Ad Talk 101 Blog

Straight Talk about Advertising
January 31, 2013

Social Media and the Missing Moose Principle

Author: Mark - Categories: Uncategorized

MooseXingIn the late 1980’s, the most successful radio campaign of all time was the Motel 6 radio ads. You remember the ones with the folksy announcer, Tom Bodett, who always ended the spots with the famous line, “we’ll leave the light on for you.” The Richards Group, an advertising agency in Texas hired Bodett to perform on the spots, and even write many of them.

During the amazing run of that campaign, Mr. Bodett was asked why he thought the radio ads were so successful. Mr. Bodett, who lived in Alaska, and I believe still does told the following story:

“You see back in Alaska I lived for years down a long dirt road that wondered along a river and through the trees and there wasn’t hardly a day that went by where I didn’t see a moose standing in the river or on the road or walking down a ditch like it was nobodies business. But then on September 1st, Opening day of moose season, I could walk two days through the woods and never even smell one. Why? Because in this business, they’re what we call a target audience . . . and they know it just like a consumer knows when they are being fingered and they don’t stand still for it.”

So what does this have to do with the phenomenal success of his radio commercials? Tom Bodett thought if people knew advertisers were targeting them, they would go and hide, too. So he found a way to advertise to a targeted audience without them knowing they are being targeted, using very clever and fun copy in his ads.

If you’re a fan of Tom Bodett, and are interested in advertising, here is an excerpt from the talk he did for the Radio Industry back in 1991.

Of course a lot has changed in the advertising industry since then. But I doubt Mr. Bodett at the time had any idea how relevant his concept would still be today.

In fact, what Mr. Bodett taught us was the importance of not just avoiding the fact that advertising is targeting consumers, but that it must be fun. Thus, he hit on the essence of what really makes social media work. We have seen businesses use Facebook just to post ads with relatively marginal success. These businesses may have a core audience that does not mind constant advertising in their newsfeeds. But when businesses only post ads or promotions, they are seriously limiting the potential of the medium.

A good example of the difference between just posting advertising and posting fun stuff can be seen when we compared two businesses in our market here in Central Pennsylvania. One business has about 1,100 fans while the other has almost 4,600 fans. The business with 1,100 fans posts fun and interesting information for their fan base that gets lots of Comments, Likes and Shares, while the business with over 4,000 gets just a fraction of the interaction the business with the 1,100 gets. This is an important distinction, because the more interaction you get, the more people see your brand in their timeline. That means more impressions.

In conclusion, if you want to get the most out of your advertising, whether it is traditional media like radio, or social media like Facebook, content makes a huge difference. Do not be lazy and just post your latest print ad or give stuff away to get people to like you. Take the time and effort to look for fun and interesting stuff like cartoons or pictures that your fan base would find fun or interesting. Get involvement by asking questions (can you guess what this picture is?) Then, not only will you retain your base, but will get better results when you do advertise a special sale or event.

June 21, 2011

A Case Study – Radio Versus New Media. Which Do You Think Won?

Author: Mark - Categories: Uncategorized

A Case Study Radio Versus New Media, which Do You Think Won?

 

In February, March, and April, our agency ran an ad campaign for one of our clients designed to see what media would send the most traffic to their web site.  We ran a three-month campaign on five radio stations and on a video network in six supermarkets covering approximately the same geographic area as the radio stations.

 

The advertiser was a furniture store offering an on-line gift certificate for $25 when anyone went to their web site and put in a key word unique to each media.  The objective was to:

  1. Determine if people respond to these media
  2. How well do the various radio stations and the video network perform
  3. The cost per response from each media
  4. Get people to subscribe to their e-news letter

 

One media we did not plan to test, but got tested anyway, was the Internet via Twitter and Facebook.  We thought this might happen when the radio stations realized we were tracking the responses from their stations.  We tracked the response using Google Analytics Event Tracking which told us every time anyone clicked on the Gift Certificate on the client’s site, and what keyword they used.

 

The stations we used were a Pop Music Station, An Adult Contemporary Station, A Country Station, a Talk Station and a Soft Rock/Easy Listening Station. On the first day, the Country and Soft Rock stations each sent one person to the site.  On the second day the Pop Music station sent 37 unique visitors, the Adult Contemporary sent four, the Country sent two more, the Soft Rock sent one more and the talk station sent one more, and the video network sent one visitor.

