Don’t Be So Negative – Leveraging White Space

Leveraging White Space While I was attending the Digital Summit Detroit last week, the topic of white space came up in a few presentations. Meanwhile in some projects at the agency we had some discussions with clients who wanted to fill every available square inch.

Early in my career, I was taught that white space wasn’t what was left over after all the visual elements were used – it was a design element just like type or photos. Every day I see examples that illustrate the “cover every square inch” mantra. Like trade show booths with copy down at foot level. Or billboards with 20-word headlines, four URLs, and social media icons for every channel. Sometimes, quite simply:

Less is more.

See how I did that? You read that line because it was all on its own. It had impact, power, and simplicity. Three simple words. With space around them. A few other key benefits of white space:

  • It helps the reader prioritize – when the entire space is filled, the brain can’t process what to pay attention to first. So, your primary benefit could get overlooked entirely.
  • It improves readability – by making elements stand out, they are easily and quickly read and grasped.
  •  It separates and groups elements – keeping copy associated with the relevant visual is a key benefit of leaving some white space.
  • It creates balance – the reader’s eye likes order and balance, thus attracting greater readership.
  • It invokes imagination – by leaving some white space, the readers mind becomes freed to process what you’re saying and engages them to explore the possibilities.

An additional thought – “white space” doesn’t have to be white. When the term is used, it’s simply negative space. The color doesn’t matter, what does is the fact that it’s not filled by other elements.

So the next time you’re tempted to cram in just one more graphic to occupy that “empty” space, consider this:

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

-Sean-

New Year – New AdWords Campaign

It’s a new year so it is not surprising that businesses may be considering new marketing techniques to capture a desired audience. Today I want to share some thoughts on starting new online ads, specifically creating a new new adwords campaignAdWords campaign.

The biggest challenge is often simple  – where to start? Will my Google AdWords ads focus on overall branding or target something more specific. By taking the time to develop a CLEAR goal, it will be easier to determine what kind of ad needs to be created. To get started, ask some of the following questions:

  • Are my ads intended to grow sales?
  • Will my ads focus on brand awareness?
  • Will my Google AdWords ads generate demand?
  • What action will a website visitor take when clicking on the ad?
  • Are my ads leading to a lead capture form? Should they lead to a purchase? Do I have a white paper to offer? Can my audience sign up for a newsletter?

In starting out, always identify a goal (or several goals) and know how the results will be measured. Now that the hard part is done, simply create a campaign. Yes, it really is that easy! I do not plan to recreate the wheel though, so be sure to check out this excellent step-by-step AdWords starter guide that Google has. It will get new advertisers started. I would like to add a couple quick tips though that I have learned through experience.

Creating a New AdWords campaign

  1. If possible, help customers take an action. Include a call-to-action then follow that by adding conversion tracking. Doing so will show you how effective your campaigns may be.
  2. Brainstorm a list (or lists) of keyword ideas associated with your brand/product. Certainly Google offers a tool to get you started but often they may not be the keywords that are best for a business.
  3. Consider using negative keywords to improve search. This eliminates those who may not actually be potential customers.
  4. Start with very specific targeting. That may be geographic targeting or AdGroups designed to attract a specific audience. Starting small will help create success early.

These are just a few tips, but they are some of the easiest to implement when creating a campaign, and I would argue that they are some of the most important.

I mentioned above, that measuring campaign results is important, ultimately though it is a must – When creating a new advertising campaign, advertisers need to know what works. Without analyzing results advertisers are flying blind! Test new ideas then build on campaign successes and failure, using a tool (Google Analytics) to help determine what is working and what is not.

Start with the basics and build a new AdWords campaign around success. The size of the campaign matters not if well thought out, so start today!

Does getting started with AdWords seem overwhelming or intimidating? Give us a call at 734-995-5000, we can help to get your campaigns set up or by offering ongoing campaign support.

 

Digital Advertising Assistance Needed?

Does someone need support for sagging kankles?

Digital Advertising

This example of digital advertising is a good reminder that before running ads, there are several key things to consider:

  1. How many characters are available in the title line?
  2. How many characters are available in the ad copy?
  3. How many lines of ad copy will be visible?
  4. How will my ad appear?
  5. What size image should I use?
It is also a good best practice to review of the ad before it goes live. Read the copy and how it flows, does it make sense to your intended target audience? In this case, we’d really like to know what an ankle bra is.

 

For more information on the specifics of Facebook advertising, be sure to read the Facebook Ad Guide. If you need help with your Facebook ads, Google ads or any digital advertising, please call us at 734-995-5000. 

When Advertising Fails

Apparently this bears repeating – KNOW your audience. This sign posted outside a contractor supply store that advertised an “Ex-wife sale” was taken down after drawing controversy. Is this an advertising win or fail?

Photo was taken from a Facebook post by Joe Rents & Contractors Supply employee Curtis Renner.

 

 

Facebook Changes Mobile Ad Management – NEW User Friendly Tool

Today Facebook announced the launch of a mobile ads manager that allows for greater management of accounts on the go. Need to pause or resume ad campaigns? Perhaps add to the daily budget or change when the ad is scheduled? These new Facebook changes in the Ads Manager will do all of that while allowing users to view insights and even respond to alerts.

The new Ads Managers (for users of the iOS and Android apps) will be rolled out globally in waves throughout the rest of the summer and will be available  through an Ads Manager bookmark within Facebook apps or on the Facebook mobile site.

Need help getting started in using Facebook ads? Can’t keep up with how quickly Facebook changes? Give us a call at 734.995.5000.

Know Your Audience: Advertising Fail

A competitor of one of our clients recently ran this billboard in a nearby market.

Yes, it’s funny (to some). Yes, it probably gets your attention. Many people I’ve shown it to outside the advertising and marketing world found it funny and some even called it “effective”.

But in my holistic view of marketing, this ad was an epic fail.

First, one of the key things I recommend is to understand your target market. And in plastic surgery, that market is females 30-54. While some in this demographic may appreciate the humor, the majority will likely not. Especially if they already have self-image issues that are causing them to consider a surgical solution.

In this era of social media, one has to consider issues like this with an even more watchful eye. After this billboard went live, social media completely lit up with negative comments and outrage. And as a result, the ad was taken down after only a couple of days.

The secondary issue is brand consistency. If you’re going to choose this path for your brand, you can’t dabble. Again, consider your target market. Are your prospects going to seriously consider what can be significant surgery (and expense – remember, these procedures usually aren’t covered by insurance) with a flip, smart-ass practice? I doubt it very much.

Don’t mistake my comments for advocating boring creative – I truly believe that impactful creative is a HUGE factor in a successful campaign. But there’s a line. And that line changes depending on your target market. Amuse them. Grab their attention. Make them remember you. But don’t offend them.

-Sean-