Everyone thinks they have a great idea for marketing and advertising. But wait five minutes, and some of them will be hopelessly outdated. That’s why it’s so difficult to use any ad for very long. But with the building blocks of what makes an ad work, you can design the framework of a strategy that’s evergreen.
Home inspector, Carson Dunlop, writes for ASHI Reporter that the right framework is adaptable. It works for brochures, paid ads, web content and even company emails. He recommends the “AIDA” approach that helps you create persuasive material that helps attract more customers. Here’s how it works.
Attention – Interest – Desire – Action
AIDA is an acronym used by marketing professionals. It stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Those are the elements that all good marketing copy contains, and it’s a good benchmark to determine whether a flyer, brochure or ad that you create covers all of the important bases.
It’s a systematic approach that works, no matter what message you’re trying to send. If you’re offering a temporary promotion, alerting customers to a new service or working on day-to-day marketing, everything that you do should incorporate every AIDA element.
Element #1: Attention
The first element is attention. You’ve got to grab it before someone or something else does. This requires knowing your audience. If you’re marketing to retired homeowners, your approach might be entirely different from a campaign directed at families with young children. However you accomplish it, whether a funny image, a shocking statistic about the hazards of a particular home defect, or even the color scheme of the ad, this element is what draws the eye.
Element #2: Interest
Once you have the attention of your audience, give them a reason to stick around. That’s where the Interest element comes in. Create interest by giving the audience a problem to consider and the promise that you have the answer. Dunlop lists several examples, such as “How to Avoid a Money Pit” and “Will Your Dream Home Become Your Nightmare?” You can probably think of many others.
Element #3: Desire
Encourage your prospective customers to want a home inspection. They’re already reading, and you’ve made them aware of a potential problem. Now it’s time to deliver on the answer. This is the part of your strategy that explains why you are the right home inspector choice. Will you ease some of the stress that home buyers have? Can you empower them with knowledge that helps them make a good buying decision? Dunlop recommends stressing the benefits of your home inspection, not its specific features. Customers might not get why it’s important to know that a roofing shingle is missing. But they’ll respond to how the inspection helps them.
Element #4: Action
The Call to Action or CTA spurs the reader on to pick up the phone, reply to the email, click on the appointment form at your website or generally to take some kind of action. This part of your ad should be simple and concise. Don’t make your audience overthink it. “Call now to schedule an appointment” or “Contact us to learn more” are two commonly used CTAs that work. If you want to create a sense of urgency, add some wording that suggests time is of the essence.
Home inspectors have an ongoing need for advertising. Repeat customers only come around once every several years. And word-of-mouth referrals have to begin somewhere. Creating a great ad gets your company name out there, and it gives you the opportunity to drive business in your direction.
In time, most inspectors develop a system of referrals that generate more and more business. But to keep that stream of work flowing in, build out advertisements in the form of flyers, brochures, newspaper ads, email campaigns, and web ads. Stick with the AIDA structure, and any ad that you create will have all of the elements that make it work.
If you’re ready to begin a career in home inspecting, the first step is getting the necessary education. Enroll now, and let ICA School prepare you for a rewarding future.