Many small business owners take a shotgun approach to advertising hoping they will hit their target. This approach can waste time and money and the reduced returns can harm your business. Now is the time to re-think your advertising strategy.
Get the most bang for your advertising buck by following these eight tips:
Reach your target market
To ensure your advertising campaign is effective you need to speak with the right people. Start by reviewing the demographics of your current client base. If you are already successful in one geographic region, age group or industry then look at maximising the exposure to other potential customers in that same group. Find out which publications or websites target these people and look at advertising there.
You need more than one advertisement
An advertising strategy is a plan that you commit to for the long term. Advertising results are not always instant. It is best to advertise in the same medium repetitively, rather than placing ad hoc advertisements here, there and
everywhere. It generally takes 3 exposures to your same advertisement before a potential client will respond. By advertising on a regular basis it shows that you are committed to finding new clients, and the next time you advertise, they may be in a position to respond.
Have a call to action
To gain instant results from your advertising campaign include a discount or special offer. An expiry date helps motivate customers to act straight away. No expiry date means people soon forget about the offer and may not purchase.
Negotiate for editorial coverage
If you commit to regular advertisements with a publication, ask for editorial coverage. A third person editorial provides your product or service with credibility. Your editorial should be written to look like a regular article. It must be newsworthy/ include some professional tips, news or trends that re-enforce the message of your advertisement. The aim is to build your reputation as an expert in your industry. When a customer needs your product or service or has a problem you’re the first person they think of.
Make it professional
When designing your advertisement seek professional advice. Many publications have a graphic design department that will be able to assist you. Ensure that any logos or photos you are using are of the right resolution. Include all relevant contact details in the advertisement such as your web address and phone number.
Check and double check
It is your responsibility to ensure the details in your advertisement are right. Ensure that phone numbers, web addresses, dates, prices and details are correct. Have someone else in your business proof-read the ad.
Hopefully your campaign is a success and you are rushed off your feet with new enquiries. Before the advertisement goes to print ensure that any products or services advertised are in stock and available.
Measure the outcomes
Question every new client on where they heard about you. This will enable you to work out which advertising campaigns have worked and which haven’t. This is valuable information that helps you set an effective advertising strategy for the following year. This information also helps you accurately allocate future advertising budgets for maximum return.
Now that your advertising strategy is in place – get ready for the phone to ring.
– Dean Parker from Four P’s Marketing Solutions combines 15 years of marketing experience with a Masters of Marketing degree to help small/medium business owners maximise their profit.