Gone are the days of just putting the day’s special up one letter at a time on a marquee and waiting for customers to flock in. Instead, there are now numerous effective marquees, ranging from email marketing and direct mail to Facebook and Snapchat. Choosing which marketing product is right for your customers is imperative, and once that decision is made, how you convey your message is crucial. Managing the social media monster and creating cross-platform advertising content that includes visuals, video and a clear message is not as difficult or as overwhelming as it seems. Follow these four tips to make your message pop.

1. Identify Your Story

Think of your posts or advertising campaigns in terms of an article in a newspaper or magazine; Tell your story. This can be the story of the day (today’s special if you’re a café) or the story of your entire establishment (started by a grandfather, promoting good food, good service and good times for 50 years.)

Each story needs a headline, a photo and a paragraph that describes what’s happening. Using the café example: Today’s special: Chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes. Today’s special is your headline, the food being served is what’s happening. You can dive in further with descriptions of the technique, sourcing of food, etc., but those three key points must be the first things your audience sees.

2. Focus on Good Art

It’s no secret that strong imagery is a necessity. It grabs the attention of the reader and, more so, the powers that be (Facebook, Google, and other search and social algorithms) will penalize you by hiding your content from customers. And if you’re pursuing Snapchat or Instagram, you can’t use these platforms without images.

Whether it’s a stock photo, a smartphone snapshot or professional portraits, be smart about your art: Pay attention to the details. That chicken fried steak? Style the plate, put it under good light and take a bunch of photos as you move around. Still not a good picture? Take a shot of the chef preparing it or an individual ingredient. Keep thinking and keep trying. Just make sure the art follows the theme of the story.

3. Don’t Overlook Video

More and more, video is how we consume information and, of course, it’s not just on the TV. Quick video snippets engage your audience.

Examples: For a café, do you want to show video of just a plate of food? No, that can be done with a single image. Even a 5-second clip can convey emotion or meaning. Show a plate of food with a chef putting on the finishing touches? That illustrates how your team pays attention to every detail. Show the owner joking with a customer: you feel like part of the family when you come here.

If you’re looking to take the extra step, hire an advertising agency and create cohesive video campaigns that brand your product, the people who make it and the entire experience of your product.
Case Study: The Starbucks Origin Experience campaign.

4. Make Everything Cohesive

Disparate campaigns can lead to a less memorable brand and a confused customer.
Case Study: Coca-Cola’s polar bear campaign. Started in 1993, the campaign has become an iconic symbol of the soda brand. Follow their lead and create a campaign that works across all mediums.

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