So, it’s time that you want to take your business out into the world and bring in a real return? Or maybe you have attempted this advertising thing but it has not brought back the return that you wish that it had. Either way, there are a few rules, a few, you know, Do’s and Dont’s that are extremely important to consider when attempting to utilize the advertising side of marketing. Doing advertising wrong could land your brand in some trouble in the long run, or simply cost you far more than it had to in the first place and still yield a negative return.

We would like you to do your advertising the right way, so we did some serious homework and looked closely at what mistakes businesses made without realizing it and what advice they wish they had when they started out.

Do your homework and make sure that you know your figures. Look at the cost of the advertising that you are after, how many people will it reach and what are the probability figures on a return. Granted that you have an excellent advert, these figures should be on par. For example, it can cost you as little as $1 per day on Facebook to reach approximately 4000 people that should be interested in your product. It is by far the cheapest and most effective form of advertising in its bracket.

Don’t be a follower or a copycat, ever! Your brand has its own unique voice and this must be shown through every advertisement that you put out there, regardless of the medium. If you think an advert is great and you wish your brand had come up with that, let that idea just be an idea. Never take another brand’s idea, not the way that their lines swirl in print media, or the crazy suited guy they show off on YouTube. It will wash your company to the river’s edge and you would have wasted an entire ad campaign.

Do make it memorable by making sure your brand voice comes through. Building your brand language, your brand’s persona is sometimes a challenge for smaller businesses, but it is an imperative step toward success. Adverts, regardless of how much you spend on them, should be carefully thought out plans. This is a voice of your business all on its own when you are not around. It speaks for your business…. What does it say? Would I care to remember it?

Don’t lie ever! There is no excuse for lying in your advertising or in general. Your customers are your gold, you wouldn’t treat your mother like that, so why would you treat someone else’s mom like that? Integrity in a business is important. It keeps your customers happy, satisfied and using the ‘word-of-mouth’ advertising for you… completely free of charge.

Do have a single message that speaks to your target market directly. Make it personal to who you are targeting. When designing an advert for print media, digital or otherwise, the message is the key. In print media, 80% of the entire advertisement is the headline. If you have not hooked your target market in that headline, then you are wasting your time. People who specialize in creating adverts study for years to understand the psychology behind advertising. This does not mean that you cannot do it yourself, but a professional designer may be a solution in the beginning. Especially if the advertising is costing you a large sum of money. Do it properly, or go home.

Don’t bombard information even if you think your reader needs to know everything. They don’t. They also don’t want to. Your market wants to be teased into following the link or visiting your website or business. Advertising is like throwing down tasty morsels and telling people that if they want more of where that came from, visit us!

Do find your USP, your Unique Selling Point. What is it that makes you special? What is it that your business has that no other business has, or that you do better than every other business? This is your USP, and this is the thing that you build on and show off. This is your goldmine. No matter how small it is, if it’s unique, you have a target market to sell it to, and those people are your definite sales.

Don’t get caught in the price trap it will only bring you into trouble down the line. The price trap is so called because many companies advertise and concentrate only on the low, low price that they are selling. Instead of concentrating on their USP mentioned above. If you put all the effort into selling the low, low price then when this batch of customer wave has passed, how will you beat the last deal, by going even lower? You cannot afford this and now you are stuck. Go lower and get another wave of customers, or attempt to advertise again by starting at square one and rebuilding what the price trap destroyed.

…and never ever sacrifice service! Even if you could attract one million customers to your door for a dollar more, but you know you cannot handle the wave, don’t. Growth in any company should be steady and not rushed and fast paced. Yes, we want to grow faster and faster, but companies like that usually close in time. Reason being that their customer care, their service is really bad. No one likes bad service and no one has too. Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful forms of advertising, treat your people right, including your employees and watch your brand grow strong, for years to come.