<![CDATA[ANNE FLINN ADVERTISING - Blog]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2024 02:56:15 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Guerrilla Marketing Ideas 2022]]>Tue, 22 Feb 2022 21:17:58 GMThttp://anneflinn.com/blog/guerrilla-marketing-ideas-2022
<![CDATA[Your customer email and address lists are gold mines. Do you mine for gold every day?]]>Tue, 25 Jan 2022 14:02:43 GMThttp://anneflinn.com/blog/your-customer-email-and-address-lists-are-gold-mines-do-you-mine-for-gold-every-dayBy Anne Flinn, Anne Flinn Advertising, LLC

Over the last several years consumers have become super savvy about their personal data. We’ve all been on a rapidly accelerating learning curve about it, and we don’t want devices listening to our conversations. We don’t want to be served offensive ads. We are not happy with our data being rent, sold, or traded at will to companies we know nothing about. We are reluctant to give up our data. Everyone is affected by this! Apple devices now come with updates so personal data is not collected as easily as it once was.

This awareness is excellent from a consumer point of view, but what about from a business or marketers point of view? It creates challenges.

Enter: “First Party Data” a technological name for “Customer Address and Email lists.” It’s a term businesses should become intimately familiar with, starting now, as it’s the future of advertising in the digital space of Streaming TV, Streaming Audio, Social Media Advertising, and all digital advertising products in-between once “cookies” become a more difficult way to find people.

When you hear “email marketing” likely you immediately think of your Inbox. But, there is SO much more to targeting with email address and physical address targeting. In fact, Apple has recently changed its platform where all email is going to look like an “OPEN”, but in reality, the data is seen no matter how it lands in someone’s computer. This means businesses are going to get a false sense of how many “opens” are actually happening.

But, that email and address data is still solid gold. Are you ready to learn more?

Here’s a look at new and sophisticated ways you can use your email/address list to advertise directly to your existing customers without jamming up their in-boxes:

SOCIAL MEDIA: finding your existing customers on their social media accounts and delivering targeted social media ads to them and friends “like them”.

MOBILE ADS: create an “address targeted” campaign where your ads are served only to people on who’s name and address you have on file. These are ads, not emails, and are extremely affective.

AMAZON TARGETING: match your email database with shopper data on Amazon and deliver targeted ads on Amazon products, from TV’s to Mobile Devices

And, this can all be done: TODAY. This is not the future of advertising. In many cases, you can create a “match back” report to see who has bought a product from your address targeting campaign. The “match back reports” are powerful ROI tools.

That said, in order for these campaigns to really do well, businesses must have a lot of First Party Data! So, look at 2022 as the year of data collection! The sooner you start to build a solid database, the better.

But how can you collect data without being cringeworthy and off-putting to your customer? Offer them something in return:

Enter to Win something substantial (the bigger the prize, the more email collection - maybe partner with a bigger company?)
Loyalty Program Award (creates customer loyalty while gathering data)
Monthly Prize (keeps people engaged and believe you)
Something special and unique (what do you offer that your customers love?)

Always be honest with your customer, too: “We want to Give You Something”, “We Appreciate You”, etc. It is always about the customer, and giving them something back for their loyalty.

Are you ready to mine for gold in 2022? First Party Data is the future. Don’t shy away from it, but embrace it and let it work for you. People really don’t mind getting advertising from companies they LIKE (and by that we mean, genuinely like, not a Facebook ‘like’!)

Good luck with your digital advertising! Contact Anne to set up an appointment today!
<![CDATA[Who’s spending money on digital advertising and what products are they using?]]>Mon, 17 Jan 2022 17:22:10 GMThttp://anneflinn.com/blog/whos-spending-money-on-digital-advertising-and-what-products-are-they-usingWho’s spending money on digital advertising in 2022 and what products are they using?
By Greg Swiszcz for Anne Flinn Advertising, LLC

Whether you’re a business owner looking for the right product to carry your message to potential customers, or a salesperson looking to help a local business, it’s always nice to see success stories to help solidify your choice in your marketing efforts.

