Have you ever spent a small fortune on advertising that generated disappointment rather than sales?
Many small business owners have been down the road of flat advertising results and are at a loss when it comes to developing new ideas to improve the response to their ads.
Whether you run ads in your local newspaper, your industry’s top periodical or on-line, you need your investment in advertising to pay for itself, and then some, in order to justify its cost.
If your ads aren’t generating the interest you want in your products and services they may be suffering from one of the five common mistakes small business owners and professional service providers make when developing and delivering their advertising.
Here is a list of five qualities common to successful small business advertising campaigns.
Zero in on Your Best Prospects
Many small business owners make the mistake of thinking bigger is better when they choose a medium in which to run their ads and opt to spend their advertising dollars to reach a larger but less focused market.
For example, if your company specializes in helping law firms reduce the cost of long, ongoing cases and you choose to run a series of full page ads in the New York Times instead of the New York Law Journal you will likely be disappointed by the response to your campaign. Despite reaching the considerably larger audience of the New York Times your would be missing the focused attention of the legal minded readership of the New York Law Journal.
Be sure to zero in on your market. You will increase the likelihood that the readers who see your ad will actually have a need for your service.
Set Yourself Apart from the Crowd
Unless your business sells a product or service that is completely unique and faces no competition your ads need to set your products or services apart from the crowd of your competitors.
If you are the owner of a pet supply company and your ads simply say, “We Sell Pet Supplies” they will be passed over along with every other bland advertisement for Fido’s food.
On the other hand, your ads will stand out and attract much more attention to your shop if you state that you sell, “King Sized Bones and Bowls for the Royalty in Your Family.” By focusing your ads on the owners of large breed dogs you distinguish yourself from the crowd of pet shops that simply sell pet supplies and make it clear to the owners of large dogs that you sell what they need.
Be sure the copy of your ads has the effect of making what you offer unique. Your highly targeted prospects will reward you by noticing the difference in your ads and buying from you.
Another property of a highly effective advertisement is that it demonstrates the value your products and services provide. By demonstrating value in your advertisements you give your prospects a clear idea of the benefits you provide and a clear reason to buy from you. Demonstrating value can also help you set yourself apart from you competitors.
How can you change your ads to demonstrate the value you provide? What special offers can you make to set yourself apart from the pack?
Focus on client problems
Consumers buy products and services because they fill a need or solve a problem. If your ad copy does not address your prospects’ problems they will never know that you provide the solution they need.
If you are recovering from knee surgery and need to work with a physical therapist to regain your full range of motion, would you be more likely to choose a therapist who advertises his new and modern equipment or the one who advertises that she will have your knee working and feeling like new again in just three weeks?
Be sure to focus your ads on your clients’ problems. You will win more business as more and more prospects come to see you as the solution to their problem.
The final aspect of a highly effective ad is a call to action. If you’ve done your job up until this point, your prospect has read your ad. If your ad does not finish the job and inspire your prospect to contact you for more information or visit your store or your web site, it is not worth the money you spent to have it published.
Don’t assume that your prospects know what they should do next. You need to tell them to be sure they know.
If you’ve gotten their attention, demonstrated your value and shown them that you are the solution to their problem, don’t waste your good work by neglecting to instruct them to take the next step and contact you.
If all this seems like a lot to accomplish in one advertisement, you need not worry. A well-written marketing message will take care of most of the details of writing a highly effective ad.
Do you have a marketing message you can use to consistently deliver effective ads and position your business as the solution to your client’s problems? You should.
The author, Jeremy Cohen, helps small business owners and professional service providers attract more clients, grow their business and be more successful with his marketing and web site enhancement coaching service and his marketing guides. Get his free guide: Jumpstart Marketing:
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