One small error or oversight is all it takes to derail a marketing endeavor. When creating ads that make an impression, you want them to be memorable for the right reasons. The wrong reasons can prove fatal for a brand, especially in today’s hyper-connected world.
These 10 advertising mistakes offer valuable lessons we can all learn from. Let’s take a look at what happened and find out what they can teach us.
Advertising Mistake #1: Mr. Clean’s Mother’s Day Stereotypes
Mr. Clean decided to advertise the brand’s cleaning products with what the company probably thought was an uplifting message about mother-daughter bonding. Unfortunately, the advert depicted a mother and daughter cleaning windows together, featuring text about getting “back to the job that really matters” on Mother’s Day.
The advert was interpreted as reinforcing gender stereotypes that imply a woman’s job is limited to housework.
The lesson: Do your utmost to avoid using stereotypes. Before publishing any marketing material in print or online, take a second look.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has a history of advertising campaigns that attempt to guilt or shame consumers into adopting their hardline approach to lifestyle and animal rights. One of their more shocking campaigns ran in Florida in 2009.
The billboard depicted an overweight person in a swimming costume on a beach. The text read, “Save the whales. Lose the blubber. Go vegetarian.” The fat-shaming caused an uproar, and the outcry soon led to the adverts’ replacement.
The lesson: Never use insults to get your message across. Laugh with people, not at them.
Advertising Mistake #3: Pepsi Didn’t Read the Room
In 2017, soft drink company Pepsi caused outrage with an advert inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. The advert starred Kendall Jenner, who appears to end a standoff between protestors and police officers by offering one of the officers a can of cola. Pepsi apologized, the advert was pulled and parodied, and 6 months later, company president Brad Jakeman resigned.
The company said it hoped the advert would portray the brand and its products as a culturally unifying force. Instead, it came across as tone-deaf and as an attempt to trivialize an important social cause.
The lesson: Read the room and avoid referencing sensitive subjects.
Advertising Mistake #4: Bacardi’s Offensive Attempt At Humor
In a poor attempt at humor, an affiliate of the alcohol brand Bacardi ran an advertising campaign that implied that people who want to appear better-looking should find an ‘ugly girlfriend.’ The advert took the form of a mini-site and a Facebook page.
The brand shut down the campaign after a couple of weeks due to complaints.
The lesson: Avoid being judgmental or degrading people in your campaigns.
Advertising Mistake #5: Adidas’ Poor Choice Of Words
After the 2017 Boston Marathon, Adidas sent a congratulatory email to customers who participated in the race. The subject line was a simple, “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” A similar short, sweet message would’ve been appropriate for any other marathon.
However, the subject line could have been better worded when it comes to one of Beantown’s biggest fitness events. In 2013, 3 people died, and more than 250 people were injured when a bomb exploded at the marathon. The company apologized immediately.
Advertising Mistake #6: Burger King Goes Below The Belt
When Burger King decided to advertise its BK Super Seven Incher, the ad agency it used took an approach that went below the belt. The advert featured an open-mouthed model faced with a sandwich. The pose and the accompanying text suggested a sexual act, which provoked a backlash from angry customers.
Burger King responded by saying it was a limited-time promotion and that a Singapore-based agency was responsible for creating the advert. Several years later, the model stumbled across the advert and called for a boycott of the fast-food company, as she had no idea they’d used her image.
The lesson: Don’t include sexual innuendo in your advertisements, and don’t use people’s images without consent.
In the mid-2000s, Hacienda Mexican Restaurants ran a billboard campaign in Indiana. The advert featured a cocktail, a headline that read, “We’re like a cult with better Kool-Aid,” and a slogan that read, “To die for!” The Kool-Aid and death references alluded to the mass murder-suicide that took place at the Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978.
The marketing chief, Jeff Leslie, said that the brand wasn’t trying to be controversial but rather that it wanted to be noticed. Whatever the brand’s intentions, the public, and press weren’t having any of it. After two weeks of outcry, the brand removed the advert.