There are so many different industries out there.  In 2021, the top 15 verticals that we saw spending money in digital:
  • Health Care Services
  • Educations
  • Automotive
  • Events/Concerts
  • HVAC/Home & Commercial Services
  • Retail – Furniture/Mattresses/Home Goods/Jewelry
  • Financial – Bank/Credit Union
  • Political
  • Legal/Attorney
  • Winery/Alcohol/Brewery
  • Recruitment
  • B2B
  • Real Estate/Residential/Commercial Construction
  • Tourism/Resorts/Museum/Casinos/Golf
  • Government Services/Chambers of Commerce
We’ll take a look at some of the top products (most often used) chosen by some of these verticals, as well as some of the targeting strategies used.  Keep in mind that these aren’t the only products that you could use for these verticals.  This is just the most often used.

OTT – Over the Top Video. (this is programming on a Connected TV that is being streamed through the internet.)
Targeting strategies used – Behavioral, Artificial Intelligence, Retargeting and On-Site Visit Tracking.
Why these strategies work:
OTT is great for branding & awareness, and if you’re a medical practice, everyone may need your service at some point.
There are some really specific targeting categories available. If you’re a dentist or a pediatrician, you can target by recently moved.  You can also target by disease, meaning if you are a hospital focusing on cardiac care, you can target people researching heart disease and other additional causes.  You could also target by specialty, meaning if you’re a dentist and specialize in crowns, you can utilize that opportunity as part of your targeting.
Typically, OTT doesn’t have conversion tracking. So, if you’re a business, or talking to a business that is looking for conversions, then you could add in On-Site Visit Tracking, which is a great metric to show for Return on Investment.  On-Site Visit Tracking tells you of the people who were served your OTT ad, how many then came to your business location.

Another strategy used for Health Care is Live Chat.  A lot of our healthcare clients utilized this service for a few reasons. It is HIPPA compliant.
We can offer Call Connect to the client. Once the Live Chat agent is done collecting contact information, he/she can offer to connect that potential client to your business via the phone.
The majority of leads come outside of business hours. So, if most of those chats are happening outside of business hours, you would normally lose those potential customers if you don’t have live chat.

Mobile Conquesting
The targeting strategies used most were Address Targeting and Address Retargeting, along with On-site visit tracking.
Why these strategies work:
Leverage huge database lists – colleges, universities, trade schools and private schools typically have big databases, especially at the university/college level.
You can reach 100% of the list that you are using, since we are actually geo-fencing every household on the list.
You can utilize both display and video (though video will have a small percentage, typically between 5-10% of the impressions) for the same costs
The On-Site Visit Tracking allows you to track ROI, seeing how many people were served your ad and then come onto your campus.
Another product that was used was Facebook and Instagram.  The top strategies used were Custom Audience Matching and Look-alike Audience, as well as Behavioral Targeting.
Why these strategies work:
Facebook and Instagram utilize so many different platforms to share the message, and if you’re trying to utilize a younger audience, Social Media makes a lot of sense.
Leverage the huge databases with Custom Audience and Lookalike
Using Event Response Ads to promote open houses and other campus events
Target by parents with teens. This just speaks to the specific targeting categories offered by these platforms.  More so on the college and university side, these schools can be targeting the parents of teens as well as the teens.
Target by some college or junior college. Maybe this is an opportunity for a college or university to target those people that have started school, and maybe just have an associate degree so they come back and finish their education.

Even with the automotive industry in such low supply and high demand, we still saw a lot of dealerships using their budgets to secure their share of their respective markets’ business.
Mobile Conquesting
The strategies used by automotive clients were: Address Targeting & Address Retargeting, On-Site Visit Tracking, Behavioral Targeting, Geo-Fencing, Geo-Retargeting and Cross Platform Targeting.
Why these strategies work:
Car Dealerships (most of them) have amazing CRM’s and have access to all of their data, plus access to almost any type of list imaginable. Towards the end of the year, we noticed a lot of the dealerships were utilizing their marketing dollars to promote their service departments.
Behavioral was targeting people in the market for a car.

