Attention is what you want if you have opened a new business. Of course, it is important that the attention you draw brings in the clientele you desire. For example, if you are the proud owner of an upscale clothing boutique, you do not want to conduct an advertising campaign that offers a free scarf with purchase. Women who can afford designer dresses will be dissuaded by this approach. Your potential clients are seeking exceptional quality and unique design—they are not coupon clippers.
However, if you have a newly developed product that no one has ever tried—perhaps a compost box that turns doggie doo-doo into sanitized, granulated fertilizer—you may want to offer a free item that gardeners are already familiar with. After all, an avid horticulturalist may want to try your new invention, but need a little push. A pair of high-quality garden gloves that they can definitely utilize may be the little bit of extra incentive they need to give your doo-doo dehydrator a whirl.
KEEP YOUR TARGET IN FOCUS
If you have recently delved into entrepreneurship, you are most likely a disciplined, focused individual with a great deal of energy and determination. When it comes to advertising, it is vital to pinpoint your target demographic and stay focused on those people. Often, the frustration of wanting to grow your business as quickly as possible can lead to a scattered advertising approach.
Advertising dollars are precious, and especially hard to come by when you are just starting out. Use them wisely, focusing on your target demographic. You can always branch out from there, once you establish a customer base that will relieve your overhead expenses and give you a little breathing room.
WHAT MAKES YOU SPECIAL
You already have your website up and running, and your SEO is working as it should. So how do you get those customers to click the order button, stop in the shop, or pick up the phone? With so much competition out there, if your product or service is not wholly unique and uncommon, you will need an advertising pitch that is.
It doesn’t matter if you are selling something that has been around since the beginning of time, you need to pinpoint what it is unique about your product or service that makes it desirable. Whether it is the item itself, the speed of delivery, exceptional customer service, or a variation in color or size that makes your offering the best choice, that is what you need to get across. This is what will attract customers to you rather than to your competitors.
If you make a scrumptious sandwich, just like many deli-style shops, featuring the sandwich itself in your advertising will not do the trick. However, if you offer something that the nearby competition does not provide, such as online ordering and super-fast, free delivery, you are likely to get people to give your menu a try. After that, your delicious, mouthwatering food will keep them coming back!
Of course, every business endeavor is different, and what works for one will not work for another. If you are the owner of the aforementioned, high-end fashion boutique, putting together a fashion show featuring your design collection may be just the thing. Just don’t forget to provide exceptional wine, scrumptious hors d’ oeuvres, and an elegant attendance gift complete with your logo and contact information. If you don’t have a standout logo, now is the time to hire a talented graphic designer. Read about the process of creating a logo.
Everyone likes to “see what they’re getting.” Whether it is a product or service, high-quality photographs showing how extraordinary your product is, or before and after results that define the value of your services, are a must in successful advertising. Very few potential clients are willing to use their imaginations when it comes to purchasing anything online. Furthermore, if you want to draw customers to a brick and mortar location, they need visual enticement.
You may be thinking that you have already placed awesome pictures of your product on your website. Most likely, you have. However, people are easily bored, so it is vital to keep changing and updating photographs of your work to keep them interested. Furthermore, you may find that when your business includes customized designs or a professional service, such as painting, you will improve your skills with experience, thereby accumulating better photo ops.
Additionally, if you are the proud owner of a boutique or gift shop, your inventory will change with the seasons, requiring updated photographs of your latest irresistible collection. Clients will begin to look forward to your newest arrivals, creating a strong repeat customer base.
One last thing when it comes to photographs for your advertising campaign—don’t skimp on quality! We have all seen those faded, green-tinged pictures in our local hotdog shop or ice cream parlor. They are anything but appetizing. How about those outdated hairstyles flaunted in the windows of local beauty shops? Although these are somewhat extreme examples, the same principle holds true for any business endeavor. Hire a professional photographer. It will pay off in the long run.
If you want someone to purchase your jewelry designs, you wouldn’t take a picture of one of your gorgeous creations being worn by a chimpanzee. You want them to picture beauty, elegance, or whatever intangible you are marketing. Remember, you are not just selling a product or service; you are selling an ideal, an improvement in your clients’ lives, whether actual or perceived.
SELLING THE DREAM
I am referring to the very basis of why marketing strategies work. If you are a heating and air conditioning service company, you are not selling repairs; you are a purveyor of comfort. If you run a beauty salon, your clients are coming to you for more than a cut and color. They are seeking confidence, beauty, and youthful sex appeal. It is essential that your advertising campaign hints that you will provide the intangible qualities your target demographic is looking for, because that is what they want to purchase.
SUMMING IT UP
If you have an exceptional product or offer a superior service at a fair price, your business has the potential to thrive. However, you must first get people to sample your wares. Therefore, utilize your advertising dollars wisely.
- Offer free samples when appropriate.
- Provide open house demonstrations with appetizers or refreshments if possible.
- Focus on your target demographic; don’t waste time trying to sell shoes to an eel.
- Always accentuate the positive differences between you and your competitors.
- Utilize high-quality photographs (created by a professional photographer).
Most importantly, evaluate the reason people want or need your service or product, and center your advertising campaign around the intangible ideal they are seeking. Once you define your business well, and grasp the attention of your target demographic, you will be well on your way to growth and success!