When done correctly, advertising can be a game changer for your business. Familiarity with your firm opens doors for teaming relationships and opportunities that occur only when industry colleagues know and recognize who you are. Advertising is a great way to initiate and grow that familiarity, while shaping the message the way you want it to be perceived, in the places that you want it to be seen.
Marketing – and specifically, advertising – is not a one-size-fits-all activity. What works well for brands that market to consumers is not going to fit when a B2G business tries it on. Marketing is complex, and you need to understand your consumer’s buying behavior before you begin any campaign or ad design.
Good advertising provides brand recognition, industry presence, and builds the perception of a successful, active, and reliable entity. Advertising is also challenging. How do you know if you are doing it right? Or if It is even working at all?
Here are some tips for creating your ad. If you get stuck – we are happy to help you out. Whether you need full concept design for an entire campaign, one ad, or graphic design only, we can help you make it shine.
1. Audience – I like industry magazines for a number of reasons: First, they are targeted. Your potential customers receive a copy of every issue. And second, they don’t get thrown away. Unlike online media, magazines have a staying power in offices. They hang around on coffee tables and in conference rooms for months or years. My two favorites are The Military Engineer and Engineering News-Record. TME is best for federal contractors.
2. Repetition – Place your ad more than once. This is how you become a recognized firm. By correctly targeting your message and approach, you can also associate your values and strengths with this name and brand recognition.
3. Message – This may be the biggest challenge for some firms. The key to a successful ad is to focus on just one main point or idea, and don’t try to sell your entire business all at once. For example, highlight a recent award, completed project, or one of your business lines.
4. Length – Too many words = people won’t read it. When was the last time you read two paragraphs of ad text? Your goal is to build recognition and a good feeling associated with your brand. The rest is detail specific to your message.
5. Size – If you can afford the slightly higher cost for a larger ad space, it’s worth it. I recommend at least a third of a page. When you go much smaller, your ad may get buried in the back, or you simply can’t fit any content cleanly.
6. Design – No matter what you do, make sure your ad is professionally designed. An unprofessional design can reduce your credibility instead of enhance it, which runs counter to the entire notion of advertising.
7. Photos – Print ads require high-resolution photos. iPhone photos will not cut it, as they will appear fuzzy and low-quality. Stock photos will not cut it, as they look like just that – stock. If you haven’t taken professional marketing photos of your projects and project teams, it’s not too late. The value of doing this is through the roof, which you will realize when you see the dramatic improvement in professionalism throughout all of your marketing materials.
Whatever you do, make sure that your ads are actually making an impact.
There are countless ways to distinguish your firm from the competition. Through targeted print ads, videography, digital advertising, and other unique out-of-the-box approaches, Cavalry Consulting is here to guide you.