Successful advertising can be broken down into a few easy steps: identifying your clientele, figuring out the best form of advertising for each group, and creating a successful image and message for your company.

The best forms of advertising are done over all mediums–social media, email, print, radio, and TV. However, if you choose to focus on only one platform, your best bet is to make sure you cater it to your clientele specifically.

Identifying Your Clientele

If you are targeting a younger crowd, your obvious advertising strategy should include social media. If it’s an older generation you’re focusing on, you probably want to lean more towards email and radio. And if your target audience is elderly, print advertising is the way to go. Consider what each generation focuses on and cater to those needs.

Now that you’ve identified your target audience, let’s break down the best advertising techniques for each group.

Younger Generation

According to an article in Houston’s daily newspaper “The Chron,” “[m]ost adults aged 18-34 own a computer, and young adults are 68 percent more likely to make an online purchase than the average Internet user. Over 80 percent of young adults use social media.” While these statistics are shocking within themselves (or perhaps not if you are a parent of a tech-savvy child), they are a couple of years old, meaning that these numbers have probably increased. Having a presence on social media is critical if you are hoping to connect with younger individuals. If you are on a tight budget, simply having a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc. and being active on those can help generate business. If you have more money to spare, you can consider buying ad space on different websites (bidding for clicks or impressions on different keywords allows you to pinpoint your consumer, without actually knowing them), creating banner ads, and interstitial ads (which pop up before a visitor gets to the actual website–guaranteeing visibility but most likely to be an annoyance).

Middle Generation

Those in the middle generation (think late 40s-60s) were witnesses to the technology explosion. While many have embraced new technologies that are blooming around the world, the majority of individuals in this age range rely on email to communicate for both business and pleasure, and with good reason. “According to Adestra Director Steve Denner: ‘Yet again we can see that email is an extraordinary channel for delivering ROI.’” An article on Econsultancy continues to state that “[e]mail generates fantastic results for those who are taking the time to adapt their marketing practices to the changing expectations of their customers.”

Newsletter campaigns can be very cost-effective and very efficient in promoting your message. Keep in mind that although email is the chosen form of advertising, the content needs to be easily visible and accessible on a mobile device.

Older Generation

When you think about Grandmother deciding what to purchase or invest her money in, you have to think about how she was raised. She didn’t have the world at her fingertips to explore and compare deals (as we do now, especially with sites like Groupon and Living Social). Instead, she held on to advertisements coming through the mail, physical content she could store and then refer back to (think of the original Pinterest board). Within the past year and a half, the International New Media Association (INMA) even argues that print ads are the most effective form of advertising, stating that the “explanation for the outstanding performance of newspaper ads: The internal pacing of print ads enables confrontation at a suitable moment. If the message is relevant, the reader can decide to take his time to examine the offer.”

After identifying your target group and the best platform to reach your audience, the next step is establishing a connection with your clientele!

Regardless of which platform you decide to advertise on, the goal is to create an advertisement that connects with individuals. If someone feels strongly about your product (either from the message in your advertisement, the pictures you provide about your company, or the quality of service they receive from you), they are much more likely to tell everyone–teenagers, parents, and grandparents–about it!!!