What Is the Purpose of Advertisements? (With Tips)

Updated June 24, 2022

Companies often look for new ways to promote their products and services so they can increase revenue. Creating advertisements is one way marketers can help companies achieve this goal. If you work in marketing or want to pursue a career in this field, then you might benefit from learning about advertisements. In this article, we explain what an advertisement is, list six purposes advertising may serve and provide tips to help you get started.

Related: What Are the 5 Ms of Advertising? (Definition and Examples)

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What is an advertisement?

An advertisement refers to a paid form of communication that promotes a service, product or brand. Marketers use advertisements to help companies reach their objectives and increase revenue. Often, they design advertisements for specific groups of potential customers. Advertisements can appear in many mediums, including:

  • Social media platforms

  • Websites

  • Radio stations

  • Search engines

  • Television stations

  • Podcasts

  • Newspapers

  • Magazines

  • Billboards

Related: 8 Types of Digital Advertising: Definitions and Benefits

What is the purpose of advertisements?

While three of the core objectives behind running advertisements are to inform, persuade and remind potential customers about a product or service, there are several additional purposes advertisements serve. Here are six of them to consider:

1. Increase brand awareness

Brand awareness refers to how familiar people are with a product, service or company. During the brand awareness stage, marketers use advertisements to inform potential customers. Often, these advertisements simply introduce the brand or provide an overview of a specific product or service. Marketers may incorporate the brand logo, colors or fonts to make it easier for their target audience to recognize advertisements from them in the future. The goal behind increasing brand awareness is to get people to recall the brand, so they consider making purchases from it in the future.

Related: How To Write an Effective Advertisement

2. Generate website traffic

Another way marketers often use advertisements is to drive traffic back to a company's website. During this stage of an advertising campaign, marketers are persuading potential customers to take a specific action by visiting a website, but they may also be continuing to inform their audience by providing educational resources or company details on this landing page. Often, marketers use pay-per-click ads and social media ads to support this goal.

3. Boost online engagement

Many marketers use advertisements to increase engagement with a brand online. Engagement refers to how often people interact with social media posts and other forms of digital content. It can include likes, comments, shares, clicks and messages. The more people engage with a brand, the more likely they are to remember its products and services. Boosting online engagement can also help marketers develop brand loyalty by creating dedicated fans. Marketers may develop advertisements that feature giveaways, contests, polls, surveys or questions to persuade people to engage with their content.

Related: 70 Advertisement Ideas for Your Business

4. Generate leads

One of the primary reasons companies invest in advertising is to generate leads. This process combines both persuasive and informative marketing strategies to increase the number of potential customers who may be interested in making a purchase. Creating advertisements that focus on lead generation is often an excellent way to support a company's sales department.

Search engine advertisements are a popular tool during the lead generation stage. Marketers use these advertisements to make sure specific products or services appear in the search engine results page (SERP) when people enter specific keywords. Marketers may also collect people's contact information in exchange for a free trial or giveaway entry. Then they can share this contact information with the sales team to provide them with new leads.

5. Increase sales

Investing in advertisements also helps companies increase sales, revenue and their return on investment (ROI). One of the main goals behind advertisements is to convince or persuade an audience to take a specific action. Often that action is to make a purchase. Marketers may create advertisements that highlight specific products or services, feature discount codes or announce flash sales to help them accomplish this goal.

To assess whether a specific advertising campaign is successful, marketers can calculate how much revenue a business earns while the ads are running. Then they can compare this data with how much the business typically earns during the same time period to see if there's an increase.

Related: 21 Effective Advertising Words

6. Encourage repeat customers

Finally, the purpose behind many advertisements is to encourage repeat customers. Once a customer makes a purchase, marketers may continue to show them advertisements that remind them about other products or services they may enjoy. These advertisements may also feature the brand or company as a whole. By showing people these advertisements repeatedly, marketers can improve brand loyalty and increase the lifetime value of each new customer they acquire. They can also persuade existing customers to purchase from them instead of from a competitor in the future.

Related: What Is Comparative Advertising? (With Examples)

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Tips to create effective advertisements

Here are some additional tips to help you develop effective advertisements:

  • Identify your target audience. Before you create your next series of advertisements, take the time to research who your ideal customers are so you can curate content that resonates with them. Consider key demographics like where they live, how old they are and what interests them to get started.

  • Seek feedback. One way to learn more about what your target audience is interested in is to develop surveys and ask for their feedback. You can also create online polls and read reviews to learn more about your current and potential customers.

  • Track key performance indicators (KPIs). Establish benchmarks to track your progress by tracking important analytics, such as how many clicks, views or engagements an advertisement receives. This can help you determine what content resonates with your target audience and optimize your ad campaigns over time.

  • Choose your platforms carefully. Identify what online platforms and other forms of media your target audiences. Then curate your advertisements to these mediums to increase views and brand awareness.

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