How To Advertise Your Business And Grow Your Customer Base

According to Claude Hopkins advertising is simply “salesmanship in print

And in your business it takes many guises. From adverts to leaflets, press ads to PPC you’ve got lots of choice.

What’s more it’s a necessary activity because it tells customers you exist and you have something to sell.

Successful, cost effective advertising selects the right medium, says the right things and gets in front of the right people.

Do this and you’ll:

  1. Promote your brand (that’s who you are and what makes you special)
  2. Mould customers to have a favourable impression of your business
  3. Build desire (well hopefully)
  4. Get customers interested in you and your business
  5. Let customers know what you’re up to

Hit them with it!

If you’re out to make a quick sale you’ll need a high impact message designed to compel your prospect into immediate action.

Perhaps you’re promoting a short-term special offer, or you want to get customers interested in a specific event. I call this “Hit them with it” advertising. This strategy must deliver an immediate payoff but there is a downside:

  1. The reader may be your target customer but now is not the right time to buy
  2. “Getting them in the door” does not necessarily lay the foundations of  a “meaningful” customer relationship
  3. You’re less likely to initiate a two-way dialogue with your customer
So whilst this type of advertising may help you make a sale, it may be less successful at making a customer who’s in it for the long-haul.

A more durable alternative?

With content marketing you focus on creating a rich bank of irresistible content, that builds into a potent, longer-term tool to market your business. Content marketing strategies include blogging, newsletters and even social media posts (to name a few) and can focus in on a wide variety of topics and themes including:
  1. Advice or solutions that address customer’s pinch points
  2. Useful tips
  3. Posing stimulating or challenging questions
  4. Sharing opinion to encourage discussion
  5. Telling a relevant story.

In fact, if used properly, content marketing can help your business outsmart the competition because:

  1. High quality content helps you stamp an authority in your particular niche
  2. Content can be used to encourage customers to engage and have a dialogue with you
  3. Through feedback and comments, you’ll learn more about your customers an doffer a better service
  4. Eventually you’ll build a tribe of followers – and then you’ll make their short list when it’s time for them to buy

Content marketing requires commitment

They say time is money. But with content marketing you can’t expect your sales to skyrocket immediately.

For sure there is the chance of stuff going viral but it’s more likely a content strategy will slow burn you to success. After all it takes time, commitment and dedication to build your tribe. In addition, the process of creating content requires creativity, strategy and structure. You can’t publish just anything. If your content is poor, it’s a surefire way to turn your customers off.

However if you’re committed for the long-term, you will get your payback. Eventually you’ll hit a critical mass, get momentum rolling and hit the big time!

And that big time can bring customer loyalty and a hunger for what you have to say. What’s more, content gets people talking, and in this age of social media, content feeds word of mouth and gives customers something to share. And that is gold dust…

Start your content marketing strategy today

“Hit them with it” advertising does have a place. However content marketing will change the relationship you have with customers.

But don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself and explore how you can incorporate content marketing into your business advertising strategy. Experiment with newsletters, start a blog or add some informative articles about your niche to your website, whatever works for your target customer.

And if writing just isn’t your thing, consider hiring a copywriter. A good one will create great content that will clear the path to your door, and encourage customers to hook up for the long haul. For example, I offer a ghost blogging service.

So over to you. How could you use content marketing in your business? How could you advertise to make a customer? Tell me your ideas in the comments and I’ll dive in and give you some feedback.

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