The lesson: Avoid sensitive subjects, especially when they’re tragedies that resulted in the deaths of innocent people.
Advertising Mistake #8: Flora Forgets Inclusivity
In a misguided attempt at being relevant, South African margarine brand Flora ran an advert that featured a heart made of porcelain, and the words, “Uhh, Dad, I’m gay,” shaped like a bullet headed toward the heart. The advert also featured the text, “You need a strong heart today.”
Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch company that owns Flora, ordered the withdrawal of the advert after activists, the public, and the press condemned it as homophobic.
The lesson: Beinclusive. Your ad will reach different groups of people.
Advertising Mistake #9: Airbnb Forgets The Importance Of Timing
Despite being one of the most user-friendly, well-designed sites, Airbnb doesn’t always get everything right. In 2017, they learned an important lesson regarding the timing of advertising campaigns. On August 28, Airbnb launched its Floating World campaign, which features an image of a house floating on the surface of the water. It also featured lines of text that read, “Stay above water” and “Live the life aquatic with these floating homes.”
The problem was that Hurricane Harvey was pummeling the city of Houston. A spokesperson apologized for the insensitivity of the timing.
The lesson: Pay attention to current events and make changes where necessary.
Advertising Mistake #10: Antonio Federici’s Naughty Religion
Italian ice cream company Antonio Federici ran an advert in the United Kingdom featuring models dressed as a Catholic priest and nun in what appeared to be a sexual encounter. It also featured text that read, “Submit to temptation.”
Many angry Christians called for a boycott of the company and to submit enough complaints to see the advert banned by UK authorities. The company ran a few other adverts featuring sexualized images of religion, all of which prompted a backlash from Christians.
The lesson: Leave religion alone, as the advert undoubtedly will offend people.
No matter what format your marketing takes, your advertising needs to avoid offending, insulting and marginalizing people. Creating a memorable ad is one thing; creating an ad that tarnishes your brand is another.
If you need help coming up with your wow factor message that’s laid out by professional graphic designers, book a complimentary discovery call to see how we can help you.
First, the benefits of creating irresistible offers:
As entrepreneurs and small business owners we all want to increase sales. But, getting the sale is not just getting one big YES. Rather, it’s about setting up a system that generates a series of yes-es.
It’s important that you are able to give your prospects an opportunity to say yes to one or several no risk offers as well as giving them some low risk offers. This way, it’s your prospects who put themselves in your pipeline.
Creating irresistible offers is what grows your list — your in-house email database of potential prospects. Different offers will appeal to different types of buyers, which makes it great for you to auto segment your multiple types of prospects.
Formats of creating irresistible offers: Whether it’s free (no risk) or paid (low risk) offers they can be delivered in the form of:
Creating irresistible offers is a lot like cooking in the kitchen. If I want to get my three kids to come downstairs for dinner I know all I have to do is bake some chocolate chip cookies in the oven. They can smell that from anywhere in the house. My kids (and all their friends) suddenly drop whatever they’re doing and come flocking into the kitchen.
In any house, you can bet chocolate chip cookies are always a big hit with kids. But, when it comes to your business do you really know what makes a truly irresistible offer? What is the hot button that will have your ideal customers drop whatever they’re doing and come flocking to you?
There is a simple process for creating irresistible offers. If you’re going to spend the time to create, develop and deliver on your offers you want to make sure you’re not promoting the wrong offer. The biggest reason businesses suffer from wrong offers is because they missed a key step.
#1 missed step that causes small business owners to have the wrong offer is:
NOT doing something called market research. To many of us entrepreneurs the idea of doing market research can sound boring, unsexy or perhaps simply too time consuming. I find that the opposite is true. We waste more time just guessing what our offers should be rather than just asking our target market. The simple wisdom here is: “if you ask them what they want, they’ll tell you.”
Take action on creating truly irresistible offers.
Send your customers and prospects a short survey. Try Survey Monkey. They’ve got great plans starting from free all the way to just $780 a year. They also integrate with a list of great 3rd party tools and software to offer you even more insights into your target market.
