Promoting your products and services is the life blood of your business. Although it will not solve problems within the administration and operation of your company, it is the part of doing business that leads to sales and income. Through advertising you attract new customers and encourage people that have already made purchases to buy from you again. It’s important to have an advertising plan in place outlining a strategy for reaching your target market effectively.
The key to a successful advertising campaign is planning. No matter how much enthusiasm you have about your business, you will waste time and money without bringing several factors into alignment.
How much can I spend on my advertising budget?
This is an individual choice. Companies typically spend anywhere from 1% to 10% of their gross income on their marketing campaigns. You also need to determine how much you want to increase your sales for the year. For example, if your sales goals are 10% more than last year, you’ll need to figure in the cost of bringing the additional sales.
How do I decide on the most effective message in my advertisements?
You need to know your target market very well. What is the profile of your ideal customer? What is the issue or need they have that you can satisfy? Your marketing message needs to speak directly to your potential customers and tell them immediately why your product or service applies to their situation. It should all boil down to a single tag line or slogan that “brands” your company. Here are some great examples:
“Go to work on an egg.” – Egg Marketing Board
“Reach out and touch someone.” – AT&T
“Just do it.” – Nike
“When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” – FedEx
“Think small.” – Volkwagen
“Have it your way.” – Burger King
How do I choose the best media for advertising?
Here is where you are going to have to test the market. By now you should already be aware of who your customers are and where you can reach them. There’s no point placing an ad in Popular Mechanics for vitamin supplements unless you have a very large budget and can afford to target a very small sector of your market. Your ad would reach a larger audience in a health or lifestyle magazine. If your market is local, a regional television or radio station may get you the most attention. You’ll need to carefully track the results of your efforts to learn where you get the best response.
You have full control over your advertising campaign, and this gives you the authority to tweak it at any time. Drop what does not work and do more of what does. Allow for the fickle nature of the market and be willing to adapt.
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