Promoting your business is an ongoing activity that involves everything from word of mouth to email marketing, social media, events to paid advertising.
Although word of mouth is a great way to make people aware of your business, it can be incredibly slow when building a new client base. To speed up this process, look at paid advertising. Paid advertising falls into three categories:
- Online: Paid searches or pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on search engines like Google and social media.
- Broadcast: Radio and television
- Print: Newspapers and magazines
Determining Your Advertising Objective
Each type of advertising requires a different approach, but first you will need to determine what you want the objective of the advert to be. You can determine this by asking the following questions:
- Why are you advertising?
- What is the goal?
- Do you have a special offer, a sale or are you recruiting employees?
- What is your target demographic and geographic area? Once you have decided your objectives, you will be able to determine the tone and pace of your advertising content, and how detailed it is.
Writing Compelling Copy
Every day we are bombarded with headlines to grab our attention. And not just advertising. Every news report, presentation and email your client receives is a distraction away from your message. This means you have to work hard to get noticed.
Although the world has become more competitive, the rules of attraction remain the same, and where the acronym AIDA will help:
- Attention: It must stand out. Powerful words and/or images to catch the eye or ear that make them want to find out more.
- Interest: It must be relevant. The more targeted the ad, the more the easier it will be to capture their attention.
- Desire: It must make the customer want it. What’s in it for them? Concentrate on your features and benefits.
- Action: Be clear about what you want the potential client to do and persuade them to do it.
Paid search campaigns offer a great opportunity for small businesses. They can be highly targeted, low in cost and easy to track.
Search advertising is also becoming more covert. This is a paid per boost service that helps your name appear as a top search result. creating more of an opportunity for your ad to be seen by your audience.
For each ad you need to write a strong phrase and use keywords that your customer uses. Google’s Key Word Tool is the key here. Search the keywords you are thinking of using and look at the historical statistics of who they performed. The key to search advertising is to be succinct. The whole message can be no longer than 95 characters – 25 characters for the headline, 35 characters for your message and 30 characters for your URL.
Before finalizing your ad copy, take time to read the rules for that search engine. Google for example, will not allow exclamation marks, claims of being the best or number one unless they can be verified, or repeated words like low low prices.
The key to online advertising is to offer a specific product or service and to include a call to action, such as buy, get, see or order. The URL must also go direct to the page for that product or service and not the home page, otherwise the user will lose interest and click back.
Think about when you listen to the radio. It’s probably in your car, at work or when you are cleaning your house. You probably put it on for background noise, so it may be a challenge to try and engage your listeners.
When crafting your message, make sure the most important part is at the start, then say your business or product name and don’t be afraid to repeat it. Remember your ad is only going to be 30 seconds long, which is the equivalent of 60-70 words. So it’s not long.
A good tactic is to have your message appeal to the eye and the ear, writing your message so that the listener to imagine themselves there, using you already.
And then finish off with a call to action, whether that’s a phone number a website or your street address.
The key to print advertising is to know your publication. Do your research. See what your competitors are doing and see what works. Like radio, print advertising is costly, so it is more important than ever to make sure your ad is highly targeted and prime for conversion.
Although it may be tempting in print advertising, to provide more details and text. Stop. You still need to focus on one distinct message or headline that tells the customer what they want and how you’ll fulfil that want, as well as your contact details. The benefit of print advertising is that you can supplement this message with an eye-catching image.
Marketing Essentials for Small Business
Want to find out more about crafting your message and selecting the right marketing tools to reach your target market? Attend Small Business BC’s Marketing Essentials for Small Business seminar and find out what the most cost effecting marketing option is for your small business.