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Advertising: “But What Advertising Methods Will Work For MY Business?”

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by Sheldon Nesdale on 25 September 2013

in Advertising, Marketing

You might have read my list of 62 ways to advertise, but are these 2 questions on your mind right now?:

  1. Am I wasting money on the advertising I’m doing now?
  2. Which advertising methods will work for my business?

The advice you get when you ask this question will change depending on the incentives of the person you are asking.

Have you noticed that?

If you ask a Yellow Pages Sales Rep for their opinion they’ll say “Yellow Pages advertising”.

If you ask a website designer they’ll say “a new website”.

Those are just opinions and they don’t matter. The only opinion that matters is your clients.

The best way to find out is to ask new clients the question “how did you hear about us?”. (You might choose to tuck their answer away in your brain, or a more formal way of recording their response).

But how do you choose advertising to try in the first place?

“Try” is the keyword there. It’s an experiment. Your mission is to try a variety of methods and test and measure the results. Discard the methods that don’t produce results and raise the investments in the methods that do, with more refinement as you go.

I’ll give you a few examples in a moment, but first, are you trying hard enough to measure the effectiveness of advertising you do?

Perhaps not. Here’s a list of advertising methods and some ways of measuring the results they generate.

5 Advertising Methods and How to Measure The Results They Generate

  • TV Advertising: Purchase a new 0800 number unique to that advertisement. Count the calls, and multiple your conversion rate with your average sale price
  • Newspaper Advertising: Add a “how did you hear about us” field to your enquiry form on your website
  • Google Adwords: Install the tracking code onto your “Thank You” page after customers download a document, or subscribe, or purchase, or fill in a contact form
  • Yellow Pages: Purchase a new website address unique to that advertisement. Count the clicks
  • Radio Advertising: Purchase a unique local phone number and count the calls

What works for you will be completely different to other business and perhaps even your competitors.

Your business is unique so your “marketing mix” should be unique too.

It’s up to you to find the right combination of message and medium that works for your business. Don’t leave those decisions to smooth talking sales reps.

3 Examples of Business And What Advertising Works For Them

Example 1: What works for a client that runs a Business Management Course:

  • 173 word text-based ads in community newspapers
  • Google Adwords
  • A website that converts visitors into enquiries

Example 2: What works for a client that sells custom branded water bottles:

  • Generating lists of business owners to call and picking up the phone and calling them
  • 1400 word plain-text email proposals
  • Google search traffic for certain phrases
  • A website that converts visitors into enquiries

Example 3: What works for a marketing coach (me):

  • Writing 200+ blog articles that ask marketing related questions and provide answers that establish credibility and trust

But before you write a short list of advertising you’d like to try next, re-examine your content and your message.

Answering these 5 questions will help.

6 Questions To Ask Yourself To Help You Write Better Advertising

  1. What goals do you have for your career?
  2. What goals do you have for your business?
  3. If you could waive a magic wand, what 10 clients would you like have?
  4. For these clients, what problems are you solving for them?
  5. Why did they choose you?
  6. How can you feed their problems (and your solutions) back into your advertising?

What’s Next?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 James Healy September 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm

You raise a lot of good questions in this post. Digital marketing is slowly becoming the go-to way of advertising for small-businesses as it provides a highly engaging way to get to your customers.

I think radio, TV and print advertising CAN be exceptionally profitible, however if you’re looking to ‘test the waters’ in different areas – digital is the way to go.

Reply

2 Sheldon Nesdale September 27, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Hi James, could you give me an example of when a radio ad can be exceptionally profitable?

Reply

3 James Healy September 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm

You’ll find radio networks a lot of the time offer a contra deal to other businesses in exchange for very cheap services/products.

But you can’t tell me the “BioMag” and “Wet & Forget”, practically household names in Auckland, who’ve been advertising on ZB for more than a decade now aren’t making money. Actually, if I remember correctly Wet & Forget STARTED with ZB advertising before they blew up years later.

I guess it’s catered more to those who have high margins on their product.

Reply

4 Sheldon Nesdale September 30, 2013 at 11:44 am

ok, thanks James

Reply

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