Integrate survey questions in every prospecting and client conversation. You’re talking to your target market anyway. Why not spend 2 more minutes to ask them your survey questions while you have their attention, so you can discuss different irresistible offer ideas.
If you prefer to outsource to the experts who do market research everyday, contact a market research firm. They can manage both small market studies or larger focus group projects to reveal what truly motivates your target market.
Conducting a market research project is far less costly than blindly launching new products, new services or new offers.
Need some expert help in creating truly irresistible offers for your business? Book a complimentary discovery coaching call with me here:
QUESTION: Where are you stuck in creating truly irresistible offers for your business? I invite you to share your comments in the comment box below.
It’s funny how ranking high in search engine results locally can often be far more challenging than ranking high globally. That may seem counterintuitive, but in many instances it’s true.
But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean that it can’t be done – and done effectively. In this article, we’ll share with you proven local SEO strategies that you can implement immediately to get your content or webpage to rank high in local search engine results in 2021.
Strategy #1 – Take Advantage of Directories and Listings
This is one of the more obvious steps to take when trying to rank high in local search results, but it’s a good place to start. You should list your company or website in as many relevant directories as possible. These directories will, more often than not, be national or global directories, but they serve as a search engine in and of themselves. They require you to include a local address, then they can filter queries for their users based on location.
In addition to this helpful service directories provide, the fact that your company or website is listed in several different directories is something search engines look for.
Strategy #2 – Set Up a Google My Business Account (GMB)
According to a recent study carried out by Search Engine Land, “GMB and reviews are the variables that have grown the most in their perceived impact.”
Setting up a GMB will not only help your company rank high in search results but will get you listed on Google Maps as well. You can also post social media engagements onto your GMB listening, which would be another good way to boost your search engine results ranking.
As valuable as the service is, you might be surprised to know that it is completely free to set up a GMB listing.
Strategy #3 – Solicit Reviews
Whatever you have to do to get your company or your product or service reviewed, chances are that it will be well worth it. Reviews play a major role in search engine results. Also, there are many users who, when looking for information about a company or a product, will only click on reviews or review sites.
The best way to get your customers or clients to leave reviews is to ask. Sounds easy enough. And in most cases it is. You should be engaging with your customers, and asking for their feedback in the form of a posted review is a good way to engage. But make it easy for them. If you’re engaging with your customers or clients via email or social media, attach a link to some review sites where they can post their reviews. You could also send them a simple review template along with the link so that they could write and post a review in a matter of minutes.
As a general rule of thumb, people love sharing their opinions. And when it comes to ranking high in local search results, that is definitely behavior you want to encourage.
While there is certainly the right way to go about it and plenty of wrong ways, there is no shortcut. The truth of the matter is that in order to get a high search engine ranking, you need backlinks – and a lot of them. Getting backlinks means creating a lot of content that features a link to your company’s website and then getting that content published on high-traffic sites. The process takes a good amount of time and manpower.
The good news is that there is no shortage of professionals willing and eager to lend a helping hand. A digital marketing manager is one of the top careers in IT in 2021. Along with SEO content writers you can find on sites like ProBlogger or BloggingPro, soliciting help from professionals can be a real-time-saver in addition to yielding results – for the right price; of course.
Strategy #5 – Publish Local Keyword Optimized Content
It’s more beneficial in terms of SEO results for your company to be linked to from an outside source (like a directory, reviews, or a blog). But publishing your own content that ranks high for certain local keywords then linking to your company from there (even if it’s internal) still has value.
The added bonus of this strategy is that it shouldn’t be difficult to find local keywords that are easy to rank for. You can use a powerful tool like Ahref’s Keyword Difficulty Checker to get an idea of what keywords you should target, then create and publish your content accordingly.
Strategy #6 – Optimize Headers and Meta Descriptions for Local Searches
In the grand scheme of SEO, this is a relatively small factor – though not inconsequential. However, it’s so easy to do it would be negligent not to. Simply include your location in headers and meta descriptions of your online content. It’s a quick fix and implemented along with other smart SEO strategies, it will yield results.
