Top 10 Tips for an Effective Advertising Campaign.

The goal of advertising is to cost-effectively reach a large audience and attract customers. If done correctly, advertising can enhance the success of your business. Here are 10 advertising tips to pay attention to:

 

  1. Go after your target audience. An advertising campaign should be geared to your niche market. It is a common mistake to create generic ads that do not speak the language or grab the attention of your potential customers. For more information, read How to Identify and Reach Niche Markets for Your Business.
  2. Highlight your competitive advantage. One of the keys to all advertising is to accentuate the pros of your company, those factors that give you your competitive edge. Too many ads are clever but fail to sell the benefits of the product or service.
  3. Establish an image. You can recognize the McDonald’s arches while whizzing by on the highway. Likewise, there are plenty of products that you recognize by their packaging or logo. Image counts when it comes to advertising and promoting your business. Too many advertisers do not work to build a consistent image. Check out Three Brand Identity Myths That Will Bring Your Business Down for additional issues to avoid.
  4. You have to spend money to make money. There are ways to save money, but typically advertising is not the place to cut corners. It will affect sales, and that affects the bottom line. Successful advertising may cost some money, but that is because it works. Check out More Bang for Your Advertising Buck for cost-cutting tips that won’t cut your goals.
  5. Advertise in the right places. Your favorite magazine, radio station, or even television program might not be a favorite of your audience. Know what they read, watch, and listen to, and advertise in media that reaches your target market.
  6. Don’t allow your budget to run your advertising campaign. If you budget $5,000 per month for advertising, you’ve made it very easy from a bookkeeping perspective. However, if like most businesses you have seasonal highs and lows, you are spending too much money advertising during down times and not enough when you want to attract customers. Too many entrepreneurs do not budget according to their seasonal advertising needs.
  7. Diversify. It is all too common for business owners to choose the best place to advertise based on price and potential rate of returns and then stop. As is the case with investing, you do not want to put all of your eggs in one basket. Spread your advertising dollars around.
  8. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. No product or service will appeal to everyone. Many business owners, including corporate executives, try to come up with ways to reach every market. Typically, this does not work. It can spell disaster for small businesses, who cannot afford to spread themselves too thin. Therefore, find your market and be everything you can be to that audience.
  9. Test your ads in advance. If you have the time or money to invest in focus groups, you should test your ads on other people. Do they understand and accept the message that you are trying to convey? For further information, read Focus Groups: How They Can Work for Your Small Business. There are other less-expensive ways to test your ads as well: questionnaires, for example. The article Creating Questionnaires for Gathering Market Research can be helpful.
  10. Monitor your ads. It is very easy to ask new customers or clients where they heard about you. As simple as this is, many entrepreneurs do not bother to do so. It is advantageous to know which ads generate business.

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