Over the last couple of decades, we’ve all seen a variety of marketing and advertising mistakes made by some of the biggest companies in the US today. While each situation may have its own causes and effects, it has stirred a conversation about what to do and what not to do when advertising, especially online, because advertisements of any kind can reflect back on your company’s values and overall brand.
To ensure that those who see your ads react positively — and hopefully engage with the ads to generate a good ROI — follow these tips on how to protect your brand when advertising on the web:
1. Stay within brand guidelines.
First and foremost, anything and everything you do should always align with your company’s brand guidelines. And this isn’t just about whether you’re using the right typography or brand colors in the design of the advertisement.
Pay close attention to the messaging you plan to promote. Does the tone, voice and style match your company’s values and goals? Does it remind those who already know your brand what you stand for and what your mission is?
If the word choice, tone of voice or overall message does not reflect who you are as a company and who you are trying to reach, it’s better to go back to the drawing board than pay to promote it.
2. Make sure you aren’t infringing on trademarks or copyrights.
By far one of the most important steps you can take in order to protect your own brand when advertising online is to honor and respect other brands by checking for any possible trademark or copyright infringements in the ad you plan to share. And if your own company is planning a truly unique advertisement, it may also be a good idea to apply for your own trademark(s) or copyright(s) in the process.
3. Advertise in the right places.
Don’t get carried away by thinking you need to advertise in every possible outlet on the web. Promoting your brand in areas where your target market isn’t active or to people who won’t positively respond to your ads will only do your brand harm.
4. Pay attention to feedback and responses.
After all is thoroughly reviewed and the ads have been submitted for publication, it’s vitally important to keep tabs on what your viewers are saying. While you can’t please everyone all the time, being non-responsive to negative comments, tweets, shares, etc. is a huge red flag to consumers everywhere.
Actively watch for feedback across the channels you’re advertising on, and have someone (or a team) be in charge of reporting any negative responses to your leadership and/or PR team so your company can approach the situation in a timely and effective manner.
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