How You Can Create Advertising That Sells

A well-planned and properly executed marketing program should include a sufficient commitment of capital resources to an on-going, well executed advertising program. Yes, this includes your business.

Businesses spend too many dollars, however, on ads that simply will not result in increased sales and profits. These ads are poorly conceived, poorly written, poorly designed, poorly targeted, and poorly placed.

Sounds like a poor way to do business, doesn’t it?

I often ask clients (as tactfully as possible), why they have run a particular ad. I get a lot of blank stares. A few tense moments will pass while the client tries to think of a clever answer. “To get the company name out in front of the public so I can get more business.” they reply, with some relief.

This poor soul has just described a lack of a well defined goal, which leads almost inevitably to what I call an institutional ad. An institutional ad can best be described as one which identifies the advertiser and lists address, telephone number, hours of operation, and (maybe) the company logo. That’s it. What a terrible waste of money!

Unless your company grosses a billion dollars a year, you can’t afford to do institutional ads. If your company does gross over a billion dollars a year…you’re probably too smart to run institutional ads.

Every ad you run must result in increased sales and profits and an enhanced image for your company. Every ad should make the customer a solid offer and give the customer sound reasons to buy from you now. Remember, the customer is sitting back and asking, “What can you do for me?” If you’re careful to answer that question with a powerful offer and reasons to buy now, you’re on your way to advertising success…which results in increased sales and profits.

How can you improve your chances of increasing sales?

Let’s look at some profit-producing ideas…

SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP

Very few businesses are prepared or qualified to produce quality advertising. If you spend more than $2,000 per month in advertising, you should seriously consider hiring a qualified advertising professional. There are any number of skilled freelancers who can develop strategy, and create your marketing materials with a keen eye to using proven methods and techniques.

Good advertising talent always pays it’s own way through increased sales and profits, improved cost-effectiveness, reduced selling costs, and shortened selling cycles.

If your resources are limited, don’t feel lost. There’s no reason why you can’t learn to write an effective ad. That’s what the rest of this article is all about…how *you* can create advertising that sells.

FOLLOW A PROVEN FORMULA

One of the oldest and most useful formulas for ad design takes its name from the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verde. In this case the letters A-I-D-A stand for ATTENTION, INTEREST, DESIRE, AND ACTION.

In it’s simplest form this formula serves as a structural blueprint. It guides us to: (1) Get the prospect’s Attention, (2) Foster his or her Interest in your offer, (3) build Desire for your product or service and (4) Generate some type of Action on the part of the buyer.

As we expand on each of these elements individually, you’ll discover for yourself how to apply the formula to your specific situation.

ATTENTION (The Headline)

Hit your prospect right between the eyes with a magic wand. How? With a powerful benefit headline. The headline is the most important single element of your ad. You have two to three seconds to stop the reader as he or she passes by. You must stop the reader, and interest them in your benefit, if you expect them to read further.

A powerful headline will (1) stop the reader (2) isolate and qualify your best prospects, and (3) pull your reader into the sub-heads and body copy.

How do you write the attention-getting headline? First, carefully review all the benefits of-use of your product or service. Second, take your most important benefit and weave that benefit into your headline. Use action words to describe the benefit to one individual reader.

Here are some examples…

“Save 50% On Office Supplies…Send For Your Free Catalog Today !”

“How YOU Can Create Advertising That SELLS!”

“New! Amazing Techniques That You Can Use To Land A High-Paying Job…Today!”

“How To Design Profit-Producing Web Sites That SELL!”

APPEALING TO BUSINESS EXECUTIVES

When writing your ad to a business-to-business audience you should keep in mind the six key benefits most likely to get attention:

1.Save Money 2.Save Time 3.Increase Sales 4.Increase Profits 5.Enhance Image 6.Boost cash flow

Most other benefits are subordinate to these key six. I call them the”Business Benefit Six-Pack.” Show your customer how your product or service provides these benefits, and you will dramatically improve your results.

INTEREST AND DESIRE> (The Offer, Body Copy, Benefits-Benefits- Benefits)

You build interest in your product or service (and the desire to buy) by making the customer a compelling offer and by describing as many benefits as possible in simple and interesting terms.

Tip # 1: Top ad pros always write the ad first, then buy whatever space necessary to display the ad message with clarity and power.

Tip # 2: Words sell…graphic design displays the words in a visually appealing way. Don’t confuse the two. No amount of trendy design will make a poorly written ad sell for you. Good design reinforces good copy…it cannot take the place of it! The implication for internet marketers is that content is king. Avoid glitsy, moving graphics that only distract from your message and increase load times. Good design and good copy should work synergistically.

Tip #3: Long copy sells…as long as it’s good copy. I call it “greased slide” copy. You get the reader on the top of the slide when he reads a powerful headline, and he can’t get off until he has taken the action asked for (i.e., ordered the product, made the trip to the store, dialed the phone, clicked the order/inquiry button, filled out the on-line order, etc.).

ACTION (Ask For The Order)

Now comes the moment of truth. You must ask for the order. Give reasons for the customer to buy now…and make it easy for him to do so. In direct response marketing, this will involve a coupon for mail orders, a toll-free order line, an e-mail address, an on-line order form, a fax order line..any means to make it easy and simple to order!

Take the fear out of the purchase. Give solid guarantees. Offer secure ordering for on-line customers. Show testimonials from satisfied customers.

Show what the customer is going to lose if he doesn’t order now.

If you are a retailer, include a map to your store(s) (newcomers love them). Show the credit cards you accept, list the hours of operation, tell them about your friendly staff, include a special coupon or other incentive. In other words, “Roll out the red carpet.”

