Social Media makes the cost of launching a business much cheaper and many people are jumping in to develop companies. With this trend are products like Canva or PicMonkey that make it easy to produce digital ads for a few dollars apiece, even free. While people are working hard to make promotional work for their young firms, many wish their ads worked harder. Lately, I’ve been following conversations in private entrepreneurial groups. People are questioning how much running their ads costs versus how well they’re working to produce new customers. Are you creating work that isn’t getting noticed as much as you’d like? If it’s costing you over $2.50 per lead, it’s time to look at your ads closely.
For starters, are your materials quickly showing off how you can help solve your customer’s problem in a memorable way? Do they look similar to other ads in your category? Everyone is creative and it’s worth the time to connect with your audience in ways that they’ll remember and share.
- Pull copies of ads in your category and really get a full picture of what’s being used. What’s most common? Are they touching on the same solutions or strategic pain points? What images and words are most used? Doing this research will pay off smartly. It’s never too early to decide that you’re going to develop something that you don’t see being done anywhere. It’s not as hard as you think when approached with the proper mindset. If you’re not creating the work yourself, be sure that you’ve set this criteria in place for those that are creating it. Here are a couple of ads done for pit bull and shelter dog rescue groups. The ads are professional and remind people that there are good dogs waiting for homes. While better than many, they’re not all that unusual for the category.
Let’s say it’s your turn. Think of creativity like you would a kaleidoscope. New patterns are simply created by taking small bits and shifting them slightly so that they become new. How many new visual patterns can you make by simply turning the bits of colored glass or other items inside a kaleidoscope? We all know that the answer is endless.
- Remember, there’s no such thing as completely new. New is simply made by combining two known things in a different way. With this thought in mind, take a look at the wonderful work that photographer Sophie Gamand is doing to help animal shelter groups place pit bulls. People have worn flowers in their hair forever. She’s combined that classic practice with dogs, creating new memorable portraits and “selling” people on one of the hardest types of dogs to place. There’s something quite loveable about each of them. Their unique and personable look is creating more shares and great press. Best yet, her idea is producing results as it changes perspectives and opens hearts and homes for these animals.
While her work is truly focused on helping save pit bulls it’s also producing great benefits for Sophie, professionally. Her photos have been featured in a raft of magazines including Vogue. Oprah has noted the work and reprinted a group of these portraits in O Magazine. Sophie’s prints are also being sold in galleries and across the world. The Flower Power Project she started in New York is becoming a trend as others are encouraged to take pictures of their dogs with floral headpieces, supporting the movement. It started with the simple desire to change the way people felt when they saw a shelter dog with that familiar wide-shaped face.
- A third key to becoming memorable is the power of repetition. Build on your original idea. We’re all bombarded with so many messages and images that it’s critically important to use repetition. Sophie has repeated her original portrait idea countless times. It’s kept extra fresh because she uses a different flower crown and colored background for each dog. This allows her campaign to highlight the different personalities of individual pups. As a whole, it keeps building on the original thought and grows in power as each new photo is added. Looking at this group of portraits reminds us that it’s important to judge individuals based on their own merits rather than remaining prejudiced against the group as a whole.
Remember, when creating your materials, make sure that there’s a unique point-of-difference between your pieces and the others in your category. Follow these three basic tips and you’ll find that your advertising has more potential to attract attention and work harder. It doesn’t matter whether you’re creating a video, print or podcast. Your business is one-of-a-kind. Don’t you deserve advertising that reflects this truth?
- Find out what is being overused or is typical in your category and avoid it.
- Take two things and put them together in a new way to communicate your main message.
- Repeat and build on your original idea.