Why You Should Love Local Advertising by Dee Blick

It was the advertising legend David Ogilvy who said, “When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it creative. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”

If you’re advertising in a local publication like this your aim should be to increase sales. If you build an abundance of goodwill too that’s wonderful, but don’t lose sight of the fact that sales and plenty of them are the lifeblood of your business.   

I’ve spent many years in advertising and can tell you from experience that local publications provide a powerful, cost effective channel through which to engage a local audience. You can attract many new customers for a modest outlay. If, despite your very best efforts, your advert fails to work there isn’t such a big dent in your budget to remind you.

Here’s what it takes to write a successful advert in a local publication:

•   Your headline has to stop the reader in their tracks before they turn the page. Can you promise a benefit, for example, “Reduce your time spent on administration by 75%” has more impact than “Outsource your administration”.

•   What about the body of your advert? Focus on 3-6 compelling benefits underpinned with a genuine testimonial from a delighted customer. Is there one big promise your advert can communicate? For example do you offer an unbeatable price guarantee…an experience that’s out of this world…free delivery…products and services that readers would be hard pushed to find elsewhere?

•   Include your awards, accreditations and qualifications too – they reinforce your credibility and expertise. If you’re going to use images, make sure they are good quality and caption them.

•   Make a tempting special offer – limited to a number of readers, with a closing date to encourage early responses.

•   Don’t forget your contact details. If you want readers to visit your website, give them a positive taster of what they’ll find…download invaluable top tips…get your free voucher…discover what other local customers have said about our restaurant, and so on.

•   Edit your advert, checking it for spelling mistakes and either enlist the services of a professional designer, or ask Your Call Magazine to design it for you. You want your advert to look good too. It’s not just about the words.

I’ll conclude with a few words from another advertising sage, Raymond Rubicam. He believed that impact was at the heart of a successful advert. “Impact is that quality in an advertisement which strikes suddenly against the readers’ indifference and enlivens their mind to receive your sales message.”