How to Advertise

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How to Advertise. Whether you're selling pizza, lawn fertilizer or the cure for the common cold, your product or service will never sell if buyers don't know it exists. When it comes to reaching prospective customers, you only have a few seconds to attract, establish their trust and appeal to their needs. Advertising does work, if you keep the following in mind.

Contact the advertising department of newspapers, magazines and radio stations to get rate sheets. Know your budget, and stick to it. Don't blow all of your money on one campaign, and don't waste time and money on low-producing ads.

Research as much as you can about your product or service, and look for little-known benefits you (or your competitors) have never explored before.

Decide what type of advertising works best for what you're trying to sell. Choose methods that deliver the biggest return on the smallest investment. Try to identify your target buyer, and define how your product or service can improve their lives. Target only people who have a genuine need or desire for what you are trying to sell.

Research competitors' ads, and find out how you can do a better job. Write a benefit-filled headline, and support this benefit throughout rest of the copy. Remember to write at an eighth grade level, and use a conversational style. Also, include coupons, website or toll-free numbers for samples, free trials or free information.

Test each advertisement you produce, and keep track of your responses. Add their contact information to a database, and follow up with regular, repeat offers. Rank your prospects by their type of response, and drop ones who don't respond at all.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ads that look like articles work better than ones that merely entertain.
  • Don't write to please the yes-men in the boardroom.
  • Include specifics rather than vague information.

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