Figuring out where you should spend your advertising dollars is never an easy task. There are times when you seem to throw money at marketing, and nothing sticks.
While online advertising and tracking make seeing return on investment (ROI) a bit easier than in years past, it's still difficult to know for sure how loyal any new customers are.
This year, global ad spending will hit over $605 billion, an increase of 4.3 percent over 2019. The competition online increases each month, and marketers are getting savvier. More people are clamoring for attention from the same pool of potential customers.
Advertising Tips for 2020
If you want to stand out from all the noise, you have to get savvy and dig into what you need to know about advertising your business in 2020.
1. Embrace Social Media.
Social media is still one of the most effective forms of digital advertising. However, you must choose the platform where your target audience spends most of their time.
If you want to reach women who enjoy crafts or cooking, Pinterest is an excellent choice. However, sites such as Facebook and Instagram offer highly specific audiences you can easily tailor to your needs.
2. Build Your Brand.
While each campaign has an impact on quarterly sales, your overall branding must always be at the fore. How people see your business and whether it's memorable impacts your customer base for years to come.
Try techniques such as choosing a strong name that signifies what you do. Other branding techniques to try include creating a style guide, figuring out what makes you different from similar brands, and finding your voice.
3. Consider Typography.
Do you want your ads to stand out and grab attention? The typography you use needs to be readable on different device sizes and offer contrast between the background and the type.
The fonts you choose for signage are also important. You want the signs to be readable by a passersby, even those in vehicles. When in doubt, take a step back from the design and look at it from different angles to see how it all comes together.
4. Time Your Posts.
You've likely heard the advice to know your audience and know them well. Part of this includes understanding when they are most likely to be online. If your ads target working professionals, then early morning or early evening is the best time to post.
Study the trends and determine when your posts get the most interaction, likes, and shares. Tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer help you track how different ads perform at various times.
5. Print Isn't Dead.
Even though digital marketing increases each year, print advertising is far from gone. You can still reach local users via the newspaper or mailbox flyers. Retail and service-based industries, in particular, benefit from signage that draws in foot traffic.
Billboards also help get your name out there and build brand recognition. While you're ramping up your digital marketing, don't forget to include a budget for print advertising.
6. Get Out In the Community.
Getting out in the community and having a presence is also a good way to develop goodwill. Sponsor a local youth sports team, or set up a booth at a craft fair and give out freebies. Even if your audience is global, having a local image is a great way to attract top job candidates to your business.
You'll also give back to the area where your employees live and interact with others. Some of the other companies or people in your area are potential customers, and word-of-mouth advertising is a powerful force.
7. Hone in on Omnichannel.
Campaigns with an omnichannel experience had a nearly 19 percent engagement rate, while single-channel received a 5.4 percent engagement rate. People today like to start a search on their phone, continue learning on their laptop, go into the store to see the item in person, and then order and have it shipped to their home.
The more pathways you offer, the better your engagement rates. Highlight the ease of gathering information from any source they'd like, and you've captured customer attention.
8. Be Consistent.
Make sure you are consistent, no matter where you advertise. For example, don't offer a lifetime warranty in an ad and then state on your website that the warranty is only for one year.
Make sure every advertisement meets with your policies and standards so customers get the same information, no matter where they encounter your brand.
Know what you stand for and your voice as a brand. Create a style guide that includes colors, logo placement, and even fonts to use. These should be utilized no matter where you advertise.
9. Set Strategic Goals.
Don't just plan to spend X dollars on advertising. Know where this money will go and what result you'd like.
Use specific numbers whenever possible that are measurable, such as a 10 percent increase in website traffic or a one percent revenue growth for the year. Set goals that challenge you but are still achievable.
At the end of the day, you want to spend your hard-earned dollars on advertising that works. Run A/B tests for digital ads. Create coupon codes for each campaign to see the response.
Measure each sale made through specific ads and adjust your plans as needed to embrace only the marketing efforts that are most effective for your company.
Lexie Lu is a freelance graphic designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest design news and always has some coffee in close proximity. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.