Think Before You Act | Draw Up Plans for your Advertising Presence
Just as online searchers are likely to merely scan your content, your advertising audience isn’t likely to give your ad more than a passing glance. Either you capture their attention right away, or you don’t capture their attention at all. It takes careful planning to craft an advertising presence that brings you well-qualified leads and helps convert them into buyers. Without a strategic advertising plan, you’re wasting your time and money.
A sound advertising plan gives you a road map.
First define your goals for each advertising campaign. Are you introducing a new equipment line? Wanting to beef up the number of customers using your service department? Hoping to grow your list of qualified leads? Well-planned, consistently presented advertising builds awareness and name recognition as well as selling specific products or services.
Repetition is crucial for all advertising, because you have to be there when and where your prospects are interested and open to your advertising “suggestion.” Your message has to be timely, relevant and succinct.
Instant attraction is crucial.Every ad must present a clear message and a compelling call to action. No visual clutter or other distractions. No complicated information. There are two proven ways to grab your prospect’s attention:
- A snappy headline that immediately conveys your ad content enticingly enough to cause prospects to look more closely.
- A relevant graphic, photo or even a video link.
Define your audience and construct your message.
Use the persona you’ve developed for this audience segment as a guide. What’s in it for them? What is the most important point about the product or service you’re advertising, for this prospect?
Sometimes it’s useful to go beyond your persona and consult real people – your actual customers – to gain greater insight into what it is about your dealership or products or after-market services that’s most valuable to them. Brainstorm with your dealership staff about what questions people ask most, because that tells you their greatest concerns.
Listen to the specific words they use, and compare those words to your website analytics to zero in on the most relevant keywords for your advertising.
You can also check out how other contractors or trucking companies are advertising, to see how they couch their advertising messages. But your advertising should focus on what differentiates you from the competition. So ask your existing customers about that, too. Why do they buy from you instead of someone else? Those strengths are part of your dealership’s brand, so play them up.
Add your call to action.
Your sales reps would be the first to remind you that you have to ask for the sale. Your ad’s CTA might be an interim step – call to register for our next demo, capture this QR code with your phone to sign up for our drawing, click here to download our whitepaper on extending the life of your fleet. What do you want them to do next?
Choose your delivery channels. Depending on the purpose of your ad campaign and your target audience, you may want to focus on traditional media or online tools such as your blog and social media. In most cases, the most effective advertising plan combines both traditional and online channels, since the goal is to put your message in front of people when and where they’re likely to be looking.
Think creatively here. For example, you could use a trade publication ad to promote your latest eBook. Or offer a “top 10 tips” list in your ad, but only publish three plus a QR code or web address that leads your prospect to the rest of the list.
Whatever details you choose to create and present your ads, a well-thought-out advertising plan will help you get the best results.