In order to get consumers (whether they are retail or service customers or business-to-business audiences) to notice an advertising message, many companies resort to loudness and one-upmanship. Neither of these tactics works in the long run. If your competition is talking loudly and you decide to yell louder, what do you think they will do? Yep. Theyll start to scream. Nobody wins a shouting match when it comes to advertising. And usually youll find you even lose a few customers in the process because they cant stand the noise. Its the same with one-upmanship. If you have to compete on more and better coupons or more and better discounts, giveaways or incentives unrelated to your core product, your revenue per sale decreases as well as your number of sales. Customers see these types of games as gimmicky, fake and disingenuous; and they leave. The ones who do stay now view you and your competitors as commodities with no difference except your price. That is a dangerous place for a company to find itself.The answer to clutter is not more clutter; its finding who wants to hear you and speaking to them. So how do you compete if you cant out shout or out discount your competition? You get rebellious and radical with your advertising. Do those words scare you? Thats okay. Remember, youre being courageous now. You can handle it. Besides, rebellious and radical arent dirty words. They will help you draw attention away from your competition without resorting to screaming and insulting your customers. Its not about being outrageous just to get attention; its about being remarkable. An advertising campaign with a strong rebellious strategy is, by its very nature, different from anything your audience will find from your competitors marketing efforts. Its unexpected. Its surprising. Its effective. There are two keys to creating a successfully rebellious "advertising campaign" . The first is the big idea. This idea comes from a strategy that is derived directly from your customers and their relationship with your brand. You arrive at this idea through a discipline called account planning. Well get into the details of both the big idea and account planning in later articles.The second key to a successfully rebellious advertising campaign is attention. You cant gain attention if you dont learn to identify and then steer clear of the norm. It doesnt matter how great your product or service is or how large your potential market, if your target audience doesnt pay attention to your message, your ad budget has been wasted. Think about these two keys while you flip through the newspaper or a magazine. Ponder them while you watch TV. You should notice something almost immediately. Most ads today dont seem to be based on any big idea. Many are so boring that you flip right past them without noticing them. Others get your attention but the ads dont have much to do with the product so you quickly forget the brand the ad was supposed to sell you. What an opportunity for your brand!Now, there is a caveat to being rebellious. Your ads should never be different just for difference sake. The difference should be derived from your brands uniqueness. This article introduced the second of twelve steps. Challenge yourself, your staff and your ad agency to revolutionize your advertising program. If you missed the first step, contact the author for a complimentary copy. And, remember, every revolution begins with just one step.Jeff Berney is a freelance idealist, brand evangelist and writer. He can be reached at email@example.com. 2006
Copyright 2006 Karen SaundersA flyer is an inexpensive and highly effective way to grab attention in a very busy marketplace. How do you make your flyer stand out in the crowd? Here are some techniques that professional designers use to make flyers "pop."1. Write a snappy headline or title.Make it memorable, unusual or provocative using a few carefully chosen powerful words. Popular titles contain one or more of these words: Easy, The Secrets to, Unlock, Finally, Insider, Time Sensitive, How to, Free Bonuses, Now You Can, Discover, Proven.2. Use colorful or striking graphics.One large image will have more impact than many smaller images. A stunning photo or illustration grabs attention, creates a mood, and supports your story. This image is your "focal point" and will draw your readers in. You can purchase inexpensive but quality stock photos on the Internet. Download individual photos or purchase a CD with hundreds of images.3. Focus on the benefits of your product or service.Your prospects will ask the question, "What's in it for me?" Write from the their perspective using the words "you" and "your." Avoid using the following words: we, us, I and our. Be sure to keep your text short and to the point. Some of the most powerful words to use are: free, save, love, new, results, and guarantee. Break up long paragraphs with bullet points and place them in a separate box.4. Use compelling testimonials and case studies.Nothing strikes a chord like an endorsement from a happy customer, especially if it demonstrates the results they've had with your product or service. Be sure to include the first and last name, company name and location of the person providing the endorsement.5. Organize your page with boxes, borders and areas of contrasting colors.You don't need to fill your flyer with wall-to-wall text and graphics. Incorporate some white space to make certain elements stand out and to make the flyer easy to read.6. Make your points easily identifiable.Highlight titles and subtitles in bold, but avoid using ALL CAPS because they are more difficult to read.7. Don't get too complicated.Make it simple with two typefaces, and align items to a grid. Your page layout program will provide non-printing guidelines. Use the "snap to guidelines" function to align items easily to the grid. Be aware of printing margins. I suggest you create your layout with 1/2" margins on all sides, or add 1/8" for bleeds on items that print off the edge of the page.8. Don't forget to proofread.Have someone else proofread your work. Check your contact information. Dial the phone numbers on the flyer to make sure they are correct, and type in the URL of your website to make sure it is correct, too.9. If you are on a tight budget, try this.Select bright-colored or unique paper, and print with black ink. Use shades of grey to provide tones and contrasting background areas.10. Offer a discount or special limited-time price.Design a coupon on the bottom quarter of the flyer. Be sure to clearly state the deadlines and limitations of the offer. If it is a mail-in coupon, be sure to include the payment specifications with areas for filling out credit card information, mailing address, etc.You don't need to re-invent the wheel when creating your flyer. Use these proven techniques and you will see big results in your marketing efforts.