 

The sudden appearance of 37 visitors from one station in a matter of hours told us something else was going on.  So we opened our Tweet Deck™ to see if anyone Tweeted the key word information.  We found the Pop station’s morning personality did indeed tweet to his 133 followers at the time, to go to the client’s site and put in the key word for his station.  We then checked Facebook and found the same personality sent the same message to his approximately 1,300 Facebook followers at the time, but this time included a direct link to the client’s site.  We then checked Google’s source tracking and saw, of the 37 visitors they sent that day, 11 came directly from Facebook and three came directly from people at the station.  Since no direct link was included in the Twiiter message, we cannot determine how many of the other 23 hits were sent as a response to the radio spot or other sources.  But time will tell because we set the site up to allow each visitor to register only one time.

 

While it was nice of the Pop station personality to send all those people to the client’s site with Twitter and Facebook, and show us how powerful internet advertising is, it did not show us if running spots on his station was able to send any visitors.  It was interesting that the Soft Rock Station and the Talk Station which are sister stations to the Pop station only sent a total of three visitors the entire three months.

 

The Tally for February

By the end of February, the first month of our survey, this was the tally.

Pop station – 16*

Adult Contemporary – 7

Country Station – 7

Video Network – 3

Soft Rock Station – 2

Talk Station – 1

 

*In addition to the three visitors sent directly from people at the Pop station, 16 more hits came from people at that station in February for a total of 19 visits from people at the station.  We subtracted that along with the 11 hits from Facebook.  Of the remaining 16, we cannot determine how many of those were sent by the radio advertising or another source such as Twitter.

 

Here’s the Tally for March

Country Station – 7

Pop Station – 5*

Adult Contemporary – 4

Video Network – 2

Talk Station – 0

Easy Listening Station – 0

 

*Of 16 visitors for the Pop Station, Google showed us that 11 visitors came from people at the station leaving only five that are not necessarily suspect to rigging the results.

 

Here’s the Tally for April

Video Network – 7

Adult Contemporary – 2

Pop Station – 1*

Country Station – 0

Talk Station – 0

Easy Listening – 0

*Of the five total visitors, four came from people at the station, leaving 1 as the only visitor not necessarily suspect to rigging the result.

 

What did we learn?

We learned that the Internet has the ability to get a quick response at no financial cost.  But before you get excited, consider how many hours it takes to get 1,300 friends on Facebook and 133 followers on Twitter.  Then, once you get the friends and followers, what does it take to get the credibility or popularity to get them to respond? While it appears the Internet outperformed radio, radio can take credit for the large following and credibility of the Pop station personality.

 

In conclusion, there are many ways to build a large following.  But one effective way is to use mass media.  Since every person that put in a key word on our client’s site also signed up for the client’s e-news letter, the client ended up getting 139 new e-newsletter subscribers that he can reach out to again and again plus about 20 customers directly in the door to redeem the coupon they got.

 

A footnote. Only after the survey was almost over, we realized we could have recorded on each certificate, what key word was used to get the certificate.  This would have enabled us to see which media reached persons who would actually redeem the certificate. This is something we hope to do again soon and will include that information when we do.

December 28, 2010

Are You Still Advertising Like You Did In The 1900s?

Author: Mark - Categories: Uncategorized

If you buy traditional media advertising such as radio, newspaper, TV, billboard, and direct mail, your advertising should be focused on driving people to your web site. Why? According to BIA/Kelsey and ConStat, 97% of all consumers now use online media to research products or services in their local area before buying.  If you don’t have a web site, get one.  I have seen statistics that as many as 46 percent of businesses do not have a web site. I couldn’t believe it until I started looking around.  If you do a Google search for oil companies near Sunbury, PA you will find many oil companies on Merchant Circle, City Search, Yellow Pages, Manta, and other sites with contact information, but to my amazement, none of them had web sites!  If you Google doctors near Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, less than half had their own web sites.  I also tried auto service near Milton, PA.  Of the first ten that showed up, only two had web sites.  The rest showed up just on Google maps with little more than a phone number and an address.

I can only assume a lot of these businesses have decided they do not need a web site because they think people do not shop their products or service online.  Yet many of these businesses advertise heavily in traditional media.  Without a web site, their radio, newspaper, billboards or TV advertising is equivalent to dumping money into a black hole.  Remember most people visit businesses on line before they visit in person or even make a phone call.

