Any business faces that struggle of getting the word out, especially during the first year. Advertising is such a crucial part of business success. Not to advertise is like shooting yourself in the foot, you can’t sit around and wait for people to discover what you have to offer. Choosing to advertise your business is not as simple as making a decision and knowing how much to spend. Coming up with a plan or strategy to advertise can be daunting, but knowing what you should not do can help set you on the right path.
Here are the first 5 of 10 advertising mistakes you should steer clear of:
There are many ways to advertise, but if you do not keep track of your marketing campaign’s results, there is no way to tell what works and what doesn’t. Placing an ad or running a campaign does not automatically translate to more customers. However, knowing what delivers better results means that you can invest more in that particular campaign. Keeping track of your campaign’s success puts your marketing dollars where you can get the most return on your investment. Using coupons and personalized URLs in your marketing material can help eliminate the guesswork in your campaign’s effectiveness.
LACK OF BRAND IDENTITY
Consider brands that have become household names. What do they have in common? For one, these brands are effective because they are easy to remember – there is a unified theme or color in their marketing and advertising campaigns. Sticking to a specific theme or color scheme makes your brand easier to recall because it becomes synonymous with your brand’s identity. Now, this doesn’t mean that you use the same design over and over in all your marketing materials, but the idea is for your designs to be cohesive and communicate your brand when somebody sees it.
USING THE WRONG MEDIUM
In extreme terms, consider advertising an online service purely offline. Sounds ridiculous, right? Choosing the right media for your advertisements is crucial to the success of your campaign. If you were offering services for the home like plumbing or lawn care, you wouldn’t be setting up posters on the street or hanging banners – you would use a fridge magnet for easy visibility right where it’s needed – in the home.
TRYING TO OFFER EVERYTHING
A mistake common to start-ups is the pressure to offer more than just one thing. Being versatile is of course an advantage, but when you are just in the process of trying to build a name for yourself, trying to offer a little bit of everything takes the focus away from what your specialty is. It is best to first build on one product or service at a time.
NOT TAKING CARE OF OLD CUSTOMERS
Customer referrals help keep businesses alive, and are especially important when you are trying to expand your customer base. Your advertisements should aim to attract more business, not just new ones. Taking care of your old customers through loyalty cards and exclusive rewards will help solidify their relationship with your business.
These mistakes sound simple and easy to avoid with proper research and planning. Those advertising dollars won’t have to go down the drain. Watch out next week for the second installment of advertising mistakes and how you can avoid them.