Writing a good headline for your advertisement

Writing a good headline for your advertisement


There is no denying the fact that the success of an advertisement lies mostly in the headline. The headline should attract the reader and make him read the rest of the advertisement. The headline should be simply catchy and various key points should be embedded when deciding on the headline for the ad. 

The headline should catch attention of the eye at the first glance. Words in headlines should act as tags for the advertisement. It should say it all about the content that follows. If a company is selling reasonably priced furniture, the headline of their advertisement should be ‘Durable furniture for less price’. This headline will attract the right customers who are on a look out for durable furniture as well as low cost furniture. If the customers to be reached belong to a category that are interested in decorating their house with beautiful furniture and aren’t concerned about the price to get the right look, then the headline can be ‘Change how your house looks by our oriental furniture’.  Anything other than the prospects should not be included in the headline. If both men and women can use a product, both of them should be referred to in the title, missing out even one of the category is like losing a huge number of potential customers. 

The title should be instant product seller. According to a research, five times more readers read just the headline when compared to those who read the complete advertisement. So the investment is of no use, if the title isn’t good enough to sell the product. There can be a possibility that the content of the ad isn’t strong enough. All the harm can be undone by having a powerful headline.
The headline should be centered on the product and not the company that is selling the product. The customer’s interest should be reflected and he should feel that he is directly addressed. Start with ‘you’ and not ‘we’. So if the client specified on mentioning the company’s name, don’t start the sentence with it. For example, instead of writing ‘Tylenol – solution for sever cold ’, write ‘Got sever cold? Try Tylenol’. Never forget to mention the name of the product in the headline. The product name should be of top priority. 

A snapshot of the benefits of the product should be given in the headline. This is an important quality of a well-phrased headline. The customers look out for advantages when he thinks of buying a product. Keywords like whiter teeth, nutritious cereals, or miraculous growth should be incorporated in the title. 

 If inculcating all these factors have made the headline long, it should be remembered to write the product advantages in bold. If a visual is placed in the advertisement, it will be a good complement. As a picture speak thousand words. But care should be taken that the headline should say some part of the story and the visual should say the rest. Don’t repeat the headline or the picture.
Too much of cleverness should not be applied to design a headline. There are nearly five hundred advertisements in a local newspaper on weekends. A regular reader reads the headings of all of them. He will be able to classify between a false heading and a genuine heading. No false promises or information should be included in the headline. Over smart headlines are good for award competitions, but don’t really work with the savvy customers. 

The headline should give out a positive feeling to the reader. Negativity should be totally excluded as it not only creates a negative impression but the mind will also be not receptive friendly. It sometimes confuses the mind and it interprets a negative meaning of the message being delivered. Confidence should be reflected in the headline. Don’t include any doubtful words like if and but. Conditional phrases are a strict no. The sentence should be in present tense, instead of past or future.
Women in Advertisements

Women in Advertisements


Featuring a female model in advertisements initially started with advertisements on products like alcohol and adult entertainment. The trend then spread like a wildfire in the market and is still being widely used although being exaggerated. It has become a compulsion now to have a beautiful model in all kinds of advertisement, which sometimes seems unnecessary. They seem to sell anything from shaving gel to cars. 

Many women right activists say that the women are being projected as merely an object by such advertisements. But the harsh truth is that advertisements featuring women is influencing viewers of all ages and advertisers have realized this. The advertisement starts with an attractive woman posing in seductive ways followed by the product or the service offered by the company. The beauty of the model already lures the customer, so advertisers do not have to put in more effort to motivate them.
But there are certain drawbacks in using women models in some advertisements and if a consumer is smart enough, it won’t take time for him to realize that. It is totally irrelevant to feature a female model or an actress in advertisement promoting men products. Some good examples of this point are showing a woman in axe deodorant commercial and comparison of a partially nude woman’s body to the body of a car. Second drawback is due to more concentration on the model, the attention deserved by the product is not sufficient. The main focus of the advertisement is lost.

Surprisingly only few male models advertises for male oriented products. Even a picture of a woman on an Internet commercial seems not logical to some extent, as there are thirty percent of female internet users and seventy percent of male internet users, worldwide. To add to it, advertisers cannot explain why beautiful bodies bring success to advertisement. 

Advertisements are convincing and motivating tool, which can leave a deep impact on the minds of the viewers and plays a major role in molding the culture and attitude of the people. Expansive and extensive portraying of women in this manner merely reduces their image to an object of passion. Emphasis is laid only on the physical beauty of the woman like features, body curves. After the commercial has been shot, using graphical technology, any kind of imperfection of the body is altered which in a way sends out the signal that only perfect people are meant to use the product.

The companies have a moral responsibility also in the society. These commercials have a negative impact on the society and leads to problems faced for the common woman. The major ill effect is the pressure on woman to get those near-perfect bodies. They get so pressurized that they take the unhealthy way to reach the set goals. They develop eating disorders; their health gets affected which may sometimes result in irreparable damages. And those who never make it to that point, face humiliation and get taunted by everyone around them. This results in depression and other long-term psychological diseases. 