The other major reason a web site is so important is for tracking your advertising.  With a web site using Google Analytics you can get tremendous insight into what advertising is working and what is not working.  If the internet as we know it today were around in the 1920’s, the famous saying by John Wanamaker which goes “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted — the trouble is, I don’t know which half,” would never have been said.

The analytics data provided by Google is invaluable to assessing the effectiveness of your advertising.

The analytics data provided by Google is invaluable to assessing the effectiveness of your advertising.

In the above snapshot of a Google Analytics dashboard, you can see how many people are visiting plus many other key statistics that can tell you how well your site is received and how well other advertising media is working.  The above sample shows peaks in the number of visits where email promotions ran.  Information such as bounce rate tells how many visitors looked at one page and left the site.  Factors such as bounce rate, pages/visit, and average time on site are just some factors that help you improve the performance of your site.

This analytics data also provides demographic information about your potential customers.

This analytics data also provides demographic information about your potential customers.

The above screen shot shows how people came to the site as well as what town they came from.  The source media shows how people found your site.  If you have links on other sites or you are advertising on web banners, when people click on those banners or links, it will log where that visit originated from.  If it says the source/medium is direct/(none) that means the visitor went directly to your site by typing your exact domain name into their browser.  This information along with the towns they are in can help you understand how your other advertising is performing.  If you run billboards and suddenly start seeing more hits coming from the town where that billboard is located, it is possible the billboard is driving people to your site.

I’ve just scratched the surface of what you can learn from Google Analytics.  But you have to have a web site to get this information.  Then you have to have a Google Analytics Account which is free.  And finally you have to have your site set up to communicate with your Google Analytics account which is very easy for your web master to set up for you.

Next, we’ll talk about reaching your customers through email marketing.  Email marketing is taking over many of the traditional media advertising methods.

Email Marketing Could Replace Mass Media Advertising For Many Businesses

If you are finding it harder and harder to see return on your traditional media advertising, you should try email marketing.  The great advantages of email marketing are:

  • The ability to prevent waste of advertising on an audience that is not interested in your product
  • The ability to know just how many of your emails arrived in the mailboxes
  • The ability to see if the recipient opened the mail and who they are
  • The ability to see how much time they spent looking at your email
  • The ability to see the number of times they opened your mail or forwarded it to other people who opened it
  • The ability to see if they clicked on any links in your email which gives you an idea of what specific things they are interested in
  • The ability to drive recipients to your web site
  • It is incredibly cheap, typically as little as $35 a month to send 1000 emails as often as you like and $75 a month to send 10,000.

The only real challenge is developing a list.  You can buy email lists, but they are expensive and very broad based which defeats the purpose of targeting people interested in your specific product or service.  Also, purchased lists contain very small segments of the markets, as most people do not agree to allow their emails to be shared when they give it to a trusted vendor.  The best way is to develop your list from traffic within your business or call people who you believe may be good target customers and ask if you can send them an email.  Other good ways are to gather emails from people you meet at trade shows, or on social Internet sites or other organizations such as the chamber of commerce.

We recommend you use a prominent email marketing service such as Mail Chimp or Constant Contact.  The reason being is that people have spam filters that will not let unknown emails come into their inbox.  However, most spam filters trust emails coming from trusted sources and large companies such as Mail Chimp and Constant Contact. These companies have ways of making sure their customers are mailing to willing recipients.  They also offer very simple and attractive templates that help you set up professional and easy to read mailings.  Finally, these companies offer all the systems to make sure anyone who wants to unsubscribe can do so easily and they provide all those powerful statistics mentioned above.

A Good Web Site and Email Marketing Plan – A Total Advertising Program

Once you have a good web site and a good email marketing plan, all your need to do is optimize your web site so your site appears high on search engines.  Getting your site to be at or near the top on search engines is called search engine optimization (SEO).  This is something that you may need help with from a web professional with because the search engines have complex, multi-faceted systems to determine how to rank sites.  Many of the rules change from time to time as people try to figure out how to game the system.  But, a well-designed site will have the right words in the right places on the site.  It will use other factors such as font size and font weight.  Another factor that will help improve ranking on search engines is the amount of presence your site has on the world wide web, either through links on other sites or mentions in stories on other sites and in blogs, just to name a few.  Another big factor is how often your site changes.  When you update something on your site, the search engines see this and that helps your ranking.  Finally, the more traffic your site gets, the higher it ranks on the search engines.

