Advertising 101 (Part 6)
Now it’s time to actually write our ad. Before you dismiss this step as not important, I would like to ask you a question: If the actual ad copy were not critically important, why is there an entire industry whose job is writing ad copy?
You can have a great product or service, a great advertising budget, and even a great method of capturing the leads, but if nobody responds to your ad, you have nothing. Well nothing but a lot of expenses.
Your ad copy is probably the most important part of advertising and it is the easiest part to get right. It really comes down to mastering just two simple parts: developing a value proposition, crafting your message, and having a clear and concise call to action. Master those two parts and you will have an incredibly effective ad.
Value Proposition. Your value proposition or unique selling proposition is what sets you apart from the sea of other agents. It is that uniqueness that makes you attractive to customers and will get them to click on your ad. What do you provide customers that is of value to them and is unique to you?
What is the one thing that everyone searching for homes wants? In fact, when surveyed homebuyers said the one thing they most wanted was easy access to all the listings. Simple. If that is what they want, you’re halfway home. Now you just need to focus on the unique part.
“But”, you’re thinking, “Every single agent who’s advertising has the same offering: access to listings.” Let’s say for a minute that is true. Even if everyone has the same IDX home search, you need to think about the message and not the search. How can you present it in a unique way?
Let me share a couple of bad ones with you, taken from a quick Google search for “Fayetteville, NC Real Estate”.
22 Yrs. Experience In The Ft. Bragg
& Fayetteville Real Estate Market!
Unique, yes. But it is an I-love-me ad. The customer doesn’t care about you. They care about them, and they want a simple, comprehensive home search.
Beautiful New Homes in Fort Bragg
– More house for less money
Really? Homebuyers know we all sell the same inventory. “More house for less money” is ridiculous on its face. Not only is it not believable, it tells the shopper that the company on the other end of this ad is willing to lie to them to get their business.
Search All Fayetteville Homes
Using the Local MLS Database
Now we’re getting somewhere. Do they have the same IDX as every other Realtor®? Sure. Is it presented uniquely? Yes! It shows access to ALL the listings and it implies that their site will give you access to the “insider” (Realtor) listings.
Now which one would you click on? The third ad. Of course you would. Why? The unique selling proposition.
Call to Action. The call to action is what motivates your ad viewer to click on the ad. It is “the close” of your ad so to speak. If you notice in the third ad above, it has the action verb, “search”. Obviously, in a very short ad, where you can’t say much, every word is important.
If you notice the other two ads don’t have a call to action. What a shame. Now depending on the length of your ad, you can get more creative with your call to action, but it should always include a verb. No verb, no call to action. Here is an example of a Craigslist ad that works well:
3 bedroom, 2 bath brick ranch with newly finished hardwoods and an updated kitchen. Brick patio great for entertaining. Surrounded on backside by wooded property.
For more information about this listing and to view all properties in the area for free, please visit my site at http://mattjones.onehomesearch.net?src=4
Let’s analyze it. It’s a specific property with great photos in the ad. It has important information about the home in the ad, but it leaves out a couple of critical pieces of information. Why? Because if the homebuyer is interested in this home, he will click the ad for price and location. I told him, “For more information about this listing…”.
More importantly, I added the thing that he wants even more. Free access to all the area listings. “…and to view all properties in the area for free…”. Now here is the call to action: “please visit my site at http://mattjones.onehomesearch.net?src=4.” Notice the verb? It is simply closing the sale. Asking for the order. And it works.
Finally, even the best ads won’t generate business if you have an ineffective website. How much business did your website generate last year? Last month? If you’re like most agents the answer is very little. It doesn’t have to be that way. Some websites actually do capture business — lots of business.
I’d like you to check out my Ultimate Website. It comes complete with the latest generation LCM technology, a client manager, and everything you need keep your advertising costs to a minimum. You’ll be amazed at how much you get for so little.