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Business Advertising
By
Staff

 

Successful business advertising is comprised of two factors.

1.      Focus on the goals

2.      Have a good strategy in place

Since businesses rely on advertising to draw customers, these two factors are crucial to any ad campaign. In addition, some basic fundamentals need to be considered when creating an ad campaign.

         The objectives of the campaign

         The target audience

         The message

         The advertising medium

Depending on the type of business, each fundamental response will be different. It is best to brainstorm each fundamental independently to come up with a range of possibilities for each. This allows greater flexibility in an ad campaign and provides alternative campaign strategies. It’s better to look at all possible strategies available than to go with a single idea that may not be a winning strategy.

Objectives

The objective of any ad campaign should be to:

a)      Bring attention to your business

b)      Develop a customer base

c)      Build loyalty with your existing customer base

d)      Generate sales

Providing exceptional customer service to your current customer base further enhances your advertising efforts by providing your with the golden nugget of “word of mouth” advertising. Word of mouth advertising is the best form of advertising available and it doesn’t cost anything, which is the best part. It is also the best way to grow your business and attract new customers.

When considering the objective it is important to define the goals as well. Creating your ad campaign to meet these goals should be the focus. Remember to keep the goals realistic and make sure that the ad campaign meets or supercedes these goals. In addition, measuring these goals will be a good indicator of whether or not the ad campaign is working. Set simple goals at first like the number of customers you want to obtain on a weekly or monthly basis based on advertising money spent. By monitoring this goal you will soon be able to tell if you are just throwing money out the window and if advertising dollars can be better spent someplace else.

Target Audience

“Know your audience”, this should be the mantra of every ad campaign. If you don’t target the right audience for your product or service, you might as well just start shoveling the money out the window. You need to focus on your particular target market because “mass marketing” simply does not work. Customer type and demographics should be your guide to creating an ad campaign that is tailored to your particular audience (customers).

If you are targeting budget conscious customers, then price will be a major factor of the campaign, whereas if you are targeting medium or larger businesses, the focus should be on value-added services.

The message

The message of the ad campaign has to be clear and must connect emotionally with potential customers. They need to be aware of the benefits of your product or service early on in the ad. The “what’s in it for me” factor that they react to must also be clearly defined. This comes in the form of clearly defined benefits and advantages of purchasing your service or product. In addition the message must arouse several other actions. It must:

         Attract the reader’s attention

         Hold the reader’s interest

         Raise desire to purchase the product or service

         Move the reader to action (to make the purchase)

Advertising medium

There are many outlets in which you can deliver your ad campaign and get your message out. You can use conventional advertising methods such as television, radio, newspapers or magazines, or you can use the power of the Internet or a combination of both. The thing to remember is this, whatever medium you use it must maximize ad placement and provide a wide venue to be seen or heard by your audience.

Depending on the advertising budget, you are better off trying a few mediums simultaneously if you can afford to. This will give you a wider audience and broader exposure. You can reach different demographics simultaneously, which is a big benefit. Your goal is to reach as many people in your target audience as quickly as possible in a cost-effective manner.

 Email Ad Campaigns

 If you choose to use the Internet as your advertising medium, an email ad campaign can be very effective if developed properly. It is also a very cost-effective method form of advertising. The drawback to an email ad campaign is that the ads may be viewed as “Spam” and kicked back the customer’s ISP. In addition, there are new anti-spam rules in place on the net that may further prevent your message from getting to its intended target.

 

The key to overcoming this draw back is to develop your ad campaign responsibility to avoid annoying and possibly losing potential customers. A responsible email campaign, which usually involves bulk mailings, must follow certain rules in order to be effective. When sending out these mailings you must do the following:

 

         Use an appropriate subject line. Deceptive subject lines will tip off spam blockers/email filters and block your ad from getting through.

         Use appropriate headers, never forged ones so that your location and ISP can be tracked if needed.

         Include your contact information including street address. This let’s the reader know that you are a real person. It also gives credibility to your business.

         Offer people receiving these mailings a way to opt out so they don’t get future ads that they don’t want. You cannot force those who don’t want to read your message to keep getting it. They need to have the ability to unsubscribe from future mailings if the desire to.

 

By adhering to these four simple rules, you will be sending out a responsible and potentially effective ad via email.

 

Offline Advertising

The whole purpose of advertising is to generate traffic, generate sales and increase profits. There should be no other reason to spend advertising dollars than to achieve those three goals. Unfortunately a majority of online businesses never meet those goals because they believe that because they have a business presence on the web, they need to use Internet advertising methods to reach their intended market.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It is important to use various methods of Internet advertising available but not to use them as the sole advertising medium. Offline conventional advertising methods combined with Internet advertising is a more powerful combination and will reach a broader demographic.

It is not unusual these days to flip through the classified section of a newspaper or look in the yellow pages and see an ad with a web address for an online business. These ads are very effective because they provide just enough information to entice the reader and peak curiosity so that they will visit the web site for more details and order information.

The three most powerful and effective offline advertising mediums are print, television and radio. It would be wise if the advertising budget allowed for this form of advertising. They are relatively inexpensive and provide a powerful platform from which to launch your ads. They also have tremendous promotion capabilities that can promote your online business effectively.

Print

Print medium of advertising includes any type of printed material. Newspapers, flyers, newsletters, billboards, coupons and so on are all very effective forms of print medium. Make sure that whatever print medium that you choose, that you include your web address.

Television

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a business mogul with a large advertising budget to buy television airtime to show your ad. Local and cable television stations often offer very low cost advertising plans. These stations are less expensive than the major broadcast stations. Using these types of television stations have an added benefit in that you can reach a specific viewing audience targeting your specific product market.

Infomercials that appear on television are another effective method of advertising your online business. It is a very inexpensive tool that can drive traffic effectively to your web site. All it takes is a simple 15-minute infomercial to get your message out to a wide audience while promoting your web site.

Radio

The cost of a radio ad can vary depending on the total population of a particular area. It is still however a very inexpensive form of advertising. In fact, if you purchase chunks of advertising, you can often negotiate lower prices.

 With radio ads, you will have the flexibility to specifically target your audience. The stations format already determines the age group and lifestyle of the listeners making it easier to target your advertising. One thing to consider with radio ads is ratings. The ratings that a station receives can have a major impact on the effectiveness of your ads. Time slots are another important factor in how effective your ad campaign will be, You don’t want a time slot when listeners are sleeping or going through the busiest part of their day. You want a prime time slot when the potential for as many listeners to tune is exists. Again, you have the opportunity to promote your web site as well as your business by including your web address. The key this time is that you need to mention it at least twice so that it will stay fresh in their minds.

 No matter which medium you choose, there are certain things that you can do to turn potential customers into online consumers.

 

 
     
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