Successful Advertising Targets Audiences’ Interests

2014 07 14   Peter Feinstein   Social Media    

One of the keys to creating successful adverting is to look at a potential message from the perspective of the intended audience. The needs of the sender may have little relevance to the recipient. For a message to be accepted and digested, it must appeal to its audience.

Put another way: If you want to influence people, don’t piss them off. Unfortunately, that is just what many online and social-media ads do.

When an ad interferes in a conversation between friends, the results are uniformly lower. It’s because human psychology resents and revolts against its friendships being interrupted.

A couple of recent articles look at how this applies on different platforms:

Why Twitter’s Buy-Now Button Won’t Be a Gravy Train for Brands (Advertising Age) – Many advertisers commit the faux pas of allowing simplistic social media sites to present them as unwelcome interruptions to users’ conversations – a social gaffe for social media. Instead, advertisers should find an agency that can help them become friends with these networks’ users. Otherwise, their efforts will simply be more blather and failure.

Readers Often Don’t Trust or Understand ‘Sponsored Content,’ Survey Finds (Public Relations Tactics) – This is the fault of platforms that use terms such as “sponsored content” instead of simply calling ads what they are. Clearly, they are afraid that, if they tell the truth, users will reject their ads just as they do banner ads. It’s brilliantly stupid to misrepresent oneself while taking advertisers’ money and exacerbating the sense of distrust consumers have toward online pitches.

It really doesn’t matter what online or social-media platform you use. If you want your ad have even a chance of success, look at things from the recipient’s point of view. It’s not about you!