Only if you draw attention to yourself and shout about yourself again and again will you get your business going. This is not always easy in an age of permanent sensory overload.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Which customer/target group do I want to reach with advertising?
- Which advertising measures are planned, to what extent and when?
- Which media are used?
- Which target group do I address?
- How much money is earmarked for this?
- Does advertising make sense at all or can I reach my target group more cheaply or more precisely in other ways?
Advertising aims to make the own product or service known, to arouse buyers’ interest and thus increase sales.
Convey a benefit to your customers! Show them why they should buy or order from you! Highlight the advantage of your product or service—especially in introductory advertising! Connect your advertising with as clear a request for action as possible (e.g. “Buy now!”, “Request a free sample!”).
“Advertising is the art of aiming at the head and hitting the wallet.” This wisdom of the advertising expert Vance Packard makes clear: Good advertising is not only fun and entertaining for the recipient. It generates interest, identification and finally a desire to buy.
Therefore, ensure target group-oriented advertising and ask yourself:
- What needs and wishes does my target group have?
- Where do my potential customers live?
- How can I best address them?
You additionally strengthen the effect of your measures if you always present yourself with the same appearance (corporate design). The basis for this is a memorable company logo that relates to your performance or your product. Your logo and your company name must be coordinated and used consistently in all advertising measures. Remember, however, that names and logos might already be used by others and could therefore be protected.
Plan an advertising budget. Even small businesses should always invest 2 to 3 percent of their turnover in advertising. In the initial phase it should be even more. You can also make long-term plans and decide how much money you want to spend on which advertising medium. Don't save on the design of your advertising material—cheap advertising can cause the opposite of what you want!
Pay attention to clarity and conciseness in your design: An advertisement must be understood immediately. Advertisements, brochures or advertising letters which give recipients an overcrowded impression are “punished” with disregard and consequently do not achieve any advertising effect. So be brief and ensure your sentences are concise and not too long! Use strong verbs and do not use unusual grammatical constructs. Avoid subordinate clauses, foreign words and “word monstrosities”! A uniform, pleasantly legible typeface is also important. Negative prints (white writing on a black background) should also be avoided as they are less legible.
Pictures and graphics are good information carriers and easier to remember. They also attract attention quickly. So use photos or drawings wherever possible. But be careful! The positive advertising effect depends strongly on the originality and expressiveness of the presentation! The money for a good photographer or graphic artist is therefore well invested.
If you want to generate a response with your advert (e.g. order a catalogue, a price list or a product sample), you should make the response as simple as possible (e.g. postage paid for direct mailings, service phone at local rate, simple online form).
There is advertising for all the senses—on request, nationwide and around the clock. Which advertising measure is used depends on your advertising strategy and your target group, but is also a question of costs.
If you want to advertise, the following options are available to you:
The importance of radio advertising, especially among private individuals, is growing more and more. Use local channels to inform your customers about new openings, special offers and promotions. This generally achieves a broad but regionally limited spread. Rule of thumb for the commercial: A brand name is most likely to be remembered if it is mentioned within the first eight seconds (and at least twice thereafter).
Reach, effect, success: No other medium advertises more successfully than television. It provides the best options, especially if an advertising campaign wants to achieve a high degree of emotionalisation. For founders of a new business, however, it is usually out of the question because of the high costs and wastage. An alternative: Cinema advertising: This is significantly cheaper and can therefore make more sense, especially for regional providers. If, for example, you run a restaurant very close to a cinema, you can run a targeted commercial there. With this commercial you can in particular address a younger audience.
3. Print advertising
Newspapers, magazines, advertising papers: Advertising is everywhere. While advertisements in daily newspapers are aimed at a large audience, advertisements in advertising papers are local, but cheaper and read more intensively by the audience. Whether in colour or black and white, quarter or full-page, with or without picture: The best way to put your advertising message into print depends on what you have to offer. Make it as easy as possible for the reader: Write large enough (minimum font size: 8 point). The headline should be short and concise and must include the brand or product name. Use images that match or complement the main message of your advert. Rule of thumb for the text: The shorter, the higher the probability that it will be read in full. Do not use foreign words or puzzles. And remember a response element (coupon, telephone number, internet address) to check the effect of the placement.
4. Brochures, circulars, advertising letters
With these direct and cost-effective forms of advertising, pay special attention to the design so that you arouse the interest of your customers. Personally addressing your customer is also helpful for advertising letters. You can obtain addresses, for example, from address agencies, address book publishers and also from chambers of industry and commerce. If you outsource the distribution of circulars, make sure that your brochures actually end up in the letterbox—advertising placed in stairwells is often ignored.
You can also advertise online. Banners on highly frequented pages are particularly lucrative, but also expensive. Another possibility is so-called “search engine marketing”. If a customer searches the internet for a specific service or product and enters a corresponding term in the box of a search engine (e.g. Google), he receives several providers for this service. At the top of the results list are the providers with the most visitors to their homepage. To get hold of one of these top spots, you can use several tricks: Identify and use the relevant keywords for your offer. Use the keywords in the content that you offer your customers. The content on your site becomes more and more important and must fit “your” topic and also be reputable (proven by sources). Placement of an advert on google.de is also recommended. This guarantees you a prominent place. Also link as many pages as possible to your homepage. However, make sure that the content of the linked page is reputable. Subscribe to well-attended forums that focus on your industry and attract potential customers to your site. Otherwise, the following applies: The internet is very fast-moving. The technical possibilities change almost daily and so you have to be constantly up to date in order to bring your site to the top of the search engines. Please observe the applicable data protection regulations for all internet activities, as even minor misconduct can lead to substantial fines.
5. SOCIAL MEDIA
Ads in social networks must also be visually appealing, short and meaningful. But this is worth it, because you can reach a large audience for little money, address your target group precisely, use extended communication options, act quickly and much more. In addition to ads, you can also build a community. Factors that are decisive for the acceptance include: credibility, authenticity and ability to handle criticism. Do not hide any messages and enter into an honest dialogue with your target group. With competitions, influencer events or regular good content you don’t just win followers, you win fans. But keep in mind that social media marketing does not run itself. Rather, it requires resources such as time and money in addition to a good strategy.
6. Outdoor advertising
House wall, stadium hoardings, advertising pillar, buses, taxis, zeppelins, jersey advertising, tickets: The range of outdoor advertising has been continuously expanded in recent years. Advertising on means of transport and on street furniture (bus stops, public toilets) is very much in demand today. For small companies, the distribution of flyers can be recommended. Introductory discounts, info stands and promotional events in front of your shop also attract customers. The appealing design of your business is also an important “calling card”. A drinks shop that mounts an oversized beer crate on its roof makes it clear what its business is—and with a bit of persuasion the brewery even contributes to the costs.
Retain customers: Individual promotional gifts increase customer satisfaction and create a pleasant association with your company.
Initial contact is made by personally approaching personnel officers who may be so impressed by our concept that they subsidise our service for their employees. This makes them an attractive employer, especially in times of skills shortages. At the same time, information material is distributed in restaurants that are visited by our target group during lunch breaks, possibly also in after-work clubs. In order to retain customers in the long term, schemes such as “thank you discounts” are planned.