Place your advertisement in the proper place
If you are reading Northwoods Commerce magazine, you probably own or have a leadership role in a business. Organizations that would like to target business leaders would benefit by placing their ads in this publication. If you place your ad in People magazine, your aunt in Illinois might see it, but it won’t help you much with business owners in your local market. Find the publications or broadcast media that rate and rank the highest among your primary target audience.
Pay more attention to the cost per targeted impression than the cost per thousand that many media representatives like to tout. An ad placement with a cheap cost per thousand publication that is heard or read by thousands of people who don’t have any interest in what you have to sell will just be wasted money.
Put your benefit into the headline
Make sure you capture the attention of the audience you are trying to reach with an impactful headline. If your headline doesn’t grab the reader’s attention, it doesn’t matter what you say in the ad or how good the product or service you are selling is. If your prospective customer never reads the ads because the headline doesn’t interest him or her, you have wasted your money. Don’t try to be too cute or cryptic in your headline. If your prospect has to think about what you mean, they probably won’t. It is much easier just to turn the page or go on to the next article. Think of how you read the newspaper. Most people just scan the headlines to see whether an article will be of interest to them or not before they read it. Advertisements are no different. If the headline is not interesting, the ad probably will not be read.
Use a visual with stopping power
If you have a visual in your advertisement, make it something interesting or unusual. The visual should also be consistent with, and support, the headline you use. Don’t just use a picture that is funny or weird to get attention if it doesn’t help you make a point or tell your story. Pictures of the business owner generally are not very interesting. The exception may be in some service organizations where customers like to know who they will be dealing with and value a personal relationship.
Explain how you will help solve your customer’s problems
If you can identify what causes your customers the most pain and position your product or service as the solution to their problems, you are well on your way to making a sale. Customers really don’t care how many bells and whistles your products have. They don’t care how unique it is or if you have a patent or not. What they do care about is what it will do for them. The simpler and more straightforward your explanation is about how you will help them to make their life easier, or solve the issues that keep them up at night, the more likely you will be to make a sale.
If you make promises or claims, be sure that you tell the truth. Don’t “stretch” the truth just to try to get a sale. The fastest way to kill a poor product or brand is to advertise it. When you can back up your claims with a proof, testimonials or a strong guarantee, you help reduce the risk for your prospects and they will be much happier with their experience if you actually deliver on your promise. Happy clients are the best advertisements you can have, since they are likely to spread your praises.
If you use these five tips in your advertising, your ads will work much harder for you and deliver better results, so you can make more money with less effort.
About the author: Scott Francis is the president of ToplineDevelopment marketing consulting and co-founder of SnapLab Media™, the marketer of SnapTRAC™ software as a service for advertising agencies and larger enterprises that rapidly builds mobile websites, generates QR codes and provides analytics without the need for programmers. Visit SnapLabmedia.com, call (920) 722-1317 or email Scott at Scott@SnapLab-Media.com.