Advertising is effective for businesses both big and small. When people see your ads, they become aware of your business, its products, and your brand. But advertising isn’t a sit back and relax endeavor; it requires a deep understanding of your target customer and a process of trial and error. For small business owners, every move counts. Creating great ads and placing those ads in front of the right people will take a bit of work, but the return on investment is worth every ounce of commitment.
Every industry and the businesses within will “do ads” differently. Forging your own path doesn’t mean you have to go out all on your own, though. Why waste time hacking away at the brush of uncharted land when you can follow a clear path that leads to the same destination? Innovation takes what already works well and makes it better. In advertising, what works well is targeting your audience, measuring and tracking your ads, building a recognizable and unique brand, and utilizing your resources to build even better ads later on just like the big advertising agencies do.
The best way to find out more about your target audience is to study the customers you already have. Most of the time, your best-selling products are selling to a certain type of person. Whether it’s females in their early 20s or middle-aged men, there’s a reason your products appeal to those people. You probably have a pretty good idea of your target audience already. Now, if you want to build a great ad, survey your customers. Find out why they like your products and how those products benefit them. Find out who your customers really are and use that to reach out to others like them who are unaware that your business exists or provides products they’ve been looking for.
A collection of data should help you figure out a detailed target customer profile. Using this information will help you create more targeted copy and imagery that appeals to the right people so you can really make the most of your investment.
Your ads have to solve problems or provide a benefit for consumers. People aren’t going to believe in your business or products if you don’t explain why it would improve or better their life. A good ad can make any product or service seem necessary to the right audience.
Advertising will not get you very far if you can’t track them. If you can’t tell whether or not your ads are working, there’d be no point in trying something else. You have to see what works and what doesn’t in order to improve and build better ads. With Google AdWords and Facebook ads, you get a myriad of stats that tell you what is working and what isn’t working. It may take a few tries before you get it just right, but having access to these stats will help to you to fine-tune your ad campaign so you win and take all.
If you’re a small business advertising on a budget, timing is everything. If you design swimwear and decide to disperse ads evenly year-round, you might find that the winter month ads are hurting more than helping. Season change creates a flux in sales. Holidays come with ads galore, but for a reason. If you’re in retail and you’re not advertising before black Friday, you’re just rolling out the red carpet for the competition. However, if you’re throwing money into ads that are just not working, it could be the “when” that’s causing all the trouble.
Ronald McDonald didn’t get to be the celebrity he is today through high grades in clown school. No, Ronald McDonald was a direct product of effective branding. Because of the unique and identifiable image of the McDonald’s brand, young children know what business he represents within seconds of seeing his red hair and big smile. To create a successful ad campaign, you must be able to set yourself apart from others in your industry. Color, imagery, copy, slogans and logos are what separate you from every other Joe in your industry. If people know your brand, they already have a basis of trust that the competitors have yet to earn.
Rather than changing your brand image all the time, find something unique that will appeal to customers over and over again. Sure, you might get bored of seeing it, but for customers, it will establish familiarity.
Technology has given entrepreneurs the power of fine-tuned online advertising. Now, you can build an effective ad campaign by using Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, and more. without spending your salary. These ads give you the power to allocate a daily budget and use targeted keywords to place your ads in front of the people that matter. What more could you ask for?
When and where are two very important words in advertising. Timing and placement are crucial in marketing, and if you’re putting your ad out in front of the wrong audience, you’re losing money, not making it. Really know and understand your audience to get this right. If your customers listen to a certain radio station or watch a certain show, be certain of it and do not make hasty assumptions.
For small business, advertising doesn’t always come up as a priority. But if you’re not advertising, you’ll likely remain a small business. Growth is dependent on outreach, and advertising is one way you can successfully reach new customers.