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Lesson #2: What should you Advertise?

The following text is from a transcript and may come across strange because it is taken from what I said in the video above.

Okay, we’re on to video two. So in the last video we talked about how much you should spend on advertising for your business. And today we’re gonna talk about now, what should you talk about? What should you advertise? This is a question I get all the time from clients wondering what they should focus on. Some have the tendency to want to advertise, things that don’t sell well in their business. My response to that is sometimes there’s a reason why that product is not selling. Others want to advertise, just their brand, which is okay, but you’re not gonna get a lot of leads when you just advertise your brand. Others just don’t know what to do. They’re trying to figure it out. And so I want to talk a little bit about that., Dan Kennedy, one of the people that I’ve, learned a lot from about marketing and has been one of the key influences in my life.

He always says, find your USP, your unique selling proposition. What is it that makes you unique? What makes you different than anyone else? If you’re a hamburger joint, there’s lots of those, but what is it that makes your hamburgers unique? If you’ve got one specific flavor that people tend to buy all the time and can’t get enough of and keep coming back for more, then that’s what you should advertise. You should talk about that flavor or that unique thing. If you’ve got a unique milkshake, that is awesome talk about that. There’s a place here in town called Jake’s Over the top, and they have a special, flavor that was designed by Jake, the son, who the parents named a restaurant after. And it’s a cherry Oreo, milkshake, and it’s awesome, but they never talk about it. I’m like, you should be advertising that everywhere and telling people about it.

If you’re a financial planner, there’s lots of those. We all have one or two of those even in our families. But if you’re a financial planner, that helps small business owners be able to retire someday. We can only hope, right? But if you’re one of those, then you can specialize and, or if you have a, a particular expertise in something, then you can talk about that. So, that’s your unique selling proposition. Spend some time on that. Download my USP worksheet here to make yours. Figure out something that you can talk about that is a unique selling proposition.

Second piece of advice is keep it simple. Sometimes advertisers want to put everything they do on one ad. I say advertise for the long term and put one thing per ad. Unless you’re running a sale on a bunch of items, sometimes furniture stores, places that have a lot of unique individual products, they can run a lot of products, but those are ads that make your eyes bleed and only a few businesses can get away with that. So most of the time you want something simple, something fresh, something inviting that people want to look at.

I’ve got a couple of examples here of different ads that I like, and I’m going show those to you and you’ll be able to see what I’m talking about. The first is a knife company. This ad right here by WMF Knives, it’s simple. It’s really unique. The knife is so sharp, it cuts through the cutting board. And so obviously that’s a knife that I’d be interested in. I know knives, I used to sell Cutco back in the day, and so I know how important a sharp knife is, and that’s a very effective ad.

There’s another one by Bose, Quiet Comfort. These are headphones that cancel out the noise. And if you’re a parent, this ad makes a ton of sense because you’ve got screaming kids, looks like she has triplets, three babies crying all at once. That can be pure madness to a parent. And to have some quiet comfort headphones seems quite lovely. That would be pretty awesome.

So those are some national ads that are pretty effective. I want to show you some we have created over time and what I like about them. I have to tell a story. This, gal has a small little gift shop here in town, and she came to me and she’s like, you know, I’m struggling. My ads aren’t getting the response that I want. I’m not sure what to say in my ads. Can you help me? And, so I said, well, what’s something that you have that’s really unique that people like but maybe don’t know about? And she showed me these, these little, garden gnomes with no pants on. And the beard covers the front, you know the important bits, but the back shows these little dimpled, bum cheeks, which they’re hilarious. And she’s like, these have been really popular. But she’s like, most people don’t know that I have ’em. She used to put tons of items on her ads, and she said she just had a hard time getting response. And so we took that and created this ad, and the picture says, does this belt make my butt look big? And so we turned one gnome backward so that you saw the, the dimple butt. And then the other gnome was facing it. And, kind of taking a look and seeing if it makes the gnomes butt look big.

Well, she sold out of all of her stock of that, she called the supplier and had them send her the rest of the supply that they had of that particular gnome because she was selling them so well, and she sold them all again. And so that’s the power of a really good ad when something catches people’s attention and it gets them to take action, which in this case was to buy those gnomes. Of course, it brought in new clients, which is her opportunity to earn a lifetime client by showing them what else she can do to help them.

My final story is, couple of good friends of mine that are real estate agents and, it’s two brothers and they, one’s a real estate agent, the other one’s a, a mortgage officer. And together they purchased or, created a real estate and loan company. And so they, they work with each other and, refer back and forth. Of course, it’s a perfect match. They both wanted to be in the magazines. They loved what the magazines do and represent and what we create, and they said, we want to be in that, but we don’t know what to advertise. And, real estate is an interesting world because there’s so much competition out there. You really have to find a way to stand out, and you also need to make sure and remind people who are your friends and neighbors and acquaintances that that’s what you do. The real estate agent, Dustin, he said, you know, my biggest frustration is when one of my neighbors will list their house, and I’ll be like, oh, you’re selling your house? And they’re like, yeah! Oh, I would’ve loved to have sold that for you. And they’re like, oh, I forgot you’re a real estate agent. And he’s like, that’s so frustrating that they forget that that’s what I do. And I said, well, you have to remind them. And so the magazines have been a great way to do that for them. The key for their success has been to create ads that are part of the content. In a Print Magazine, content is king and making content that people want to consume. And so by far, the ad that gets the most attention in our publications are these ads that the two brothers do that are part of the content. They hire an artist that creates these ads. Here’s one from Halloween.

We draw the two brothers. It’s a little bit tongue and cheek because they’re, very buff in the ad, in the, in the art. Dustin said one of his neighbors pulled by one day and he was out front cleaning his boat, and he didn’t have a shirt on. They’d come home from the lake and the guy yelled. Hey, that’s false advertising. I guess he isn’t as buff as his pictures. They always have a little comic feel to them. It says, is it a bison or a buffalo? And the other brother says, we don’t know, but we know how to close a loan and get the best rate. Call my brother Lance to get started.

And these have been great advertisements for them, and they’ve created a brand for themselves that’s fun, that’s inviting. That’s, you know, something that people know that they can turn to them and they know what they do. They know they’re in real estate, they know they’re in loans, and it creates a great way for them to create a relationship with their community. Advertising should be long term, it should be simple, and it should focus on your, your unique selling proposition. That’s lesson number two. And the next one will be on branding. How to develop a great brand.

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