According to researches and surveys conducted, most of the women vow that commercials lower their self-confidence and they visualize themselves as unattractive due to the image being portrayed of the perfect woman in ads. In America, seventy-five percent of healthy females think that they are over-weight. Half of the women populations are on some kind of diet program and nearly ten million women suffer from serious eating disorders. The weight of a fashion model is twenty three percent less than an average weighed ordinary woman. 

Advertisements haven’t spared women being beaten up. In a particular after shave lotion commercial, the background voice says that its essential to learn martial arts because once a man applies the company’s product, women around will be attracted and will pounce on him. Towards the end of the commercial, they show a male model kicking several women model that seem to have attracted to him. This is degradation of respect of women to the lowest level. 

After all this exposure, women viewers identify themselves as the weaker sex. Some think that males decide their self-worth. Over exposure of women as sex objects have triggered cases of physical assault and rapes. Majority of the women are taking the wrong way to get those stick figures, which are results in diseases, sometimes leading to death. And most of this is attributed to the 

advertisements that pour into the lives of innocent people everyday. Marketing ethics should be built to raise the status of woman in the society and give them the due respect but not degrade them.
Search Engine Optimization and Advertising

Search Engine Optimization and Advertising


In today’s net-savvy world it has become common for any business to have a website which they use mostly for advertising their products and services. With the advent of search engines it has become even easier for the customers to search for the stuff online. For a website to be successful its link should land in the first three pages which the search engine brings and the rank of the page should be high which means many visitors come to the site. This can be achieved by applying search engine optimization or popularly known as SEO. This is a marketing strategy which increases the quality and quantity of traffic flow to a particular website via search engines.

SEO not only affects the search engine results, but also image search, video search and industry specific vertical search engines. It determines how a search algorithm functions and searches what is popular with people. When a website link is submitted to a search engine, a spider crawls through a page to gather links which lead to other pages and stores those pages on the server of the search engine. The information collected from these pages is sent to the indexer, whose job is to extract information from those pages such as the keywords and their weights, the location of the page and other links that are stored for the spider to crawl in future. 

In the beginning, the search engine optimizer algorithms were dependant on the keywords, Meta tags, and index files provided by the Webmaster. Meta tags provided information about a particular page, but using them for indexing the pages didn’t prove to be successful as some Webmasters added irrelevant Meta tags to increase the number of hits and earn huge ad revenue. They even changed the HTML of the web pages to achieve a good rank for the page. But this was a case of abuse as it fetched irrelevant pages.  

Search engines then began utilizing complex ranking algorithm, which were difficult for the webmasters to manipulate so as to provide web surfers with genuine results. The rank of the web page was calculated mathematically by functions using strength and quantity of the inbound links. The higher the rank of the page the more chances it had to be viewed by a person.  Later algorithms were developed which considered various other on-page factors such as rank and off-page factors such as hyperlink. Since the webmasters couldn’t manipulate the page rank, they began exchanging, selling and buying links, which lead to link spamming and even creation of numerous sites dedicated for this purpose. 

Algorithms became more complex by every passing day and top search engines kept their algorithms a secret. As the cost of SEO increased, advertisers were roped in to pay for it, which finally resulted in high quality web pages. Although investing in SEO is very fruitful, but at the same time is risky because with out any prior notice the algorithms being used are bound to change and the search engine will stop directing visitors to the page. Many consultants are available in the market that provides SEO services. They manipulate the HTML source code of the web site like menus, shopping carts and sometimes even the content of the website to draw more traffic. Search engines like Yahoo has algorithms that extract pages not according to the page rank but according to the cost per click or set fee, that is if a advertiser desires that the page containing his ad be displayed, he is expected to pay money for it. This is a point of controversy, as only the big businesses will be able to increase the number of hits of their page but not the small business who might be having a better quality page.
Google Ad Words explores ads which have words typed in the search box by the surfer. The Million Dollar Homepage started the concept of Pixel advertising, which is a graphical kind of advertising. Depending on the pixels, the space is sold to the advertiser. Keyword advertising involves advertisers who buy URLs of a site and place their ads at that location. Thus SEO is a market in its own which is yielding great results for businesses on Internet.
Research in Advertising

Research in Advertising


Research in advertising is done in order to produce better advertisements that are more efficient in motivating customers to buy a product or a service. The research can be based on a particular advertising campaign or can be more generalized and based on how advertisements create an effect on people’s mind. Lots of approaches are involved to go about conducting an advertising research like economical, psychological, demographical and sociological. 

