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Six Steps to Creating Powerful Music Ads - by Bob Baker
It's sad to say, but most music marketers approach advertising in a shoot-from-the-hip, spontaneous manner. That quality is great for jamming, but it does little to make the best use of your ad dollars. Whether you're designing an ad for a print magazine or web site, here are six principles you should use to generate real results from your advertising efforts.
1) Have an objective or purpose for your ad

If you're running an ad just because everyone else is, or because you have a new release coming out and it's the thing to do... slow down. Beyond that, what's your real objective for advertising? Is it to get people to go to stores and buy your new CD, add people to your mailing, solicit mail order sales of your recordings, promote a live show? Don't expect an ad to work miracles and accomplish multiple objectives. Pick one purpose for any ad, then make sure the design of it works toward that end.

2) Remain consistent with your theme and design

Choose a look and attitude that will stay the same for weeks, months, maybe even years to come. Having a consistent design and feel to your ads burns an impression of your music into the minds of consumers. And that's exactly what you want to do!

3) Start small

Don't think your ad has to be bigger than the other guy's (or gal's). A lot of marketers let their egos steer their ad decisions, not rational thought. A series of small ads run regularly over time will have 10 times the impact of one or two full-blown, full-page ads that people never see again.

4) Make the offer prominent

After you decide on the marketing objective for your ad, create a corresponding offer that will inspire readers to take action. Examples: a free catalog, a $3 discount, free CDs for the first 50 people, etc. Then make sure that offer is prominent in your ad. Don't bury it like some of the ads mentioned above.

5) Stick with a budget

Figure out how much per month or per quarter you can budget for advertising and then stick to your plan. There are two reasons:

1.) So you don't go nuts and blow your whole bank roll on advertising, and ...

2) So you don't get side-tracked and skip advertising when you need to be.

As you may know, I don't think you always have to be running display ads. But during those months when it's in your best interest, make sure there's a system in place so you don't miss publication deadlines and lose out on the exposure.

6) Always include complete contact info

There's no excuse for leaving out your address, phone, fax, e-mail and web site info. If you have them, list them!

Before you rush to slap together another ad, look over these music advertising tips. You'll be glad you did.

Get FREE music marketing ideas by e-mail when you sign up for Bob Baker's weekly newsletter, The Buzz Factor. Just visit www.bob-baker.com for details. Bob is the author of "The Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook" and "Branding Yourself Online: How to Use the Internet to Become a Celebrity or Expert in Your Field."

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