How to Build an Ad Campaign from a Messaging Platform

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We often compare an effective messaging guide to a coach’s playbook: It shows the X’s and O’s for any situation – you just need to pick the right play and actually run it.

Many organizations struggle when it comes to implementing their messaging platform, even if they understand the value of having such a guide. Here are some ways to put your messaging to work in one very common scenario: building an ad campaign.

Developing the concept

As the summary of your organization’s key differentiators, a messaging platform provides an expansive library of ideas that can be developed into overarching concepts for an ad campaign. Begin by identifying the goals of your campaign and the audiences you plan to reach, then use those lenses to pick out relevant ideas and phrases from the platform.

For example, if a college is developing an online recruitment campaign targeting prospective students, they can pull out ideas from the platform that relate to the academic or community experience and use these as the core of the campaign. Concepts that interweave multiple messages that will resonate with your audience are particularly effective. Using the platform in this way provides the additional benefit of ensuring your ads don’t skew too far toward one particular dimension of your offering.

The headlines we developed for Emmanuel College's brand awareness campaign integrated related messages from the messaging platform – such as the college's intimate scale and the opportunities available in Boston.

The headlines we developed for Emmanuel College's brand awareness campaign integrated related messages from the messaging platform – such as the college's intimate scale and the opportunities available in Boston.

Your first impulse may be simply to come up with awesome, eye-catching, and creative headlines. But by relying on your messaging framework, you can ensure those concepts remain grounded in the realities of who your organization is and what you stand for.

Composing content

Ads are generally light on copy, so every word counts. Since you only have a few sentences to make your point, wouldn’t it be nice to have a collection of phrases and ideas that have already been vetted and approved by your organization's major stakeholders?

Phrases from a messaging platform make for strong headlines or introductory phrases. They often encapsulate complex or ideas about your organization; body copy within the ad or on an associated landing page can help to further explain the concept. You can also develop headlines for an ad related to a key topic, and borrow language from the messaging platform to flesh out the copy.

This intriguing headline is an expression of New England Law | Boston’s key message related to practical, hands-on experience.

This intriguing headline is an expression of New England Law | Boston’s key message related to practical, hands-on experience.

Ensuring consistency

Using your messaging platform as the basis for ads not only helps ensure they are true to your values – it also helps ensure they are consistent with one another.

By building ads around your platform, you can quickly and easily determine which messages you are promoting most widely. Furthermore, because everyone is working from the same script, ads produced by diverse branches of your organization will work in concert to strengthen your brand as a whole.

No matter what your organization’s messaging looks like on paper, it doesn’t do much good unless it can be put to use. These tips should help you make the most of the communications tools at your disposal.

Do you need help leveraging your messaging – or perhaps a better, more actionable platform? We can help. Learn more about our messaging engagements.

File under Messaging, Advertising, Communications

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