Effective advertising tips

Posted: 11th May 2015

Choosing the right publication

Remember that it pays to be ruthless when it comes to deciding if this publication is the one that you should be investing your budget in. Don’t be seduced by the sweet talking ad exec. Draw up your criteria for acceptance. The most important things to evaluate are:

•  Content and presentation of the magazine (good bad or mediocre?)
• Will there be other competitors in there (too many can eclipse you)
• Is the magazine paid for or is it a free sheet (the former is read more and less likely to be discarded quickly)
• The readers – what % are your target audience?
• Circulation (the bigger the better if the audience matches your target market)
• Publication dates – can you make them?
• Is the magazine content biased to advertising or rich text (the latter is the hallmark of a good publication)

You can often negotiate a discount and always ask for free PR coverage. If you don’t ask you will not get! Remember to ask yourself – will this publication reach my target markets and will I yield a return on the total cost of going into this publication? Simply dividing the advertising cost by the number of new clients you need to gain a return on your spend is a good start. Then you need to look at design costs if you want to avoid the home made look. Using a good local designer is a sound investment. If you can’t afford that, then ask the publication if they will typeset your advert at no extra charge.

The Actual Advert Itself

Knowing whom you want to pitch your business at is vital. Then having established this you need to ask:

• What are the key benefit messages that will really captivate my target markets and lead to action!
• Do I have a number of really strong core propositions e.g., product innovation, distribution, accessibility of service, price, location or do I have one strong proposition?
• Assuming that what I have to offer to my target audience is broadly similar to my competitors, why should a potential customer choose me? What is my edge?

Give plenty of thought to these questions then draft out your honest full response. You will then need to translate this into a series of snappy sentences that will go into your advert, starting with a good headline. Use sensory rich descriptions or benefit driven descriptions in your headline, or use a positive statement that says it all. I have just written an advert for Unilever for their Bertolli range of food and my headline was simple:

“Win a trip for two to Pisa in Italy plus £200 spending money”

The headline says enough to gain the attention of the reader and the body copy communicates the beauty of Pisa and the pampering emphasis of the weekend.

Remember to include your full contact details and any special offers always help boost response, but link offers to a close date to get action now!


Whatever advert you create for your target markets, you need to ask yourself:

• What is my purpose in communicating?
• What do I want to accomplish?
• What do I want my target audience to do as a result of receiving my communication?
• What is the most effective way to get my message across?

Above all, you need to present your advert in a professional, concise, persuasive manner.

Deadly sins

How many local adverts have you seen that have included one or more of the following deadly sins!

• Spelling errors
• Clumsily worded sentences
• Text that reads as though ‘cut and paste’ has been over used.
• Rambling text that lacks a clear proposition, with no call to action.

Follow these simple tips for adverts that lead to business!

Simple tips for effective adverts that lead to business!