Advertising tips courtesy of SCORE.

November 12, 20120

SCORE Small Business Administration’s excellent list of advertising tips for small business. These concepts are simple, direct, and effective. SCORE has many resources that benefit business, and we encourage you to visit their website for more information.

Appeal to the underlying reasons why people buy.

Most are emotional reasons. Create advertising that makes both an emotional and rational appeal. Your ad must address both the customer’s right and left brains. Start with the emotional appeal first and follow up with rational reasons to buy/try.

Develop ads within an overall campaign that are coordinated with your other marketing.

Integrated marketing works much harder and better than “one off” (or solo) ads and campaigns that don’t tie to your other marketing.

Invest in ads that have a positive “buzz factor.”

The very best ads make it into the popular culture and are talked about in a positive way in conversation among people, in the press, on TV programs and social media sites like Facebook. The very best ads get thousands of free viewers on YouTube or people singing the ad jingle (song) because people love the ad! You’re thinking of ads like that right now aren’t you?

Know this: An ad that everyone likes and talks about without including the name of the ad sponsor (the company or product the ad is about) isn’t effective for the company that paid for it. Why? If people talk about how funny the ad was “for that mattress company” but they can’t remember what mattress company it was, the ad was a failure to the sponsor. Ad agency creative people and consumers love very funny ads. Advertisers love ads that ring the cash register.

Make sure the ad has stopping power.

Ads are most often interruptions. What will cause someone to stop to pay attention to the ad? And keep their attention? It’s easy to have high stopping power. Many ads stop people by using a gimmick, comedy or something that catches attention but it’s not relevant to the advertising sales message. Those ads don’t generally work very well to generate sales.

The exceptions to “ads are interruptions” are when ads are placed in media that is contextually relevant to the editorial or programming. For instance, ads for lighting fixtures on a Do-it-yourself TV show, may be seen as helpful. Ads in Vogue Magazine for cool new fashions are valuable to readers. Ads on search results pages with relevant offers and information are valuable. This is when ads intersect people with contextually relevant messages and offers.

Where ads are placed is as critical as the ad creative.

There are thousands of places to run ads but not enough money to advertise everywhere. Because of this, advertising media planning is now more critical (and creative) than ever. Many companies plan the media first and then create the ads that will be relevant in those types of shows, magazines, radio programs.

Know about the media multiplier effect? This is based on advertising research showing that people who see ads from a company within the same campaign (same message/offer) on different types of media (TV, magazines, online, radio, outdoor), remember the ads more than the same ad media budget spent in just one type of media.

Companies that are advertising need to spend enough money for the average person in the target audience group to see the ad at least three times in one month.

That’s called frequency in media buying. It is the rule of thumb based on advertising recall and tracking research that a company needs to spend enough money so their ad is seen or heard by the intended target audience at least three times a month. This is because ads are interruptions and generally don’t have important “news”. If you have a small ad budget, narrow your target audience. For instance, instead of targeting all women, target moms with young children so you can reach them enough times each month.

Know this: Ads placed at low frequency levels generally don’t work so if you don’t have enough money to buy with enough media “weight” (an industry term for reach/frequency levels), then choose another type of marketing.

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