Geo-fencing and Geo-retargeting are targeting people at other competing car dealerships before they purchase from somewhere else.

Cross Platform is a great idea for this vertical because people spend a lot of time researching what they are going to buy, comparing different makes and models. In doing so, people are usually utilizing multiple devices and can target those people that got served an ad on their mobile device.
On-Site Visit Tracking is one of the best metrics to show a dealership because you are showing them actual visits to their dealership.
Another product used was Amazon Targeting.
The strategies used by automotive dealers were: Amazon Behavioral Targeting, Amazon Product Targeting, Amazon Custom Audience and Lookalike, and Amazon Retargeting.
Why these strategies work:
Dealerships know that Amazon has rich targeting data about their users.
Leverage database list with OTT Custom Audience both on Amazon and off Amazon.
Amazon collects really detailed information about what type of cars people are driving (make, model, and year) through Amazon Vehicles and Amazon Garage data.
Target by specific makes and models (currently owns) to match exact make/model/age.
Target by auto products – tires, oil changes, etc.
Polk data – Amazon partners with Polk Data to get specific data to target by.

Events/Concerts.  These came back strong during the 2nd half of 2021.
The first product used most often was Facebook/Instagram.
The targeting strategies most used were Custom Audience Matching & Lookalike, as well as Behavioral.
Why these strategies work:
The ads for these events can go across all of the Facebook platforms, reaching their target audience anywhere they go within the platform.
Lots of these events, specifically the larger ones, keep sophisticated databases on who buys tickets each year, and to any of their other events. Using the Lookalike audience also allows you to target people that look like those in your database.
Event response ads were specifically designed to promote these types of events.
Events that have sponsors can utilize Carousel Ads to tie in and promote their sponsors. Using up to 10 frames, you have the ability to highlight some of your
The targeting allows you to be able to target by type of event/concert/festival.

Another product used was Social Mirror.  Social Mirror ads look like organic posts from a social platform but run across thousands of different websites.
The targeting strategies used were Behavioral, Artificial Intelligence, Retargeting and Keyword.
Why these strategies work:
This is a vertical that really likes Social Media, so being able take advantage of their increase in activity on their Social Media channels.
We can match keywords to their type of event, specific artists, etc
For behavioral, we can target by type of music, festival, event, sport or even in-market for entertainment

As you can see across some of our top verticals for 2021, there is a wide range of products that were used to accomplish their goals.  This brings up the importance of knowing exactly what a business is trying to accomplish with their marketing.
Here are a few tips to help you find out which product(s) would be the best fit for your business, or your client: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re responsible for the marketing (and return on investment) of those marketing dollars, you want to know the basics of:
  • Who is the specific target audience?
  • What geographic area do you want to focus on? How far is someone willing to travel to come to your business?
  • What traditional, and digital, advertising mediums have you used in the past? Both successful and unsuccessful?
  • What’s the message that you want to deliver?
  • What’s the end goal of your campaign? On-site traffic? Online ticket sales?
There isn’t a “silver bullet” that is the be all, end all for a specific industry, in regards to product used. There can be several opportunities to create successful campaigns, and some of those opportunities may require multiple products.

Review your progress. One of the things that we strongly encourage is monthly reviews of the campaign.  Doing this will enable you to uncover what’s working, and sometimes what’s not working so that changes can be made to get back on track.

Just like you might be an expert at fixing cars, or selling houses, working with Anne Flin Advertising, that knows what they are doing will save you a lot of time and money in the long run!

Good luck with your digital advertising! Contact Anne to set up an appointment today!

