Advertising is everywhere, from your phone to your coffee cup sleeve. It's estimated that on the average day, we're exposed to over 10,000 advertisements. That's a lot of ads!
With advertising dominating many facets of our lives, it's easy to see how so many popular myths and misconceptions about the industry have popped up. However, those of us in the advertising industry want our advertisers to know that these myths are just that.
So let's take a look (and disprove) five of the most popular advertising myths that we so commonly hear:
1. "We can't afford to advertise -- it's too expensive."
Sure, if you want to air your advertisement during the Super Bowl, it's going to be expensive, but there are thousands of different advertising options available to accommodate budgets of every size.
As different ways to advertise continue to emerge, advertising options become increasingly cost-effective. From running your own ads on Instagram to participating in sponsored content, giveaways and gift guides, if you have $10, you can afford to advertise. The key is just making sure you're spending your marketing budget in the right place.
2. "People ignore paid ads."
If this was true, we wouldn't be seeing 10,000+ ads on a daily basis.
The truth is, most consumers don't realize the difference between paid ads and organic content, especially when they are served advertisements in the form of native content, in-feed social media ads and sponsored giveaways. Advertisers are getting more and more creative with how to present content to consumers, making them increasingly more engaging and less likely to be ignored. People ignore bad paid ads, but if you put some time and thought into creating a campaign your audience actually wants to see, we promise it won't be ignored.
3. "Advertising is too hard to understand."
Advertising can be complicated, but the Internet makes it easy to learn just about anything. From articles to YouTube videos, if you have a question about advertising, you're likely one Google search away from the answer. Plus, most advertising platforms these days are designed to be incredibly user-friendly.
However, if you don't want to deal with trying to do it yourself, that's where advertising agencies come in. Hiring someone else to do all the heavy lifting for you can be a great way to put together an ad campaign without having to do any of the hard work.
4. "PR will take care of attracting new business."
Organic PR is great, but it's not enough on its own.
When your brand or product gets mentioned by a big magazine or website, this does tend to generate some sales. But these random press mentions are just that -- random. There's no predictability with PR, and no real way to organize a campaign that will consistently generate website traffic and sales for your brand.
When it comes to PR, it's impossible to know for sure if your story will get picked up. Your PR team is used primarily to disseminate information, but they don't have much control over what the editors they pitch actually decide to write about.
If you're releasing a new product or having a big launch, is getting that message out there something you really want to leave up to chance? With advertising, your message is 100% guaranteed reach your target audience, right on schedule.
5. "My product is great, and it'll sell itself."
Your products might be the best thing since sliced bread, but if people don't know about what you have to offer, how can you expect them to purchase from you?
Advertising doesn't sell products; it sells your message, your story and the feeling your brand evokes. People buy products because they feel a certain way about them: a swimsuit brand made of recycled ocean plastic makes you feel good because your purchase helps improve the environment; a skincare company was formed by a woman that suffers from the same skin condition as you; a protein bar company supports the same charity that you do.
Advertising doesn't create those stories -- your brand does. What advertising does is help present your brand to an audience that will likely be receptive to your message. Your product might be great, but products alone don't sell themselves; stories and emotions do.
So next time you think advertising is too expensive or you don't need to advertise, just remember: that's just not true!