Sometimes I believe biz owners, entrepreneurs and even marketing folks are hypnotized to believe that traditional advertising makes sales and gives business a big ol boost.
Why? Simple! Just take a look at most of the advertising you see! Not to be crude or rude here, but tradition advertising sucks for most small businesses! Most of the time these ads couldn’t sell food to the starving. I’m serious!
The next time you’re bored just take a gander at some of the ridiculous advertising you see out there. Here’s what you’ll see…
Ads that are funny, cute and entertain.
Ads that delight and wow you.
Ads that are artistic.
Ads that try to build “brands.”
Guess what your advertising should be doing?
Making sales, right? Yeah, that’s correct my friend… Sales! Sales! Sales! Boy, that’s a dirty 5 letter word, eh?
Sometimes you got to get over your traditional ad agency and fire up your inner salesman!
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m doing here. It’s not trashing anyone’s efforts to create advertising. Not at all! After we have been ‘brain-washed’ to believe Madison Avenue or traditional type advertising is how it’s supposed to be.
I certainly didn’t start out creating great ads. It’s taken me years to figure it all out thanks to a hand full of mentors. What’s more is that I’m still learning, testing and developing what brings in sales.
I’m not “picking” on you personally. I just want to open your eyes to a new world of advertising that brings you results. Results that you can count, track and take all the way to the bank.
Can you really afford to spend bucketsful of advertising cash to entertain, look pretty or build a brand? If you are like most of us, the answer is a big ol “NO!”
All of your advertising should carry its weight and earn its keep… just like your sales staff do or should do. After all you wouldn’t send out your sales people dressed like clowns, singing and dancing at your prospects now would you?
I think NOT!
You’d want to present your very best case for your products or services. And this is exactly what your ad should do too!
Your ads and other marketing materials should paint a pleasing picture of what your service or product will do for your prospects and clients. They would explain why your company is the most logical choice, the most obvious choice in the market place over all of the other choices given to them.
Explain to your prospects how your company is different (better, more affordable, better guarantee, etc.) And how you are the logical solution to their most pressing problem. And it should do this in a fashion as though you were speaking to them in person. In other words you ads should sound like the way you normally talk. No pompous words. No $10 words. No self-aggrandizing talk.
It’s not about YOU! It’s about what you can DO for your CUSTOMERS!
This article just scratches the surface. If all of this is puzzling to you don’t worry. And don’t be too hard on yourself. After all most folks don’t really know the difference between a good ad and a bad one. Sadly, most so-called advertising experts wouldn’t know a good ad even if it slapped them in the face.
But hopefully this short article will shed some light on writing good advertising.
It’s like we are all programmed to believe that we understand advertising. Think of the massive amounts of advertising we are force-fed daily.
And here’s the real kicker… Most of the advertising you are drenched with is put out by Madison Avenue type agencies who do not have a clue about salesmanship or what makes humans tick. In most cases, these creatives wouldn’t know a good ad if it walked up to them and tapped them on the shoulder.
No point to beat a dead horse but here’s why most advertising does not work:
Folks will not buy because you’re clever or funny or artistic.
Folks will not buy because you’ve got a great slogan.
Folks will not buy because you brag and tell them how great you are.
Folks will not buy because you have a great service or product.
Nadda chance (remember the clown?). You don’t have to look far to find boatloads of products that clowns that couldn’t close the deal. The only way products or services get sold by ads is because the ad is a master salesman in print.
Here’s A Basic Check List For Good Advertising
The next time you’re in doubt about whether you have a good ad or a bad one, run it through this basic check list.
Who are you? I really want to know? OK this simply means know thy prospect/customer/client. Remember you are writing to your ‘average prospect’. Who is she/he? It’s beyond the scope of this article to go into market research here but suffice it to say you need to understand your clients’ needs, wants, hurts, and problems!
Grab their attention. Remember how I mentioned the bombardment of marketing messages we encounter every day? Well, if you want to stand out and gain favorable attention you must speak directly to your prospects wants and needs. We are all in various “zombie” states of unconsciousness. So you gotta shake folks out of their stooped state.
Tell a complete sales story. Give folks solid reasons why they should buy from you and not the competition. List out features and benefits of what you have to offer. Let them know you understand their problem and how you can be the solution to this problem. Then make ’em an offer they can’t refuse.
Close the deal. Very important and what separates the wheat from the chaff. And what separates direct response advertising from Madison Ave. advertising. Good advertising always has a response device. Ask for the order. Tell prospects exactly what to do… Visit our store, click here to order, or whatever action you want to achieve.
Keep in mind this is by no way a complete copywriting check list. Sometimes all you need to do is “just sell the damn thing” as the late Gary Halbert would say.