As the New Year is upon us it’s time to start thinking about crafting your 2012 marketing campaigns. Perhaps you are a photographer wanting to distribute flyers to newly engaged couples in an attempt to shoot their wedding. Or maybe you are a tax accountant attempting to create new brochures in an effort to get income tax filers in the door sooner rather than later. Both campaigns have specific goals, as does any other small business marketing campaign. Following a few simple steps will enhance your marketing efforts.
Know Your Customer
Before you begin any marketing campaign it’s important to know who your message is geared toward. With a little research, the wedding photographer would have found that the average age for couples to marry is 28 for men and 26 for women. The photographer would have also been able to uncover that women make most of the buying decisions when it comes to wedding planning. Now the photographer can appropriately cater his marketing toward a 26-year-old bride-to-be. A little research on any target market can uncover specifics details such as age range, gender, and income levels. Knowing who you are speaking to will set the stage for the way you communicate with your audience.
(Image Source: http://www.mgm-photography.com/e-letters/wedding/2/)
Write Headlines That Get Noticed
Be sure to write headlines that work to your advantage. The headline is your opportunity to grab the reader’s interest and convey your message. Without a good headline the rest of the copy you’ve worked tirelessly on may not even be read. Eight of ten consumers will read the headline, but only two of ten will read the copy. Headlines should be accurate and never mislead. For instance, if the headline states, “Buy One, Get One Free”, there shouldn’t be any fine print that excludes certain items. This will only frustrate and disenfranchise customers. When writing headlines it’s important to use the present tense. Going back to our tax accountant example “Tax Rates Are Rising” works better than “Tax Rates Have Risen”. The customer needs to know it’s not too late.
(Image Source: http://www.nikeblog.com/2010/08/05/nike-women-ad-nikes-take-on-the-quick-fix/)
Short and Sweet Copy
Brevity is your friend. Because only two of ten readers will actually read your copy, don’t lose those valuable eyeballs with complex sentences and too much unimportant information. Yes you have a message to convey, but keep it brief and easy to comprehend. Focus on the benefits rather than focusing on features. Strong copywriting will explain how the product or service can benefit the targeted group of consumers.
(Image Source: http://www.behance.net/gallery/Leadville-Race-Series/1339369)
Don’t be afraid to incite a feeling. For years advertisers have been trying to invoke a feeling, with the end goal of creating an attachment to a product or a service. Consumers buy based on their emotions, not based on practicality. Our tax accountant may try a scare tactic like “Stiff Penalties Await, File Today”. This creates a sense of anxiety and will likely get consumers to file their taxes before the deadline.
Utilize Thoughtful Layouts
Once you have good copy, don’t ignore your graphic designs and layouts. If the design is too distracting or contains a font that’s hardly legible, you’ve already lost your reader. You’ve put the time into crafting awesome copy, don’t waste it with a sub-par design.
(Image Source: http://www.behance.net/gallery/Paranoid-a-free-font-project/218721)
Lastly, be sure to break up large paragraphs and blocks of text with sub headings and featured content. This helps the reader see what information is important and encourages them to read through the entire marketing piece.
(Image Source: http://www.behance.net/gallery/CHP-Brochure/308166)