Writing for your CustomersPrint
Creating an effective ad can sometimes seem like the most difficult thing in the world. Make it a little simpler, so you can spend more time on projects you actually enjoy, by using these five helpful tips:
Choose a customer base. The first thing that you need to decide is what kind of customer your ad will be appealing to – 50 year old men and teenage girls respond to very different types of advertising, so this is an essential step. Once you’ve decided who your audience will be, you can concentrate your copy on targeting what matters to them – either giving them what they want or solving their problem. Having one audience in mind makes this a much easier task.
Put the focus on the customer. Unfortunately, when customers see an advertisement, they usually aren’t enticed by the harrowing tale of how you built your business from the ground up or by the amusing exploits of your employees. They simply want to know how your business is going to benefit them. This can be accomplished by framing the ad in terms of your customer: start out with an attention-grabbing header such as “Explore your landscaping options without spending a dime with a FREE consultation!” or “Plumbing emergencies can happen anytime – that’s why we’re available 24/7.” This structure puts both the service you offer and the benefit to them first and foremost in the ad, making them want to read more.
Follow-up on your header. Nothing (well, very little) is more frustrating than reading a header, then being unable to find any more about that topic later in the text. Make sure that you provide your customer with all the information they need to be able to follow-up with you regarding the service mentioned in the header, as that service most likely caught their attention first. This could be your phone number, a date range, or a list of the topics you will cover when working with them.
Less is more. This refers to both text and design. In order for your ad to be effective, your customer needs to be able to see the important information quickly. If they have to scan your ad for information such as the type of food you offer or your hours, less people are going to reach out to you, as that takes extra time and effort on their part. Instead, they will just move on to other ads until they find one that tells them what they need to know immediately. To incorporate this into your advertising, choose bullet points instead of a long paragraph, display your phone number or location prominently, stick to shorter sentences (much unlike this one), and stay with a 2 color design – something that attracts attention but isn’t too busy.
If online, use keywords. People searching online are constantly being inundated with a nonstop flow of advertisements. Help make sure yours is close to the top of the list by properly using keywords and phrasing that potential customers are likely to use to search for your service.