Advertising is, of course, a very common endeavor. With businesses small and large on every street corner and smartphones in every pocket, we encounter advertising often—even constantly. But not all advertising is created equal. Likely, you know this from personal experience as a consumer. Some companies have dull or even repulsive ads; other companies show creativity in advertising.
Creativity in advertising: who do you want to be like?
When it comes to creativity in advertising, what kind of company do you want to imitate—the boring type or the engaging type? Is it even a question? If you’re looking to position your products and services as the newest and best solution to your consumers’ problems, chances are you’d love some creative advertising ideas.
Draw inspiration from others
You may be a small business owner. But you’re also a consumer of goods and services yourself. And that puts you in a great position to gather a store of ideas you can put to work on your own company. Keep your eyes out for advertising that really jumps out at you—the kind that almost convinces you to make an impulse buy or to subscribe to a service you probably don’t need.
If you keep these great examples from slipping by unnoticed, you can actually analyze them. Be prepared to find them anywhere. It could be your own neighborhood or the area where you’re vacationing or even your social media feed. Once you’ve noted it (and maybe even saved it if you don’t have time when you encounter it), you can dwell on it and extract useful information.
Try to identify what it was that made it so appealing? Did the color and design play a large role? Was the ad copy fun to read or unique in some way? Maybe it was surprising in some way and grabbed your attention because of that startle factor.
Make their day!
Giving things away is a fun way to get consumers knowledgeable and invested in your company. And if you make it something useful for recipients that’s even better. Branded pens are ubiquitous, so we’re not necessarily suggesting those (though you can use branded pens if you want). But find an item that’s somehow representative of what your company does and get your key information on it.
Find other ways to give something to your target customers while at the same time getting something for yourself (their attention). If you’re a minor league baseball team and you give away free tickets to a few select winners, you may actually be getting your information out along the way to a lot more than just those few people.
Okay, we need to take a minute here to acknowledge that humor can backfire. So, you should absolutely tread thoughtfully here. However, who doesn’t like the feelings of happiness that accompany a good laugh?
If you can provide a laugh for your customers while at the same time communicating your offerings, hopefully, they’ll remember you in a positive way. A great example of this is the companies that crack business-related jokes or puns on their changeable message signs. (But don’t get carried away, a bad pun can be corny).
Turn it into a fun event
Let’s say you want customers to know about a new product or service you just started offering. Naturally, you can simply post on social media about it and hope that viewers will be convinced they should take a closer look.
But why be normal when you can do something outside-the-box? Instead of a run-of-the-mill social media post, announce a challenge like a scavenger hunt. This Virginia business got the community involved in a fun activity and promoted their company at the same time.
Upgrade your visuals
If you’re stuck in the dark ages with your print advertising, it’s definitely time to revamp. Unless your business type calls for you to project a traditionalist image (and some businesses may), why not break outside your box with creativity in advertising?
For companies with a lighthearted mission, try humorous, simple, minimalistic, or colorful ads. Snag people’s attention first. Then, ensure that your ad copy rewards them for taking the time to focus on you. Don’t be boring, be fascinating. Don’t be long-winded, be succinct.
Try new venues
Yes, you may have established channels of communication. Or, if you’re just getting starting, there may be channels that companies in your industry are just expected to use. Well, try something different!
Ask yourself where your ideal customer spends time. Maybe it’s a physical location or a place on the internet. Then, brainstorm the best methods for getting your information to that location. Maybe you’ll even discover free places to advertise that will reach the “right” customers directly.
For instance, if you’re trying to advertise your college’s foreign language club, hanging a poster on the message board of a local coffee shop could be a better idea than taking out an ad in the student newspaper. (Especially if no one even reads that newspaper).
Expand into new media
Let’s say you’re stuck in the stone age of advertisement. You do have a couple of social media accounts for your business, but you’ve never really used them. What better time than now to set up a social media strategy and reach out to people via the internet? And don’t do it alone, learn from books, articles, or podcasts to get you started in this field. Check out Sprout Social’s The complete guide to social media for small business.
Infuse all advertisements with quality
Look at it this way. You may already have established that advertising is important for your business or organization. (Why else would you want to know about creativity in advertising?) So while you’re at it, learn to do it well. Devour all the free information available via print and online media, and if you’re using a sign, check out 6 Elements You Must Include On Your Sign | Tips On Layout & Design.