3 easy essentials to help you successfully advertise your small business. Part 2.


Image by Jacqueline Whitmore

In part 1 we talked about the importance of knowing all about your target demo (your customers or potential customers). When you know who they are, you can advertise directly to them.

But what you say (your message) needs to talk directly to your target demo, about what’s relevant to them, or you’ll be wasting your money.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it speak to them about what is going on in their lives?
  • Does it solve a problem?
  • Does it make life easier?
  • Does it make life more interesting?
  • Does it save time or money?
  • Does it create a new way of doing something?

The answers to these questions will determine what you’re going to say in your ad, and how you’re going to say it.

Explain how your product or service will benefit your customer. For example; Apple doesn’t advertise amounts of RAM or processing speeds, it tells you what you can do with the product, like making movies or music.

Image by SlideShare

Advertising works on emotion.

Your message, whether on a billboard or on the radio, also needs to speak in a voice and language that connects with your target demo. You wouldn’t use a hip-hop style to advertise retirement villages.

Now that you’ve researched your customers, it’s time to put what you’ve learnt into an ad.

Be mindful of the style of commercial.  What appeals to you may not connect with your audience.

Using the AIDA principle is an easy guide to advertising across all media, no matter how big or small. People who write advertising, like copywriters, know AIDA inside out, but it’s important that you have an understanding of it as well. 

AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

Attention:       In a busy advertising landscape your commercial needs to stand out from the crowd. If it’s on a billboard it needs to be visually striking and simple. If it’s a radio commercial the first line or sound needs to grab the listener’s ear.

Interest:          The advertising must be interesting enough to keep peoples’ attention, so they take in the advertising message. Promising a saving, telling a story, using sound effects, making a product comparison and issuing a challenge are some techniques that work well.

Make sure you avoid old, outdated and clichéd advertising speak like, ‘your one stop shop’, or, ‘for all your (whatever) needs’, and so on. The human brain is more likely to respond positively to advertising that is new and interesting.

Desire:            Now that you’ve caught your customer’s interest, it’s time to seal the deal. Do this by showing how their life will be better with your product or service in it. Do this by connecting on an emotional level. Humour works well, as does fear and appealing to the ego.

Action:            They want you’re selling, but how do they get it? This is where you tell them what action they need to take to buy it. You can tell them to head to your website, visit instore or phone (not good for radio). Have only 1 call to action. Too many can be confusing and difficult to remember.

Image by Keep Calm 0-Matic
  • It’s important to communicate to your target demo how your product or service can benefit them.
  • The AIDA principle is a great way to deliver you message effectively.

In part 3 we’ll discuss the number of times your ad needs to be seen or heard by your target demo to be effective.

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