7 Tips for Making an Advertisement Stick

Stickiness is often thought of as a bad thing: who wants sticky floors or hands? But in the world of marketing, stickiness is the ultimate goal, whether you stick in people's minds or your campaign is so good, it goes viral as more people pick up that sweet, sticky campaign graphic.

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1. Get on target

The absolute best marketing campaign isn't going to work if the right people don't see it. This is where your market research really comes into play: you need to know who you're trying to reach and what they want to see.

It sounds basic, and it is -- so why are so many advertisers missing this step? To get sticky, you at least need to put the metaphorical glue on the right side of the paper.

2. Balance branding and change

Your marketing needs to stay relevant, but you also have to focus on branding. Pick a classic style and colors for any logos and the name of your business, and make sure that's prominent with any advertising.

However, when it comes to outreach, it's also important to switch things up. If you're a startup, play a little with the best approaches (Traditional? A little edgy? Fun and colorful?). If you've had basically the same advertisement for years, it's time to shake things up.

3. Keep it simple (obviously)

Advertising should really boast two things: Simplicity and an obvious message. Even if your ad is in a magazine or newspaper and you think people have time to mull over an image, they won't.

It needs to catch a person's eye, intrigue him, and let him know exactly what's on the table. Getting too obscure or detailed might make the readers wonder what your ad's about, but it's not their job to research it.

4. Pick your poison

Offering viewers something is key to getting them to act on connecting. Maybe it's a special event, a giveaway, a steep discount, or a hot item that few other businesses in the area have.

You can have a lovely advertisement, but the chance of someone actually doing business with you is higher if they think they're getting a bargain out of it. Never underestimate a person's desire to feel like they're making a steal.

5. Remember that people don't read

Reading takes time and effort that people just don't have -- so you need to cater to that. But people love infographics. They can be more eye-catching, it's easy to scan for information, and they're easier to share.

However, make sure you do the infographic right, like in this example where it looks like the text is "bleeding." Who can resist thinking about all the mistakes?

6. Keep them relevant

You've put together the perfect advertisement and business has picked up speed. Two common mistakes happen here: You either stick desperately to the ad (that's the bad kind of sticky) or you try to one-up it and get off course. After a certain amount of time, people get bored -- even with things they love.

Market research can tell you exactly how long. During your next move, don't try to do it "even better," but focus on retaining quality and a similar vibe.

7. Make sharing easy

With online advertising, you need to make things as easy to share as possible. Get things started by properly managing your social media sites, and ensure there are options to re-post or share on Twitter any images, videos, or other infographics.

The perfectly amount of sticky isn't easy to achieve, but it can be done if you follow the right steps. Set goals, be realistic, and always depend on pros for the big stuff (like graphics; stock photography can only get you so far).

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