What do I do to improve advertising?

The answer to that question is to apply smart advertising techniques and then test and measure on a small scale before rolling out a large ad campaign. Stop wasting your advertising pound by treating them like you’re playing a roulette wheel or throwing mud against the wall, hoping that some of it sticks! Businesses waste thousands of pounds every year with a hope-and-a-prayer approach to advertising. How smart is it to spend £2,000 on advertising and generate only £1800 in net profit from the customers it attracted? Would you knowingly make an investment that promised such a return?

This article is devoted to how to initiate advertising strategies and tactics.

USP & Guarantee

By now you might be thinking: “how and where do I start my journey to improved advertising ROI?” As Glenda the Good Witch of the East told Dorothy, “It’s always good to start at the beginning.” First determine your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) as a company. Some call it your Unique Value Proposition. In other words, take stock of your assets: intellectual, physical, and reputation or “good will”. Understand that because God has wired you uniquely as an individual that you have the potential to service, or to offer value to, the marketplace which your competition either does not have or hasn’t considered. Even if you are in a commodity business, you can create a powerful USP simply because you have chosen to focus on it while your competition has not. Once you have a paragraph describing your USP, you have the raw material from which you can create emotionally hooking taglines crafted for each of your target markets.

The next step is to create a powerful compelling guarantee that draws business to you. Your follow through on this powerful combination of USP and guarantee can create a market niche, differentiating you from the competition, thus reducing discounting price pressure.

I can’t guarantee anything!

I’ve had professionals such as doctors, dentists, or lawyers tell me that they can’t guarantee anything. The truth is that they can! They can guarantee certain aspects of their patient’s or client’s experience with them, such as how they will be greeted, listened to, treated, etc. Your USP and guarantee not only drive your marketing and sales strategies, they drive your corporate culture and customer service. Think of the advantage this provides to your business, since most businesses fail to complete such a strategic exercise!

Components of an ad

Now that you have your USP and guarantee, it is time to communicate your message through advertising. The three most important parts of advertising are:

TargetWho you actually reach can have a massive effect on your results. Carefully define the demographics of the population at whom the advertising is aimed. Try to put yourself into the minds of your target market, understanding their frustrations, fears, needs, desires, etc. (much of which will have become apparent as a result of the USP exercise). Defining your target market will also help you to determine which publication or medium to use and the location in that publication.

Offer – The offer needs to inspire people to take action.  It should have a time limit or limited quantities, or better yet, a specific number available.  The offer should appear generous, but have a low dollar cost to you, the business owner. Be specific rather than general. Give people what they want! Include a guarantee to remove fear and/or frustration.

Copy – The ad needs to get people excited or to build dissatisfaction with their current state. Create an urge to change. Give a vision of what a change would look like.  Show the benefits of reading the ad and taking action. Write as you speak – put emotion into it. Make it enthusiastic. Keep it in the present tense (less boring).  Remember WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) is what motivates people, not how great the business is. Think like you are the prospect. Keep it simple. Add credibility – i.e. instead of “34 years of experience”, tell a short story of the experience. Use testimonials and anticipate questions.


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