Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

JAN 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Your Ads Must Get Noticed The first part of differentiating your ads begins with your Headline. All you have is a few brief seconds to make the first impression or your readers will bounce to the next ad. Your headline (and the rest of the copy) need to speak to the hot-buttons and pains of the reader. Also, to stand out, your headlines need to look and read differently than others. How? Think about how the words are written. Think about the use of CAPI - TALIZATION, unusual punctuation… and Non-Typical wording. 99% of all compa - nies use the same wording, phrase and structure; yours shouldn't. While Craig - slist and other mediums can limit your ability to REALLY make a visual impact with your headlines, you can still be very creative with the options you're given. Either way, your headlines need to jump out and yell "look at me!" They need to grab the reader by the eyeballs. They should scream! To scream you've got 2 options… Peacock or Precision Peacock headlines are outrageous and over the top. This method mixes a large dose of visual effects and relevant content to get attention. They stand out in the crowd, are DIFFERENT, but have a sufficient amount of relevant ma - terial to increase their "magnetism." They beg to be seen and read and are proud of it. The world is hungry for, and pays attention to, things that are different and unique. "Landscapers: ARE You Ready 4 A F-l-e- x-i-b-l-e Schedule?" "Outdoorsy, tree-loving folks needed to do MANLY things in nature." The point with this model is to run creative ads that stand out from the rest AND have relevant content. But don't write ads with no rele - vant content for the reader; ads that are ONLY trying to shock people into reading. Precision ads hit them squarely between the eyes with accuracy. They use a heavy dose of relevant keywords and specificity. These are usually Small Net ads. The point is for the reader to see the ad and say "that's me" or "that one sounds per- fect for my schedule." Precision ads are a little quieter, usually a little more subtle but still very deadly in generating a higher response rate. "Tree and shrub experts needed to maintain high-end residences in Biloxi, MS, M-Th, 8-6PM." Peacock and Precision are not mutually exclusive. They can and should be com - bined to maximize the effect. The 2 Most Important Words in Your Headline If you look at most of the help wanted ads, you'll notice that there is no spe - cific "call out," a hook or anything that is calling out or speaking directly to the reader. Most headlines simply start with something along the lines of Landscap - ers Needed… or We Need Landscapers Part Time… The problem is the ad is speaking from the business point of view. There's noth - ing there to pique the reader's interest from the reader's perspective. Remember, all that matters is what you can offer the reader to get them interested and then respond. It must connect with the read - er. The best way is to have a Call Out, a question that you ask the reader – to im - mediately engage them. The best Call Out we've found that pro - duces higher response rates are these 2 simple words: Are You. "Are you a horticulturist looking for a new challenge?" "Are you a landscaper looking for flexible hours?" "Are you an arborist climber looking to grow your expertise?" Are You immediately places the em - phasis on the reader, making the ad more likely to engage, connect and get a response. January 2018 47

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