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Updated for 2019
Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea. Sponsors of advertising are typically businesses wishing to promote their products or services. Advertising is differentiated from public relations in that an advertiser pays for and has control over the message.
It differs from personal selling in that the message is non-personal, i.e., not directed to a particular individual. Advertising is communicated through various mass media, including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor advertising or direct mail; and new media such as search results, blogs, social media, websites or text messages. The actual presentation of the message in a medium is referred to as an advertisement, or "ad" or advert for short.
Commercial ads often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through "branding", which associates a product name or image with certain qualities in the minds of consumers. On the other hand, ads that intend to elicit an immediate sale are known as direct-response advertising. Non-commercial entities that advertise more than consumer products or services include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental agencies.
Non-profit organizations may use free modes of persuasion, such as a public service announcement. Advertising may also help to reassure employees or shareholders that a company is viable or successful.
Advertising is an effective marketing tool used to promote or sell a product or service. It involves directly communicating a persuasive message about your business, product or service to inform or influence the buying behaviour of your audience.
You will need to identify your target market and focus on connecting with those customers. You can then tailor your message to those who have a need for your product or service.
What is the purpose of advertising?
The purpose of advertising is to market and promote a product or service to:
educate your audience
Benefits of advertising
Advertising plays an important role, not only for the business but also for the customer. Businesses create awareness of their product or service through advertising, and the customer buys the product or service after they become aware of it in the market.
A successful advertising campaign can generate several key benefits for your business, including:
an increase in sales
enhanced brand recognition
increase in customer reach
gaining a competitive advantage.
Successful advertising can reach a large audience, attracting more sales thereby increasing your revenue.
What to include in your advertisements
For your advertising to be successful you need to set yourself apart from your competitors and grab your audience's attention. When creating your ad make sure you:
use a powerful headline
tailor your message to suit your target audience
talk about the benefits
have a call-to-action
use exciting images
use testimonials if relevant
always deliver on what you promise.
Types of advertising
There are many different ways for a business to get a message to the consumer. With a range of media choices, finding the best advertising mix for your business can be challenging.
The advertising channels you choose should depend on the business you run, your budget and the media channels your target audience has access to. If your audience is mainly elderly customers, you should focus your advertising campaign on traditional media such as their local newspaper or radio station. Targeting the younger generation will probably see you engage with new media such as blogs, apps and social media.
Traditional vs new
Traditional media is an established form of mass media and includes pre-digital advertising methods such as television, radio and print (ie. newspapers, magazines and billboards). It relies on messages sent out to the consumer through a one-way communication channel to a mass audience.
Types of traditional advertising are:
billboards and off-site signs
mail order advertisements
In the past, traditional advertising was the only way to spread your message. With the emergence of new media, you can also focus your efforts on your ideal buyer and build a community around your product or service.
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New media, also known as digital advertising, is a popular form of online advertising for businesses to promote their products or services. The variety of digital channels allows you to reach your core customers in creative new ways, allowing your customer to interact and engage with you and your brand in a two-way format.
This form of advertising allows you to reach a larger target audience and has the potential to reach customers all over the world. You can also track your customers and analyse their purchasing behaviour while customising your message to their preferences.
Types of new media are:
online advertising - retargeting, banner ads, display ads, keywords, native, video
online streaming - radio and television
social media advertising
mobile app advertising
While the internet is a powerful medium, you can benefit from using a mix of traditional and new media tactics to reach your target market.
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