Strategy #7 – Partner With Local Service Providers
There’s strength in numbers. It’s possible to succeed on your own, but the odds are far more in your favor if you have help, if you are an army rather than an individual going into battle.
You probably already have associations with other businesses – suppliers or couriers, for example. The chances are that they, too, are looking to boost their local search engine results. Talk to them. See if you can’t find a way to work together toward these shared objectives. It could be as simple as a mention with a link on their website in exchange for doing the same for them.
The Bottom Line
Boosting your local search engine results won’t happen overnight, which is a further reason to get started implementing these strategies today. Optimize your website, target easier local keywords at first, take advantage of directories and GMB. Engage with your customers and solicit them for reviews, and boost your backlinks with the help of a freelance writer and local businesses you already partner with.
QUESTION: Which of the 7 strategies in this article do you think will yield the fastest results? If you implement all 7, how soon do you think it will be before your business is on page one? Share with us in the comments below!
With the advent of social media and email marketing, printed advertisement has taken something of a backseat. However, its relevance cannot be overstated even today. According to published reports, 38% of US adults visiting a business’ online page based on printed ads. Wow! That is quite significant, don’t you think?
From the psychological marketing perspective, research showed that printed ads require 21% less cognitive effort to process compared to digital marketing content. Therefore, diversifying your marketing tactic to cover both digital and print advertisement niches will enable you to reach more potential customers than before. Let’s take a look at how you can benefit from using print advertisement in addition to digital marketing, which is standard in today’s day and age.
Types of Printed Advertising Media to Consider
There is a wide range of printed media that you can use to promote your brand and reach new audiences. Based on statistics, 56% of customers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy type of marketing, with 66% of direct mail printed ads opened.
In some ways, you can’t go wrong with the printed advertisement for the simple reason that people are used to it. Whether you target the elderly, millennial, or teen demographic, your audience is bound to appreciate printed ads far more than their digital equivalents. With that, some of the printed mediums you can explore to market your business includes but are not limited to:
Direct mail (catalogs, newsletters, coupons, etc.)
Balancing Printed and Digital Marketing
Adding print advertising, like magazine advertising, and even guerilla marketingto your digital marketing mix helps your brand stand out and attract bigger public interest than it would otherwise.
This will organically seep into your online engagement, sales, and word of mouth, given your reliance on print. While some may mistakenly regard magazine advertising as retro, the reason print advertising accounts for nearly 40% of website traffic proves that consumers continue to read physical printed materials. However, you shouldn’t neglect the power of digital advertisement as it can improve your printed ads and create an omnichannel campaign with greater reach.
Great Return on Investment
Studies found that “Average advertising costs for small business operations that use Google Ads as part of their online advertising strategy are between $9,000 and $10,000 per month.”
So, compared to digital advertising, Magazine Print Advertising is typically cheaper for the small business owner.
Another hugely important reason I recommend diversifying online marketing with traditional magazine advertising is that platforms like Google (and social media) can change the rules of their game at any time. Case in point: take the latest Google core update, which changes the search engine’s algorithm. Google changed their rules so much that even the biggest SEO Agencies saw a huge drop in their website traffic and had to remodel their SEO strategy to play by the new rules. Using both digital and magazine print ads will help protect your business from the risks of ‘putting all your eggs in one basket” while providing your business multiple sources of traffic to your website.
Grow Your Local Franchise Location
If you’re a small business owner who owns a franchise, you want to follow what the mega brands have been doing for years. Many international brands like Coca-Cola not only advertise on global networks, but they also continue to advertise in local magazine ads to make their brands relevant to local niche communities.
Build Website Engagement and Conversions
While many small business owners like to advertise your phone number in magazine ads, you should still always publish your website address on all your print ads. If you’re running a full-page magazine ad you should also include your brand’s social media handles. This will help to increase your online engagement while greatly increasing trust, assuming you have an updated professional website that provides quality, trust-building content.
