The 4 Key Ingredients To Effective Advertising

advertising, megaphone, people

As a supplier in the promotional products industry, branding is your business. Not only is it your job to make sure that your products help the end buyers properly brand themselves, but you also must brand yourself to be able to compete in the industry. Advertising through SAGE is an effective and affordable way to get your message out to your target audience. Here are the four key ingredients your ads should include ensuring you get the highest return on investment.

1. Focus On Attractive Designs

Getting viewers’ attention is your number-one goal with advertising.  If you don’t get their attention, your ad can’t accomplish what it’s supposed to.  Your ad space is limited, so you should keep your ad simple. Cluttered ads tend to get overlooked because people can’t tell what message the ad is conveying right away. 

An ad that simply has your company logo on it will be more effective than one with three images and two paragraphs of text.  You should only use photos when appropriate, usually to convey what you’re selling, especially if a particular product is unique.  When you do use images, be sure to use a high-resolution image, so your ad doesn’t turn out blurry or pixelated.

Source: 9 to 5 Mac

2. Convey a Clear Message

Clear and convincing copy is just as important as the design of your ad. Viewers should be able to tell at first glance what your ad is about.  Use catchy words that provide a value proposition.  The value proposition showcases the service or product your brand provides. It also calls attention to itself with attractive products, special offers, and prices. Here are a few examples:

  • High quality
  • 50% off
  • Limited time offer
  • Made in the USA
  • Free sample

The value proposition should take up the most space in your ad and be the first thing that your viewers’ eyes are attracted to.  Make sure you also maintain hierarchy within your ad. Your value proposition should be prominent, followed by your call to action, then your logo.

Source: AdWeek

3. Include a Call to Action

CTA stands for call to action, and it’s the part of a webpage, advertisement, or piece of content that tells your audience what you want them to do next. Source: Hubspot

A simple “Click Here” could do the trick, but you can also experiment with other phrases, such as, “Learn More,” “Buy Now,” or “Get Your Free Sample.”

A CTA should be a standout focal point of the ad, prompting viewers to click on it.  To make your ad even more enticing, one trick you can try is instilling a sense of urgency.  For example, phrases like, “For a limited time,” “While supplies last,” and “Ends Tuesday,” could all make a viewer take action, rather than seeing your ad and thinking they’ll check it out later.

Here are a few examples from Hubspot and why they work:

Source: Hubspot

Ads in SAGE Online and SAGE Web will link to your products, up to three sales tools, which can be documents, audio, video, URLs, etc., and will allow customers to contact you using SAGE Chat or email.  However, without a call to action, viewers may not even know your ad is clickable.

Below is an example of an ad that has a call to action with a clickable link… on a billboard! Clients won’t know how to book that 15-minute strategy call without a phone number!

4. Keep It On Brand

From your logo to the color palette and font choice, your ad should reflect your brand. Your company logo must be included to build brand awareness. Make sure that your ad is visually dominant without stealing the spotlight from the value proposition and the call to action.

In the easiest terms, your clients or prospects should be able to see your advertisement and, based off the colors, typeface, logo, and CTA, know it is your company. Keeping your advertisement on brand is important when introducing multiple ads on different platforms.

Source: TV Ad Songs

Keep in mind, just because your sales don’t skyrocket the minute you begin advertising, doesn’t mean your ad isn’t doing its job. Creating an effective advertising plan takes time, and repetition is key for brand awareness, so don’t pull your ads if you don’t see results in the first month.  The more a distributor sees your ads, the more familiar they’ll become with your brand, and you’ll be top of mind when their customer needs a product.

Our SAGE Account Advisors can make your advertising dreams a reality, to learn more check out our SAGE Advantage Membership today. If you’re already an Advantage Member, you can learn more about the different ways you can get in front of over 45,000 distributors in SAGE here.

What if you don’t have time to design an ad, don’t have a graphic designer, or just aren’t sure where to begin?  The creative geniuses of SAGE ArtworkZone would be happy to design your ad for you!  Prices begin as low as $24 for simple artwork or adjustments and can be ready by the next business day.

This article has been revised from its previous publication in March 2015.

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(Content Marketing Coordinator)

Ashley is the Content Marketing Coordinator at SAGE. She has a true passion for writing and blogging. In her free time, you can find her dancing ballet, cooking up one of her favorite recipes, or spending time with her husband Joe and puppy, named Pickles.

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