A simple guide for small businesses and others
Despite the onward march of digital marketing there is still an important place in the marketing mix for print advertising, particularly for small local businesses. Well at least there appears to be judging by the number of monthly and bi monthly local business directories that come through my letterbox. However, judging by the content of these publications I wonder about the effectiveness of many ads and the actual return on investment for many companies.
On a recent check, out of 43 ads there were only 3 that actually had something that made me stop and look, so here are my top 8 tips for small local businesses to consider when thinking about placing a print advertisement or even producing a flyer.
1. Think AIDA. Your advertisement should attract Attention, it should then provoke Interest, leading to a Desire to want the product/service and provide the means for the customer to take Action
2. Your headline is important and for that you need to know your customer. You are an A1 roofing company, so what? There are several others out there. What problem are you solving for the customer and what makes you different. Decide on one key element that will stand out.
3. Hopefully your headline has grabbed the reader’s attention, now the first paragraph must create interest. This can be done by keeping it short and using a surprising statement, news item or simple story related to the headline.
4. Now for desire. The body copy should not talk about you, instead talk about the customer. State the benefits clearly and show why you are different to your competitors. Talk in the language of the reader – no jargon – and emphasise things like No Obligation and Free.
5. Hopefully by now the reader is interested enough to take action. Make it is easy for them. Don’t be afraid to tell them what to do and make sure the contact details are clear and working.
6. Keep the layout clean and easy to follow. If you are using images Please Please Please don’t use photographs that have been stretched or shrunk to fit; unless of course you want to be seen as cowboy. There are lots of free image editor software packages around so there’s no excuse.
7. Include a reference code. I have seen businesses use the same ad in several publications without any reference so how they can tell which magazine is working for them I don’t know. The reference code can be included in coupons or asked to be quoted when calling or emailing.
8. Finally, don’t be afraid to test different advertisements to see which works best. If you are using 2 directories to the same area then use 2 different adverts. You may be surprised.
If you need any help or advice please give me a call.