Coming up with a great small business advertising idea appears to be easy. But when the pressure is on, it can be really hard to think up something new and appropriate.
Here are a few interesting ways you can deal with this dilemma.
• Everyone knows the obvious practical way is to plan ahead. But almost no one does, even though you know in June that you’re going to be having a Halloween sale.
Often business owners figure it will only take a couple of days to make up an ad idea so they wait till the last moment and wind up getting squeezed right on deadline.
If you want to make a decent creative effort, you'll want to start seriously working on your overall ad ideas a month or two in advance. The individual items being advertised can be filled in later.
• Sometimes the best advertising ideas are born when you are least looking for them. That’s why it’s often productive to keep an advertising idea list on a clipboard someplace where you can write your thoughts down. One or two words are often sufficient to jog your memory.
One of the biggest hurdles we’ve seen is business owners trying to flesh out the whole concept at once in their mind before telling anyone else about it.
Yet the good small business advertising ideas evolve step-by-step over time.
The instantaneous "wow I’ve got it" moment is rare indeed, even when you let your subconscious mind do the work.
• One of the most productive "idea starter" techniques is to really listen to what particular item your customer is seeking.
Translate that into what problem they are trying to solve. Keep your ears, eyes and mind open to truly listen for the descriptive words they use.
Then you’ll be able to create and advertise a solution that relates to customer needs, not yours.
• Another fruitful technique is to maintain your own "swipe file" of ads you’ve seen (or heard) that could be used in your business. They could be from almost anywhere. A catchy attention-getting phrase on the web could serve as a springboard for your print ad. But be sure to adapt it to your business.
After all of this, you’ll want to come up with an ad whose results can be measured in sales, units sold, or profit.
By having those benchmark results, you’ll be able to plan even better for the next time you have to come up with a small business advertising idea.