Over the years as an advertising account manager, I’ve been fortunate to work on trade ad campaigns for a variety of clients in several different industries, from healthcare and automotive to transportation and foodservice.
But regardless of client, industry or target audience, I like to bring myself back to these five tips to make sure our efforts will achieve the desired impact:
- It all starts with the media plan. When’s the last time you carefully reviewed who you advertise with to make sure the majority of the audience is still aligned with your goals? Or researched what new digital, more targeted opportunities are now offered? Get your hands on media kits, BPA statements (print), average click-through rates (digital) and any other available data to review the audience breakdowns, identify new opportunities and compare costs.
- Have a clear objective. Don’t try to do too much in such a limited space. Pick one key compelling message and end goal, and stick with it. Being able to clearly (and succinctly) articulate what you want to communicate and what you want your audience to do after seeing the ad will make a noticeable difference in the creative development.
- Stand out. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience, and flip through the trade publications or peruse the websites where you plan to focus your media spend. See a lot of equipment beauty shots, a lot of the same color or similar concepts? What can you do to stand out and attract attention?
- Tailor your message. Demonstrate to your audience that you understand their unique challenges, and show how your product or service can help provide a solution. While one concept may work across multiple publications and audiences, some simple messaging or image tweaks can go a long way.
- Move prospects forward, deliberately. You can tell only a small part of your story in a trade ad (print or digital), so keep prospects engaged with a compelling call to action to watch a video, visit a microsite or download a helpful tool. Use trackable URLs so you’re not only moving people closer to your company, but you’re also giving yourself metrics to analyze.