In a previous post we talked about the steps that should be included in any advertising campaign. At the basic level, there are four steps in any advertising effort centered on a campaign. In this article we’ll look at the first step, designing the message.
Designing the Message
All too often when business owners pull the trigger on advertising, the message amounts to little more than, “Here We Are! Come Buy From Us.” While there is arguably a place for this type of brand advertising, the better approach is to develop a carefully crafted message that is targeted at a specific issue your customers are dealing with. This means you will probably be narrowing your target and speaking to a subset comprised of a particular type of customer. The core message of your campaign will come from examining their buying habits and identifying a problem they have that you can solve.
Your Ad May Need to Stink
For example, let’s say you operate a pest control business. A general ad would sound something like, “We can help you control any kind of pest problem.” That kind of generic approach doesn’t resonate directly with their particular problem. They have to make a mental leap to their specific pest problem. Let’s say however, that you are doing business in an area that has been subjected to the invasion of the brown marmorated stink bug. You know for a fact that there are many people who want to rid themselves of this plague. So build a campaign around solving that specific problem. Something like “Got Stink Bugs? We get rid of them fast,” or maybe, “STINK BUGS! Get rid of them now.”
Once you define the basic premise of the campaign, expand it into a full blown pitch that expresses the value proposition of how you solve this problem and why consumers should choose your business. This refined pitch will be segmented into the subsequent elements of the campaign. The core message will be short and compelling for the ads associated with the campaign, and the landing pages will carry more extensive motivational information to get prospects to act.
It’s a relatively simple idea to develop a message for your campaign but to get the most out of it you need to really get into your customers shoes. If you can think like they do and see their problems, you can give them a compelling answer as to why they should choose your business to solve their problem.
Next up we’ll look at selecting advertising channels for your fresh new campaign.