No one likes advertisements, we’ve all been there, watching our eighth episode of Law and Order when yet another commercial break begins. We usually use this time to run to the bathroom or scroll through our phones. Yet companies still spend millions of ad dollars a year. Why? Because advertising works! Advertising is an extension of your brand that helps your company own it’s market in the mind of your audience.

Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping a watch to save time. - Henry Ford

Keep it simple, stupid! I know we’ve all heard this a million times but I think it’s important to reiterate in our new age of quick thrills like memes and Instagram. Think about when you’re scrolling through Facebook and all of a sudden you see Janice posted another 8 paragraph post. Do you read it? Probably not. Continue scrolling, Kevin has a post that simply reads “Gym was crazy today!!”. Did you want to read it? No. Did you read it? Yes! Kevin kept it simple. Keeping it simple is important for both content and design. Bombarding your audience with information, icons, and buttons (whether or not it may interest them) can cause them to overlook your advertisement making all your hard work and ad dollars go to waste.

You’re voice isn’t necessarily what you’re saying, it’s how you’re saying it. Let’s say you’re a wedding venue. You will obviously speak to your audience differently than a venue that hosts live concerts and DJs, but your voice should also differentiate you from other wedding venues. Your branding should also reflect your voice. If you’re trying to give off an elegant vibe, using bright colors and a bold typeface probably isn’t the way to go. Your voice and brand identity and will dictate how you are perceived by your audience.

Once you’ve found your voice and created your brand's identity it’s important to stick to it. This does not mean to come up with three ads and use them over and over. Think about this, have you ever cracked the screen on your phone? The first few days are terrible, but eventually you get used to it and barely even notice. Advertising can have the same effect. For example, the "I Hate Steven Singer" campaign. Afer a while those billboards became stale. To overcome becoming repetetive they reinvented their campaign by making it look as though other jewelers were now tagging the city with "I Hate Steven Singer".

Social media is a great tool for reaching out to current and potential customers. It is important to remember that no one likes to be advertised to, and no one wants to follow you if it means clogging their feed with a bunch of your ads. When posting, remember to post entertaining material rather than just talking about your company. If you use social media as a tool to make friends rather than customers, it’s easier to ask your friend to be a customer than it is to ask a stranger to do the same.

While it’s important to stick to brand standards, there often comes a time when your brand could use a face lift. In an ideal world, the first logo you use for your company, is the last logo you’ll ever need. Unfortunately, there are very few companies that have ever come close to doing so. This means when you decide it’s time for a brand refresh, it’s important to hire a designer that is knowledgeable on latest trends and knows the difference between a passing trend and a lasting look. It’s also important that the designer is capable of sprucing up the brand without changing the core of the brand identity.

Ok, so maybe this is an advertisement, but I really do think this is important! Hiring a designer is crucial to creating and maintaining your brand’s identity and capturing its voice throughout your marketing endeavours because crafting effective advertisements is a technical skill. While it’s okay to hire a designer for a few one off projects, ideally you should hire a designer who is fully immersed in your brand and truly understands your business, your business goals, and most importantly... you!

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