To be most effective in business, you need to know who you are selling to. – Unknown
Last time we looked at why we need to advertise our products but this time lets look at the advert itself. It is easy to just bung a few words and a splash of colour on to a piece of paper but is that really the image we wish to portray to our clients.
KISS – Keep It Simple (Stupid)
This is a well-worn acronym in the advertising world but so important. The simpler and easier the advert the more clients you will attract. Remember that often the reader has only a few seconds to take in the whole concept of an advertised product or service so if the advert is crowded with words, cryptic hints or bland typography your reader may well not have the time to process the information. If you are putting up a poster along the road for people to read at 30 mph it needs to be clear with memorable contact information, otherwise, the moment is wasted.
However, there are some additional things that can bring an advert alive.
- Colourful – up to 3 or 4 colours tying in with your logo colours will give you an advantage.
- Seasonal – if you are offering seasonal produce then moderate your advertising accordingly and remember most publications will have a lead time that is longer than you expect for deadlines.
- Comfort – we all want the easiest softest route to our ends – so imply it with a wholesome advertising campaign
- Safety – ties in again with comfort above but it is an important element for our clients so advocate safety within your advert.
- Emotional and Emotive – if you can trigger an emotion you are halfway to winning a new client before you need to do anything more. Love, children, pets, a broken heart, we’ve all been there and a nice hot cuppa or chocolate really does make the pain better even if only for a moment.
Social Media plays a large part in your promotion these days. It does however require the time and skill to produce a balanced programme. Most platforms or forums will not allow you to post advertising material or competitions without strict regulatory guidelines. If you are posting information the accepted ratio is 1 in every 9 posts may be adverts.
The accepted rule of posting is
Facebook 2 posts per day
Twitter 2 – 3 posts per day
Instagram – up to 10 posts per day
That works out at a lot of time creating exceptional content even if you were posting the same advert regularly.
Social media is also an important medium for a certain customer. Is your customer looking at their phone constantly throughout the day? Are they the kind of people who comment all day on other posts?
What about those who do not use social media? There are many such as those in highly visible and caring positions. Head Teachers, Doctors, Prison Officers, Police are all well paid with the disposable income you may want but due to the nature of the positions are not permitted to have certain accounts. Retired people who have grown up without the necessity of technology may well have the income and the time but not the inclination to sit at a computer screen all day. If these fall into your client bracket, then spending hours creating beautiful informative and helpful posts will be wasted when it does not reach them.
It’s your business, be passionate about it, don’t just advertise – ask for an editorial alongside an advert. Tell people about yourself and why you are selling this product or service, why you believe in it and so should they. It is preferable to write the editorial yourself because no one else can understand your product like you. Testimonials will help and as we are very visual creatures throw in a few images.
Your customers are buying You… Sell yourself.
There is only one you with all your experiences and knowledge so when you create a company or product be original. Don’t let yourself be swayed by another similar brand and try to cash in on their success by copying what they do too closely. It will only lead to confusion and goodwill is hard-earned. If they lose their goodwill you may well find yourself tarred with that brush and having to work at re-inventing yourself.
Just as you are original, so is your customer unique, so target your marketing to that one individual. Everyone reading it will think it is targeted at them, in particular, giving them a personalised reason to buy from you.
Branding is not just a logo at the top of a sheet of paper. Branding includes your logo, your tag line and your colours. It is how a company or product is promoted through design, marketing and advertising.
Whatever marketing you choose, keep your colour scheme in line with your logo colours. Make sure the website colours are the same. If you use business cards these should tie in with your colour scheme and logo. Be warned though: some internet-based product designers are cheap and easy to use but they are not selling you the licence to use their icons or designs. So your cards will not be copyright free to use in adverts or stationery or even on your website.
Your brand should be synonymous with you.
Read Material Carefully
Ask yourself: Would I buy my product/use the service I am promoting? Read your marketing material and advertising from the potential customer’s perspective: Is it clear? Does it make sense? Have I made it easy for the customer to know how to contact me for further information or to purchase?
Proofread: carefully check all adverts, marketing material and editorial text for typos, errors or omissions. Ask someone else to check them too. It’s surprising how you can miss things when you already have in your mind what you expect to see. A wrongly printed phone number won’t bring you custom!
Talk to the Experts
If we can help in your marketing plans or guide you towards local advertising, please get in contact.