What Makes A Successful Ad?

Start With What You Want Your Ad to Accomplish

Only a few things can go direct to a sale from your ad. It's more likely that you'll have better success getting prospects into your sales funnel. Have a specific action you want the prospect exposed to you ad to take. It could be calling for information, going online to buy, requesting a catalog, etc.

Be realistic about what action you can get people to take from your ad. Only a few things can go direct to a sale from your ad. It's more likely tat you'll have better success getting prospects into your sales funnel where you can learn about their needs, demonstrate your credibility, show them the advantages of your product or service, answer their questions and move them forward to a successful close.

Bigger is not always better

Reach is only universally useful in getting products off supermarket top shelves. Small firms think they have to go for wide market coverage to advertise their product. They think big and therefore select a medium where to get that reach; they'll have to spend a lot of money to make an impact.

The reality is that due to a tight budget they can only run one or two ads; they fail to gain traction in their targeted market. It takes an estimated seven exposures to an ad before it begins to register with people. It's why you see the same commercials a dozen times a night. Repetition works.

For example, if a company specializes in designing diet plans that help people who had disappointing results with their previous diets, the company might choose to take out a full page ad in the local paper. If they can do that only one time instead of running a more cost effective advertisement multiple times in a targeted health magazine, they would not make any impact and would have largely wasted their money.

Few dieters will notice the one-time newspaper ad and only a tiny fraction of the people the paper reaches are prospects to begin with. It simply has too little exposure due to lack of repetition to have any impact. The right approach is to come up with a campaign which will increase the probability of your ad getting viewed by the right prospects for your product or service.

Know Your Customers

Understanding your customers, what they read, what they watch, what they listen to and when they do it is critical to defining your targeted audience and where to advertise.

When you get the list of newspapers, magazines, TV and radio that reach the customers you are considering, find out how many people they reach, their characteristics and the cost of ads. Posted card rates are one thing but special deals are offered by most media from time to time if you shop and bargain.

Daily, people are subjected to an estimated three thousand commercials. Standing out in this cacophony of sound and movement isn't easy. Not just your product and service needs to be unique, so should your ad.

Here's an example: If a business selling used cars says, "We sell used cars," it will dredge up all the stereotypes of used car salesman, plus have the impact of a tossed marshmallow.

But were the ad to say, "Our pre-owned cars have undergone a 100-point detailed inspection and are guaranteed for 30,000 miles" everything changes. You stand out, you are selling quality, not used cars. Advertise so you transform your product into something special that will catch the fancy of the people who are looking for a better solution, one the other guys don't have.

Focus on the uniqueness of your product and how it is the best solution compared to other alternatives.

Solutions To Problems Create Impact

A customer does not buy a product; he or she buys solutions to their problems. Let customers know you understand their problems and have the best solution to it. It's why they are interested in the first place. They evaluate your solution based on the benefits inherent in your product or service. Present a clear picture to your prospects so they can say to themselves, "I've got that problem! Is this the solution?" If you don't make the problem crystal clear and you fail to show how your product uniquely solves their problem, your customers-to-be will never know and you'll lose the sale.

Focus on the customer's problem and how your solution is the best one available; these are basics far too many websites and ads overlook.

Motivate Action Now

Don't assume your prospects know what to do; instead, tell them what to do and give them a reason to do it right now. The last thing missing in many ads is motivation to take action now. All your effort and money will be wasted if your prospect doesn't get up and do something. In sales, time is your enemy, the longer they wait to do something, the lower your likelihood of making the sale.

A clear and powerful 'Call to Action' is the final piece of an effective ad. It should motivate the prospect to call, go online and buy, get more information, etc. It's the fulfillment of the first tenant of good ads we discussed: have a definite action in mind you want people to take from your ad.

Lastly, test and measure. Try a sample size and see what results you receive. Tinker with it until you get a response to your Calls to Action. When you are receiving an appropriate percetagee response then go after the results you desire.

-Unkown author from the FocalPoint Intl. Newsletter

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