<![CDATA[Anne's Advertising Top Trends 2022]]>Sat, 18 Dec 2021 15:39:09 GMThttp://anneflinn.com/blog/annes-advertising-top-trends-2022What are the top trends to watch in Advertising in 2022? Here are the top five things I'm looking for in the New Year with Digital and New Media Advertising, both on a local and a national level:

1.) Social Media Advertising: it's a pay-to-play world, end of story! In 2022, businesses will bite the bullet and start putting real money behind their "organic posts" in order for their followers to even view an average post. The days of organic posts carrying a company for free are long over, but 2022 will be the final nail in that coffin. Companies would be better off reallocating dollars from the "in-house social media person" to paying an agency for an actual ad campaign on social media that targets new and potential customers. Organic posts can continue, but the burden of using them to "grow" the company will be lessened.

2.) Advertising on Streaming Services will continue to baffle most businesses. Here's what you need to know: every service (Hulu, Netflix, You Tube, Amazon, Apple, etc.) has their own "silo" of data and customers. Each silo is proprietary so there will not be a lot of cross-pollination. What does this mean for advertisers? You want to advertise with a service that can find people across a variety of these "silos", IF ad space is even available. Or, if you are dedicated to one channel, like You Tube, then you can run an ad campaign just on that service. But, expect this arena to get more complicated than ever in 2022. That said: you will WANT to advertise on streaming services, and you will need professional services to get that done for you!

3.) Video Advertising will continue to grow in 2022. Here's the challenge for a small business: you now have to pay to have video content created, and, you now have to pay to advertise in the digital space with a trusted provider. That's a double-whammy for a small business that may be used to free social media advertising! When it comes to killer campaigns, 2022 won't be for the feint of heart. For the more aggressive businesses and those willing to take some risks, 2022 video advertising is the avenue to use to have an incredible year of sales growth. Time to up your marketing and advertising budgets going into the New Year!

4.) Influencers and Content Creators will continue to be the buzzwords of the year as smaller businesses start to look at ways they can use them in their own businesses. Think: LOCAL! Who can your company use that's local that can tell your company story? If you want to hire someone to "run" your social media accounts, hire a "content creator" who will "influence" their followers. In Charlottesville, we have a golden opportunity being right next to UVA and hundreds of NCAA Athletes in the college. These athletes are now able to promote a business.... and they live on Instagram, and Tik Tok. This is an amazing opportunity for any creative business owner who lives in Charlottesville and surrounding areas for advertising in 2022 to work with a local influencer or content creator.

5.) Creative Advertising will make a comeback! Digital advertising made it easy for companies to get a little lazy with their creative work: "Throw up a banner ad and walk away, and look for clicks. Schedule a mediocre post on social media, and you're good for a while." While advertising mediums have changed dramatically over the last 10 years, the basics of advertising have not: Every advertiser needs to make an ad that is: compelling, meaningful, draws emotion, hits a pain point, and makes the viewer want to learn more. Just because it's on a digital medium doesn't take away from the campaign needing to make people FEEL something. In 2022, ads that make people FEEL will help businesses grow. We are fighting apathy now. We aren't even fighting our competitors! People are overwhelmed with digital content, and yet, it's where advertisers need to be. Being really creative with ads is going to become a hot topic again, in 2022. Once you get that great content, you need to hunker in and give it a lot of time to work. Too many companies nibble and don't bite when it comes to their advertising!

Those are just a few of the topics on the top of my mind as we head into 2022. It's a fun and exciting time to be in the advertising world, and businesses that really go for it and see advertising as a tool to grow, and not an expense that is a burden, will see amazing success in 2022 and beyond.

Cheers to the New Year ahead!!

<![CDATA[Metric Myths]]>Fri, 03 Dec 2021 14:30:41 GMThttp://anneflinn.com/blog/metric-mythsWhat can data metrics really measure? Are clicks leads? Are CTR's (click through rates) equal to ROI (return on investment)?
I've been in the marketing, advertising, and small business development for my entire career. In Charlottesville and surrounding areas, I've worked with small local companies with very small budgets to Energizer in Verona, Virginia (now Accutec), where we worked with massive budgets that were spent on media buys that ran across the country. I've placed ads on traditional media, such as Television, Radio, Magazines, to digital ads on Apps and Websites. Currently, I'm placing ads anywhere people can be found in the digital space, be it on OTT (Streaming TV), Audio (like Spotify), ads on mobile phones, video pre-roll ads, You Tube, Facebook and Instagram, both for local companies, and national companies, and more.
When digital advertising became the go-to advertising channel, businesses rejoiced at finding a new, "easy" way to market, advertise, and measure.... right? We wish it was that easy!
The truth is, no matter what, advertising and marketing just isn't easy! The principles haven't changed, even if the way they're delivered has. So let's look at metrics and metric buzzwords:

