Sending email is free, creating a Facebook page is free, Twitter outreach is free, cold-calling is free, publicity is free, referrals are free, and advertising costs money.
So why is it that even with all of these wonderfully low cost and free ways to promote your business I contend that you must make advertising one of your core lead generation tactics? (Actually one could argue if anything is free, but the items listed above don’t come with a direct cost.)
Advertising is in fact one of the marketing tactics that comes with an invoice. You must write a check to run ads or send direct mail, often before seeing any results. In my experience people shy away from advertising, not because of the cost, because they don’t know how to get results and they don’t understand the long-term residual effects. Think about it, if you knew that for every $100 you spent you could produce $200, you would get out your check book and spend away, right?
To get results from advertising today you must
- Be laser focused on a specific ideal client
- Create awareness for valuable content with a call to action
- Measure leads and conversion fanatically
But, that’s a topic for another post, today I want to first get the leverage to help you understand why you must add advertising to mix and then we can start to talk about how.
When done effectively advertising is an essential part of mix because:
- Advertising is the only medium you can control – if you want your message to hit on the day a product launches or event is about to happen, this is the only vehicle you control completely.
- Advertising allows you to target ideal customers only – when you match a very personal message to a very select audience you get far greater connection.
- Advertising creates awareness for your content – The force that drives a great deal of conversion and trust building these days is educational content – ebooks, seminars and blog posts – advertising is a great way to help get that content found and consumed once you’ve gone to the effort to produce it.
- Advertising adds credibility to your message – Don’t ask me why this is exactly, but every time I run advertising people comment that business must be going well. The perception that you can afford advertising is often enough to sell and resell prospects and customers alike and makes it easier to get attention for your entire message.
- Advertising amplifies everything else you’re doing – When you are using advertising to create awareness for your content you automatically create more awareness for everything you are doing. Journalists find companies that advertise, referral sources remember companies that advertise, people fan and follow and friend from ads, and employees can point to well-placed ads as a source of pride in place they work.