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42 Advertising Techniques Used to Create Powerful and Persuasive Ads

Advertising is one of the fastest and most powerful ways to grow any business and to reach more new and potential customers than you ever thought possible. And this is what makes the thought of running ads so appealing to business owners and entrepreneurs and marketers and startups. Get it right and you can quickly turn $1 into two or five or ten or even more, which makes advertising the closest thing to an automatic moneymaking machine that there is. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to the hyper-competitive and cutthroat world of advertising. And a single mistake can cost you hundreds, thousands, even millions of dollars in wasted ad spend and lost sales.

And that’s why today I’m going to walk you through 42 different advertising strategies, tactics, and techniques from 42 of my all-time favorite books on advertising. But this video isn’t just about theory taken from books. It’s about the real-world application and showing you proven battle-tested strategies that have proven themselves to be both powerful and incredibly profitable. Having spent more than $70 million over the past ten years, these are the advertising strategies and techniques that I think you need to understand. So let’s get things started with the classics and I’ll progressively dive deeper into more underground and more secret advertising strategies that you probably haven’t heard of before.

All right, so the very first book is Ogilvy on Advertising. Now, if you’re not already familiar, David Ogilvy is widely considered one of the kinds of the main fathers of advertising, even though he wasn’t the first one to ever run an ad, and he kind of came into advertising around a time that it had already been relatively well established. He’s the one that they base a lot of the sort of the Mad Men era off of the kind of classic quintessential, do what I want. I mean, the COVID book says, I hate rules. It kind of sums it up.

Whatever the case, this book, just like most things written by David Ogilvy, is just absolutely packed with gems. But there are a couple of spots that have got flagged, the main one here being sort of the man in the Hathaway shirt. This is a classic ad and it goes over kind of creating a point of differentiation, a point of uniqueness. We’re going to talk about that more later. But that’s one of the biggest takeaways here, is that you’ve got to be interesting, you’ve got to think about things strategically to find that position, to find that area where you’re going to be able to offer something just a little bit different that people may not have heard before.

There’s another cool section here called Advertising for Good Causes. I like this section as well because anyone that’s been involved in advertising for any length of time, knows that it gets kind of a bad rap in the world of just selling things to people that they don’t need or don’t want. So he challenges that by giving you some good advice on how to fix that. Next up, we’ve got advertising headlines that make you rich. It’s funny referencing Ogilvy first.

One thing that he said is that when you write your headline, you’ve spent eighty cents of your dollar, essentially meaning that the headline is responsible for around 80% of the success of your ad. So on that note, well, it’s probably no better book to give you as a reference than this guy right here. It’s loaded with all kinds of different examples and situations. It gives you different industries, essentially. If you have trouble writing headlines or titles for your blogs, for your social media posts, for your videos, or sales letters, this book can help.

It’s kind of like a go-to resource that I keep around all the time. Anytime that I reach some kind of a mental block and I can’t think of what to do next, I kind of just thumb through here, and pick the first thing. And for example, we’ve got a chapter 14 proven headline, what’s New in Summer Sandwiches. That’s the most random page ever to open to. But there are variations for specific businesses, including bicycle shops and daycare centers and office rentals, financial planners, and tour bus companies.

So for example, if we were doing copier sales, they’d say, what’s new in office copiers? Now, it might sound relatively simple, just that headline. However, it’s leveraging a couple of important principles, being kind of that newness, that curiosity factor, the element of specificity and relevance to the business that it’s about. So again, a lot of good gems in this guy here. Number three on the list is Purple Cow by Seth Godin.

This is perhaps one of the most powerful and influential marketing books that I’ve ever read. It’s the first one that I read when I was getting more serious about marketing and trying to understand kind of the concepts behind it. What makes people tick? Why do people do what they do? Amazing book.

I always keep multiple copies around my office and home. I think I’ve got some in my car and my bags and all of that just so I can give them to people. The concept of this one is about being remarkable, remarkable being worth remarking about. So is your business, is your offer, is your ad worthy of someone talking about or sharing? See, we can’t be boring anymore.

There’s a great expression that says if you’re boring, you’re broke. This seeks to fix it if you haven’t read it before. Highly recommended. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read it. Dozens and dozens.

