Ad Talk 101 Blog

Straight Talk about Advertising
August 19, 2009

Planning Advertising in the Digital Age

Author: Mark - Categories: Advertising Tips - Tags: , , , , ,

The importance of Gathering Data to Make Media Decisions

The spring radio Arbitron is out! Arbitron is the official rating service of the radio industry. Has any radio station offered to show you the numbers? After all, wouldn’t you like to know what you are paying for? I understand it may not matter if you are sure you’re getting the results you need, but if you want to improve the effectiveness of your advertising, how can you do it without this data?
There was a time when the stations used to run to the advertisers with the new ratings, but they don’t do this anymore. This may be because many stations would have a hard time justifying their rates based on the ratings they are getting today. Demand to see the audience rating before you make that buying decision.

Have you ever seen a report on how many people are watching cable TV in your market? Probably not, especially if you live in the central or upper Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania. The reason is the numbers are so small most advertisers would not pay the rates cable TV is charging. How can you compare the value of cable to any other media without this important information?

Advertisers tell me their cable is working based on the fact that people mention seeing their ad. In most cases the people who see their ads are friends, neighbors and family. These people are more likely to see the ad because they know the advertiser. Even if they are not interested in the advertised message, the ad is relevant to them.

Traditional mass media such as radio and TV have always relied on the ability to reach relatively large audiences for relatively low cost. In the days when you could reach a lot of people cheap, targeting and recall did not matter as much as they now. In this economy smaller audience leaves less tolerance for the X factors.

The Internet solves a lot of these problems. The ability of Internet to track advertising results quickly and decisively makes it possible to target large numbers of very specific prospective customers, which will in turn increase your conversion rates. And, by the way, the Internet does it cheaper.

In conclusion if you’re planning your advertising today… get the facts. If the media is not showing you their ratings, you can be sure they are hiding them for a reason. Finally, plan on using more Internet related solutions where the audiences are growing and you have access to the most important tracking data.

Advertise for Free…or Close To It – Part 2: Viral Video

Author: Mark - Categories: Uncategorized

What are they?
Viral videos are short video clips posted on popular sites like YouTube, Yahoo, or MetaCafe. Typically, their purpose it to inform, entertain, or promote. Done properly a video can do all three.

How It Works
If you’re a business owner you probably have useful knowledge in your respective field. You can impart some of this information in front of a video camera. Rather then doing a commercial, you do an information program. For example, an electrician might show you how to properly find and reset a tripped breaker. The number of views on these types of videos is staggering, sometimes reaching into the hundreds of thousands.

Why It Works
Several factors make viral video a great way to promote your business. One is that people search the internet everyday for tips and product information. Another is the fact that viral videos hit the popular search engines faster than any other content. Yet another reason is that posting a video requires little effort on your part and doesn’t require you to have a fancy website. The editing software that comes with a store-bought video camera will more than suffice for this type of video.

In Closing
Viral video does not require a high production value. Simplicity, steady tripod shots and clear audio provide your viewers with a sense that someone is trying to help them and not sell them. Online videos allow your potential customers to meet you face-to-face before ever stepping through your door or picking up the phone.

Advertise for Free…or Close To It – Part 1: E-blasts

Author: Mark - Categories: Advertising Tips - Tags: , , , , ,

What are they?

E-blasts can be anything from a newsletter to a basic call to action sales offer sent via e-mail to a list you’ve built. E-blasts are not necessarily free. While you could email to large numbers of people using a traditional email program at no charge, we recommend you either purchase a program to help you do your own e-blasts or sign up with a company that lets you use their service on-line. Both options make it easy with step by step instructions and templates. Whether you purchase your own software or use an on-line service, both make it easier to stay compliant with the CAN-SPAM act.

How It Works
You collect emails and build a list by soliciting current or potential customers for their e-mail address. Common ways of doing this is by offering discounts or valuable information via the e-blast. Most e-blast services offer reporting that tells you how many people opened your message and whether they acted upon the links within.

Why It Works
The valuable statistics in the reports allows you to tailor your message for best results and send it to the right people. By profiling your list you can segment it into sub-interest groups, targeting your customers even further. In the end, relevancy is what really makes the message work. You could run ads in front of thousands of people who will never notice it if there is nothing relevant to them. Running the same ad in front of a thousand people interested in the content and most, if not all will notice it.

In Closing
While it takes some up-front work to build an email list and write and design the e-blasts, this is something you should consider. E-blasts can provide immediate responses and results – something that few advertising methods can provide.

Advertise for Free…or Close To It

Author: Mark - Categories: Advertising Tips - Tags: , , , , , ,

Your customers are turning to the internet more for product education and reviews. In this series we’ll show you how to meet them there with these simple, cheap (or free!) methods.