In this blog, I am going to look at some of the most common mistakes made within Martial Arts advertising and how you can avoid them. Some of these mistakes often get overlooked but can have a noticeable impact on the success of your advertising.
A picture is worth a thousand words
Images are an important element of any advertising material as they really help to emphasise the content and message you are trying to deliver. It’s important to spend time finding the right image or collection of images to use for your advertising, or taking the time to produce your own.
Consider what the image is portraying visually without the words; is the general message of the advertisement still being delivered? I often see Martial Arts advertisements using imagery that portrays scenes of fighting, this is fine if that’s what you are promoting, but ask yourself if that same image is delivering the right message for self-defence or children’s classes. It may seem like a small or obvious mistake to make now it has been mentioned, but it does happen.
Call on me
A big mistake to make is not having clear or any Call to Actions. This is the main purpose of any advertisement and what you are ultimately trying to lead people towards. If people have been sold by your advertisement and want to engage with you as a result, it is crucial you give them a way to do so.
The alternative mistake with Call to Actions is having too many of them on one advertisement. Decide how you want people to engage with that particular advert before sending it out! It’s ok to include more than one Call to Action, but for example, don’t have more than one contact number, web address or email as this can be very confusing.
Make sure the Call to Actions stand out and are clear! A mistake I often see made is having contact numbers or email addresses placed within the text, this doesn’t make them stand out and obvious at a glance. Make them big, make them bold and make them stand out from the text; it is also a good idea to separate the contact details from the text to have them stand out in their own right.
As clear as day
A prominent mistake I see made more often than others is a lack of clear messaging. I will see advertisements that are too general and trying to promote too much towards too many target audiences inside one advertisement. This is a difficult thing to do effectively, especially when people’s tastes are different. It is up to you identify your target audience and tailor your advertisements towards a select group rather than several.
A clear message to a select target audience can have a significantly stronger impact than a multi-purpose advertisement. If you have a new adult’s class, your target audience would be adults, so including information about children’s classes would not be recommended for an advertisement like this.
If you are advertising a class for children, take the above into consideration, but also think about the imagery and language used. For the younger children, it is more likely their parents are going to see the advert, so targeting things parents will want for their children as well as wording that speaks to them in a friendly and encouraging manner is also advantageous.
We now live in the digital age and more emphasis is being put into getting yourself online and mobile. A mistake I often see is Martial Arts Advertising that offers links to a website or social media, and these pages not continuing with the advertising message. If you are offering a ‘Free trial lesson’ and directing people to your website or Facebook page for more details, be sure to include details of that same offer, or a link to further details on the same page.
An often overlooked factor is that people now view more websites on mobiles devices than actual computers, so it is important to make sure your website is optimised for mobile devices. Having your regular website load on a mobile device can take time, use people’s mobile data and not display correctly; these factors can ultimately lead to people closing the site before they have even bothered to take your offer.
Social media is another area of the digital age where I often see mistakes being made, ones which can easily be resolved. Many Martial Arts Schools or Academies will have a social media account setup which is great! But sadly the activity on these platforms seems to be few and far between, some even have their last update over two years ago! If you are pressed for time to update your own social media page(s), try to set aside 20 minutes once a week just to let people know what’s going off; the more you can update however, the better.
An unfortunate mistake to make and this is a hard one to swallow… is to think that potential prospects care about you. The truth is that potential prospects only care about what they can get from you in terms of what you offer. It’s important to realise this, as this can drastically change how you structure an advertisement and its wording.
The trick with your advertising is to make the potential prospect see why they SHOULD care about you and what you have to offer. You may have some very impressive awards, achievement’s and training that make you one of the best instructors or schools there is; but a mother looking to sign her child up to one of your classes probably cares more about the days the classes are run, the time and how much it costs.
Don’t get me wrong, its ok to display your achievement’s to help bolster your claim(s) of being one of the best, but try to offer this as supportive information for the main message and try to keep it simple so everyone can understand it.
Remember it’s about them, not you!