ROI: Return on Investment
What are you measuring? Your marketing team can help get your ROI up, but it's the company owners that determine what needs to be measured. Too many times I find companies lean on an advertising channel to come up with the ROI. A return on investment can be clearly measured (like a product offer) or it can be measured by new traffic to a website and general brand awareness. It's not always dollar for dollar. What area of the business are you trying to grow? Where is the starting point or number? Write that down, invest in marketing for a set time, and go back and review the numbers. Generating sales may be your ROI calculation, overall company growth can be your ROI calculation. The list is endless! But, it's the company that decides the ROI, not the advertising channel.

CTR: Click Through Rate
A click through rate is one of the least understood parts of a digital ad campaign. People throw out "Click through rate" without really studying the numbers behind that. Most CTR numbers are averages. But, many times parts of a campaign blow up the metrics. Those are the numbers business owners should pay attention to. Those help the averages, but the real questions should be: where are the BEST CTR's on each campaign coming from? Video? Animated GIF files? Tablets? Mobile Phones? Address targeting? Which Creative is working? Which headline is working? and more. From there, you can grow and build on that success. Using one number as the CTR is simply lazy in my opinion. Dive deep into that data!! There's a lot to learn.

CTR is also an indication of how a campaign is performing: is it going to the right audience on the right channel? Most people do not click on digital ads, but they surely see them! A CTR is not the end-all on campaigns. Consider the number of impressions served. That's your "frequency" and "frequency" is a bedrock of advertising. The CTR should give advertisers confidence in where the ads are running. If the CTR is super low, something needs to be changed. If it's super high, build on what is working.

What, exactly, is a "lead"? Again, it goes back to the company owners to decide what data REALLY matters to them. Traffic to a website is not "a lead." Leads are DATA from consumers. When a potential customer gives out their personal data, that is a lead. It can be in the form of an email, a phone number, or an address. But getting that data is what is considered an actual "lead". What a company does with that "lead" is up to them. If someone is willing to give out their data, the onus is on the businesses to follow up with a phone call, offer, or membership. Anyone who gives out their data should be considered a HOT lead, and followed up on immediately. Considering web traffic as "leads" is disingenuous at best. All companies should be aggressively trying to capture data from their web traffic, especially once they launch a digital ad campaign and web traffic increases - how to go about that will be addressed on another blog!

When looking at your local advertising and marketing campaigns for 2022 start with the basics, and determine:
- What area of the business do you want to grow (be as specific as possible.)
- What would you consider "good" growth? Over how long? Write numbers down on paper and think it through. There are likely to be a few channels of growth, not just one. What is realistic growth for the industry and years in business? Every industry has patterns. A new business can grow rapidly while an established business may have leveled out.
- What leads are you trying to get, and what are you offering for someone to give up their data? And, what is your plan once you capture leads in order to make sales?

CTR, ROI, & Leads are misunderstood. Take time to understand just what your advertising can and can't do in 2022 to maximize your local and national advertising in the New Year, and ask all the right questions for your ad campaigns!

Article Copyright Anne Flinn Advertising, 2021. Reprint or share with tag or permission.
<![CDATA[2022 Goal: Stop "trying" and start "working your advertising!]]>Mon, 15 Nov 2021 14:26:32 GMThttp://anneflinn.com/blog/2022-goal-stop-trying-and-start-working-your-advertisingAdvertising works, it’s not something to “try”, it’s something to “work” and the companies that know how to work their advertising are the companies that will jump out ahead in 2022.

