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Better advertising for your business - Photo credit: Tobias Moore

5 tips to better advertising for your business

With so much clutter in the market, it can sometimes feel a little confronting to try to stand out above the rest. Advertising and marketing can become quite an expensive process, but it doesn’t have to be if you get it right and sometimes it can be a little easier than you initially thought. With this in mind, here are 5 tips that can help kick things off:
1. Find the right target market

So many times I ask my potential/current clients who their target market is and most of them reply with answers like “anybody looking to buy [insert product/service]”. This answer is obviously all said and good, but chances are that that response won’t work. Finding your ideal target market is super important because it basically aligns every other aspect of how you market your product or service.

Reverting back to what my clients usually respond with, yes that is correct, but you need to go further than that if you were to paint a picture of your ideal customer, what would they look like? For example; how old are they, where do they live, how much do they earn, what type of things do they like? Of course, this is something that you will need to research, but in order for your brand to speak directly to your ideal customer, you need to find out who they are. A good way of doing this is finding out who your current clients are, there will be a standout and that is your answer. Alternatively, if this isn’t the customer/client you are wanting to attract, find out who it is and speak directly to them. Think about the way you perceive a beer brand as opposed to a champagne brand, both brands market to two very different audiences and they make sure that they speak the language and promote to that audience the right way. It also positions your brand within the market. When your target market is too vague, your marketing/advertising is too vague, therefore your messages never cut through and you will be speaking to no-one. For more advice, you can check out this Forbes article ‘Steps To Identify Your Target Market‘.

2. Have a single-minded proposition

This is a simple one, but an important one. What is the most important message you want to convey? Find it and stick with it. Too many businesses clutter their ads with unnecessary things. They think that having multiple messages (or offers) at once is the biggest and best thing to do; unfortunately, it’s not. Keep your advertising simple, show one offer at a time and stick with it. The moment you start to add mixed messaging on one piece of marketing material is the moment everything you’re trying to convey becomes less important and devalues what you’re trying to say. It’s also incredibly confusing for those trying to read it to understand. It’s not all about discounts and best price, there is more to the marketing mix (for example quality) that people take into consideration. Keep your messaging simple, focus on one thing and do that one thing well. For more, read my blog post “Simplicity in design is key to creating engaging content for your audience“.

3. Incorporate a personal touch

Add a human approach to your marketing, after all, there are people behind the brand. Show people what you believe in as a company, let potential clients/audiences align themselves to you personally. Emotion in advertising is a great way to show people who you are as a company, there is more to a business these days than the product. Show some humour (if it fits your brand), post articles or stories relevant to your industry on social media platforms; better yet, show that you are an expert in your field and be confident.

People need to trust you before they buy from you:
What do you stand for?
What is your company ethics?
Are you environmentally friendly?
Do you support your local community?
Do you volunteer at charity events?
Think about it. On that note check out our article on ‘why it’s important to tell your brand story’.

4. Sell to them, not at them

Find out what your customer/client wants or needs, not what you want them to want or need. Let’s face it, we don’t like to be told what we need. In fact, most of us will become quite defensive if someone tries to tell us. We like to feel like they’ve made the decision on our own. This is where you’ll need to find a way to show how your product is great without jamming it down their throats. Think how you see brands on social media, your Facebook page is customised to your likes and interests, it’s a place people go to be social (funny that). If a business Facebook page is constantly posting about sales, people will tune out, or worse unfollow or unlike the page. At the end of the day, yes you are trying to sell your product, but be smart about it. Think about different ways to engage your audience and how they might want to want your product without you telling them to.

Take this Veet ad after Bush left US office and Obama came in, for example, very clever advertising (placement and thought).

Goodbye Bush – Veet Ad

5. Be consistent

Staying consistent in a cluttered market is so important. This is where your branding is super important; consistency is key! Maintaining the same colours, the same fonts, the same tone of voice gives some familiarity for your audience to latch onto. It’s their way of remembering and knowing who you are. If you constantly change how you look at the market, how are people meant to remember who you are? The same goes with how you speak to your customers/clients, you must remain consistent in your tone of voice. If you bounce from fun and humorous, to serious and sterile it will confuse your identity with the customer. Remain consistent so people can relate and get to know your brand. See how your tone can affect your consistency, check out ‘3 simple tips to develop a strong brand voice‘.

Overall, these are just a few things to consider, but they are really important things to note. There is no point placing your ads in multiple destinations with 5 or 6 touch points (digital, print, etc) if you can’t nail the initial strategy, it’s wasted money and wasted time. Think long and hard about how you want to tackle your problems, run one ad at a time and measure the return on investment to see what works and what doesn’t.

Aside from that… happy marketing!

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1 Comment

  • Tara, I love how you suggest to add a human approach to your marketing, to show people what you believe in as a company. It must be really helpful for business owners to show their audience the kinds of values they have. I’ve heard that advertising over the radio can be really effective since so many listen to the radio as they commute. Thanks for sharing!

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