Companies often pour money into advertising, erroneously thinking that spending loads of cash automatically generates a pipeline of hot leads.
Unfortunately, pumping the lead generation machine isn’t that simple. The amount of money you spend doesn’t directly correlate to an ad’s effectiveness. A pricey campaign that misses the target audience won’t help your business grow.
The next time you’re looking to buy advertising, keep these tips in mind to make sure you meet your goals.
1. Narrow your target. Sometimes companies want maximum exposure and think they need a big, splashy billboard or glossy magazine ad that thousands of people will see. If you sell a general interest consumer product, then splashy, high-exposure ads might be effective.
Most companies, however, should analyze their target audience a little more and think about where those people get information. Is there a trade publication in which you could advertise or place an article? How about advertising at an industry conference? Might a targeted online advertising campaign capture your audience’s eye?
If you’re used to wondering how many people will see your ad, shift the question to, “How many people who are interested in my product or service will see this ad?”
2. When faced with a choice between high-exposure and long-running, choose long-running. Repetition is key in advertising. The more times potential customers see your ad, the more likely they will be to buy from you. This phenomenon is called top-of-mind awareness. People are more likely to buy from companies that stay in the forefront of their minds.
For example, if deciding between a one-time, full-page print ad or a month of smaller ads, buy the month of smaller ads. It may feel more glorious to see your company’s name stretched across an entire page, but that decision isn’t necessarily a smart investment.
Smaller ads will buy you more top of mind awareness, which will translate into more customers.
3. Go light on copy. Many ads try to pack as much information into as little space as possible. Instead of stuffing your ad with entire paragraphs, consider selecting a few features and benefits to highlight. Develop a catchy tagline, and place it on the foreground of eye-catching imagery.
Making your ad visually compelling will increase its likelihood of working. If your ad contains too much copy, people could skip over it, and skimmers won’t get the message.
4. Brand your ads. All of your ads should feature your logo and company colors. Branding helps people recognize your company and creates top of mind awareness. Making sure that everything your company produces — from brochures to ads to pens and pencils — has those signature elements is key for successful branding.
Effective branding could make the difference between a prospect purchasing from you or a competitor.
5. Monitor success rates. Develop a way of tracking the source that recruited new clients. Ways of doing this vary from including a special coupon code in a print ad to simply asking leads how they heard about you. Continuing to fine-tune which methods work and moving away from ineffective ones will help maximize your ad dollars.