Good advertising will engage them with your brand, communicate what need your products or services can meet, and give them strong incentive to choose you over your competitors.
But what if your advertising is a little misleading? Of course you would never lie to your customers, but it’s surprisingly easy to exaggerate, or be less clear than you realized.
What are the consequences of misleading advertising and how can you make sure your advertising is what it should be?
False Claims Can Harm Your Brand
Making false claims in your advertising can harm your brand. If your product doesn’t do what you say it does, your customers will quickly realize that your claims aren’t true.
Say for example you are selling a skincare product and you claim it can clear acne, guaranteed. If it doesn’t, your reputation will suffer. So as not to risk damage to your reputation, be careful to never claim anything for your product or service that isn’t true.
Focus on the genuine benefits to the consumer and communicate those – you’ll build a solid reputation based on real quality.
Unclear Advertising Can Damage Trust
Advertising doesn’t have to be false to be problematic. Unclear advertising can also cause your business some problems.
Say for example you are offering a free gym workout session, but only with a paid membership. You need to be clear about the terms and conditions, or your customers could end up disappointed.
Whether you are making a special offer or encouraging customers to sign a contract, be sure to carefully set out the exact nature of the deal. If in doubt, use disclaimers to help make your point.
Whenever you release an advertisement into the world, be sure you’ve checked it carefully for clarity and truthfulness first. That way your customers will know they can trust you to be upfront.
Be Wary of Lawsuits
As the article “Home Inspector Advertising Can Make or Break You” points out, an unhappy customer who decides on legal action could be a recipe for disaster for your business.
A lawsuit can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, plus the damage to your reputation can’t be measured in monetary terms. Take steps to avoid the risk of lawsuits by checking out any laws or regulations governing your sector, along with advertising laws.
Time spent learning now is better than time spent in court. It’s also a good idea to make sure your insurance is always up to date.
Be Mindful of Testimonials
Testimonials can be a powerful advertising tool. Knowing that people like them have used and loved your product or service can help build trust with your customers. However, do be mindful that your testimonials need to be truthful and verifiable.
When you gather testimonials, always be sure they are from clients who genuinely love and appreciate your business, and who are giving a true representation of it.
Advertising is your way of getting your message out there. Make sure the message is the right one by being honest and clear, so you can build a relationship of trust with your customers.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on a range of topics including social media, SEO that works, and how to keep your advertising strong.