One thing B2C and B2B advertising share is their promotional nature, and that means you should put some salesmanship into your ads to communicate your offers effectively.
But at times, both B2C and B2B advertisers routinely pretend to be hype people, overselling every aspect of their offer, and not being candid enough to their audiences — all so they can get the reader to consider buying their offer.
And there are other mistakes that can detract from your credibility.
While I hope what you have to say is more important than some silly hype line, the truth is some people will not act if you make dumb mistakes when you advertise. And buying from you will be out of the question.
Thus, here are eight mistakes to avoid when advertising your offers to your market.
Making It All About the Offer
I’ve talked about this before on my copywriting posts. Yet, it still doesn’t surprise me that this mistake continues to be made.
I know you have poured blood, sweat and tears into your offer. And that you’re proud of it. I understand. But here’s the cold, hard truth… nobody cares.
No one cares how good your product or that you’ve got an amazing new service. Nobody looks forward to getting yet more selling messages. And your market certainly doesn’t care that you say you’re different.
All they want to know is: “what is in it for me?” “How will your offer save me time or money?” How will your service improve my life?” “How will I be able to spend just a little money to get a huge satisfaction in return?
Make your advertising about your market. Use “you”, you’re, and “your” in your pitches. Focus on their needs. And if the offer is good enough, they will buy.
Having Any Purpose Other Than Selling
I don’t know why, but these days, everyone is afraid to sell. And it makes some of these marketers sound very dumb when they go and explain the failures of their advertising by saying “We were not trying to sell.”
Really? And just exactly what you were trying to achieve by spending thousands (and at times millions) of dollars on an ad? To start a conversation? To get people talking around the cooler the next day? Because I got news for you… you can achieve that nowadays with less money and a larger reach. I’ll let you figure that out.
The bottom line is this – advertising is salesmanship. Plain and simple. Any other purposes behind them make your ad money worthless. You just need to follow the same rules you would for a sales letter. Or an email. Or a social media post. Get attention, be clear, and be persuasive.
And don’t let the advertising of products like Budweiser, Geico, and the likes fool you. Behind those commercials there are millions of dollars put into branding to back them up. Because even those marketers know those commercials (on their own) are worth jack to their bottom line.
Different Ads for Different Media
This one hits close to him because I made this mistake at the start of my copywriting career. Because I thought that I should promote something different every time I would advertise on a different media channel.
What I was doing (inadvertently) was sending a complicated brand message. A message that would confuse my audience about what I can do for them.
So, if you’re to advertise through different channels, make sure the message is one and the same. Have it synched across television, radio, your blog, your newsletter, social media, and every other opportunity available.
And yes, you can promote different offers. But need to find a common ground that connects one piece of advertising to the other. So that the market knows it’s all coming from the same brand.
Over-Promising and Under-Delivering
This is one of the most common mistakes made in advertising. And one I’m sure that will not go away anytime soon.
You want to make your offer so good and so appealing, you may (at one point) step over your boundaries and promise something that may be hard (or at times, impossible) to deliver. And that’s where the troubles for your brand begin.
In a world with so many products and services out there, you may get only ONE shot at getting it right. It’s OK to make a small mistake here and there. But when you miss the mark in a big way on your promise, that opens the door for your prospects to walk away and try out the competition.
Do not offer anything you are not 100% sure you can deliver! Plain and simple. And every time you even think about making an outlandish promise to your market, think of Disney and the way the run their business.
When you are at a line at Disney, they usually tell you it’s about 90 minutes before you go in. But it turns out you only spend half the time on the line. The reason for them doing that is twofold: a) it gives them a margin of error in case something goes wrong, and b) it makes them look very efficient when things go right. And the result: you walk out with a smile on your face. Mission accomplished!
When making promises to your target audience, think like Disney: under-promise and over-deliver.
And continuing with the afore-mentioned topic: companies need to stop using their ads to promote their squeaky-clean image to the masses. It’s such a borefest and a slap to the face at the same time.
We are the most wonderful company in the world. We are not capable to make any mistakes. Our products and services are always made with you in mind.
Who the hell thinks that’s clever marketing in the 21st century? Come on! We’re aware of what companies look to get out of their offers. And we know that we are all capable of making mistakes. So, instead of trying to portray this goodie-two-shoes image to the world, how about we become more human?
It worked wonders for Domino’s in the mid-2000s. And who knows what it can do for you!
Overspending on Resources
One of my first blog posts was a guide for people to know how to hire the right copywriter for them. One of the focus I placed on that post is knowing what to spend when hiring.
And that goes for all members of your advertising team – from the director to your copywriter.
You can’t go above what you can pay for competence. If you overspend on a team member, you will have to lower your expectations for other team members. And it only takes one bad apple to rot the basket.
Be sure you know how to manage your advertising budget. So you can hire the best team possible for your projects.
Going the Hollywood Route
A perception that has been created by this overly-produced Super Bowl commercials is that Hollywood-esque presentations make for effective advertising.
I’m going to fix that cognizance right now: Hollywood-esque presentations make for more entertaining advertising, not more effective advertising. And I’m doing this because I want to save you from spending thousands (perhaps even millions) of dollars on worthless, ego-driven advertising.
Unfortunately, the advertising industry has been filled with people who want to be Hollywood scriptwriters, but don’t know how to write long, compelling stories. So, they have invaded the advertising market and (because they can’t sell crap either) they have tried to change the notion that advertising is about bright lights and cool effects.
That notion has propelled companies of all sizes to put money into this form of advertising. Only to realize it does nothing in terms of ROI. And as I mentioned, big brands do maintain this type of advertising. But they back it up with millions of dollars’ worth of branding messages elsewhere to at least have a shot at making it work.
All you need for effective advertising is a strong, compelling message and a competent team. The rest will develop on its own.
Advertising that Falls on Deaf Ears
Here’s the tip that will tell you need a new advertising team: when your ads speak someone other than your target audience.
Over time, we have seen companies follow new trends, trying to become hipper, and attempting to expand their core audience. And the results have been brutal.
Why does the change in the brand message not work? Because they haven’t changed their offer. They are offering a product or service that could not care less about their offer. While leaving those who do hanging. If you are looking to lose money or close shop, that’s your formula for success.
Just make sure that you’re relaying your brand message to the people who want to hear it. And are willing to spend money on your offer.Here are eight mistakes to avoid when advertising your offers to your market. Click To Tweet
BONUS MISTAKE: Advertising B2B as B2C, and Vice-Versa
Is there are big difference between B2C and B2B advertising? Yes, there is.
The business-to-consumer area of marketing is more emotionally driven than the B2B market. With B2C, you’re looking to get people excited about an offer. You want them to love it so much, they can’t wait to take their wallets out and order. It doesn’t work that way with B2B.
B2B buyers already know what they need. What you need to convince them to do is wanting your offer over your competitors. And to do so, you need to present numbers and stats that show the case for your offer.
You also need to realize that the sales funnel for B2B is a lot bigger than the B2C. buyers are about spend large amounts of money on an offer, so they are trying to figure out the best option for the long term. And that could take some time.
Treat business to business marketing as a more sophisticated area than the consumer side, and you will get better results out of your advertising.