Although it can be very time consuming, it is possible to run a total advertising campaign effectively using only your web site and email marketing and without using any traditional media.

September 27, 2010

Tell Your Employees to Stay Home

Author: Mark - Categories: Uncategorized

Over the past few months we have been talking about the advantages of working with our employees remotely from home. This may not be feasible for all businesses but some such as our advertising agency can work remotely because almost everything we do is on computers. Plus, with two talented IT people on staff we are easily able to employ other technologies such as video conferencing and PBX (private branch exchange) phone systems over IP to make working together over the Internet almost the same as working in the same room.

This is a big step, even for our small company, but the advantages are huge. Not only can working from home save money but also it could increase productivity. There are many studies proving the workspace employees work from directly effects productivity.

In addition to improving productivity by allowing the employee to work in a space they are comfortable in, they can save on the cost of time travel. I travel 15 miles a day to and from my office and at the end of the year that ads up to about $2,000 in gas and depreciation, as well as about two and a half hours of my time each week. One of our employees who travels forty three miles one way calculated staying at home would save him the equivalent of getting a 2.00 an hour raise. The company would save even more by closing our office in downtown Lewisburg when you consider utilities, taxes and insurance.

The problem many business owners will have to consider for this option is accountability. Sure, the employee may be more productive working from home, but they may also be distracted and shirk their duties because the boss isn’t there to watch over them. Accountability is a concern but the solution may be to set job performance standards based on goals rather than on time spent working.

Working from a virtual office is not for all business, but with a good working staff that has a good work ethic, today’s technology makes the virtual office a reality.

June 17, 2010

The Advertising Industry Needs to Police Itself

Author: Mark - Categories: Uncategorized

A recent article in Ad Age, Ad Industry Battles Back Against Bad Rep, Forms Ethics Institute, really made me laugh. The very formation of this “Institute” by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) which is the Advertising Industry’s primary trade organization founded in 1905, just reinforces the ethics problems in the advertising industry. They state the reason for this organization is to:

1. Determine what matters to consumers regarding advertising ethics
2. Recognize advertisers who demonstrate high ethical standards
3. Introduce a set of guiding principles for advertising ethics and how to apply them

The reason the AAF is finally showing such concern about the image of the industry is because advertisers are more aware of the problems. Due to the economy, businesses are scrutinizing their expenses more than ever. Advertising, being one of the more begrudging expenses is getting more than its share of scrutiny. Plus, as an intangible product, advertising is ripe for dishonest practitioners.

The first goal as stated above is misleading in itself. They do not define consumer which leads you to believe the concern is over our image with the general public. The consumers of advertising are advertisers, not food shoppers. Sure, we have to convince the public to buy a product, but we are not hired by the public. So who they are really talking about is the advertiser, not the general public.

The second stated goal sounds nice. But all it will do is create some sort of award event. How about creating an internal affairs committee where dishonest advertising people can be exposed to the advertisers, excuse me, the “consumer?”

The third goal is a joke. If advertising people are not being ethical, it isn’t because they don’t know what is ethical. There are some industry specific issues that may need some guidelines like ownership rights and maybe some new issues created by new media such as social marketing. But the real reason for the sudden concern is because advertisers are tired of widespread dishonesty in the advertising industry. I am sorry, but someone finally needs to say it.

In the thirty years I have worked in this industry I have worked hard to gain the trust and confidence of my clients. But in retrospect, I have been part of the problem too. I have seen many, many instances of dishonesty and did not expose it. Why? We like to consider advertising a profession. As a profession, it is considered unprofessional to knock, or sound like you are knocking others in the profession. We also had to work with some of the less professional people in the industry. So as a practical matter we had to get along. As a result, I have looked the other way in order get the job done as best I could for my clients and not to appear unprofessional.

Today it is a new world where the advertiser is less likely to automatically assume you are just knocking the competition. That may be because advertisers today have become more aware as they scrutinize their advertising and make their advertising suppliers become more accountable.
If you’ve followed our blogs, you know we have talked about questionably ethical practices in our industry before. It is too bad the AAF can’t find a way to make it professionally acceptable and practical to expose unethical practitioners.

