There are some basic rules in advertising that constantly get neglected by photographers. I’ve posted them here to inspire you to make more of your advertising opportunities and budget. I wrote this with print based adverting in mind but the principles still hold for other forms too.
Some of these ideas are obvious and some are not. It’s these nuggets of knowledge, applied well, that will make the difference between success and failure in advertising.
- The advert must appeal to the target readership.
- The target readership must be ideal customers for your goods or services.
- The advert must turnover a minimum of 10x the cost of the advert as a direct result of the advert.
- The message in the advert must be clear and create desire. It must leave no unanswered questions regarding price etc. You don’t need to mention price directly. The fonts, design and layout should do that for you. The target potential client should know the advert is for them and any readers you don’t want to become customers shouldn’t be lured in.
- The advert must have a striking design with an attention grabbing headline or visual. It should make good use of page position and exhibit an efficient use of advert size. It is best to leave this task to a graphic artist who specialises in advertising. My rule of thumb is a £250 advert needs a £250 design. You can run the design many times in different publications with great results if the design is right.
- The demand created must be met by your products alone. If other advertisers offer what you are advertising it is more likely to be wasted money. Drive demand for your USPs. Don’t pay for an advert to create demand for portraiture if there are other advertisers ready to tap into that demand. Get the magazine to run editorial that points just towards your advert.
- Have a compelling call to action. Tell the reader what you want them to do. For example; Ring Sean today on … , or Book your shoot online now at www… or Phone this number now…. You can add an offer like: Buy one get one free. or a special reader offer, better still use a time limited offer like: Hurry while stocks last, or Sale must end Thursday etc.
So, to sum up. f you have the right advert in the right place it should be fine. I’ve seen many photographers waste money by being on a page with other photographers who have more compelling adverts than theirs. So do your research and see which photographers are also advertising in the magazine. Check out their websites to see if they are offering the same products and services as you and if they are you need some new USPs.
Please feel free to add good advice of your own using our comments facility. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it’s a start to get you thinking.