When it comes to advertising your business, there are three simple rules to follow in constructing your ad and one critical decision that must be made in order to make that ad most effective. With the right kind of ad and the decision how to make that ad most effective, you should get a satisfactory return on your investment. These are the four steps every business owner must face in order to introduce their product or service to their target market.
Advertising follows a basic criteria for business to be generated, regardless whether the ad appears in print, television, radio or Internet. In this step we seek to answer the question, "Who are You?" The first step is to design your ad featuring the name of your business in big bold letters or your logo to "brand" that name or logo onto people's mind like a rancher brands his cattle. The more people see that name or logo, or both, throughout the day, week, month and year, the more likely they will think of you when they need that product or service. Take for instance the images we have been exposed to: the big hot-air balloon (ReMax), the golden arches (McDonalds) or the green gecko lizard (GEICO). Next, think of the business names: Google, Xerox, IBM, Starbucks, Coca Cola. Each of these advertisers are still advertising, even though they are already leaders in their fields. You may not have their budget, but with the right ad, you can get prominence in your specific area of concentration.
"How can I get in touch with you?" The next step in making a good advertisement besides telling the name of your business or having a logo is to give a telephone number. Wouldn't you agree that unless you offered a telephone number, the chances people will know how to contact you would be severely limited? This is also where you highlight an easy website to remember when the target market you are reaching may be in their car and unable to write anything down. Make sure, in your case, to show your telephone number is a way people will remember you or your number easily. For example, your telephone number might be 1-800-Get-HELP. Your website could be 1800GETHELP.COM that reinforces the ease of contacting you, not to mention help you determine what advertisement source your customer used to reach you. The website domain only costs about ten dollars, yet could be specifically made just for one form of marketing, such as on the radio.
The third point after answering "who you are" and "how can I reach you," is "what are you offering me?" This is where you appeal to someone in a format that is simple, yet informative. Wouldn't you agree that stories and busy ads bore you and turn you off? Those types of ads are for people sitting in dental offices waiting for their turn in the chair. As for people in cars, an ad that is too wordy on a billboard is a waste of money. The acrostic KISS applies here as we seek to keep it simple. The attorney who advertises personal injury only has to ask the question, "Injured in an accident?" Then there is the name and telephone number. They are plastered all over buses and billboards. Think of what you can ask your prospective customer that will make them want to call you or visit your business. That call to action will subliminally induce people to respond; and that is what you are striving to have from your advertisement.
The last and most critical of these steps to making a good advertisement is to decide how much you are willing to invest to get your ad into people's faces and hands, if coupons are available. There are traditional formats, such as television and radio commercials, billboards, direct mail and circulars. There are promotional items, such as pens, tee shirts, gadgets to give away. There are Internet ads, print media ads like on grocery carts or register tape or movie guides. You can even wrap your car with a vinyl wrap and people will see it when you drive around. There are many ways to advertise and in these tough economic times, selective advertising requires getting a good return on your investment by getting the maximum number of impressions for your money. That will determine whether you really want people to think about you for your particular product offer or service at some point, or preferably before they think of your competitor. If you must scrimp somewhere, scrimp on eating out and pour your lunch money into advertising.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but reality is worth a thousand pictures. The reality that people should experience when they patronize your business is not just that they get the product you are selling, but rather the way you served them and cared about them after the sale, regardless whether they bought one of your products or hundreds. That's how you build loyalty and a long-term relationship with each client.
Study different forms of advertising that come into your mail, email, or on billboards. Call random advertisers to get their impressions on why they advertised the way they did. Follow Coca Cola's philosophy and advertise when you reach the top so that you can stay at the top.
Never compromise whether to stop advertising during a recession unless you intend to advertise the sale of your business.