All sign businesses big and small need to know and implement the basics of advertising. Sadly, sign making businesses all to often miss the most fundamental steps, leaving their businesses doomed to marginal success through marketing. It’s easy to spend money in advertising. Any radio, local TV, or space salesperson is more than happy to take your money. But spending these precious resources wisely in a way that allows you to track the results… that’s the hard part. If you want a higher return on your marketing budget make sure you don’t skip these basic building blocks of advertising.
- Focus on a Single Message. To get a better response to your message, make sure it has just one main point. The advertisement should arrive at your main message in 3 seconds or less; any more time and you risk losing the interest of your listeners. Longer messages also take longer to process, and longer to understand. Shorter messages are also more cost efficient. Simply put, simple messages are the most direct way to reach your customers.
- Instill Trust. It is a gut reaction to not trust an advertisement. Be honest, be truthful, and don’t be anything you aren’t. Any claims must be credible, and all projections should be real. This will help you win over the small business skeptics.
- Test your Ads. Large corporations spend thousands of dollars on tweaking their advertisements. Small businesses do not have the same luxury, however, it is still important to test your marketing efforts. You need to know what ads are working and worth it, and which ones aren’t. Try our coupons, specials and codes, checked against timing, placement, and headlines – but don’t try to check everything at once. Choose one thing, such as a coupon, in one medium, such as a sidebar ad, and see how that works. Check the effectiveness of your advertisements by asking your customers how they heard about your small business.
- Target your Ads. Advertisements are only successful when they reach the eyes of your target audience. Choose your media and placement accordingly. When targeting different groups, make sure your message appeals to their specific needs.
- Provide Complete Contact Info. Make it easy for potential customers to get in touch with you. No matter the type of advertisement you are running, include you email address, phone number, website, and company name. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many companies forget to do it.
- Spark their Interest. Most of the time a simple advertisement is not enough to make the sale. The advert should be aimed to spark their interest enough to get them to contact you for more information, and that is when you close the deal. Make sure you are ready to follow-up on your marketing efforts.
If you are struggling to get a good response from your advertising, most likely the culprit is the message. With time, testing, planning and tweaking you will see changes in your marketing campaign. Be willing to go through the work of following the basics and getting it right, and you will be a step ahead of the competition when it comes to small business advertising.