If you need help writing better website copy there are sites you can order website reviews. I have not tried this service yet. If you end up using them, post a comment on this blog to let us know what you thought of their services.
Since I run into this challenge a lot of my private business coaching clients, we now offer top-notch website copywriting, graphic design, website remodels and new website builds through ourdone-for-you marketing agency brand.
Extended Longevity Compared to Digital Ads
Finally, magazine advertising has much longer longevity compared to Google PPC or Social Media ads.
One downside with Google, Facebook and LinkedIn ads is they appear and then disappear on the user’s screen. So, there’s no way for that user to go back to that ad at a later time when they now have a need for the services that you offer.
Magazine ads, for instance, do not disappear. When a magazine subscriber sees your ad, if they don’t have the need yet, they may not visit your website or call you right away. But, when a triggering event occurs, they remember seeing an ad for it months prior. That’s when they go back to the magazine and find your ad is still there. That’s when they contact you to become a customer.
Each time someone comes across your printed ad, even long after the initial publish date, you are increasing your brand awareness, so more people will know what the name of your business is, what you do and your contact info.
Opting for Omnichannel Marketing in 2021 (Conclusion)
So, the purpose of this article was not to convince you whether magazine print advertising is better than digital advertising. It was to educate you on the different benefits magazine print advertising offers. Ultimately, it’s best to diversify your marketing efforts to having an omnichannel approach, which is synonymous with multi media marketing or cross media marketing.
This does not negate the importance of having a compelling message in your magazine ads presented in a professionally designed ad. A confusing ad or an ad that looks like cheap clip art is highly unlikely to bring you that 38% traffic to your website.
Generating leads is all about capturing a prospective buyer’s attention and compelling them to investigate further. And while you certainly don’t need to be a gifted novelist or best-selling author to create dynamic content that will generate more leads – in fact, the skillset of a copywriter is quite different than that of an author – you still need to convey information succinctly and compellingly, often with the written word.
It’s worth exploring why you hate writing. There are likely some underlying reasons that can be identified, and steps can be made to transform a vital activity you hate into one you love. But instead of that noble pursuit, this article is going to focus more on immediate fixes or workarounds so that you can create marketing content that will generate more leads for you today, despite your hatred for writing.
Actionable Tip #1 – Hire A Freelance Copywriter
Delegate, that is often cited as a key component to success. When a task needs to get done, and you lack the skillset or the passion required, chances are there’s a professional you can turn to who will do the job for you.
There is no shortage of freelance copywriters looking for work. You can place an offer on popular job boards for writers like ProBlogger or BloggingPro. Or you can look for freelance copywriters on popular Facebook groups for freelancers like Cult of Copy.
When you do find a freelance writer you want to hire, you will need to provide them with a bit of direction – similar kinds of content they should look at to get an idea of what you want, a narrow word count range, specifics about the call to action that should be included.
What You Can Expect to Pay
Most freelance writers charge by the word. You are likely to find writers charging anywhere from 4 cents a word to 8 cents a word. Be wary of a freelancer who offers to do the job for less than 4 cents per word. They are more than likely to be amateurs, and it is unlikely you will be satisfied with their work.
Many freelance writers will ask for a percentage of the conversions their content garners for email campaigns, and some freelance writers will want a combination of per word compensation and a conversion percentage.
It’s Hit or Miss
Finding the right freelance writer for your needs is a bit hit or miss. You may need to hire more than one before you find the best writer for your needs.
Any professional writer will have a portfolio you can look at, but it’s important to remember that they write for their clients. So, their portfolio is not always indicative of their voice or style but rather the voice and style the client has asked for. When you look at a prospective freelance writer’s portfolio, what you want to be on the lookout for, above all else, is variety. The writer’s portfolio should give you an indication of how flexible and versatile the writer is.
Actionable Tip #2 – Get Better at Writing with Online Courses
Hiring a freelance writer can get expensive. Plus, even if you do find a good writer who meets your needs, it is unlikely, in the long run, that you will be able to get as far as you want to go with content marketing if you, yourself, have a strong dislike for writing.
