Creative advertising is one of the most effective ways to reach your customers and drive sales.
When competing with other companies, it can be an expensive process especially if you’re trying to buy adverts in the same places. However, traditional billboard adverts and social posts aren’t your only option.
In fact, being creative with your advertising can not only bring in new customers, it can often be much cheaper too.
Read on to discover some advertisement ideas that can make your business better.
Coming Up With Advertisement Ideas
There’s a reason people use advertising agencies instead of doing it themselves. Agencies hire skilled people who are trained at creating unique ideas to appeal to consumers.
You may remember the Old Spice commercials or the famous Apple adverts. These were all thought of by someone looking to speak to people in a new and compelling way.
When thinking of ideas, it’s essential to think about your customers as people with values, goals, and what it is your business can offer them.
From there, try to think of fun and surprising ways you can talk to them about what you do. The more creative you can be the better because people only remember the adverts that are different. Not the ones which look and sound like all the others.
To get you started, here are ten ideas you can try.
1. Advertise Somewhere New
Too often businesses throw money at magazine ads or online banners because of the number of people they think they’ll reach.
What they forget is that consumers are used to advertising and it’s traditional placements so they’ll often ignore most ads. When was the last time you really looked at a banner advert on the side of a website?
There are no rules to where you should or should not advertise so think creatively.
For example, rather than a billboard or article, a luxury wine company could sell their grapes at a farmers market where they know some of their customers shop. By physical numbers, they’ll only reach a few people. However, this approach is so different that every single person will remember who they are and the service they received.
From there, word of mouth about the company will spread and more people are likely to try the wine. Stunts also tend to be photographed and posted online by customers and local newspapers meaning you get free, organic promotion of your business.
2. Give Away Unique Merchandise
What is the product or service your company offers and what is a really fun or cool physical representation of that?
Let’s say you provide IT solutions, the first thought is something like a USB with your company logo on it. But what if instead, you gave them padlocks to represent your cybersecurity services?
Sure, custom merchandise is more expensive and therefore you won’t be able to buy as large a quantity. But thirty people walking away with your cool, memorable gift is far better than two hundred with a boring pen that they’ll forget about.
3. Hire an Illustrator or Graphic Designer
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is assuming the quality of their product or service will be enough to make sales. But this is a world where people really do judge a book by its cover.
An ugly website, boring brochures, and plainly uninspired presentations all send the wrong message to customers.
Take the craft beer industry for example. In the past, companies like Budweiser and Heineken dominated the market with their simple and flat designs. But when you look at the packaging of craft beers, they usually have beautiful designs and artwork.
This not only makes them stand out but it offers a distinct character and personality to the beer before someone even tastes it.
And don’t think that because you’re in a more “serious profession” like law or finance firm you can’t be creative. Adding in that extra spark makes your company look more human, more personable, and most importantly more memorable.
4. Make a Video That Tells a Story
Everyone is sick and tired of seeing videos that go:
“Hi I’m [who cares] and today I’m going to [bore you with talking about my product or service].”
Just like with advertising in new places, it’s crucial to think about what will really resonate with your customers.
Companies like Blue Atlas Marketing and other agencies have found success by selling services through customer’s own stories and experiences.
5. Do a Live Stream
Live streaming is a great way to bring people into your business and see what you do first-hand.
For example, a cafe could show where they source their coffee beans from and how they prepare them before serving them to their customers. You may think this is risky as customers could point out flaws or issue with your process. The smart companies, however, will thank those customers and do a follow-up video showing how they took the feedback and improved.
You don’t need to be perfect, customers more than anything want to see that they are being listened to. Letting them in allows them to feel more connected to your business than any other competitor out there.
6. Pro Bono Work
There is nothing better for your business than doing pro bono work for a charity or non-profit.
For your employees, it gives them a strong sense of satisfaction and happiness that they can use their professional skills to help others. It also means they will value working at your company more than if they were somewhere else.
For your business, you will be making real change that helps others as well as giving yourself the opportunity to do some amazing work. Instead of a paying customer that makes demands, charities are often very flexible and will trust you to do the work you recommend.
7. Utilize Microtargeting
Commercial advertising is at its worst when it tries to appeal to everyone.
Again, you will be more memorable if you choose to target just a few specific customers rather than all of them.
To do this, think about a product or service you offer that you want to promote. Then, consider who specifically will benefit the most from that and think about a unique way to reach that audience.
For example, an online store selling jewelry may want to increase the sales of a butterfly necklace they have. To do this effectively, they will think about the type of people who will actually buy this specific item. Nature lovers, people who go on hikes and enjoy forests and meadows, etc.
They will then look at their data to see where the majority of their sales are coming from, is it young women in urban areas or middle-aged woman in rural communities? Once they figure this out, they can purchase ads that will specifically target those customers in spaces around nature and outdoor lifestyles.
This is not only cheaper, but it means the ad will actually be shown the people most likely to buy the necklace meaning sales will be higher.
8. Partner With Another Business
Collaboration is an excellent way to split the cost of advertising and bring in new business.
The best companies are those which pose zero competition to you but offer products or services that complement your business.
Have a bakery? Partner with a nearby cafe. Do you offer financial services? Try working with a local real estate company to help people find a home.
Giving people a joint deal doubles the effectiveness of your advertising and also helps foster a network of reliable business to work with in future.
9. Reach Out to Influencers
We don’t mean Drake or other famous celebrities. We mean normal, down to earth people with a humble following on social media channels.
Just like with microtargeting, it’s better to find someone who is a perfect fit and is followed by the exact audience you’re trying to reach.
To return to the butterfly necklace example, there may be an Instagram account run by a photographer dedicated exclusively to butterflies. It’s obvious that anyone who follows this channel loves them so promoting through that channel would be immensely effective.
10. Hold a Pop-Up Event
Small events are an incredible way to give your business exposure and connect with members of the community. You can do this alone or follow the above tip to partner with other businesses.
Again, don’t think of just making a stand like at a tradeshow and hoping people will come by to talk to you. Do something fun and different that people will enjoy.
A great way to think of ideas is just to think of yourself. What would you like a company to do if you went to an event? What would be memorable and fun for you?
As a bakery, you could involve customers in the baking or decorating process at the stall and give them a discount for helping out. As an IT company, you could provide on the spot advice and help those with problems to show off your expertise.
The possibilities are endless and whatever you do, just enjoy yourself and make it fun.
Time to Shine
Coming up with advertisement ideas is both a challenging and rewarding experience.
A good sign that you’ve got a good idea is that it’s easy to explain in a single sentence and everyone you tell it to understands it.
To be clear, the creative process is difficult. For every amazing advert you’ve seen there was definitely hundreds of terrible ideas that were thought of and thrown away.
What’s important is that you push yourself and don’t get disheartened if the idea doesn’t come right away. Just keep trying and working on it until you find something which is so simple and exciting you can’t believe you didn’t think of it first.