One of the big mistakes many small business owners make is to misunderstand the reasons for the failure of their advertising. It’s a fact most small business advertising doesn’t work, but the reasons are not always clear to the business owners themselves.
Most business owners rely on newspaper advertising. They put an ad in the local paper (or a specialist magazine if they’re a specialist company) and then scratch their heads when they don’t get any sales. Then they decide that advertising doesn’t work, when the real problem is not the advertising in general, but the particular type of advertising they’re doing. In short, they’re doing it completely wrong, mainly because they use “branding” advertising, which means a slogan and a logo, when they could get much better results by doing things differently.
Effective Small Business Advertising
So how do you do things right? There are many different techniques to use, but by following just the basic ones, you can usually get a decent return on your advertising budget. Here are those basic techniques that almost always make sure your advertising works.
Target your advertising. The first thing to learn is that quality is better than quantity. Many businesses use the local newspaper, and that can be a good medium. But for some businesses, it doesn’t work, because the local newspaper audience just isn’t interested in what they’re selling. This is mainly the case in business-to-business advertising. Most people who read the local newspaper are not business owners, and so a better approach would be to look at using direct mail or online advertising. Getting this right is the most important thing, so make sure you spend time getting it right.
Write your ads in the right way. As mentioned above, many businesses use branding advertising, which is usually useless at generating a response. A much better technique is to use direct response advertising, a type which asks the reader for a response, such as calling a telephone number, or visiting a web page. Direct response advertising always makes a particular offer, and that’s one of the most important things to remember in all your advertising. If you can, make your ad look like a newspaper article, with a proper headline and a story. People read stories, and if you make yours interesting, they’ll read it.
Explain the benefits of the product. In your story, tell people all about the product, what the benefits are, and why they should buy it. Don’t just rely on a slogan. Go into detail, and you’ll see a much better response.
The big lesson is that advertising can give you a great return when you do it properly. Most business owners don’t take the time and effort to create effective advertising, and the ones that do can really come out on top. It takes some time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it.
Direct response marketing and lead generation specialist Steve Prescott is the author of Smart Business Power Marketing [http://www.mrsteveprescott.com/powermarketing].
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