Advertising your business: how to avoid the pitfalls
Follow these eight rules to maximize your advertising investments. Everyone wants to reach more potential customers in order to close more sales, and advertising is a great way to do that. But how do you maximize your advertising investment? There are 8 rules for advertising your business!
By following a few basic rules, you can craft effective messages, choose the right advertising medium and, if you decide to do business with an advertising agency, get the most out of it.
Rule 1: Value your brand
Branding your organization is the first step in creating an effective advertising strategy. Your brand should position your business in the market and allow you to be equipped to reach your audience with the right messages.
Rule 2: Create an advertising plan
As part of your overall marketing plan, prepare an advertising plan that ideally includes goals and a budget.
Establish what you are looking to accomplish with your ad. Do you want to publicize your business? Promote a new product? Announce a special offer?
Then figure out the key benefits your business offers, or the single reason that would make customers turn to it over your competitors.
Rule 3: Understand your target audience
All advertising mediums have advantages and disadvantages. To determine which one best meets your goals, first identify your target audience.
Overall, what is the age range of your potential customers?
- Are they usually men or women?
- What are their concerns and habits?
- What types of media do they consume?
Rule 4: Choose the best advertising medium
Here are the 3 main categories of advertising media:
- Online marketing (website, social media pages, email campaigns, etc.).
- Electronic media (including television and radio)
- Print media (newspapers, newsletters, magazines, flyers, billboards and others)
Rule 5: Go for a professional product
If your ads appear to be the work of an amateur or if they are poorly designed or shown in the wrong place at the wrong time, your results and – possibly – your reputation will suffer.
The following tips are valid for almost all media:
- Aim for simplicity and conciseness.
- Visibly display your key messages and contact information.
- Avoid white characters on a black background, which are difficult to read.
- Use only high quality photos and visuals.
- Use customer testimonials to build credibility for your business.
- Emphasize the benefits of your products rather than their features.
- Avoid disparaging your competitors.
- Have an irresistible call to action – a message that prompts you to take action (usually, make a purchase).
Rule 6: Get the most out of communication specialists
Advertising and marketing agencies offer a wide range of services – from concept to production. If you plan to advertise online, consult an agency that specializes in the field.
A less expensive option is to use the services of a freelance copywriter or graphic designer who can help you find the right concept and match the text with the visual.
Rule 7: Compare offers
Before choosing an agency, it is advisable to “shop around” by obtaining recommendations and proposals and by examining the campaigns carried out.
After making your choice, check the references and then sign a written contract specifying the schedule and costs.
Rule 8: Collaborate with your agency
- Let the agency do its job. Express your ideas and comments, respecting the expertise of the people you have hired.
- Speak directly to the creative team. Insist on having face-to-face (or at least telephone) contact with members.
- Simplify the approval process by having a limited number of people dealing with the agency and approving their work.
- Don’t hesitate to give compliments. A sincere compliment makes agency employees feel truly appreciated.
- Be prepared to pay a fair price if you want top quality work.