Let’s talk about ads, shall we?
I know. Boooring.
I’ll try to spice this up a little with some real life examples…and a dose of Padovani zaniness. 🙂
What is the purpose of an ad?
Ooooh. That was a trick question!
Before you can design an effective ad, you need to know it’s purpose.
Because that purpose might be any number of things:
- Lead generation – Get them to call, email or text.
- Make a sale
- Website visit
- Get them to read/view your content
- Brand visibility
Design your ad with that purpose in mind.
So if your purpose is to generate leads, you need to do everything in your power to design your ad to do exactly that.
DUH, right? It sounds obvious, but most people screw this up.
When we forget to begin with a purpose in mind, it’s like taking a road trip with no map. Before you know it, we end up on the White House lawn at 5am when you were supposed to be driving home to Poughkeepsie.
(Well, that’s what happened to me.)
5 Elements of Red Hot Ads
#1 – An attention-getting headline designed to attract your ideal clients.
You headline needs to first stand out and get noticed. In the advertising blitz we get hit with every day, it needs to attract attention.
But not just ANYONE’S attention — you want the attention of your ideal clients. Who cares about everyone else?
That means you need to make your ad all about the BENEFIT.
You need to know what questions, concerns, fears and desires are top of mind for your ideal client, and talk right to ‘em.
#2 – A strong call to action.
Remember that purpose we talked about?
You need to tell them what you want them to do in your ad. It’s simple, but often forgotten.
That means using those powerful action words:
Contact me. Visit my website. Click here. Buy now. Watch this video.
Tell them exactly what to do and make it crystal clear. And do it more than once!
#3 – A compelling offer.
It’s not just enough to tell them what to do. You need to give them a good reason to do it.
Now, let’s say your ad is a picture of a cute puppy. (I love puppies!)
You tell me, “Share This Photo!”
I enjoy your puppy photo, but come on. I don’t generally share puppy photos in my feed. (I leave that to Jeff.)
But what if you tell me, “Share This Photo and Find This Lost Puppy a Loving Home!”
Okay. You got me by the heart strings.
So your ad must include a reason that’s good enough to get the bride or groom off her/his duff and into action. And guess what?
Hiring you is NOT a compelling reason.
#4 – A designated landing page.
Wedding pros fail on this one 99% of the time with their Facebook Ads and their directory listings.
A “landing page” is the page a visitor lands on when they click a link or go to a particular URL.
That landing page should be directly related to the offer made in the ad.
Why? Because it builds trust, continues the conversation and is designed to get the action.
It’s all about fulfilling the purpose of the ad, remember?
This is true even if we’re talking about a print ad. Where are you going to send them? Be sure it’s in alignment with your offer.
Sending a bride who reads your ad in Brides Magazine to a page with an offer specifically for readers of the magazine will be much more effective than sending her to your home page.
#5 – Targeting.
You can have an ad with an awesome headline, a strong call to action and a killer offer that sends them to a kick ass landing page…and it could still FLOP…
IF your ideal client doesn’t see it.
That’s what makes Facebook Ads so (potentially) powerful. You can get your ads front and center to brides and grooms who have demonstrated an interest in your service by visiting your website. (More on that in our Acceleration workshops on Facebook Ads For Wedding Pros.)
Anatomy of a Crappy Ad
Now let’s look at a couple examples. I spent about 5 minutes in my Facebook feed to find these.
This isn’t the worst ad in the world, but it’s not very effective, either. Let’s investigate how it measures up on the Elements.
Attention-Getting Headline? Meh.
If you’re a Seth Godin fan, maybe. Or a marketing geek.
It’s not horrible, but it doesn’t address a particular problem or promise a specific benefit. It’s kind of generic.
What IS good about this ad is that it’s a video (which you can’t see from the still) which immediately grabs attention in the news feed.
Call to action? Meh.
“Sign up” and “join” is okay. “Get instant access” would be better.
Most people are kind of reluctant to “sign up” because it implies commitment. And lawd, we hate that!
Compelling offer? Decent.
3 months of unlimited access for 99 cents sounds like a bargain.
Of course, 3 months of what? It would have to be something I want, and unless I’m a Seth Godin junkie, I probably don’t want 3 months of him. (Sorry, I really do love you, Seth.)
Now, the benefit isn’t strong enough in this ad to get me to click BUT the targeting is right on.
See, Facebook knows I like marketing. And I’ve probably liked something by Seth Godin at some point, because I’m into him, too.
I also really like learning (the main benefit they are offering) which makes me an ideal target.
Anatomy of a Red Hot Ad
Attention- Getting Headline? YEAH, BABY!
This headline is textbook awesome. “Step by step formula,” and it contains the buzz words “amazing” and “new.”
Most importantly, it’s all about the benefit: getting new clients.
If this is on my mind, I am going to notice this headline.
Call to action? Yep.
“Click here.” “Register.” “Claim your spot.”
That’s good stuff. I’m down to click and claim, no problem.
Also, see that little arrow next to the link in there? Another visual call to action. Very effective!
Compelling offer? Oh, yeah.
Number one, it’s FREE, which is always enticing. If getting clients is on my mind, I’m gonna want it.
Plus, it’s just piling on the benefits!
It’s a “simple” way to “expand your reach, increase your impact, grow your business.” The benefits also continue in enticing bullet points about all the cool stuff I’m going to learn. All sounding very good.
And it’s free. Did I already say that?
Targeting? Right on!
Yep, I’m a marketer who wants to get more clients.
Facebook knows me all too well.
This ad is in front of a person with the right marketing interests.
Now, I don’t have specific connections to Marie Andros — though I know who she is — and I’m not necessarily into video marketing, but they’ve probably targeted me by some other related interests.
There is a lot you can learn about ads just from looking at them with this mindset and asking yourself whether it contains each of these elements.
What do you think?