consumer understanding. Once you know those two things and the Advertising 101 tips, you have the power to attract and retain consumers.