As I’ve tried to fill up posts this month about advertising, I’ve come to an understanding of an underlying belief that I hold. Advertising really isn’t all that effective for most entrepreneurs and small business owners. I’m much more in favor of using marketing than advertising. With that said, however, here are some tips I believe you should apply to your marketing plan — whether you accomplish these with advertising or not, that is not the point.
1. Be Consistently Present
Marketing, advertising, and public relations efforts have a cumulative effect. Therefore you need to get your name out in front of people as often as you can. This helps build name awareness.
2. Ready, Aim, Target!
You must define your niche and focus your marketing and advertising efforts there. Depending on your market, this can be defined by geography, psychology, common interests, gender, industry or trade — possibly even a combination. Believe it or not, the more narrow your focus, the easier it is to create effective marketing and advertising messages.
3. Track Your Results
Each time you get a new client or customer, ask them why they chose to do business with you. How did they hear about you? That way, you’ll discover which one or more of your efforts are most effective and you can concentrate on them. If you use pay-per-click advertising, pay attention to your results — you might be getting more conversions from one set of keywords over another.
4. Follow Up
Your best future clients/customers are your past clients/customers. Show them some love. Keep in touch. Make them feel special and that they made a good choice to work with you.
5. Tell the Truth
Don’t run false promotions. If you say you’re never going to run that sale again, don’t. If you say the sale will last two weeks, end it when the two weeks are over. When you fudge on your promotions, you lose credibility. And that, my friend, can destroy all the good work you’ve done in the past.