There are a thousand… no make that a million… ways to advertise your massage practice. But before you start advertising it’s important to understand exactly what you want to accomplish. In terms of outcome, there are three ways to target your advertising. Each one is increasingly effective and increasingly expensive.
1. Targeting for reach.
If you want to reach the broadest group of people you advertise for reach. This includes what we typically think of as “mass media”: Television, radio, newspapers and billboards. Your message goes out to a large number of people at a relatively low cost per impression, that is, a low cost for every set of eyeballs (or ears) that find your ad. But as you can guess, most people who see your ad are people who are not interested in what you are offering and who will likely never buy from you.
2. Targeting for demographics.
If you want to reach a certain group of people with certain characteristics, you’ll use media that targets demographics. These are typically niche publications (newspapers, magazines, newsletters) or websites. For example, if I want to reach people in the local community around my clinic, I may advertise in a community newspaper. Maybe I want to reach runners, pregnant women, HR professionals, or people who are HIV positive. There are resources that serve each of these populations and I can usually by advertising to get some exposure to these audiences. The cost per impression is higher, but you’re reaching more of the people who you want to reach.
3. Targeting for intent.
Lastly, I can target for intent. This is a newer form of advertising for which Google Adwords is a perfect example. If someone types “massage Toronto” into the Google search box, I can be relatively certain that they have the intent to get a massage in Toronto. If someone types, “headache relief” I can be pretty certain that they have a headache and are intending to find a solution for their problem. These people are most responsive to relevant advertising because they have “buying intent”, but you can expect to pay a lot more because these people, for the most part, have their wallets out already and are simply deciding to spend their money.
So when buying advertising, don’t just look at the total dollar figure, i.e. this cost $200 per month. Instead decide what your goals are and choose the most appropriate vehicle. Also be sure to track your response to each advertising vehicle, that is, the total sales you do as a result of a campaign. This will allow you to determine your return on investment for that medium and will allow you to focus on the ones that have the biggest payoff.