Category: Print

5 Mistakes in Your Ads That Keep Customers Away

It’s not hard to find a place for your advertisements—websites, social media and mailers (to name a few) are all great places for reaching your customers. But is your ad itself ready to be shown to the world?

An advertisement is like a cake: it needs to be carefully constructed because one wrong ingredient can ruin the whole experience. Take a look at these 5 common advertising mistakes to make sure your ads are good enough to make sales.

Mistake #1: Having too many goals

Each ad you put in a mailbox or on a webpage should have only one goal. Are you trying to introduce your brand for the first time? Want to entice your viewer into your store or onto your website? Or are you simply reminding your audience that you exist?

Having one goal can help steer how you make your ad while stuffing in too many objectives can confuse the reader so much that they move onto the next ad and ignore yours altogether.

Too many goals get lost in the noise. This ad has two calls-to-action plus coupon offers.

This ad has one simple goal that you can’t miss.

Keep your goal as simple as possible. Try one of these objectives:

  • I want them to fill out a form
  • I want them to know my company exists
  • I want them to call my number
  • I want them to change their mind
  • I want them to make a purchase
  • I want them to avoid a competitor
  • I want them to know where my store is
  • I want them to ask for a quote

 

Mistake #2: Using random colors, fonts and voices

Think of your ad as if you’re calling your customer on the phone or showing up at their door—they should be able to recognize you within a few seconds.

Using your branded colors, fonts, voice and marketing styles will make you identifiable (and can make your company appear strong and grounded).

Zerorez uses its branded colors and styles for a clean, recognizable look.

If you use randomly chosen colors and typefaces, you run the risk of not only poor design but also not standing out among the thousands of ads people see each month.

Aside from the logo, QuickenLoans uses so little branding that this ad barely stands out.

If you don’t have defined branding, use colors that stand out but don’t over-stimulate, typefaces that are legible for the media (don’t use thin, small lettering on a billboard), and a brand voice that your target audience wants to hear.

Mistake #3: Stuffing in too many elements

Aside from having too many goals, using too many on-page elements within the ad is an easy way to become background noise.

This ad has so much going on, it’s hard to tell who the company is.

Don’t get caught up in the unnecessary details:

  • Too many images
  • The word “phone” before your phone number
  • The word “email” before your email address
  • Design just to fill white space
  • The “www.” before your web address
  • Multiple calls-to-action
  • Social media icons

This ad has a logo, a simple message and attractive art. Even the revere leaves out unnecessary clutter.

Mistake #4: Making your logo too large

You understandably want your logo to be seen, but customers care more about what they can get from you, not necessarily who you are.

Making your logo too large takes away valuable space in other parts of your ad.

It can also attract too much attention—instead of guiding your readers’ eyes to the main purpose of the ad (headline, call-to-action, button), they may spend their few viewing seconds on your logo and move onto the next ad.

There’s little reason for Waste Management’s logo to take up most of the ad.

Well-designed logos are also recognizable even if they are placed smaller in an ad. Unless you’re introducing your brand for the first time, it’s okay to leave your logo readable, but smaller in size.

Irwin’s logo stands out even at 2% the size of the ad.

Mistake #5: Not knowing your audience

Having a defined target audience will make all other aspects of an ad fall into place. Certain demographics view more billboards. Some are more enticed by bright, flashy colors. Others prefer to read several paragraphs of copy.

If you haven’t yet, figure out exactly who your target audience is and use their habits and interests while marketing to them. This can be done via market research, checking out your Google analytics or creating a profile of the majority of your current customers.

Google Analytics gives you an in-depth look at your audience.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

See How You Can Improve Your Marketing

Changes in Marketing You May Have Missed This Year [2017]

As always, marketing trends can change faster than you can say demographic. Luckily, as always, we’re here to help you stay up-to-date on marketing trends that could affect how you do business. Here are some notable changes in marketing that happened this year.

How Customers See Google Ads

Ads in Google’s search results pages have gone through quite the visual transformation since they first rolled out in 2000. This year, Google ads are now identified with a small, green-outlined box, a change from the small, solid green box from last year. Before then, ads were tagged with a more noticeable yellow box, and fully colored ads prior to that.

This move shows Google is making ads appear more like normal search results, which is beneficial for businesses since customers who normally avoid ads may instead find themselves on your website.

USPS’s Grab at Digital Marketing

Even in a digital world, direct mail has managed to find a way to survive. In fact, 92% of shoppers have said they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions in 2016.

To stay even more relevant, the USPS officially introduced their Informed Delivery program this year. This free program lets residents get an emailed, black-and-white preview of their mail before its delivered, allowing them to better track important mail pieces whether they’re across town or across the world.

Businesses who send mail can swap out the gray-toned preview for a full-color, digital image with a link to a website, all at no cost (for now). This allows customers to be able to immediately engage with one click.

