Avoiding Small Business Advertising Mistakes

Large companies can make small mistakes when it comes to advertising, without damaging their bottom line. Not so for the small business owner. Jamie Herzlich's article on www.newsday.com shares some advertising industry secrets to effectively maximize your small business advertising dollar.In brief, they are:

Sell features vs. benefits – Sell the benefit of your product to the consumer, and not the product's features. The example cited is of a lawnmower: what is important is not how powerful the engine is, but how that powerful engine can mow a lawn in half the time.

Don't underfund your ad – be realistic about your ad budget. Don't expect to recover the cost of your advertising entirely through sales.

Focus your ad – don't try to say or sell too much in one ad. Instead, advertise different products in different ads.

Don't pull your ad too soon – ads need at least six months to gain brand recognition.

Track your results – you need to establish whether or not the medium and the ad you chose are effective. Use a unique phone number or URL to track your results.

Time your ads according to your sales cycle – don't blow all your money on one ad. Spread it out to coincide with your sales plan.

Reach beyond your comfort zone – target potential customers outside of your main base.

Include "transactional" and "relational" components in every ad – transactional focuses on the product, while relational focuses on the customer service experience.

Be aggressive – you need a big idea, but not necessarily a big budget – example cited is a frozen yogurt shop which offered free cones until midnight, in the dead of winter. They spend $1,700 on the radio ad, and $500 on the 11,000 cones they gave away. Business increased by 80%.

The six key advertising "do's" are:

  • Provide compelling copy
  • Include a call to action
  • Choose the right medium
  • Pay attention to visuals
  • Stand for something

For more, read the article here.

Remember, managing ad campaigns can be complex and requires testing and tracking for success. Ask your virtual assistant how to best optimize your advertising budget, so you are not wasting your time and money on unproductive, expensive or poorly directed ad purchases.

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