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Marketing / Business marketing

Four tips for an effective advertising strategy

Following these simple guidelines can help ensure that you have an effective advertising strategy that helps boost your bottom line.

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Don’t sell anything

The age-old adage “Let the product sell itself” remains true.

Your customers don’t want you to promise them a great service; they want proof you can deliver. Offer a free, high-quality seminar, consultation or e-book to let them see you in action.

If you’re providing a great product, the sales will follow.

Sex up your headlines

Sensationalise, scandalise and personalise your headline. Your headline has to be catchy because, let’s face it, most of us have the attention span of a three-year-old when it comes to advertisements.

Your clients face a constant assault from the media. Make them laugh, cry, or raise their eyebrows. Do whatever necessary to pull your target market in.

"Your headline has to be catchy because, let’s face it, most of us have the attention span of a three-year-old when it comes to advertisements."

Tell a story

Now you’ve got their attention, use it wisely. Your clients need to know how your product or service will impact their lives.

Will your helpful advice allow them to spend more time with their families at the end of the day? Does your organising strategy prevent costly tax audits at the end of the financial year? Keep it specific and keep it simple.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business marketing section.

Make it tangible

Remember the old days of catalogue sales? A beautiful, full-colour catalogue would arrive in our mailbox once a month, and every now and then it was accompanied by product samples! Seeds, craft supplies, office necessities – no matter what it was, we were instantly like children who couldn’t wait to open their birthday presents.

This principle is just as true today as I stand next to my recycling bin tossing pieces of junk mail in without so much as glancing at them. Then every few months, my junk mail disposal is interrupted by a car dealership flyer with a key attached that proclaims, “This could be the key to your brand new car!” My fingers twitch waiting to open the envelope, peel the key from the flyer and turn it over in my hands as I imagine myself in my dream car. When the time eventually comes for me to buy, it’s a pretty safe bet which car dealer will be top of my mind.

If you are a service company, maybe you can’t package a sample of your service into a direct mailer, but I bet you can take advantage of the thousands of promotional items on the web. Send a miniature tape measure to prove that your service will “measure up” to clients’ expectations. Get balloons printed with your logo and promise to “rise above” the competition.

Providing something tangible and bulky ensures that your mailer will get opened while the others hit the bottom of the recycling bin.

Do you follow these principles in your advertising strategy? What kind of results have you achieved?

Gary Griffiths

is a small business marketing expert dedicated to helping small business owners live the life they deserve.

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