Understanding The Basics Of Advertising

I get the L.A. Times delivered to my door every day, but I don't read it for the articles. It is a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper, but the articles just don't interest me. Unlike most people, I read the paper for the advertisements because there is a lot to learn from them.

Over 90% of the ads run in the Los Angeles Times are horrible! Most of the ads I see are either ego-driven, have no headline, have no call to action, don't appeal to what the buyer is truly looking for or needs help with, or they're trying to be clever for clever-sake, and fail miserably.

When writing copy, I live by this premise:

"The purpose of advertising is to sell something."

Advertising is like an investment that you hope to get a great return on. However, most people treat it like they're playing Roulette in Vegas and bet all their money "on black."

The basics of good copy is to think in terms of words that sell.

Following are some basics in advertising that should help you make your advertising more effective.

  • Concentrate on your prospects. In the end you must persuade him/her no matter what method you use. And to do that, you must understand how he/she thinks.

  • Know your product - its materials, its manufacturer, its use, etc. Know its features inside and out.

  • Find the problem your product solves. The solution would, of course, be the benefit. It may be a mental, spiritual, physical, or financial benefit, but as advertising legend Maxwell Sackheim once said, "your product must have an excuse for its existence."

  • Never start writing your advertisement until you're totally excited about the task at hand. If you're not excited about your product, it will come out in your writing, and hence, the lack of results your ad produces.

  • Advertising is essentially news. Your ads must inform, educate, enlighten, inspire, or promise a reward for taking action. Apply your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) to your news angle. The USP works great as a news angle because if you're the ONLY one in town that does , isn't that news? If you have the lowest price in town and you tell them why you can beat every one else, isn't that news? It sure is. Ads should educate and inform, as well as persuade and move people to action.

    Understanding these basics of advertising will put you head and shoulders above your competition. Why? Because in my blunt opinion, 90% of all advertising stinks! And, most business owners (and some advertising agencies) don't understand that "the only purpose of advertising is to sell something."

    To learn how to write hard-selling copy and to master the basics of advertising from a world-class copywriter, get Joe Vitale's new course, "Advanced Hypnotic Writing" at: http://www.roibot.com/adhyp.cgi?R29882~_camp aign

    About The Author

    Craig Valine is the publisher of the The AwfulMarketing Alert Newsletter, "Where you learn GOOD marketing strategies by looking at those who do it really BAD."

    To subscribe his free newsletter, go to: http://awfulmarketing.com/ezinesubscribe.htm

    In The News:

    US Advertising: 'Past the Tipping Point'  Radio & Television Business Report
    How successful retail advertisers stand out  Retail Customer Experience

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