Let’s get something straight: advertising works. And it has worked for hundreds of years.
Go back to the days of Claude Hopkins, when advertising was once considered a gamble. But thanks to people like Mr. Hopkins, it’s proven to be one of the safest business ventures.
Yet, there’s people out there that will tell you that advertising is worthless. And they’ll show you “proof” that it doesn’t work. Leaving you wonder “why bother spending on advertising if it didn’t work for XYZ?”
Here’s the answer to your question: advertising -just like anything else in life- when done right, can do wonders for you. But, when done wrong, can be disastrous.
And I can bet you anything that the people who’s had bad advertising experiences, it is due to them applying the wrong advertising techniques. Because unfortunately, advertising has become more about glamour than effectiveness.
All those Hollywood-esque commercials that you see during the Super Bowl – they don’t do anything for the businesses in the grand scheme of things. They might look awesome (and they do), but at the end of the day, the companies don’t know what they are getting out of them. If they are getting anything at all.
But you are smarter than that.
You understand the importance of getting the most out of your budget. And you won’t fall for these charades the agencies are selling nowadays. Advertising for you must deliver the highest ROI possible, and it must be measured.
But, you can make that happen? Here are 10 easy advertising techniques that will help you improve your campaigns immediately.
The Power of Testing
In his book “Scientific Advertising”, advertising great Claude Hopkins explains how important testing campaigns should for advertisers:
“Almost any question can be answered, cheaply, quickly, and finally, by a test campaign.”
Advertising is full of surprises. The one campaign you’d think is perfect for your brand and market could end up being a DUD. While the idea you’d consider to be laughable can bring you more clients than you can handle.
That’s why you, as an advertiser, should test every campaign before going live. It’s the only way to know how your market might react to your presentation before putting all the assigned budget to it.
Think of all the money you can make (and save) by taking a chunk of your budget to figure out whether you should move ahead to your campaign.
Insert Calls to Action
Any form of advertising that doesn’t include a call to action is worthless.
Whether you want an immediate sell or for the market to remember you down the road, your clientele must know how/when/where they can get in contact with you to acquire your services.
Here are five ways to include a call to action:
- Sign-up option: When you are looking for prospects to take you on a membership-type offer, you need to guide them into signing up to your service. Make your form as concise as possible.
- Free trials: Companies like Netflix make their offers appealing by giving you the chance of trying their service for a period and making it easy for you to cancel membership at any time.
- Contact Me/Us: Maybe you just want people to ask or comment on something. A landing page with a simple form could do the trick. Make sure to promote the contact page across your other channels.
- Limited time offer: Make your offer a must-get if you are looking to get immediate responses. Give the reader a considerable amount of time to think about the offer – but not too much that they forget about it.
- About Us: Build that bond with your would-be clients by inviting them to know you before you make any business approach. Add a button in your email signature and social media pages that leads the prospects to your About page and show them who you are and what you can do for them.
Notes to the B2B Service Community on Advertising
Few company representatives would admit that advertising can play a role in the evaluation of hiring a firm.
However, stats and information collected from the business-to-business world tell a different story.
For those considering advertising their services in the B2B industry, here are some keys to success:
Make Sure Your Brand is Represented the Way It Should Be
Avoid being cool for the sake of it.
Go After the Companies that Can Afford Your Services
It’s OK to do pro-bono work, but those clients won’t pay the bills. Aim to get clients with more than 50 employees.
State a Clear Business Mission
Let your prospects know exactly what you bring to the table, and how your services help your clientele achieve their goals.
Understand Not All Services and Niches are Fee’d Equal
You would ask for the same amount of money to a janitorial service as you would a scientific research firm, right? Keep in mind who you are serving, to know how much you should charge.
Have a Clear USP
USP stands for “Unique Selling Proposition. That’s what will make you stand out from other service professionals.
Use long form copy when necessary
Some services do not need for you to write four pages of copy – they’re self-explanatory.
However, if you are in the medical or legal fields (mostly), you must explain everything you do with as much detail as possible.
You must not only do this to save your behind in case of a legal problem; with long-form copy your prospect make the best choice when it’s time to hire. (And we know they will choose YOU!)
Connect with your target market
You can make your advertising about one of two things: your brand or your clientele.
Always make your advertising about your clientele.
Focus on how the people who hire you benefits from your experience, skillset and knowledge.
It helps elevating your brand (yes), but it’s done by putting the attention where it should be – what the person signing the checks get from you.
Optimize your headlines
Your headlines are the first thing your prospects notice when looking at your advertising.
When creating headlines, make sure they bring a sense of urgency to the audience. They also must be useful and unique to grab the attention of your market.
And finally, be ultra-specific, so you can let the readers know exactly what they’re in for.
Optimize your lead paragraphs
Right after getting the attention of the audience, paint the picture you want them to have with your lead paragraphs.
Deliver on that promise you gave in your headline with a captivating and sophisticated story that takes the audience into your body copy.
Use a conversational tone
Most B2B marketers think that their marketing must be ultra-serious to catch the attention of their market.
But you don’t have to be a stiff to do B2B marketing. In fact, you mustn’t.
When presenting your offers, try to do it in conversational way – like you were talking directly to the prospect.
Use an informal tone, but not to the point of being casual. Remember to always have a level of respect for your prospect.
Without being sales-y or overhyping your offer, look for a way to entice your market into acquiring your services.
Information is the best way to do this. Let your community know that you know your stuff – that should let your market know that it’d be wise for them to hire your services when needed.
Speaking of information, let’s answer the question “what information should I offer my prospects?”
The answer: give them what you know.
Present them valuable information that can help them solve problems they can fix on their own.
You might think that’s counter-productive, but the reality is, your prospects will solve whatever they can on their own regardless. They will find the way to do it.
Besides, you don’t want to be there for the simple stuff. You want to solve the advanced, complicated problems. The ones that leave you the big payoffs.
Tell it like it is
Be candid. Don’t go around beating the bush.
People’s time is valuable – and now more than ever. So, when advertising, go to the heart of the matter. Present exactly what you want to present without subtleties or sublaminar messaging.
Just tell it like it is.
EXTRA TIP: Adapt the direct response philosophy
Look to get the audience’s attention by presenting a topic they’re intrigued by.
Then, present them a problem (which is probably something they are dealing with now) with a viable solution.
And finally, persuade them into acquiring said solution.
Advertising Still Matters
Advertising works. It has worked for hundreds of years. And it will work for years to come.
But advertising (just like anything else in life) when done right, can do wonders for you. And when done wrong, can be disastrous.
Follow the tips I just gave you and you will avoid bad, disastrous advertising. Which, in turn, should help your efforts generate more sales for your firm.