Words that Change Minds are another amazing book. Essentially, it kind of is what it sounds like. It’s a bit thicker and a little bit heavier. However, there are some powerful concepts in here about the way that you speak, the way that you write, the way that you compose your ad, or your marketing in general, essentially by diving a little bit deeper into psychology and why people do what they do, but also giving you practical and actionable tips on how to reframe your ad so that it’s relevant to the kind of customer, the kind of client that you’re trying to get. So there’s a great section in here on essentially the carrot or the stick.

Should you use fear-based or aspirational-based language, or should you try to drive someone towards something that they want or away from something that they don’t want? So they call this mainly toward or away from language. And what you’ll find is that there’s a pretty even split of people that either want to move towards something or people that want to move away from something. And if you can identify the biggest driver of your market, whether they’re trying to escape some kind of pain or attain some kind of pleasure, naturally there’s an overlap of both. But there is going to be a dominant factor.

And if you can incorporate that into your ads, your conversions will rise. Exactly what to say. Very powerful little book. Incredibly useful, very small, and very quick read, but it’s just loaded with powerful magic words that allow you to immediately sort of influence and persuade someone without being overly manipulative. I mean, this is just the natural way that our brains register certain things and they form visualizations in our minds.

A few more books on that topic as well. But for example, one of my favorites here is this you have three options. I love this. I use this all the time in sales and marketing. And essentially what you’re doing by giving someone three options is you’re not forcing something on them.

You’re not saying this is what you have to do. You’re saying, essentially, the way that I see it, you’ve got three options. You can take this path over here, which is kind of what you’ve always been doing, and you’ll get the same thing that you have. Option two is you could do nothing and just essentially hope that things get better, but how’s that working out? Or option three, you could take a look at what we have to offer here and maybe you’ll find it beneficial.

Of course, you can stack that by adding even more magical words as well as some other things that we’ll talk about. A great book. And while we’re kind of heading on this theme of words right now, this is another good one. These are ten stories that great leaders tell. This is good because the key to a persuasive and effective ad often comes down to the story that you’re telling and your ability to communicate it.

But you may not know what story should you tell and how should you structure it. And this book is going to give you a couple of good examples of that. So, for example, even the table of contents is going to show you. We can tell a founding story of where things came from. We can talk about why we need to change and where we’re going.

We can talk about strategy, we can talk about values, can talk about customer stories by sharing testimonials. Essentially, if you don’t know what to say or how to say it, or how to structure things, this is going to help. No list that involved different kinds of advertising strategies would be complete without the ultimate sales letter by Dan Kennedy. Pretty much anything Dan Kennedy has to write and has to sort of creativity is worth consuming and worth incorporating into your advertising and your overall marketing strategy. What I like about this is that it gives you a structure for how you want to go about essentially composing your ad.

Now, he’s writing into the context of a sales letter, but you could strip it down and condense it to be a social media ad or some other kind of post, or you could let it be a long-form sales letter because this is going to cover all the boxes. We’ll talk about guarantees and risk reversals. It’ll go through headlines and bullet points and things like that. However, the other thing that I quite like is it goes into a few details. I wonder if we’re going to be able to see this well enough on the kind of formatting and on how to structure your ad so that it’s also visually appealing.

Now, this is primarily on copywriting and the words that you’re going to use, but it’s important the way that you structure your headline and the fonts that you use. And if you use graphic elements, if you have arrows pointing places, if you have color or underlines or things like that, there’s all of these different nuanced details that you can add to an ad to increase your conversions with it. But regardless, if you don’t know how to write a sales letter, this is a good one to study. All right, moving right along with what I believe is one of the classics, and this is Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples. The fifth edition in this case, but the first edition, I believe, was published in 1932.

Once you understand the fundamentals and the principles and kind of those foundational elements that make up the core of advertising and marketing strategy, the only thing that changes is the tactics and the tools and the platforms where we apply these. So essentially, once you understand the psychology of why people buy and why they don’t, all you need to do is modify your approach so that it fits with Facebook or Instagram or Google Ads or TikTok or whatever it is. Now, like basically every book we’re talking about, this one is loaded. However, there’s a section that I did want to share with you in Chapter 13, which is 32 ways to get More Inquiries from your advertising. And he essentially goes through a ton of different ones.

I’m going to just read you a few so this video doesn’t balloon into an eight-hour one, but essentially mention the offer in the headline. That part is important to me. That’s tip number one from Not.



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