Running an advertising agency in Central PA and selling advertising for 30 years I have seen it from all angles. One of the main reasons for this site is to educate advertisers which include exposing unethical practices. If you would like to discuss this subject further, please leave a comment below or feel free to contact me.

April 19, 2010

What You Should Know Before You Pay for a New or Redesigned Web Site

Author: Mark - Categories: Uncategorized

As you know when a new electronic product hits the market the price drops dramatically over time. That day has come with web site design. In the early days of the Internet, when there was a huge demand for web site design and few highly skilled web designers, the cost of a web site development could cost many thousands just for a relatively basic site.

Today there are millions of highly skilled web designers worldwide. The reliability and availability of broadband Internet now makes it easy for these designers to sell their services around the world. In addition pre-designed templates make it much easier and faster to design exciting looking webs sites quickly. This makes it possible today to purchase powerful and dazzling sites for a fraction of what they would have cost just a few years ago. In addition, many of the new platforms such as Joomla, Word Press and Drupal make it possible for people with little more than the ability to use a word processing program to maintain their own sites.

If you are contracting a new web site or redesign you should know the basic structures of sites can be purchased templates from designers in India, China or Russia and cost less than a hundred dollars. A design from Word Press is free. It takes very little time to fill these templates with text, pictures and graphics. Make sure you are not paying thousands for a web site that claims to be made from scratch but instead are downloaded templates off the Internet.

There are some sites that could take a great deal of time to build, even using these pre-designed templates if a large amount of data needs to be filled in. But in most cases, a skilled designer can build a beautiful site with the technology available today quickly. So we recommend you negotiate the price on any site you buy today based on the time it will take to build the site. Then, make sure you have the option to maintain the site yourself so you are not held hostage by the web designer every time you need something updated. We recommend updating all the time! To see a Joomla template go to www.beavertownhistoricalsociety.org to see a template made with word press go to www.isaacgolding.com.

The Importance of Relevance

Author: Mark - Categories: Uncategorized

If the audience is not interested in what you are selling it doesn’t matter how many people can see or hear your ad. This fact seems obvious, but when it comes to mass media advertising (radio, TV, newspaper, billboard), many advertisers really miss the mark. It takes extra effort to make your ad relevant, but in this economy you need every advantage you can get. So don’t be lazy and just run generic advertising in the name of “branding.” Often, that is an excuse to avoid the time and effort it takes to come up with the right offer or copy that could make the difference in getting the attention of your prospective customers. Media sometimes promotes generic ads as branding because it takes less time and effort for them. Advertisers must make a better effort to work with their media reps and/or agencies to create ads that both brand and sell.

You may have heard of something called search engine optimization. Type the words “relevant advertising” into a search engine on the Internet and you will quickly see the key to getting your site to appear first when browsing through the use of search engines is to make your site relevant to what people are searching for. You will also see the key to converting people into customers on the Internet depends on how relevant your site is to what the person browsing is shopping for. The same concerns pertain to mass media advertising.

Before the Internet, advertisers assumed the number of impressions equaled the number of people seeing or hearing their ads. Not true. The fact is only a small portion of the audience, whether its radio, TV or some other media actually noticed your ad. An even smaller number may actually spend significant time listening or looking at your ad depending on their interest in what you were advertising.

The fact is if you expect to reach everyone with any form of mass media, it will not happen. Only the people interested in what you are advertising will pay any attention, and only people extremely interested will pay close attention. So be realistic with your expectations and try to use a media that best targets people who would be most interested in your ad. Then, try to imagine what most of the people you are reaching on that medium will be thinking about at the time you will be reaching them and make your ad as relevant to what they are thinking at the time.

February 23, 2010

Is It Just The Economy?

Author: Mark - Categories: Uncategorized

If you’re in business, you know the economy has forced many businesses to cut expenses. Many of the business people I call on in Central and South Eastern Pennsylvania have few expenses they can cut but very often one of them is their advertising.

I have always suggested that if you stop advertising, you would not necessarily see much if any change for a while.  This was the case for one of our former clients (2009 blog What if I Stopped Advertising). I talked about his experience where he cut all advertising while changing nothing else in his business.  For the first few months, the client saw no drop in business.  But after almost a year he saw a 42% drop.  So if you need to lower the bottom line, cutting advertising may save you money, at least for a while.