INVEST IN FUTURE PROFITS

So there you have it. A primer on good advertising. If I’ve piqued your interest to learn more, then check out the other articles available at this resource.

Remember, bad advertising…no matter what the media…is an unproductive expense.

Good advertising is an investment in future profits!

Good advertising and good management go together. You can’t have a successful business on-line or off-line—without both.

Advertising As a Career Option

Making career choices is not easy. One is overwhelmed by the variety of options available and intrigued about knowing one’s own abilities. Like everyone, I have always wanted to be a lot of things in life, but one has to start with one thing at a time. I took the Commerce stream as I never had the aptitude for Science, and Humanities was a stream too trivial for me. It proved to be a good decision as I did well in class 12th and got the opportunity to continue my education in the area. In college, I explored the various options that my course, B. Com. Honours has, and finally decided to specialize in Marketing in my final year.

I chose Marketing as it combined my interests in Commerce and creativity. Marketing in itself is a diverse branch of commerce. Advertising, Public Relations, Marketing Management and Brand Management are only a few of its various branches. After some well spent hours in research and introspection, I finally arrived at the conclusion that I want to further my knowledge in Advertising.

Advertising really intrigued me. I have always had an eye for good advertisements but never thought of it as a career option. Now when I read thick, illustrated books on advertising history, I was convinced it would be my profession for life.

Advertising is nothing but art. It creatively projects the immediate beliefs and practices of people of a time. For example, Indian advertisements today present a nuclear family, technology oriented youth and working wives, which is true to the nature of present Indian society. Also, since the purpose of advertising is to promote and sell a product, it persuades people by presenting situations and themes relevant to their lifestyles. In this, it presents the immediate culture of society. If archaeologists of the future would want to know the culture of 21st century India, they would have to look at its ads! These aspects of advertising made me understand an advertiser’s responsibility towards society to project its culture without distortion.

Now the question was- what does it take to be an advertiser? I believe, to make good ads, one has to be a student of human nature. One should be able to connect with people, because advertising is more about people than products. One should be observant of lives and the needs of people to create effective communication. Another requirement would be creativity. All of us are creative at one level or the other. People who are serious about advertising should make a conscious effort towards enhancing their creativity. If you like photography, then pick up a camera and try taking some interesting pictures. Or if you like to write, then write on some interesting topics. Such activities would bring out your latent creative potential.

Advertising is multi-faceted. Print and media are not the only methods of advertising. Outdoor advertising, online advertising and direct marketing are its various challenging new methods today. One can slowly explore the various mediums by researching on the internet or simply observing advertisements all around.

An MBA would certainly enhance one’s prospects in this area but one needs to choose the institute and course carefully. Not many institutes in India provide a specialization in advertising. MICA, Ahmedabad is the best institute to launch one’s career in advertising. Symbiosis, Pune and Narsee Monjee, Mumbai are two other renowned institutes which provide comprehensive education in advertising. However, all major management institutes in the UK, the US and Australia have advertising in MBA curriculum.

Advertising is an interesting career option for a Commerce student as it is not about making accounts or balance sheets. Advertising requires originality, creativity and a mind open to new ideas. Advertising would be worth a thought for someone who wants to make an unconventional career choice.

Simple to Use Ecommerce Marketing Strategy For the Internet Marketer

If you are a new Internet marketer and you are looking for easy ways to provide an ecommerce marketing strategy there are many things that you can do. The most common is the use of blogs.

An easy ecommerce marketing strategy that you might consider using is blogging because it is so simple. If you are new to Internet marketing and you want to provide efforts to customers that is simple then this is where you should start. Blogging works in many ways which include providing inbound links, improving page rank, improving search engine status, and can assist with damage control.

Blogging includes discussion forums regarding products or services that can be posted throughout the World Wide Web. This type of ecommerce marketing strategy is very popular because it gives people a sense of ownership with their postings and they have the ability to post to most sites if they are relevant. Blogging can help with branding for a new business and getting the word out that they exist. This is not only popular but very beneficial in many ways.

When you use blogs to improve a site with the search engines one very important factor is including direct links to the customer’s site. These direct links may be words integrated into the article that are hyperlinks or you may direct the customers by offering the website itself. The goal of providing these direct links is to give customers an easy way to get back to the site to see for themselves what you are talking about in the blog. The last thing you want to do is forget a link and force the customer to go looking on the web for the business, especially if the site rank in the search engines is poor. Without direct links a blog is very ineffective.

Inbound links or direct links not only provide a way for customers to get to the site but they are a positive note for the website through the search engines. Search engines rank sites in search results based on popularity. The more inbound links a site has to attached to their site the better and more popular the site appears to be to the search engine. This helps move a site up with the search engine results. The higher a site is in search engine results the more traffic it will drive to the website. The more traffic a website has coming to it, the better their page rank is through Alexa. Customers trust a site with a good page rank and page rank is often the first thing that customers verify when they arrive on a site.

Damage control is a big factor with blogging and it is used for this all of the time. When you design an ecommerce marketing strategy, it may be to clear up some rumors about the company or save face. If a business has made a mistake in the past and they have a bad reputation but they are working hard to repair the problems and make it up to the customers, they may hire you to step in and provide damage control. The best way to do this is through blogging. You will go to blogs that you find people talking badly of the company and answer for the company on how they are fixing the problems and change the attitude of a negative light to something positive. This way when people read the blogs they are not poorly influenced but encouraged to go and see how well things are going now.