Choose the appropriate media to reach your customers
The right place to advertise one product or service might not necessarily be the right place to advertise another.
If you will be buying ads on search engines, or on social media, take the time to read their instructions for audience targeting. Look for information on selecting age, sex, location, and other criteria that your typical buyers have in common. You may also want to limit when your ads show to a particular time of the day or day of the week.
If you are considering buying ads in print or broadcast media, ask for their media kit, and if most of your customers are from your local area, ask if they have local targeting options. You don’t want to pay for an advertisement to be seen by everyone in the London area, if you only service customers in Manchester. For broadcast media, you want to know about the demographics for the particular show you’ll be advertising on and the hour of the day.
Calculate what percentage of the media's audience matches the profile of your typical customer. Spend your advertising money with the media that can give you the highest concentration of likely customers at the lowest price.
Advertise where your competitors advertise
If your competitors have been advertising for many months in a specific media, their ads are probably working. Ride the wagon of their media research to increased visibility by placing your ads in the same media. Doing so will reduce some of the trial and error associated with finding the right advertising media. It will also put your product’s benefits and features where your competitors’ prospects will see them before they make a purchase decision.
Decide on the purpose of your ad
The purpose of any ad is to sell. But there are different things you can "sell" in an ad. An ad may be used
- To get orders,
- To get sales leads,
- To provide information,
- To get people to visit your store, or
- Just to get name recognition.
To get the most out of your ads, make sure you know what your objective is before you write and place them.
Write with the prospects’ interests in mind, not your own
Eliminate from your copy all phrases such as “We are proud to announce.” Most of your customers won’t really care what you are proud about. They want to know how you can make them feel proud about something, or how you can help them solve a problem or fill a need. This goes back to understanding your clients/customers and their problems.
Don’t blow your entire advertising budget on one big ad campaign. Start with small, limited budget campaigns and test your ads to see which ads work, and which media work for you. Advertising that doesn’t work on the local radio station, might work well online. Similarly, a change in a headline, in a print ad, or the addition of a keyword in search ads, might turn a non-productive ad into one gets leads and customers. Keep track of responses to determine what works, and what doesn’t.
Test and Measure
Advertising isn't a once and done thing. A single ad or advertising method isn't your ticket to success. To make advertising work for your small business you need to test your ads and measure the results. The headline you think is clever may not appeal to your customers. The buy one, get one half price offer coupon you send out might not be as effective as sending out a 25% off everything coupon. But you'll never know if you don't test your ad headlines, copy and offers and measure the results.