To the advertisers who cut their advertising in 2008, 2009 and plan to continue cutting in 2010 if your business is still off, ask yourself this question. “Is it just the economy or do I need to change my advertising strategy? Good economy or bad, if you received two dollars back for every one you spent, you would not be cutting your advertising… you would be increasing it, right?

A lot of advertisers are starting to try new things.  But before you do, think about your strategy.  If you’ve been in business a while, you know the world has changed.  Unless your business model has changed, cutting advertising alone is probably not much of a strategy.  If you are not trying new ideas to improve efficiency, cutting advertising budgets without loosing market share is unlikely.

Some advertisers blame it on the economy.  For sure they are at least partially right.  But the advertisers loosing the most business right now are the ones that don’t try any new ideas or techniques such as new media.

The basics of advertising are still the same.  The methods are changing.  Top of mind awareness is still just as powerful as it ever was.  But now you have to learn a new way to grow market share using new tools and techniques.

Top of mind awareness (TOMA) equates with market share. (The more top of the mind, the more market share.) This has been proven by Toma Research.  TOMA has surveyed and measured 1300 markets over the past twenty years. Growing and maintaining your market share is critical and businesses should have a strategy of how to be the first name that comes to mind in your business category.

So how do you increase TOMA, and in turn increase market share?  It is a very simple principle.  You need to reach as many people as possible as often as possible.  This is called reach and frequency.  In the following charts you will see how much information people remember as a ratio of their exposure, and how quickly they forget.  This shows frequency of exposure and time between exposures, which are both important considerations.

Note, in order to fully remember a message, it took 80 exposures.  But after two days, only 10% was remembered.  These charts are from studies done in the early 1900’s.  But it is still relevant today.  What has changed is the cost to achieve TOMA using traditional media.  With audiences shrinking as lifestyles move to the Internet and other technologies it has become very inefficient to use many traditional media to build TOMA.

You know the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” So start looking for better ways to keep your business on the top of the mind of consumers. Rather you Tweet, Facebook., eblast or embrace any of the technologies you have got to keep your name in front of the consumer.  And if you try to achieve the same results you got 20 years ago without trying some new tools and techniques, you may find your market share dropping along with the economy.

October 20, 2009

Before You Plan 2010 Advertising

Author: Mark - Categories: Uncategorized

Time to Check The Infrastructure Of Your Marketing Bridge

The Marketing Bridge is a metaphor for the system that bridges the gap between customers and businesses. This metaphoric bridge is supported by pillars represented by many factors needed to hold it up. Some common factors are: advertising, merchandising, the business, price/value proposition, and personnel.

While most businesses know advertising is only a part of their marketing, too often the focus is given just to the advertising while other factors are ignored. This is because advertising is one of the biggest single factors that can affect your marketing.

Recently I observed a local business drive a lot of customers in his door with heavy mass advertising. The advertiser made a good offer and used an effective medium. But after a while business began to slow down even though he continued the same advertising program. The reason was weaknesses in his marketing bridge, causing a loss of repeat business. In this case the weakness was poor service, inconvenient hours, and poor quality and display of product.

It is important to test your advertising. But sometimes the advertising may test your marketing bridge. In general, you could say if the numbers of customers are high and the average sale is low, the advertising is working while other marketing factors are not. At the same time when the numbers of customers are low and the average sale is high, many of the marketing factors may be working but the advertising probably isn’t.

I?ve seen some interesting formulas for determining the strength of your marketing bridge. But I like to do it by determining the following three factors, analyzing them with respect to which of the three factors need improvement and determining what actions to take to make that improvement.

The three factors are:

  • Traffic (depending on your type of business this could be foot traffic, phone calls, emails, direct sales calls)
  • Average sale per customer
  • Closing ratio

By determining these three major factors you can determine the strengths and weaknesses of your bridge. High traffic with low closing ratio could mean your personnel are not performing well or you are drawing the wrong customer. Drawing the wrong customer could be caused by the wrong advertising message or medium, even if the traffic is high. A low average sale could be caused by weak merchandising or salesmanship. A high closing ratio could mean prices are too low or the advertising is targeting well.

If you want to increase sales, figure out how to increase any of these three factors. This will give you an idea of where you may need to work on your marketing bridge.

August 19, 2009

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.