You’ve all seen them haven’t you? Those big glossy adverts placed by large corporations with very deep pockets. And they justify the spend on large adverts because its promoting their brand.

This can sometimes lead small business owners into believing that all they need to do is to place an advertisement to get their name out there. By giving a few details about their product or service and including their name and contact details that hoards of people will respond. For most small business owners that’s where it all ends.

This type of large glossy advertising is fine if you are a large corporation but not so if you are a small business owner. You have too small pockets to splash your money around in this way. As a small business owner your advertising needs to work for you. Therefore you need to be very smart and focused in your advertising efforts.

Here’s a few tips on how you can do that:

  1. Ask prospects where they heard of you. This is great information as some people may have come via word of mouth whilst others may have come from having found your website. Unless you find out where people are coming from you won’t know which advert or medium is working for you.
  2. Ask prospects what attracted them to your business. This question will lead you to your finding out what is unique about you and what perception they have of you and your business. Make this attraction work for you by finding out more about them and why they felt you could help with their specific problem.
  3. Identify the lifetime value of your customers. If for instance you place an advertisement and it costs you £1000 each month and your customer then spends £100 with you, this means you need to have ten new customers from that advert each month. This will demonstrate whether your advertising is working for you or not.
  4. Test, track and monitor all adverts. Always make sure that you track each and every advert that you place. What response did you have? What income did it bring in? You need to identify which of your advertisements is working best. Stop doing those that are not working.
  5. Test small. Always do a small test first to see whether your advert is working before you splash out on a large advertising space. The response will likely be the same regardless. So if the advertisement hasn’t worked initially, placing a bigger advertisement or to a wider audience won’t get any higher response percentage wise than it did on a small initial test.
  6. Split Test. Find out what attracted them to respond to your advertisement. Instead of changing the whole advertisement, just change the headline and do a split test on headline only to see which one gets the best response.
  7. Clear call to action. You shouldn’t just tell people about your products or services, your advertisement should make them want to buy. Work on your communication and creating an irresistible offer to entice them to buy from you.

Adverts are all part of your marketing mix and as such shouldn’t be the only way to attract business. As a small business adverts certainly have their place but you do need to consider what advertising mediums will work best for you. This will make sure that the investment you’re making in advertising will be working sufficiently well for you.

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