When was the last time you took a long critical look at your business card?I'd bet you haven't really thought about it since you initially got them printed.Let's stop for just a moment and ask, what is the point of your business card? Is it to simply fill the wallets of prospective clients, or is it something that should be driving more sales to your business?I bet you answered in the latter. So what should your business card look like then?A few of the essential things it must contain:1. What your company can do for the customer2. What you personally do, if its not obvious from the business description3. Your name,4. Your best contact number (don't use a switchboard number, use your direct number andshow your cell-phone number)5. Your company's nameI have listed the criteria for the business card in a particular order. Do you notice something strange? I have put the company's name last!Your business card should be a "mini" sales letter for your business.The card should have an attention grabbing headline, that will attract prospects like a magnet.Imagine if you where a plumber, your headline could read something like"Need a plumber, we are only 8 minutes away!"Don't you think it would grab someone's attention, especially if they desperately needed a plumber and were frantically looking around for your card, while standing knee deep in water from a leaking toilet.The last thing they want to do is try and remember what your company name is, so they can call you.Make sure you include a proper working telephone number, its amazing the number of cards I have received, that have a disconnected number on it.Include your cell-phone's number as well. Its will make getting hold of you even easier.Include your company name last.. Its the least important thing on your card.Just remember the old marketing saying " No-one is interested in your business, they are only interested in what you can do for them"So think about turning your business card into a sales magnet..Maybe its time for a re-think and possibly a redesign of your existing business card.Remember, it should be your 'mini' salesman in a client's wallet.You want the card to keep reminding the client every time they see it, with what you do and what you can do for them.
Advertising your web hosting siteAny new web host will realise that there is a lot of competition in the web hosting industry and it can be hard to establish yourself in the market. I think to succeed as a host you must offer a quality, reliable low cost service to your clients.No matter how good your service is, if people do not know about your hosting business you will find it hard to break even each month. Every successful hosting company has a well thought through advertising plan. There are many types of advertising available for a host to use to generate new sales.Search Engine AdvertisingMany internet users have used a search engine before to find information, a product or service and for a web site search engines can generate a lot of revenue. As a hosting company it is no different, many new clients can come from search engines.To take advantage of search engines a host must receive top ranking for popular search terms such as hosting, web hosting, shared hosting and reseller hosting. However this can be a very difficult task, as these keywords have a huge amount of competition for the top ranks.There are two main types of search engine listings, all search engines offer listings where the rankings are decided on a number of factors such as backward links, web site content, inbound links etc,Some of the search engines offer paid listings, where the rank of a web site listing is based on the amount paid by the advertiser either for a set time limit or every time a user clicks on the advertiser's ad.Web Hosting Directory AdvertisingLike search engines, advertising in a web hosting directory can bring a lot of revenue for your hosting business and the cost can be fairly low. If your company offers a quality service you should have no problem being added to all the top directories, I would like to say that different directories have their own rules for submissions, and some do have continual operating requirements.On the whole many hosting directories allow free submissions for your hosting site which can directly bring in traffic to your site, and can also in-directly improve your search engine rankings which will in turn bring more traffic to your site.Along with free submissions, many hosting directories also offer paid submissions, and/or paid advertising on the web site.Cost-per-click AdvertisingThis type of advertising involves placing either a text based or image based advert, and the advertisers' states an amount they are willing to pay for every click their ad receives.The best places for a web host to use this type of advertising is on web hosting related web site, such as web design, programming or a hosting form site such as Web Hosting Complete.CPC advertising can be very cost effective, normally only users will click on an advert they are interested in.Web Hosting Forum AdvertisingA web host can usually advertise directly and in-directly on hosting forum web sites, an example is Web Hosting Complete (http://www.whcomplete.com). WHC offer different advertising programs, such as text link and banner based advertising, which can be very effective for hosts.Advertising on a hosting related site should lower your advertising costs but still generate revenue. Along with the direct advertising, there are subtle ways to generate free traffic from a web hosting forum.Many of these forum sites do not allow links to external sites to be placed in posts, however normally you can place a link to your web site in your signature. By posting on a forum site, you can place a huge number of free links to your web site in your posts. This can generate a lot of free traffic, and because it is from a hosting related site, it can be highly targeted as well. However this can take a lot of time, because you cannot just post nonsense, your posts must be relevant to the discussions of other members.ConclusionIn conclusion there are a number of advertising methods a web host can use to generate targeted traffic, some are free but take time and other methods can take money.I would recommend creating an advertising plan before you start putting money into any form of advertising, the plan should set out how much per month you can spend, and where the money is best spent.
There are a couple of truths that seem to apply to many small businesses, especially ones that are also newly established. One of them is that budgets do not allow for all ideas to be implemented. Another is that advertising is necessary. A quick look over these two statements will result in a belief that they are contradictory factors of a business if they are both true. That is unfortunately a misconception held by many new business owners. As we all know the majority of new business to not make it past their second year in business. One of the factors that can assist in the difficulties of establishing a new, small business is the belief that important money to sustain the business cannot be spent on advertising. The allocation of money to advertising usually has a very low priority in a small businesses budget. This is a mistake, advertising is necessary, but there are a number of ways that it can be done in a cost effective manner.First on a businesses list should be the largest yellow pages ad they are able to afford. Although the phone book is an old form of advertising with the importance that the internet is taking on, this is still one of the first things potential clients do when looking for a business or product.Other print advertising ideas can be done with newspaper advertising. Local papers can get your geographic region narrowed in on. This is especially important given that the majority of small business clients come from a 3 to 5 mile radius. Also, papers can be good because they frequently have specialized advertising sections, which will be read by just the people you want. Local business groups also create special advertising sections that can be a great advertising idea and cost effective too.Other ideas might look into specialized magazine advertising, using vehicle graphics and using the billing and other mailing necessities you have to further promote upcoming events and specials. There are a lot of ways out there that offer advertising idea possibilities, but the one thing that must be adhered to is that you must do something.