New Facebook Mid-Roll Ads

Facebook loves helping businesses advertise. As of April 2017, over 5 million businesses advertise on Facebook every month, which isn’t hard to believe seeing how easy it is to make an ad on the platform

While most ads are placed within a user’s newsfeed, Facebook is now offering a new way for businesses to advertise with video: mid-roll ads.

Think of it as a commercial break in the digital age. While a viewer is watching a video on Facebook, advertisers can insert a short video ad (of 15 seconds or less), an ad process that is designed to be non-intrusive as possible.

Twitter Doubles Content Length

This year, Twitter upped the number of characters a user can fit into one tweet. Straying from their almost iconic 140-character limit that they’ve had since the first tweet in 2009, Twitter doubled the character count to 280.

This means you can fit more of your message into a single tweet. But be careful: short, simple messages can be more effective as customers often tune out long chunks of text.

Increase in Magazine Readers

Like direct mail, print has yet to kick the bucket. This year, the number of magazine readers has increased again, and has been increasing since at least 2012. This would be a good time to test some print ads in a medium often pushed to the side in the digital age.

Still Growing in 2017 and Beyond

Minimalist Website Design. Businesses are going for less clutter and busy patterns, and more clear, crisp websites.

Less-Corporate Social Media. Users across the web tend to respond better to businesses that act like humans instead of stiff and robotic on social media sites.

Website Exit Popups. More sites are moving away from intrusive popup ads and toward exit popups, which only show a message when the user’s mouse leaves the window. These exit popups can give the same opportunity without being disruptive.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Taking Advantage of Small Business Saturday

What Is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate local, independent businesses across America. The holiday, created by American Express, takes place one day after Black Friday and two days before Cyber Monday, giving the little guys as much shopping attention as big retailers.

The holiday has grown from a simple ad campaign to a multi-billion dollar day-long event in only eight years. This year, Small Business Saturday takes place on November 24th.

Notable Facts

1. The first Small Business Saturday took place in 2010. American Express, along with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and the National Trust for Historic Reservation, introduced the event to the nation.

2. The holiday has been officially recognized by the U.S. Senate. Just one year after the first event, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution of support for the day.

3. Last year, shoppers spent $12 billion. The total estimated spend includes independent retailers and restaurants.

4. Over 100 million people spent the day shopping small. In 2015, 95 million customers purchased products from small businesses on the holiday, and 112 million in 2016.

How You Can Use Small Business Saturday

With small businesses accounting for 99% of all businesses in the country, Small Business Saturday is a huge opportunity for business owners to come together and urge consumers to shop small.

Free Marketing Materials

American Express lets you easily design marketing materials on their website for in-store displays or digital marketing. Don’t have the time? You can also download pre-designed materials.

Show Your Involvement

As more customers become aware of Small Business Saturday every year, consider announcing your involvement on your social media accounts, in email blasts, and in-store signage.

Offer a Deal

We also suggest you run a promotion or offer a deal to attract customers. A simple discount and clever wording (“free doll for shopping small”) can multiply your crowds.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Our Most Requested Services By Business Owners

From our start over forty years ago, we’ve built up our offerings from just printing to include digital marketing and strategy, and we continue to add more services every year. Here are our most requested services by business owners from all around the Twin Cities.

1. Logo Design

Our graphic designers craft logos for businesses all around Minnesota. We take your company branding and look at modern design trends to create a logo that defines your business and speaks to your customers.

Have a sketch of what you want? Even better. We’ll draft it up and give you an option or two of what will appear best across print, digital and apparel.

2. Websites

Your website is often the first thing potential customers see from you, and it should reflect you and your message accurately. It should have your brand colors, fonts and writing style to keep you separate from your competition.

Even current customers should look forward to returning to your site. It should be easy to navigate and full of relevant written content. We’ll design brand new sites and revamp outdated websites for companies in almost any industry.

3. Marketing Mentor

Our Marketing Mentor program is ideal for companies who have a great product or service, but little time or effort to spend on marketing. Our strategists, designers, writers and developers come together to offer you:

A successful business needs both great products and great marketing. We’ll help you get the attention of customers and retain their relationship to build your sales.

4. Printing

We print thousands of flyers, brochures, letterhead, mailers and more every year. Our print operators know how to make marketing materials come out looking professional, and we even have 5,000 square feet of warehouse to store your prints until you’re ready to use them.

Even if you don’t have a layout or graphics ready, our designers can take your message and create an entire piece from scratch, all at your approval.

5. SEO

Many people don’t know that Google results aren’t random, and you can actually control where you show up when customers search for your products.

This practice is called SEO – search engine optimization. When we tweak parts of your website like your content, images and layout, Google relists you closer to the number one spot in the search results.

This listing is important because users rarely venture past the first page of Google, and the majority only pays attention to the top five results.

We’ve helped companies get huge boosts. One Minneapolis business moved from listing on the 7th page to the number 4 spot on the first page in a matter of days. Where do you rank when customers search your product?

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

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