What advertising does and what it doesn’t do: debunking common myths


Advertising is one of the most common ways companies raise awareness of their company, products and services. However, not all entrepreneurs understand the advantages and disadvantages of using advertising as their primary marketing method.

There are many myths that are widely believed about advertising and its role in small business marketing. This article will explore these myths and reveal the truth.

Let’s begin!

Advertising is only needed if the business is slow

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is advertising only when business is slow. Unfortunately it is very common!

Many business owners feel they don’t have time to post ads when things are busy and they don’t want too much work. The truth is, if you only advertise when business is slow, you will be living in a constant cycle of partying or famine.

If you keep your advertising consistently, you will have a consistent business and new customers, which is exactly what you want. Do you ever stop seeing Coca-Cola ads? They keep the business strong by advertising regularly.

A slow selling product needs more advertising

When you are watching what advertising does and it doesn’t, remember that advertising can’t create demand that isn’t there. The goal is to make sure your products and services are something your ideal customers can truly benefit from.

If you introduce a new product or service, advertising can help you spread the word and make people aware that they can contact you for that need. But if it’s not new and it’s not selling, more advertising won’t help.

Instead, cut your losses and minimize or stop slow offers. Instead, focus on advertising and marketing that amplify the items customers really want.

Humor is always ideal

Many times humor can grab attention and make an announcement more memorable. Just look at the ironic commercial for Boneshaker’s “Endless Slogan”.

However, humor still needs to communicate the key message: understanding customer needs and being able to meet them with your products and services. You can be funny without ever understanding it.

The last thing you want to do is pay for an ad that makes people laugh, but they have no idea what your company name is or what you offer. Laughing is great, but spending money with no return on that investment isn’t something you can afford to do, especially as a small business.

Instead, find fun ways to talk about real consumer problems and how your business can help you. You will have a smile AND an advantage!

The best advertising is very creative and unusual

Being unusual and standing out is cool, but it’s not always the best advertisement. We just said that being funny can distract from your real message. The same goes for an ad that is too “out of the box”.

A perfect example is the “Puppy Monkey Baby” commercial that Pepsi released in 2016 to advertise Mountain Dew. The announcement was so weird that many people were discouraged, and while people certainly talked about the spot, they often didn’t remember what was actually being advertised. All they knew was that the announcement was strange.

Here’s the truth: The best advertisement clearly describes a real need from your customers and presents your product or service as the best solution to that need. It doesn’t need to be sexy or funny or anything. It simply has to connect on an emotional level and attract consumers with a promise to satisfy their needs.

Advertising is too expensive for small businesses

The final myth we’ll look at in this article is that advertising is too expensive for small businesses. Too many entrepreneurs see advertising as an expense rather than an investment.

Advertising can certainly be expensive if you target a very large audience using television or radio. However, when you advertise to an ideal targeted audience using digital methods, such as social media ads, you can connect with the right people on a much smaller budget.

Best of all, targeted advertising is much more effective than traditional, broad ads. You’re only talking to those who are most likely to benefit from your product or service, which means you’re not wasting time or money on people who find your message irrelevant.

Over time, you can use other marketing tactics to attract ideal leads and ready-to-buy customers, reducing the amount of money you have to spend on advertising. For example, search engine optimization (SEO) can attract ideal customers on a regular basis once you earn a top page position on Google. Once that happens, you won’t have to advertise that much, saving you money.

When done correctly, advertising is very cost effective for a small business.

Know the truth about advertising

Advertising can help you raise awareness of your business and reach ideal customers. However, it should be combined with other long-term marketing strategies, such as SEO, so that you are not overly reliant on ads.

Debunking the myths helps you understand how to maximize the ROI of your advertising. If you’d like help setting up a complete digital marketing strategy, we’re here for you. We’ve helped thousands of small businesses succeed online. Contact us today to see what we can do for you!





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