Seven Little-Known Advertising Secrets.

Shocked Woman

1) Know that advertising and marketing are different:

It’s true, the two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Marketing is much broader and encompasses all the activities you do to attract and retain customers. Advertising is usually specific to a medium and in most cases is paid for. You need good advertising, but more importantly you also need good marketing.

2) Don’t rely exclusively on social media (get a marketing squid instead):

I got an email a few months ago from a lady who owns a retail shop. She complained that she had 600 Instagram followers with lots of likes, but no one was buying. In the social media/internet world, 600 followers is nothing! She would probably need several thousand just to make one sale. The mistake she made was relying on just social media, which is fickle.

If you want results you have to have a good mix of marketing activities, including social media. You need what I call a Marketing Squid.

The Marketing Squid

The Marketing Squid

A squid has ten tentacles, and it needs all of them to survive.
The squid represents your business; if you have only one or two sources of customers (tentacles) your business will not be able to survive in the long term.

You need multiple sources of customers (i.e. multiple marketing activities) to survive and thrive in the long term. See the photo. Now implement!

3) It’s the reader, not the publication:

Let’s say you want to sell high-end financial services. You could advertise in business and financial publications, right? But do high income people read these publications only? Of course not! They might also read publications about luxury cars and yachts, right? Always think in terms of the reader (i.e your target market), not the publication.

4) Treat advertising like an investment:

You cannot – I repeat cannot – view advertising as an expense! Advertising is a strategic investment. If you need to cut costs, don’t rush to cut your advertising budget. Killing your Marketing Squid when you need it most is suicide. And remember, it often takes weeks or months before people react to an advertisement.

5) Sell sell sell!

Look, would you limit your sales people to only a few words when facing clients? So why do the same with expensive advertising? Remember, advertising is just salesmanship in print. Don’t be shy about using up the whole space of the advert, use every available square inch. Ignore the so-called experts who say that no one will read wordy adverts. They will, but with the caveat that the advert is interesting and compelling. See next point.

6) Don’t be self-centred:

Way too many adverts have the words “we” in them. We have been established since…, we are the best in… we provide… we we we! Change your focus to the reader of the advert. Use more “you” words than “we” words, and focus on the benefits of using your product or service. Remember people only care about WIFM – What’s In It For Me!

7) Give them a reason to respond:

Most adverts out there don’t have a compelling offer. They leave the reader hanging. Give him or her an offer. A free trial, a discount, an upgrade – something! Really good adverts have good offers and a clear call to action.

Hope you found this useful.

Talk soon.

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