1) Why advertise?
Ask yourself ‘why do I need to pay for an advert?’ Advertising is expensive and you should not pay for an advert until you have considered other inexpensive marketing methods first. Generally speaking if you sell to other businesses, the amount you spend on adverts should not be very high as other methods are more effective. For more ideas take a look at direct mail and how to write press release guides.
2) Who reads the publication?
You need to find out if your customers actually read the newspaper or trade magazine that you are thinking about advertising in. One way to find out is to ask for a ‘Media Pack’. This contains useful information about the distribution and readership of the publication. Most papers and magazines publish this information on their website.
3) Designing the advert
If you decide to pay for an advert you MUST insist that your logo and branding are used in the advert design. All too often adverts are designed to meet tight deadlines and they do not contain your company brand. This will waste your money because your customers simply do not recognise your advert. Always ask for a proof to sign-off and check it carefully.
4) Advert Copy
The key to effective adverts is to keep them simple and try not to say too much. Be clear at the outset what the objective of the advert is e.g. do you want customers to ring you, visit a website or cut out a coupon and bring it in-store?
When writing copy for your advert you should use the AIDA formula.
First get the readers attention with an attractive headline. Then create interest and desire for your product or service by promoting the benefits and finally get the reader to act by telling them what to do next. Remember you read left to right so anything you position in the top left hand corner will be seen first.
5) Advert position
Never advertise on the left hand page. The reader’s eyes are drawn to the bottom right. This is the best place for your advert.
6) Paying for the advert
Never pay the full price for the advert – always negotiate. To save some serious money on adverts you should have a template advert designed. You can then tell the publication that you have an advert ready to use if any last minute offers arise. Be aware that effective advertising needs to be part of a planned campaign. If you have too many adverts happening now and again it will not work. Why not ask for a discount for a series of adverts?
The golden rule for any marketing, especially advertising is to measure the response rate. Ask your customers how they found out about your business and you will soon build a picture of which marketing methods work for you. Ditch the ones that don’t work!
Find out how we can help with your advertising or any aspect of your marketing by arranging a FREE Marketing Review.