When you see an advertisement on Instagram, make a mental note of the things you actually see. More likely than not, people, not the product, are the central focus of the advertisement — people sitting around in casual yet fashionable clothing laughing in warm weather, people cooking easy-to-prepare meals from meal kit delivery services talking about how healthy they are and people wearing sleek headphones that perfectly coordinate with their outfits. The product almost seems to take a backseat in marketing promotions.
Gone are the days of full-page spreads in magazines advertising products in-depth. Most people are no longer drawn to concrete information about what a product is. They’re more interested in what a product will allow them to achieve in terms of bettering themselves or their image.
This can be a challenge for marketers to overcome. But with a few simple tips, you can use this to your advantage to get your product seen by a lot of people.
Determine What Your Specific Product Can Give People
If you’re selling a product, it can be hard to communicate why people need your specific product when there are probably a large number of things like it already on the market. But go the extra mile to find what sets your product apart from the rest, and lean into that. What can your product do for the consumer that others can’t?
People are always looking for a cheaper, easier alternative. But if you can prove to the consumer that your product offers something that others can’t provide to them — a way to better themselves or boost their image — then they’ll likely be more interested in what you’re trying to sell.
Know Your Audience
Have you taken the time to really get to know your target consumer? If not, a little bit of research might be in order.
Social media is as much a gift as a tool for marketers — it gives us a window into the lives of the people who use it. And because of that, it can help companies find out what’s really important to their target audience. If your product has a specific audience that you think would benefit the most from it, it would be prudent to have an idea about what they want.
For instance, you may have an idea for a great product — say, a new kind of water ski that you’ve put a lot of work and energy into. Your target audience would therefore probably be sporty types. Do a little research on the top related posts on Instagram and Facebook, who the popular names in water skiing are and how influencers related to the sport are marketing other products. You might just learn a thing or two that you didn’t know about your ideal consumer.
Avoid Ego Branding
It can be easy, in an age of excessively ego-driven marketing, to make your brand stand out from your competitors. Ego branding is when you try to drive your product ahead of other similar products by focusing more on the brand image as a whole instead of focusing on your company’s specific product.
For instance, high-profile companies such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton have long been able to get away with ego branding simply because their companies are recognized luxury brands. However, startups and other young companies can’t usually rely on this tactic. Many people are drawn to well-known luxury brands because they think the brands can provide them with something that other brands can’t — and in a way, they’re right. Luxury brands are called that for a reason, after all.
But luxury isn’t the only thing that’s important to people anymore. Today, many people are very concerned with the impact that the things they buy may have on others, and in a broader sense, on the world. That’s why there are so many environmentally friendly, fairly sourced products popping up on the market. The companies that sell such products don’t typically use ego branding — they focus on what good their products are doing for other people. It makes their consumers feel better about themselves to know that they’re helping.
This tactic might not be possible for your brand, but it’s an important example of why some companies become successful while others fail — and it’s important to keep this in mind when planning an ad campaign for your product.
Right now, a lot of product advertising is about improving people’s lives — or at least the perception that products are improving their lives. If you can address people’s need to better themselves and their image, you might just have a successful product.