Updated: Mar 16, 2019
Before you start advertising your business or if you are advertising your business now, these are the 3 things you should know to advertise your business.
Mistake #1 When You Advertise Your Business – Avoid Branding or General Advertising
If you’re a local business you should especially, not do general advertising or branding which is based on getting impressions. Another way to put this is getting your name out there.
This is the way the big brands do it so it must work right? Well, they spend up to hundreds of millions of dollars on cute and creative ads to try to get you to remember that a lizard or a duck is for insurance. Or polar bears at Christmas time is to sell brown, bubbly liquid.
The TV ad people will say something like this that they can get you 700K impressions over the next month. Again any business should be asking, how many of these people are in my geographical area and my demographics and in my target audience, those that are in market for the products or services I sell?
You see and hear this all the time, restaurants that advertise 30 miles from their location. Do you regularly drive 30 miles to a restaurant? Or a dentist that advertises 50 miles from his location. Would you go 50 miles to a dentist? Especially when he doesn’t give me any difference between him and the other 50 dentists between him and myself.
Get the point yet? I’m not going to argue that branding doesn’t have an impact. Of course, if you have a huge bank account and you’re willing to spend large sums consistently you can get your name out there.
You could also write the name of your business on the back of a bunch $1 bills and drop them over Lambeau field. Sure, you’ll get your name out there, but are you going to get actual customers.
And no I’m not talking about branding as in having a professional image, you should of course have that. I’m saying that to do general advertising to get your name out it can only be done if you have a huge bank account.
There is a better way. It’s the difference between asking do you want to be rich or do you want to be famous. Branding will get you fame but marketing using direct response will make you rich. And that starts with marketing that focuses on the benefits of doing business with you and what is important to your prospects.
Mistake #2 When You Advertise Your Business – Avoid Platitudes
Which leads us to the next thing you need to know before you advertise – avoiding platitudes in your marketing.
Platitudes are words and phrases that are dull, boring and mean nothing because everybody uses them.
These are words and phrases like we’re professional, experienced, been in business since 1492, highest quality, biggest selection, best service, free estimates, family owned, residential and commercial, board certified and on and on.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be or do these things. What I am saying is everybody says them and nobody believes them.
So they’ve become a waste of space in your ads and not really telling your prospect why they should choose you over your competition. So all they can compare any business on is price.
The interesting thing about platitudes is the biggest contributor to them is the typical ad agency, website designer or graphic designer. The problem with most of these companies is they just want to get something out that looks good and focuses on the color or the logo and not what you say.
If you don’t know what you paid for the messaging guess what you get what you pay for.
Mistake #3 When You Advertise Your Business – Giving Control Of Your Marketing Message To Someone Else
This leads us to the next issue. When you have the website person and the TV person and the Pay-per-click person designing your ads, they’re creating and coming up with your message.
You’re giving control of the most important part of your marketing to someone else.
You need to own your message.
Your message should be cohesive across all mediums, educating and directing people to where you want to lead them to the next step in your sales process.
Your ads should be one part of a larger marketing system. A marketing system that is consistently leading your prospects to doing business with you.
So now that you know these 3 things you need to know before advertising your business. What should you do instead?
It starts by educating yourself on other methods to market your business.
My business partner and I are offering a free ebook. We’re giving it away to Northeast Wisconsin business owners that want to avoid these marketing mistakes.
Go to www.marketing-simplified.com to get the Free ebook.
Platitude evaluation #1 – Well I Would Hope So! – One of the things you should never use in any of your marketing is platitudes. Platitudes are words or phrases that are common and predictable because everybody uses them and I mean everybody.
Platitude evaluation #2 -Who Else Can Say That – Platitude evaluation #2 is Who Else Can Say That? The question isn’t who else can do what you do, but who else can say what you say. The answer is usually anyone and everyone.
Platitude evaluation #3 – Cross Out / Write-In Test -This evaluation is called the Cross Out Write-In Test. For this evaluation, I’m going to have you cross out the name of your company in your advertisement or website and then write in the name of your competitor.
Who is your ideal target audience? – Who is your ideal target audience? Not just your target audience but who is your ideal audience. Your ideal target audience is a subset of all your customers. Those are the 20% of the customers that produce 80% of all the revenue. One of the qualities of an inexperienced salesperson or business owner is that they say they can help everyone. Even if that is true there has to be a condition that your product or service helps the most.
What is your unique selling proposition? – Why should someone choose to do business with you? If you don’t know are you sure your prospects and clients do?
Where should I be advertising? – There are so many options, you may feel like you’re drinking from a firehouse of choices. With technology, it doesn’t appear that the options will be slowing down anytime soon.