The most common reason people give for not liking writing is that they don’t feel confident in what they write or feel they are simply bad at it. Perhaps they don’t even know how to begin writing a piece of marketing content.
The good news is that you can easily address these issues. There is no shortage of competent professionals willing to share their tools of the trade. It’s always a good idea to level up your career through training, and if you feel that writing is a particular weakness, consider taking an online course in copywriting.
There are several good training platforms you can check out to find the right course for you. Many of them are free, though you may have to pay to receive a certification.
Often, a blank screen or a blank page can provoke anxiety in people. This is another common reason cited why some people hate writing. If that sounds like you, perhaps you should consider dictating your lead-generating marketing content and let AI software create a transcript for you. If you choose this approach, you will still need to do some editing. But at least you won’t have to work from a blank screen or off of an empty page.
A substantial amount of leads are generated online through video content. However, creating good-looking and engaging video content requires some technical know-how – recording and video editing. And the equipment you need to make something of a high enough quality is more than you would need to write a compelling piece of copy. However, creating engaging video content could be an example of taking a weakness (you hate writing) into a strength (you are obliged to make great video content).
While it’s debatable whether a picture is worth a thousand words, in any event, it is true that when it comes to creating marketing content, a picture (or a series of pictures) can save you from having to write a thousand words.
You’d still need to write a caption or a quote and a call to action. But by relying on pictures, you could create compelling marketing content that will generate more leads for you without having to do much writing.
The Bottom Line
If you hate to write, that’s understandable. Though to create lead-generating content without putting down at least a few words is tricky. However, there are a few workarounds. At the end of the day, it’s best to focus on what you’re good at, what you’re passionate about, while taking steps to try and fortify your weak areas.
Today’s tips come to you from my friend and top PR expert, Gina Furia Rubel of Furia Rubel Communications. I asked Gina to share with my readers what her 10 tips would be for small business owners like you to generate a buzz to boost your business. So, here are Gina’s tips for you from an award winning PR expert:
There are many public relations tactics you can employ to develop new and grow existing business. Tactics designed to increase awareness among your target customers, create an ongoing buzz and position you as an expert in your industry will inevitably generate business.
1. Issue press releases. Tell the world about your business wins, promotions, awards, community outreach and board appointments. Local newspapers print good news stories.
2. Update your voicemail message. Every time someone calls your office and hears your voicemail message, they should be happy to leave a message. Make it friendly, energetic, informative and compelling. Don’t forget to say your company name and what it is you do.
3. Use your e-mail signature. Restate your company mission, add a favorite quote, place a link to a news article about your company, or just add your LinkedIn profile link. Whatever you do, make sure your contact information is included.
4. Be an expert: speak and write. By speaking at conferences and publishing articles, your peers will identify you as an expert and refer you business.
5. Have a great website. In today’s day and age, if you don’t have a website you’re not considered legitimate.
6. Get social. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile you should (at the very least). Then learn how to use it, Facebook, Twitter and the various other free tools at your fingertips to maximize the value of your relationships.
7. Create video-casts. Since you’re the expert, start creating how-to video-casts.
Post them on YouTube and other free distribution channels then share them via your website, social media profiles, e-mail signature and other communication tools.
8. Identify on and off-line business listing opportunities. Update your company’s business listings yearly. Many online listings are free and the more places your company is listed, the higher your website will rank in search engines.
9. Volunteer. Get active in an organization that you are passionate about. Giving back always leads to a greater good.
10. Blog. Blogs are a great way to demonstrate your expertise. They help to establish you as an authority in your industry.
Ok, so those were Gina’s 10 things you can do to generate a buzz to quickly boost your business. By the way, if you’re interested in getting top notch professional PR services check out Gina’s website at https://www.furiarubel.com. They are a full service firm who can take care of your advertising, branding and website needs as well.
QUESTION: Which of the above 10 tips feel the most challenging for you and why? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.
About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and SMB’s achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 25+ years Yoon has started 6 different businesses and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.
To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon(at)ParamountBusinessCoach.com