Here are 3 things advertising cannot do:
  • Can’t magically make a business grow overnight.
  • Can’t change an in-person or online bad experience.
  • Can’t explain everything a company does or offers in one ad.

What can advertising do?
  • Tell the world what your company is all about - brand awareness.
  • Create excitement about your company.
  • Direct people where to go to buy your goods or services.

When working on budgeting and planning for 2022, usually a team is involved. All size companies have teams, but typically, there’s more than one person involved in making and finalizing marketing plans.

Before hunkering down on where you’re going to place your advertising, be sure the entire team has realistic expectations of what advertising can/cannot do, otherwise, there will be internal struggles and disagreements from the get go. Review the lists above, is everyone in agreement? Great, let’s move on to advertising campaigns!

The most effective marketing and advertising looks at it two ways:
  • What is our overarching brand statement?
  • What is our current goal? What do we want to achieve in the short run: 1 month, 3 month, 6 months, etc.

The brand statement will be the advertisements that promote your brand, and brand statement. Look at them as “Top of Mind” ads, like:
  • Sponsoring the weather on the radio on a station your customers would listen to.
  • Running tens of thousands of digital banner ads with a logo, great images, and link to home page directed at your target audience.
  • Have a 15 second video pre-roll campaign with Name, Logo, Brand Statement placed to target audience.
  • Sponsoring a sporting event
  • Organic social media posts

Branding campaigns can be budget, or expensive, but most of all, they must be consistent. The ROI on these will be difficult, if not impossible to track. This is where Advertising and Marketing is an “art” not a “science” comes into play. Budget for the long haul, like, 12 months in one place, and just let it work. Make a goal for your branding campaigns. Put some starting numbers down and look at: website visitor growth, Google reviews growth, overall company financial growth, name recognition, etc.

Next, you want to create a track-able advertising campaign. You have to shed the mentality of “trying” advertising - you are here to “work” advertising! (tv stations, radio stations, streaming services, apps, etc. operate with advertiser dollars. If advertising didn’t work, non of these would be available. So… advertising very clearly “works.”)

Assuming you have a plan for your brand awareness, now you can create a buzz about a product or service for short-burst campaigns:
  • What is new?
  • What gives you the best margin?
  • What can you sell at cost or lower just to get someone in the door? (or on website)
  • What’s happening right now you can build on? (ice storm coming? big sporting event coming?)

Where do you place these campaigns? Wherever your key customers are, and however your key customers are gathering information nowadays.

If your customer is a 17 year old male, you have no business advertising on regular tv. They don’t even know what that is! If your customer is a 45 year old yoga mom with 3 kids, you have more options to find them - they still watch tv, they love social media, they also listen to radio, and then again they binge-watch streaming shows. Determine your budget for this campaign, and dive deep into one channel targeted at them, and get the word out. Never try to be everything to everyone in all places, that’s just a recipe for wasted dollars.

Advertising isn’t about being perfect, it’s about making decisions, having confidence in what you’re doing, having clear understanding and expectations on what it can actually do for the long or short haul, and measuring what you can measure.

So, make 2022 the year you “Work” your advertising, and get past the “Try” your advertising mentality: It works, so hunker in, have some fun, and watch the results!

Article Copyright 2021 Anne Flinn Advertising, LLC, written permission required to reprint or share.
<![CDATA[New Names, Same Great Marketing]]>Wed, 03 Nov 2021 14:30:01 GMThttp://anneflinn.com/blog/new-names-same-great-marketingKeeping up with marketing lingo can been head-spinning. And this is for people IN the industry! I can’t even fathom what it’s like to be a small business owner looking for trusted information.


Before you pull your hair out, let me simplify this all for you: Good marketing and advertising sticks with some basic principles, no matter the new lingo.

When it comes to advertising, messages should be like a rhinoceros and have: ONE POINT. Then, once you pin-point the message, you’ll need the right mix of FREQUENCY + CONSISTENCY to get results, no matter where or how you advertise.

