3 Must Do’s When Spending Your Cash on Advertising

There is old saying that many small businesses use – ‘50% of our advertising works – we’re just not sure what 50% works!’

If you run a small business and feel like this or if you’re thinking of advertising for the first time, then are a few things that you need to know when advertising. Most advertising that you see on TV, hear on radio or see in well known and read publications are big companies promoting their brand. They advertise to build brand, they want to keep their brand in your consciousness.

As a small and medium sized enterprise or a solo entrepreneur, your purpose for advertising is very different.

Your advertising should be sales focused. You want your adverts to sell your product or service, not promote your brand. If you’re going to use your hard earned cash for advertising, you WANT a return on investment. In fact, I’d go so far as to say you NEED a good return on investment (ROI).

With this sales focus in mind, here are 3 things that you MUST do when advertising.

1. Negotiate and Haggle

Never accept the price that you are quoted and definitely never accept the price on the rate card. Think of your ideal price that you’d love to charge your clients, double it and that’s what publications are looking to do with rate cards. Okay, so I’m exaggerating for effect but the point I’d like to stress is that you must haggle and negotiate.

Start at 50% of what they ask for and go from there. Also get to know when the magazine publication goes to print. The closer to the print deadline, the cheaper it will be.

2. Decide What You’re Selling & Who You’re Selling To

Once you’ve negotiated a good price, ask yourself what it is that you want to sell. You should follow the KISS Formula:





Keep your advert to promoting one product or one service. Even though you may have many products or services, only promote one. It will avoid confusion with your audience and increase the likelihood of sales.

As soon as you have decided what you’re promoting, the next step is to decide who you’re selling to. Most times it’s a natural progression as you’ll have segmented your products into markets. However, if your product range is wide, narrow the focus down. Find out who will benefit most from your product or service. Draw up a list and rate your prospective customers. Once you do this, you’ll soon find out who is your best target market for your advert.

3. Keep your Advert Simple

Once you know what you want to sell, who you’re selling to, the next step is to design your advert with one key variable in mind – simplicity.

Research other adverts within the publication of choice. Make a note of what you like and dislike. If you have two or three client advocates, ask them what would make them pick up the phone when they see an advert.

Don’t overcomplicate your advert. State your benefit or the problem you solve. Offer an incentive to call today. By having an offer, a time-dependent coupon or another incentive, you are actively looking for the sale. Follow the KISS formula as above. The results will be better.

When I’m consulting with clients for Achieve Marketing, I advise them to use a designer rather than use the art department of the publication. While it maybe a little bit more expensive, you have control over the exact look and feel of it. When you give over your artwork to the publications, you can rest easy that your message will be printed exactly as you have designed it.

In summary, if you follow these three simple tips for advertising, you will see the results. On a final note, remember to monitor and measure your advert. Ask all callers where they heard of you, what they thought of the advert and keep a log of when they called. You want to know 100% of what is working with your advertising, not a vague 50%.

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