Advertising is essential for spreading the word about your business. However, with digital ad spending forecast to reach over $464 billion, you’re facing some stiff competition. Fortunately, there are ways to create advertisements that resonate with your customers on a deeper level.
In this post, we’ll discuss why relatable advertising may be the secret to succeeding in the digital age. We’ll then share four ways to create ads that make your customers say “that’s so me.” Let’s get started!
An Introduction to Relatable Advertising (and Why it’s so Effective)
Digital marketing experts estimate that Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads every single day. Inevitably, your typical consumer is an expert at tuning out unwanted ads. This means that you’ll need to work hard in order to be heard above the noise.
Here, it helps to make your advertising more relatable. This may involve situations, characters, or emotions that the consumer can recognize from their own life experiences. Some companies even partner with well-liked and “down to earth” celebrities, in an effort to make their ads seem more accessible.
If your advertisement immediately feels familiar, then you’ll be in a strong position to convince customers that your product or service is perfect for “people like me.” Over time, the consumer may come to perceive your business as an organization that reflects their own core values. In this way, relatable ads can improve the consumer’s perception of your brand, and inspire long-term loyalty among your target audience.
How to Make Your Advertising More Relatable (4 Methods)
Being relatable means making a meaningful connection with the consumer. With many customers primed to view ads negatively, this isn’t always easy.
Fortunately, we’re up to the challenge. Here are four ways to create ads that resonate with your customers.
1. Appeal to the Customer’s Emotions
As an advertiser, it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on your product’s features. However, customers don’t make a purchase based on a technical specification. Instead, they’re persuaded by the outcome and the value that a product has to offer to them.
The most effective advertisements focus on selling an outcome that impacts the consumer on an emotional level. For example, instead of purchasing a home security camera, the customer is helping to keep their family safe:
Inspiring a strong emotional reaction can convince the consumer that you understand how they feel. By placing this emotion at the heart of your advertisement, you can instantly make your ad seem more relatable:
When it comes to advertising products and services, competition may be fierce. However, the customer is more likely to be drawn to an ad that makes them feel something, compared to an ad that simply lists the product’s standout features.
2. Create a Consistent Brand Personality
Your brand personality is your company’s human component. It consists of tone, behaviors, and traits. By keeping this personality consistent, customers will remember who you are, and form positive relationships with your brand.
Your brand personality can be formal or informal, humorous or serious, sophisticated or wholesome, or anything in between. When it comes to personality, everyone has their preferences. Some people may laugh at edgy advertising, while others may find it inappropriate and unprofessional. The key is to identify the personality that appeals to your audience.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you may already have a deep insight into your customers and their preferences. If you’re unsure, then it’s time to perform some consumer research. For example, you might conduct surveys and customer interviews, or analyze your traffic using tools such as Google Analytics:
It may also help to identify three to five successful competitors who operate in your area, and target the same audience. You can then examine their advertising, and identify personality traits that you may want to use in your own advertising:
Once you’ve gained a deeper insight into your customers and their preferences, you may want to create a buyer persona. This is a fictional representation of your ideal customer.
With this persona in place, you can design all of your campaigns to appeal to this specific person. This can be a simple but effective way to keep your brand personality consistent.
3. Conduct Split Testing
Even with a deep understanding of your target audience and a buyer persona, it’s not always easy to predict how consumers will respond. In fact, often the best way to optimize your advertising is through trial and error.
Split testing, sometimes referred to as A/B testing, is where you test multiple versions of an advertising campaign. As part of this process, you’ll identify a variable such as a Call To Action (CTA), headline, or hero image. You’ll then create multiple versions of this variable, and display these variations to different segments of your audience.
You can test practically any variable. For example, you might experiment with images that show your product in various locations. Some settings may feel more familiar to your customers, which will instantly make your ad seem more relatable. You might also create alternative CTAs that strike different emotional tones, such as authoritative, light-hearted, or polite.
After running these tests, you can identify the variation that delivered the most conversions. You can then optimize your advertisements based on this real-world data.
By conducting split testing for all of your ads, you’ll start to build a picture of the kind of content that’s relatable to your target audience. You can then use this insight to inform your future campaigns. In this way, you can continuously refine your approach in order to achieve the most conversions.
4. Avoid Stock Images
Stock photos can be a great fallback when you’re struggling to create custom imagery. However, most internet users can immediately spot stock photography. There is even a trend where people call out the worst examples of stock imagery:
By its very nature, stock photography is generic and bland. These one-size-fits-all visuals are a great way to dilute your campaign and your branding.
An eye-tracking study even found that consumers are highly likely to ignore stock imagery. If your audience is skimming over big sections of your advertisements, then you’ll struggle to make a meaningful connection.
The occasional stock photo can help break up a text-heavy ad, but it’s definitely not the best way to hold the consumer’s attention. If you want to create compelling and relatable advertising, then it may be time to crack out the camera, or hire a professional photographer.
To appeal to your customers, it’s smart to place recognizable emotions at the heart of your advertisements. This can convince shoppers that you understand how they feel, which instantly makes you seem more relatable. We also recommend establishing an appealing brand personality, and maintaining it over the long term.
Do you have any questions about creating more relatable ads? Let us know in the comments section below!
Feature image by Geralt on Pixabay