Forget the hype – there is no “secret” or hidden formula to help you achieve advertising success for your small business. Truth be told, you only need three key elements to creating successful advertising for your small business.
FIRST KEY TO CREATING SMALL BUSINESS ADVERTISING SUCCESS: KNOW THE WHO
Who is your target audience? It’s essential that you know. Targeting “everyone” with your advertising is the equivalent of targeting “no one”.
If you don’t have a clue who your target audience should be – or if you need more convincing that EVERYONE isn’t an acceptable target audience – pick up a copy of my book Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results. In it, you’ll learn HOW to focus your advertising so you connect with your best and most profitable target audience.
SECOND KEY TO CREATING SMALL BUSINESS ADVERTISING SUCCESS: KNOW THE WHY
When you know who your best customers are – this step becomes easy. In my book, I share a simple story to illustrate how important it is to know WHY your target audience is buying your products or services.
I use the very simple purchasing experience of buying candles to illustrate why knowing the WHY is essential to achieving small business advertising success. While one customer is purchasing candles to create a romantic mood – another may be purchasing candles to cover up a horrible odor in the home. Meanwhile, a third candle customer isn’t thinking romance OR odor masking but rather is worried about losing power and having a reliable source of lighting.
Three different customers and not ONE of them is “buying” a candle. Instead, these customers are “buying” the WHY behind their purchase.
Let’s say you’re the merchant selling the candles – how can this information help you?
Let’s say you begin paying attention to the candles your customers are purchasing and you see that the customers who are buying candles to mask odor account for 75% of your candle sales. You can then choose a goal for your advertising campaign.
Will you try to “build” the sales of candles for emergencies or romantic evenings? Or – will you focus on growing the lion’s share of your business and create marketing messages focused on eliminating odors from home and work?
Track your sales – track your message and then track the results. You’ll quickly learn where your advertising dollars are most productive.
Only when you know the WHO and the WHY can you even BEGIN to get to the third key to small business advertising success….
THIRD KEY TO CREATING SMALL BUSINESS ADVERTISING SUCCESS: KEEP ON KEEPING ON
Successful small business advertising needs repetition. In my book, I cover how people move in and out of the “buying zone” on a regular basis. You have to consistently advertise your business to find any level of success. A single television ad – a single radio ad – a single newspaper ad – won’t make any “splash” for your business.
Consistency is the key. There’s a REASON media outlets offer 13 week contracts with big discounts – and it’s not solely to get your money. Media managers KNOW that if you’ll make a 13/26/52 week commitment to their station or paper that you WILL see the results in the bottom line. (Assuming of course, you’ve mastered the first two keys of small business advertising success.)
Even if you don’t have the biggest advertising budget in town – you can still choose a single media outlet and dominate it. Once you “own” that station or that paper – or that website – then use the growth in your sales to finance your next “media acquisition”…. yet another media outlet you can dominate with your advertising.
(By the way – I share in my book that you don’t have to advertiser 7 days a week/365 days a year to dominate your chosen media. Don’t expect your media rep to share this secret with you – but it’s a great way to APPEAR to “own” any radio or television station without investing in advertising 7 days a week, 12 months out of the year there.)
An important point I feel I must make here is that making that long term commitment only applies to using the media regularly. You should NOT fall into the trap of treating any media like your printed yellow page directory advertising which remains STATIC for months or even years. Change your message – then measure the results. Your target audience will let you know when you’ve hit the right spot! 🙂
These are the three key elements you must master in order to achieve small business advertising success. Know the WHO of who you are targeting with your marketing message – know the WHY of why these people are buying and then make a long term commitment to delivering that message consistently to that audience. Feel free to tweak and revise the message until you’re seeing reliable results from your advertising. If you aren’t seeing results – well then it’s time to revisit Keys #1 and #2.