When designing an advertisement for a particular product many things should be researched like where it should be displayed, whether the advertisement can be printed in newspapers or magazines or broadcasted on television or radio or published on the Internet. Many methods are undertaken to collect relevant information. The research itself is of two kinds, syndicated and customized. Syndicated research is a single research done by the company that is available to other companies as well. Customized research is research based on certain criteria and is done for a particular company and its results are available to only that company. 

Pre-testing or copy testing is a type of customized research that determines the in-market efficiency of an advertisement before it is released or before the final production. The more the pre-testing is done the more likely that it will be a successful advertisement and each pre-testing should be applied number of times. This can done by studying the level of attention the customers have, motivation, brand linkage, communication and entertainment. Flow of emotions and flow of attention are broken down and studied individually. The results are applied on the advertisement that is still being developed to recognize the weak points and replace them. A reliable feedback loop can guide the researchers, client and the agency to work in harmony. Tests should be applied during the storyboard stage of ad making. This is an early stage and the results are highly predictive. During this process images are selected and used as integrated campaign print ad.

Post-testing or ad tracking studies are either syndicated or customized. Studies are done over a period of time or continuously. The in-market research is done to understand a brands linkage, performance, awareness, and preference along with product attitudes and usage. They are done by, conducting interviews either on phone or Internet. Testing the finished advertisement provides the confidence and gives an idea whether it is following the strategy. 

All the above studies should facilitate the client’s advertisement development make the end product easier to achieve. The study should contain rational information having not only surface knowledge but also provide deep in-sight that will open window to a customer’s mind. The customer, too, should provide precise information based on facts and not based on imaginary thinking and self-delusion. He should be able to explain the role of advertisement in the whole marketing plan. Working in vacuum doesn’t get the desired result.  

The basis is to provide in-depth understanding about the consumers for improving on the advertisement techniques and other marketing decisions. The traditional methods of qualitative and quantitative techniques have been improved to analyze the information with good insight.
The rapidly changing likes and needs of the customers are difficult to track, but should be studied in order to increase the quality of advertisement. The changes are because of the huge number of options offered to them by the market.
Advertising in Newspapers

Advertising in Newspapers


Newspaper advertisements are as old as advertisement itself. Although, it’s an age-old method of advertisement, it still receives the same response and is highly successful. Both small and large businesses still choose this method to promote their products and services. Ask them and nearly hundred percent advertisers would select newspapers as their primary advertise medium.
In spite of registered decline in newspaper circulation numbers and advertisements featured in a newspaper, they are read by millions of people at their breakfast table. The rate of increase in price to place advertisements in newspapers is climbing rapidly when compared to radio, television and billboards. The main aim should be to get the desired attention from the advertisement and out do the competitor. Various factors should be considered and measures should be taken to ensure success, while keeping the cost low.     

Many advertisers, who advertise through newspapers, design their own advertisements without any prior training. This has lead to the rise of larger number of retailers who think that making an ad by them is the only way to get it right. This approach saves a lot of money and is good for small businesses, only if they reach to correct customers. The one time cost of placing a small advertisement is $150, so the measures should be taken to place them effectively. It isn’t necessary to have a full-page advertisement posted in the newspaper. If smartly designed, even half page advertisement can do wonders; the money saved can be used to advertise concurrently in other mediums like radio, websites, etc. 

Using colorful font can multiply the cost to many times and is not worth the return. If the budget is low and the matter is confident enough, black font will be fine. Regular readers read the newspapers daily; therefore, there is no sense in placing the same ad in the same paper everyday. The advertisement can be placed in different papers everyday. The frequency can be three times a week for a particular newspaper. But there is an increase in the number of readers on weekends, so more money can be invested on placing advertisement in the weekend edition. Don’t be disappointed if all the advertisement space is sold on weekend. Insert fliers in between the pages of the newspaper.
As many advertisers will be posting their ads on weekends in the local newspaper and the chances of your ad getting lost in the muddle, the conventions can be twisted a little to beat the competition. Place an offer coupon in the mid-week editorial and pay the local station to advertise and talk about the offer on their famous program. Ask them to specifically mention about the coupon placed in the newspaper. Out of the daily readers, only few of them go through the entire newspapers. Most of them view the first and last page. So instead of posting an ad thrice weekly in the middle pages, invest on placing the ad on the first or last page of the newspaper, once a week. Majority of the newspapers don’t give competitive protection, that is, an advertisement of a firm can be placed next to the advertisement of its competitor. Specify about this condition to the sales person and take the guarantee from them. 

There is a decrease in the number of local newspapers every year. In United States, only about a thousand newspapers function on a daily basis. Local people are now relying on weekly papers or newspapers with the local section. Sometimes only one publisher controls many of the local newspapers. Newspapers for all the localities are printed at one place with only the front page being changed. When advertising in such publications, care should be taken on recognizing the audience that is being reached. All the effort and money is wasted if the wrong customer is reached and the result can go in loss. Mixing different medias instead one for advertising is a smart approach. One can take care of the shortcomings of the other and work in tandem to make the overall advertising campaign a huge success.