What is Advertising?
Advertising is a typically paid type of promotion, distributed through a publisher, that aims to persuade people to act or respond in a particular way.
There are three basic types of ads:
- Informative advertising, often used to launch a new product or to reach a new group of customers, gives people basic information, like what a product does, how someone might use it, where they can find it, and what the price point is. The objective is to capture interest, raise awareness, leave a positive impression, and motivate people to take the next step, like making a purchase or requesting more information.
- Persuasive advertising generally aims to increase demand, influence people to change brands, or motivate people to make a purchase. It might show the benefits a product offers or compare key features against a leading competitor.
- Reminder advertising reassures people who already know—and potentially like—a brand, with a goal of keeping the product or service top-of-mind for future purchases. It reinforces messages from other ads, and may include customer testimonials.
Advertising is a form of outbound media, which means an ad interrupts what someone is doing in an effort to capture their attention. There are more specific forms of advertising like social media advertising or more specifically, Facebook advertising.
It’s an approach that has pros and cons. Advertising’s reach can be either broad or very targeted, and advertisers have a lot of control over how, when, and where a message is distributed. However, finding the right message, format, and channel to get and keep someone’s attention—and entice them to convert—is one of advertising’s biggest challenges.
Preparing for an advertising campaign
Before you dive into an advertising campaign, you need to have a strong understanding of the audience you’re trying to reach: your customers and prospects. If you don’t already have solid data about your audience, use market research to gather information and expand on what you already know.
Knowing who you want to reach and the type of message that will resonate with them is critical for a successful advertising campaign; the channels we use to communicate are constantly shifting, and up-to-date information about your core audience will keep your decisions rooted in good data.
The 5 Ms of advertising
Once you’ve defined your target audience, you’ll need to structure your advertising campaign—what’s known as the “five Ms of advertising.”
- Mission defines the purpose for your advertising campaign and its objectives.
- Money is a critical factor in any campaign; your budget will have an impact on the format and ad placement. As you figure out the right media for your message, account for the resources and skills you’ll need to produce a complete campaign.
- Message is the information you want your audience to get, including your call to action (the action you want them to take).
- Media refers to the wide variety of advertising channels you have to choose from—outlined below—when it comes to placing an ad.
Measurement defines the data you’ll track to measure your results and determine how well your efforts have succeeded.