We live in an ad saturated world. Commercials on radio and television have been around for years, and we grew numb to it, until public radio and television appeared. We just had to endure the telethons to raise money for the “ad free” air time.
Then came cable television. Of coarse we had to pay for it, but it was commercial free and that was pretty cool right?
But now we have the internet and ads are even there too.
Of course there have always been ads in newspapers and magazines, it’s just business. I get it, the ads help pay for the cost of running the newspaper and magazines. And it’s a benefit to the company placing their ads too. For a price, any business can pay for space and have their ad seen by thousands of subscribers.
Clothing companies got really smart and began putting their name on their clothes and people pay them to advertise their brand. That’s brilliant! Now you see all types of businesses putting their name or logo on sweatshirts, tee shirts and hats. And people are more than willing to buy these things and wear them with pride, and yet they don’t really get the fact that they are walking advertisements for these businesses.
So you think I’m being pessimistic when I say that ads to most people is just another person pitching their business? Well I’m not a pessimist or I wouldn’t have pulled my practice out of the near bankruptcy with a series of chiropractic ads.
It was my belief, and honestly, my desperation to save my practice, that led me to write the first of many ads. But I had to learn that there was a method to building an great chiropractic ad. This method is based on the AIDA marketing model (attention, interest, desire, action).
This model proved to be pretty effective. So effective, I used it to create a line of chiropractic ads that have helped chiropractors, all over the world, grow their practices. But just knowing the meaning of the acronym does not make for perfect results. Ad structure is important, it could be more important than the content, because in reality, if you can’t get a person to stop and read the ad, then what good is the content anyway.
Let’s look at the way an ad begins. The headline should not only grab the reader’s attention, it should also pull the reader in. Common sense tells us that there are not really any two headed aliens roaming the earth, but that doesn’t stop the tabloids from using those words in their headlines, and it doesn’t stop us from taking a look at the photo as we stand in the grocery lines.
Headlines should stir emotions, create interest, commonality, empathy or even better; give validation.
Imagine how a person feels when they’ve been from one doctor to another looking for answers for their pain. Even family and friends don’t really understand their discomfort. But then there is this ad in the paper that describes what they’re feeling. No exaggerations or claims of miracle cures needed, just the possibility of understanding.
Think that person might continue to read your chiropractic ad if the headline speaks of their symptoms?
Relevant photos are key an ads success, because if you don’t catch the reader with the headline you might save the ad with the photo, especially if the photo relates to the reader. It becomes even more effective when a caption is added.
Humans are visual by nature, if we see something that peaks our interest, we might stop long enough to stimulate the other senses. For instance; how many people can pass by a cute puppy without smiling, making a comment, then stopping to pet it? I’ll go out on a limb and say that the more popular commercials on television are those with animals in them. The most memorable being a camel to reminding us it’s hump day. I bet you can even name the company who came up with that ad.
The body or content of the ad is where you build the relationship with the reader because by now they should be a prospective new patient. But all could be lost if you don’t create the desire for them to continue reading the ad. Sure there’s probably enough room in the ad space to talk about your accomplishments as a chiropractor, but rather than talk about it and take up space, why not get the patient in your office and show them first hand. This is why condition specific chiropractic ads are so successful, they open the door to understanding between you and the reader.
Just like every story needs a good ending, so does an ad. And the perfect ending is the call to action. The reason to make the appointment. This can come in many forms, one being an offer of discount. To some this might look like compromising, some even say it belittles our profession. But for that person who’s reading your ad, they only see an opportunity to feel better, to sleep through the night, to make it through the day without a pill, to sit or walk without pain.