By Jace Vernon


RED Digital has spent millions in advertising dollars and thousand on tracking the results.

      Here, with all the dogmatism of brevity, are 38 of the things we have learned.


1. The most important decision. We have learned that the effect of your marketing on your sales depends more on clearly defining your message in the marketing place. What’s your USP? Are you confusing your audience?

Do you say clearly and simply how you will solve your buyer’s problems, or do you confuse them with industry jargon and fancy words Like “Forward-thinking?”

The results of your campaign can be enhanced if when you create a simple one-liner that anyone can understand.

Spread your one-liner through your ads and company. Position yourself in the market place.

Get clear on what you bring to the market place before you leap.

2. Large Offer or Guarantee. The second most important decision is this: What’s your offer and your guarantee to the customer? What’s in it for them?

It pays to create a unique and competitive offer that’s a benefit to your customer and backed with a guarantee.  Most marketing campaigns have no offer and are doomed to fail in the marketplace.

Create an offer nobody can refuse and deliver on that offer!

“Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement” – said Samuel Johnson.

3. Brand everything. Every Marketing piece should contain your brand. Logos in the corner of your videos, brand colors on your Instagram posts, USP on your social media cover images.

Most posts, videos, and campaigns lack any consistent image from one year to another.

“The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand gets the largest share of the market. — David Ogilvy

4. BIG IDEAS. Unless your marketing is built on a BIG IDEA it will pass like a ship in the night.

It takes a BIG IDEA to jolt the consumer to take action — to make him notice your marketing, remember it and take action.

BIG IDEAS are usually simple ideas. Do not confuse your audience. Your idea can be BIG and SIMPLE at the same time. 

BIG SIMPLE IDEAS could be old ideas that are put together in a new way. Tim Ferris created the “Four Hour Workweek” from the idea of, “outsourcing your business.” Same concept…Tim created a BIG IDEA.

5. Image of Quality. Quality matters in today’s connected world. Bad reviews can pile up and ruin your business.

When you paint a picture of quality and delivery, people buy.  

RED Digital love to create a quality look and feel for customers especially on the Instagram Platform. Pretty picture matter. 

If your marketing looks ugly, consumers will conclude that your product is shoddy, and they will be less likely to buy it.

6. Don’t be Boring. It pays to entertain your customers. With so many advertisements competing for our attention, you should entertain. 

Most marketing campaigns are impersonal, detached, cold — and dull.

Speak to their interest, make them smile, appeal to their intellect, educate them, and get them to participate. 

Have you ever seen Facebook quizzes or games? Those are all Marketing Campaigns hidden behind entertainment. 

7. Be Innovate and Start trends — At RED Digital we helped create Ydraw. Ydraw started the Whiteboard Animation trend in 2011. It launched them into the INC 5000 in a couple of years.  It pays to innovate, to blaze new trails.

Trends do end and innovated ideas may never catch on. It’s risky, but the risk is worth it.

Try enough times and you may start a new trend. 

8. Don’t be fooled by shiny objects. Marketing companies seduce businesses into the latest and greatest marketing channels which distract them from the pursuit of sales. 

$1 in marketing should spit many more out.

There are no shortcuts or hidden techniques. Marketing takes time, money and expertise. More on this later.

At RED we spend a lot of our time stopping our clients from jumping overboard when marketing gets tough.

Successful advertising will work if you give it time, and adjust as you go. It takes time to rivet your customer’s attention to your product.

Time is what you should give it!

9. Built your avatar and segment your audience. With YouTube, Facebook, and Google you are able to drill down on everything about your future customers.

What do they like? What do they read? What’s their job title? Who do they follow? What are they searching for? etc.

You must do your homework to find out everything about your potential customers.

No shortcuts, just work.

At RED we have found that spending a few hours to identify your exact audience can lower your cost per lead and save you a lot of money.

“People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.”– Russel Brunson

10. Message above the fold. Maximize what appears above the fold on your website. Above the fold just means what they can see and interact with, without scrolling down. A website needs to pass the 5 seconds test and the best way to do this is by putting your most important message above the fold.

When you have a good USP (unique selling proposition) and a great offer above the fold, you will make an impact on your sells.


11. Keep it simple stupid – KISS. Most advertising campaigns are too complicated. They reflect too many opinions.

They have too many avenues, too many offers, too many products with a confusing message.

One message, one offer, one platform works the best.

Attempting too many things, they achieve nothing.

It pays to boil down your strategy to one simple promise – and go the whole hog in delivering that promise.

What Works Best on YouTube and television.


12. Testimonials and Social Proof: Placing testimonials and social proof in your videos and on your landing pages almost always increases conversions

Real authentic customers can work often times work better than popular celebrities.

13. Problem-solution (don’t cheat!) You set up a problem that the consumer recognizes.

Then you show how your product can solve that problem.

And you prove the solution.

This technique has always been above average in sales results, and it still is. But don’t use it unless you can do so without cheating; the consumer isn’t a moron, she is your wife.

14. Show them, don’t tell them. When you show how your product works and give your audience a visual demonstration you will increase sells.

It pays to give them a visual.

15. Open with a bang. The first job of any video is to grab the attention of the viewer. If you can get them to stop what they are doing and pay attention, you have won half the battle.

On YouTube you have 5 seconds before they skip your ad. Make it count!

16. Say it quickly. If you can say it in 10 words, no need to use 20.

Make your pictures tell the story. What you show is more important than what you say.

