Advertising is the art of telling people all about a business and what it can do for them but you can’t hope to carry out a successful advertising campaign unless you really know your local papers. You should read them from end to end, noting any special features and picking out the advertisements that attract your attention. Have a look at the classified sections and see how a small boxed announcement can draw the readers’ attention.
Advertisement departments of local papers can give the inexperienced advertisers useful advice. Get rate cards which will indicate the cost range and give information about the areas covered and circulations. Here are some of the basic advertising aims:
To increase sales and attract additional custom
To introduce a new service or range of products such as a video hire service or taking over an existing business.
To tell people who you are and how you plan to service them.
To celebrate an anniversary – say 25 years as an independent.
Here your advertisement could form part of a feature linked with editorial matter about your life in the trade – the paper may try to get some congratulatory messages from firms that have been associated with you – the result looks like a part of the news pages and can be very effective.
Opening a new branch can be treated in the same way and prestige advertising can help reinforce the image you want to convey.
Take advertising in special features such as one that puts the spotlight on a street or district. Evening papers are very keen on this sort of area promotion so find out when your part of the town is to have special attention.
One good way of finding some ideas for advertising themes is to list all the services you offer, any special products and working out the advantages of trading with you.
Getting attention and creating interest in what you can offer should be the basis of your message.
It is estimated that only 30% of local paper readers look beyond the headline of an advertisement so what you say must be interesting, it must sell benefits and say quite clearly “Come and do business with me”.
How to Set Out Advertising Copy
All advertising copy should follow these basic rules:
Create attention (with good headlines)
Arouse interest (Through stressing benefits)
Leading on to desire to visit your shop
Keep everything simple and clear using words that are easy to understand stressing the image of the friendly neighbourhood grocer.
Get the right headline, offer plenty of benefits and give good reasons for buying from you – convenient opening hours, a video hire service, wide range of pharmaceuticals, family goods and close to a bus stop, for instance.
A series of small “boxed” items in the classified section of the paper can give a very good impact – the less you say the better, sticking to short comments such as “late home, nothing in the fridge – don’t worry Mitchell the grocer is opening until 8″.