5 Misconceptions About Advertising Your Small Business Should Get Straight

July 7, 2017
"A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself." David Ogilvy uttered these words, and they ring true for your small business’ print and digital ad campaigns.

"A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself." David Ogilvy uttered these words, and they ring true for your small business’ print and digital ad campaigns. When thinking about the key tenets of advertising, there are most likely some misunderstandings about the big picture. Clarifying the 5 following misconceptions will fine tune your business’ overall strategy and allow you to zero in on the appropriate details.

No. 1: Your brand is the only thing that matters when spreading the word about your products/services. Easily defined, your brand is your business’ identity and should be a key element to your ad campaigns.  However, it would be a mistake to only concentrate on branding. Make sure a significant chunk of your strategy includes what your business and product/service can actually do for consumers. Larger, more established companies like Apple have the liberty to focus less on product and more on brand identity, but your small business will need to communicate who you are and why your products matter. Shifting the focus to what your product does and can do will drum up excitement within your target audience.

No. 2: Your target audience is permanent. Identifying your target market is crucial for your small business’ success, and doing so will determine the attitude and medium of your advertisements. Nonetheless, your target audience is subject to change. You may discover a new niche of target consumers, and it is possible to have multiple target audiences for the same product or service. As much as it will be important to target the customers who are most likely to buy, beware of limiting your scope too much. After all, your product/service is available to the general public.

No. 3: Advertising instantly increases revenue. Even though a well-planned ad can create leads and boost retention, it will be important for your small business to allocate a budget for advertising. You should not expect your advertisements to pay for themselves, especially when just starting out. In order for your ad campaigns to be successful, you will need to reevaluate each ad’s performance and be willing to try new tactics. It takes time to build your business and increase brand visibility, so your advertising strategy ought to be seen as a long-term investment.

No. 4: Nobody wants to pay attention to ads anymore. In the digital age, it might seem like Netflix (commercial-free streaming) and Ad Block reign supreme. This simply indicates that consumers refuse to expose themselves to tired or hollow material. Your business can catch the attention of consumers by anchoring its message and telling a meaningful story about its brand. People are tired of bad advertisements, not ads in general. This poses the perfect opportunity for your business to get it right. With each ad, determine if you are trying to entertain, evoke a particular emotion, or communicate your company’s values.

No. 5: Advertising and PR are synonymous. Knowing how, when, and who to advertise to is completely separate from your business’ public relations. A lot can be communicated in an advertisement, but your business will need a specific team to manage your PR concerns such as: how people relate to your business and how to clear up misconceptions about what your company truly does. Ideally, advertising ought to help your brand stand out to your target consumers while PR should focus on free, earned media to build your business’ overall reputation. Both endeavors require long-term commitment but will ensure your business’ overall success.

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