Average small business owners waste incredible amounts of time, effort, and money on advertising that does not specifically help increase profits. In other words, advertising that does not work. One of the reasons for this is they never take the time to evaluate their audience and determine who their ideal customer is.
Determining who your ideal customer is enables you to create a customized marketing plan designed to meet their specific needs and desires. This gives you a huge advantage over your competition. You don’t attract all buyers the same; teenagers fall into a different demographic than Seniors, women’s buying habits differ from men, wealthy people spend differently than the middle class, and so on and so on. All of these groups do not spend the same way, thus, they will respond differently to the advertisements that target them.
You should plan your marketing accordingly. Of course, many target groups overlap and share the same interests and some ads appeal to a larger base of people and market segment, it is still crucial to formulate a customer profile before launching into an advertising campaign. An ideal customer profile helps you create an approach that is custom made for them.
Some factors to consider right away are: Where do my customers live? How old are they or what is the age range? Are they educated? If so to what degree? Are your customers working class? What income bracket do they fall into? What are their main concerns? And ultimately – What motivates them to buy?
Maybe you’ve heard the expression, “Only half of my advertising works only I don’t know which half.” It’s no joke really when you consider the dollars spent on advertising and the amount of ads we as consumers are exposed to. The average consumer is exposed to over 3,000 ads per day. Don’t you want your ad to work?
The answers to these questions will have a major impact on the best approach to take when planning your advertising. Avoid these mistakes by deciding that you will spend your money on advertising that can be tracked, measured, tested and proven as effective. There are several ways to find out how to avoid the most common mistakes and pitfalls in advertising campaigns.
One way is to turn to the number one search engine, Google. Say you market to the fitness crowd, try a Google search with a keyword phrase something like this: “health supplement stores in (town)” or “(town) health clubs and gyms,” or, you could try “family dentists” or “teeth cleaning deals in (town).” Now let Google provide you some answers. You’ll be amazed by all the useful information you’ll find.
Testing ads before committing a large outlay of cash is crucial.
Contrary to what most ad agencies will tell you, frequency is not the most important part of an ad campaign. Targeting and effectiveness is much more important. This is an easy enough premise to explain, consider running a great ad in the wrong place (but not really). Even the most attractive or catchy ad will not work if you run it where it won’t be seen by the right people. It’s the old “ice to Eskimos” idiom. By the same token, most old folks don’t skateboard, so increasing frequency is never going to produce good results.
This is the reason, you can’t evaluate the effectiveness of an ad unless you’re sure you’re advertising to the right market and using the right media. Which again, is why you need a strong customer profile. Even then, you don’t want to commit to a large budget until you’ve tested the ad and know it works.
These principles have been in place since the beginning of advertising in general, especially on standard media platforms, and the fundamentals remain the same. If you owned a store you might already know or be guided into the right section to place a particular ad in a newspaper. On television you would have some say or be informed of a target audience and what channel, program, or time slot is best.
Advertising online is no different in regard to target advertising, but it can be even more competitive, daunting, or confusing. You may also be surprised as to how many ad dollars are wasted by untargeted and untested ad campaigns. Some people, think, well it’s only the internet, somehow the right people will find my ad, or my business for that matter. There are many subtleties and nuances to the whole online advertising landscape the average business owner is unaware of.
To wrap things up you must realize that there is a lot to learn. I can’t tell you how much money I spent on Google Ad campaigns before I really knew what I was doing. Find a good, honest Search Engine Marketing (SEM) specialist and learn from them and let them help you pinpoint where your ads need to go and ho to go about it.