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Old 10th March 2010, 06:24 AM   #1
MySmallBiz
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I've paid hundreds and thousands of dollars in newspaper advertisements for my photography business and end up not seeing any results. I even had to get loans out from elastic.com. I'm never going back to traditional marketing again! It's not worth it.

did you experience the same as what I have experienced? please share your thoughts about this.

I'm really disappointed with using the the print ads..cost me really a lot of money. It was hard and I had to get loans from elastic in order to pay for the ads but it did not go my way. Its really disappointing. Im never ever trying it again, the print ads...

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Old 12th March 2010, 11:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MySmallBiz View Post
I've paid hundreds and thousands of dollars in newspaper advertisements for my photography business and end up not seeing any results. I even had to get loans out from elastic.com. I'm never going back to traditional marketing again! It's not worth it.
There's usually a reason why an ad doesn't work, and blaming the messenger isn't going to solve the problem. You need to drill down deeper, and analyze the message itself.

It's entirely possible your ads are poorly written and/or not targeted to the proper audience. You need to have a competent professional analyze your marketing materials.

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Old 15th March 2010, 08:18 AM   #3
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Can you show us an example of your ad?

Sometimes, for some businesses, newpaper ads just aren't the way to go. But more often than not, I see the same thing over and over - I call it "name, rank, serial number" advertising.

If your business name is the biggest thing on your ad, it will probably fail (that's the name bit).

If your ad has a list of bullet points saying the services you offer, it will probably fail (that's the rank bit).

And if your ad has a telephone number (or email/website) with no call to action, it will probably fail (that's the number bit).

Good newspaper ads (ones that make money), recognise some key truths.

First, the reader doesn't care what your business is called. If they're looking for you by name they'll use a directory, not a newspaper. So, have your name on there by all means, but don't give it centre stage.

Second, if you're a photographer, people will have a pretty good idea that you do portraits, parties, weddings, etc etc. So tell them something they don't know... tell them why they should choose you, not the guy in the next ad, or the one before.

Thirdly, never assume that because your number is on they ad, they're going to call it. Tell them what to do next. "To find out how you can bring your next family portrait to life, call today on 000 000 000 for a free chat".

I'm leaping to conclusions here, of course; and if you've tried all that and none of it worked, then maybe it's not right for you.

As an aside (and I guess you just learned this lesson, but here it is) - don't spend hundreds and thousands on ANYTHING until you've tested it and worked out if it's going to make you money!

Hope to see a copy of the ad...

PTF

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Old 15th March 2010, 09:50 AM   #4
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Default PTF has got it right

Read the post by PTF one more time. It is worth its weight in Gold.

Most people advertise with "me" in mind. You need to advertise with "you" in mind.

Can you scan your ads and put it up somewhere so we can take a look?

Also, tell us what your website is. You do have a website, don't you?

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Old 15th March 2010, 10:50 PM   #5
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There can be a number of reasons why your ads are ineffective. It could be the marketing language, the coverage, the target audience, etc.

Maybe you should also try other advertising mediums to diverse your marketing efforts.

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Old 16th March 2010, 08:51 AM   #6
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As for me, I use offline advertising from time to time because at present you have to promote your business not only on the net but in specialized newspapers and magazines. Bu of course I wouldn't spend so much money.

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Old 17th March 2010, 03:17 PM   #7
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There is good advice above, but my own experience provides some balance to what has been said. I have clients that relied heavily on newspaper advertising for years. It drove customers into their local business, and the ads did work. Sure ad response can vary and may be one variable playing a role in a low response, but my own experience is that there is some reality to how many people are reading the printed newspaper and how they get their news. I was listening to a program the other day that discussed that most get their news from a variety of sources throughout the day. Some may be print, but that number has certainly been reduced. Radio, online, facebook all play a role now. And most get news from multiple sources throughout a day. When it comes to news sites, that isn't even one for most but instead a handful (5 to 6) that they visit for news. So the number of eyeballs has been reduced.

For me, personally - my response has been to move budgets (10's of thousands monthly) from newspaper to pay per click. Run local ads in google search. If it works, consider expanding to targeted content advertising. have you tried advertising with the newspaper online? there is still options available, but i'm not sold the only issue is the ad response. the medium is sucking wind imo, and I sure have seen budgets shifted. Test ppc and compare that to your dull newspaper response, imho.

Good advice all around guys. keep it coming!

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Old 23rd July 2010, 06:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTF View Post
Can you show us an example of your ad?

Sometimes, for some businesses, newpaper ads just aren't the way to go. But more often than not, I see the same thing over and over - I call it "name, rank, serial number" advertising.

If your business name is the biggest thing on your ad, it will probably fail (that's the name bit).

If your ad has a list of bullet points saying the services you offer, it will probably fail (that's the rank bit).

And if your ad has a telephone number (or email/website) with no call to action, it will probably fail (that's the number bit).

Good newspaper ads (ones that make money), recognise some key truths.

First, the reader doesn't care what your business is called. If they're looking for you by name they'll use a directory, not a newspaper. So, have your name on there by all means, but don't give it centre stage.

Second, if you're a photographer, people will have a pretty good idea that you do portraits, parties, weddings, etc etc. So tell them something they don't know... tell them why they should choose you, not the guy in the next ad, or the one before.

Thirdly, never assume that because your number is on they ad, they're going to call it. Tell them what to do next. "To find out how you can bring your next family portrait to life, call today on 000 000 000 for a free chat".

I'm leaping to conclusions here, of course; and if you've tried all that and none of it worked, then maybe it's not right for you.

As an aside (and I guess you just learned this lesson, but here it is) - don't spend hundreds and thousands on ANYTHING until you've tested it and worked out if it's going to make you money!

I agree with all of the above especially the last paragraph. The key is to make sure your ad is big enough to be noticed and the offer makes the reader want to take action. Some of the best ideals for ad come from businesses in other industries.

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Old 25th July 2010, 04:43 PM   #9
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I'd like to see the ads responsible for your financial meltdown as well as the others. I'd also venture a guess it did not stress "benefits" to me...your prospective client. Too bad it cost thousands to learn...did you end up finding the "magic" marketing method ?

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Old 27th July 2010, 04:38 AM   #10
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Hello MySmallBiz,

Most business owners forget to track ad effectiveness. Your advertising campaign will be an ongoing process, not a one time fix. Also, consistency is essential: it's better to run a smaller ad every week than a large one once.

That being said, I write a blog on business improvement with new content. It's free and ad-free - I only ask for referrals if you find the content valuable. I have an article that explains how to determine your optimum advertising mix based on your accounting. I take you through it at http://bizmd.blogspot.com/2010/07/si...ng-pt-one.html. Hopefully you'll find it relevant.

Cheers!

Regards,
the Business Doc
[email protected]

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