Ads value by William Robins, Keystone Law

This article was originally featured as an opinion piece in the November issue of Briefing. To read the issue in full, download Briefing.

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half. So said John Wanamaker, founder of Macy’s department stores. That was over 100 years ago, but this remains the biggest challenge for advertisers today, even though technology can go a long way to cracking the nut.

Keystone’s #QuitTheCircus campaign is a recruitment campaign that looks to engage with potential lateral hires, and includes a series of LinkedIn and other social media adverts that display to pre-selected types of viewer. The campaign features a series of vintage pictures of circus performers, with captions playing on a link between that image and an aspect of the status quo in many law firms. For example – we have the image of a clown, accompanied by the caption “Sick of putting on a show?” and an image of the traditional trapeze artist that reads: “High flyer? It’s time to be rewarded.” Here are some of the key points we considered: 

Take a good look at yourself

Not everything is suitable for advertising. To run an effective advertising campaign, you first need to ask: What am I selling? Who am I selling it to? What would be likely to drive the viewer to the call to action? These simple rules are often ignored. Advertising is expensive, but our experience is that it will certainly raise awareness of a brand – if it’s done right.

Hitting your targets

Once you have a proposition suitable for advertising, you need to get it in front of your target audience at the right time. This is without doubt the trickiest part. But with so much data out there, you can really target advertising. LinkedIn, for example, is a very useful place to advertise for talent, and once you know your target market, their systems make it a breeze.

A numbers game

You should never embark on an advertising campaign unless you will be able to tell whether it’s working. Indeed, ideally you should be able to tell which specific adverts are working. With the #QuitTheCircus campaign we have already seen that some wording drives higher levels of engagement than others and we adjusted ads accordingly. As a result, in recent weeks we have gained 790 engagements, over 30,000 impressions, and received 24 applications from lawyers who met the criteria we set out to reach.

In-house or agency?

Advertising can be expensive and difficult. To get it right you need access to all the right skills – graphic design, digital marketing and real world experience of advertising. The #QuitTheCircus campaign was created, and has been run in-house here, by our marketing director Kristina Oliver, who had previous digital advertising experience (with Odeon and Thomas Cook). But if your in-house team doesn’t have this experience, never fear, there are many good agencies out there who can help. If this piece has struck a chord, it’s time to give one of them a call. 

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