Companies of all sizes spend great chunks of their budgets on advertising. Designing a good advert is the difference between that investment paying off and bringing in new business, or the advert being a waste of money. Sometimes, even using the best publications or platforms, an advert can generate no leads at all and that is probably due to poor design.

So, how can you make sure that your advert is worth it and delivers results?

Here are our top tips:

1) Know your customer. What publication do they read or which website do they visit? Why are they reading it? Where are they in the Buying Process when they are looking at it? Are you placing an advert where they will see it? Before you place any adverts, make sure you know your audience inside out.

2) Know the market of the publication or platform. Who reads it? Why? When? What type of content do they run? How does your product or service suit that content? How can you make your advert fit in with that platform while also stand out in a positive way? Always ask the publisher for a media pack; this will give you a good start as it should contain info on their audience.

3) Avoid sending generic house adverts. Following on from doing your customer and publication research, you need to remember that each platform and publication may need a different advert. What works for digital doesn’t work in print and what works in a local newspaper isn’t the same as for a specialist magazine.

4) Avoid patronising your audience. They’re already wary of adverts. Avoid cliches, outrageous claims or aggressive calls to action. Be clever not crass.

5) Write a good headline. It’s your one chance to grab a reader’s attention. Techniques to try include: ask an intriguing question e.g. Five ways to make more money. Stir up some emotion by appealing to feelings or memories e.g. Missing your old friends? Create an association e.g. Fed up with rising gas bills?

6) Use the right image. It’s the first thing a reader will look at and what they will base their first assumptions on. Imagery is part of your brand and worth investing in to get right. If you’re unsure about any of these aspects, it will show in the advert and reflect on your business. Use professionals to get it right and make your advert count.

7) Have a call to action. Great, your advert is in the right place, it has grabbed their attention. What do you want them to do next? Call you? Visit your website? Download your free paper? Contact you via email? Make your call of action to move them on to the next stage of the buying process crystal clear.

Clare Kingsbury-Bell is a Marketing and PR Executive and KMS Marketing. She has also successfully set up, ran and then sold the regional magazine, “Mum’s Diary”. She has seen a lot of good adverts – and a lot of bad ones.

Do you want to set up and run a successful marketing campaign involving advertising? Want some professional advice on how to make it work? Then contact us to find out about our half-day Marketing Review at £225 + VAT.

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