Quick note — YouTube ads should be longer than 30 seconds to allow the user to skip your ad — FREE branding.

17. Authentic vs professional. Commercials using a simple smartphone with the business owner talking can do significantly better than expensive productions. People are drawn towards authenticity. 

18. Musical backgrounds. You don’t need background music on every video. It has its place, but can be distracting and may cause an issue with Recall.



When using music, make sure it doesn’t drown out the voice-over

19. Simple script A who, what, why, and how script works. Who you are, what you offer, why it matters to them and how to get take advantage of your offer is a simple formula that will get results.

“The stand-up pitch can be effective if it is delivered with straightforward honesty.”

20. Stand out and stick The average consumer now sees 100,000 commercials a year. Ouch!

They ignore 99.9% of all advertisements. 

Create a video that will stick in the consumer’s mind. Some big brands are really good at this. 

15% could save you……

See what I mean?

21. Animation & Cartoons. Animation and Cartoons have their place and can be very effective. 

They can be entertaining and grab attention. 

At RED we have found animation videos allow you to do things you can not do in real life. 

A great story mixed with animation works best. 

Beware of Animation in certain circumstances. Cartoons are hard to identify with. 

22. Go back to the drawing board.  Commercials should be tested. Very easy to do with YouTube ads. 

If a commercial fails, go back and make the necessary adjustments. 

Just plan on creating an alternate beginning and an alternate ending to each video. 

Very doubtful you will get it right the first time. Don’t quit!

23. Factual vs. emotional. Factual commercials tend to be more effective than emotional commercials.

It’s hard to create an emotional video. There’s just not enough time to build the plot and gain an emotional connection. 

Some get lucky. 

24. Avoid viral We all want a “viral video.” Viral tends to just happen, it can’t be forced. 

There are a lot of Viral Videos that never produce any sales. It’s better to have a video that moves the bottom line than a video that goes viral. 

If your goal is viral, you will be disappointed.

What Works Best with Social Media Ads and Print.


25. Headlines. “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body.”

Headlines need to be tested and optimized. Easy to do with Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

Create multiple Headlines and spend some money testing them. Pick the winner and scale

26. What’s in it for them. Headlines that promise a benefit sell more than those that don’t.

Make it clear and concise.

“How to create marketing that sells in 2020”

27. Words that stand out. It pays to inject words that stand out. There are words like FREE, NEW, LIMITED, etc. that consumers are looking for. 

We are always looking for a deal and new and improved ways to solve our problems.

28. KISS headlines. Your headline needs to be simple. You confuse you lose. A consumer doesn’t care to decipher what you are trying to say. 

Simply tell them! 

29. How many words in a headline? David Ogilvy did a headline test with a large department store and see how many words should be in a headline. Here’s what they found

‘They found that headlines of ten words or longer sold more goods than short headlines.

In terms of recall, headlines between eight and ten words are most effective.

In mail-order advertising, headlines between six and twelve words get the most coupon returns.

On the average, long headlines sell more merchandise than short ones — headlines like our”

“At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.”

The headline above is one of the most effective headlines ever written in the history of advertising.

30. If local, be local. When running ads in a specific area, it pays to be local. 

Use the city name on your website and ads.

At RED we have lowered our cost per conversion by half just by adding the city into the Headline.

31. Use what you know. If you built the right Avatar, you know the pain or the problem your avatar is facing.

Use what you know in your Headline. 

“Are you tired suffering from Knee Pain? Let’s fix it. For the next 2 days have a 40% discount for new patients.”

32. Long copy still works. Long copy still works. The biggest drop off comes in the first 50 words. After that, the consumer will keep reading. (This simple guide is about 2000 words and you are still reading.) 

If trying to rank on Google, you have an 80% better chance when your articles are 2500+ words. 

“The longer they read, the more likely they are to buy.”

33. Use Stories Most people put a high priority on being logical about the decisions they make. However, unless you’re actually a computer, the simple fact of the matter is: every human decision is influenced by emotion.

This is why stories sell.


34. Before & after. Before and After advertisements are some of the most effective ways to whos what your product or service can do for the consumer. 

At RED some of our most effective ads have been before and after pictures. 

Any form of “visualized contrast” seems to work well.

The hard part is getting them approved on certain ad platforms. Facebook will deny most of them.

Get creative. 

35. Polarize your audienceWhen your messages cause polarity, it attracts attention and people will pay for it.

Neutrality is boring, and rarely is money made or change created when you stay neutral.

Being polar is what will attract raving fans and people who will follow you and pay for your advice.

36. Use captions. On average, your videos on Facebook and Instagram will be played with the sound off. Use captions.

This goes the same for your images. Place a simple caption under your images on your ads and website. 

37. Image or Video. A “hero shot” on average will do better than a collage. Your image needs to have stopping power. 

The image gets the consumer to stop, the copy gets them to take action. 

Best to test multiple images and thumbnails before you scale a campaign. 

38. Rinse and Repeat. Don’t quit too soon. Lots of great marketing campaigns have been abandoned too soon. 

Consumers require multiple touches. How many? Start with 20 touches and adjust from there. 

Is this all we know?

At RED we offer workshops, training courses, and marketing audits to help business owners grow their business.

There’re a few things we have left out of our checklist. We don’t want to give everything away. 

Reach out if you are looking for a marketing campaign to grow your business. 

St. George UT 84790