So… if you want to “try” a new way to advertise, let’s say: OTT (Over The Top, aka, Streaming TV) you can’t just dip your foot in for a few weeks, or even only three months. Like ALL advertising, it’s going to take time (frequency) and repeating the same message over and over (consistency) inn the same place, to the same audience, to see REAL results. And by real results I mean, serious sales growth - not just a bump in traffic.

Let’s look at GEICO: how many crazy ads have they run over and over and over? We know them all! We know what GEICO is, how much time it saves, and who it’s spokes-lizard is. How did this happen?? With: consistency (same funny messaging, same spokes-lizard) and frequency (can’t get away from their ads) and just one point: “15 minutes will save you $.” I am quite sure the marketing team at GEICO is sick of this campaign, but likewise think GEICO is making money hand over fist.

How can you apply this strategy to a small local business? You have limited funds, you don’t have a creative team, and you’re overwhelmed by the options and sales pitches that have come your way.

Figure these out:

What is your ONE important message? (avoid “best prices” unless you’re a full on discount store) avoid “best service” avoid “the best” - too generic.) How are you really different? In one sentence.

How much can you afford a month for pure advertising? (Not website development, not salaries, not organic social media, not printed fliers…) but pure advertising like traditional TV, Radio, Direct Mail, or new media like, Social Media advertising, Display Ad campaign, or Streaming TV.

What can you buy for that money? Start in ONE place for a good 6 months, and then add more. Trust your seasoned ad reps with your budgets, they know what works. Don’t try to have lots of ads going in lots of places - they will all get watered down and not work much. Put good money into advertising campaigns, and sit back and let them work, by adhering to the basics: One Point - Consistency - Frequency.

Most of all, don’t get overwhelmed by the new language of marketing. Stick to the basic principles, clarify your messaging, and trust that advertising WORKS!
<![CDATA[Case Study: Charlottesville Client]]>Sun, 03 Oct 2021 18:19:48 GMThttp://anneflinn.com/blog/case-study-charlottesville-client

Background: My Charlottesville area local client wanted to move away from traditional media and into a variety of digital strategies. This local digital campaign targeted potential customers on and off social media, using photography, animated GIF display ads, and video content.

The client chose:
Mobile Devices using Geofencing
Video advertising using Video Pre Roll
Facebook & Instagram using Collections Ads, combining video and photography
Social Mirror Ads which are display ads that look like social media ads

Metrics after 1 week:
Social Mirror using Artificial Intelligence: 30,000 impressions served, 83 clicks, .28%ctr
Video Ads using Artificial Intelligence: 17,000 impressions served, 77 clicks, .46% ctr
Social Mirror using Behavior targeting: 15,000 impressions served, 40 clicks, .26%ctr
Video Ads using Behavior targeting: 13,000 impressions served, 34 clicks, .25%ctr
Mobile Ads using Behavior targeting: 9,000 impressions served, 95 clicks, 1.08%ctr
Mobile Ads using Geo-Fence Retargeting: 9,000 impressions served, 71 clicks, .81%ctr
Mobile Ads using Geo-Fence targeting: 9,000 impressions, 80 clicks, .91%ctr
Facebook Event Response: 6,000 impressions, 210 clicks, 3.34%ctr
Facebook Premium targeting (video/photo): 6,000 impressions, 540 clicks, 8.91%ctr
Facebook Premium re-targeting: 600 impressions, 23 clicks, 4.12%ctr

<![CDATA[What is OTT, CTV, vMVPD in Charlottesville Virginia, and all the rest of those new digital video terms?]]>Wed, 24 Mar 2021 17:49:25 GMThttp://anneflinn.com/blog/what-is-ott-ctv-vmvpd-and-all-the-rest-of-those-new-digital-video-termsAre you looking to advertise using video in Charlottesville or surrounding counties in Central Virginia, but confused by all the different video advertising options?
With the rapid changes in digital video it’s hard to keep up with all the new terms for how video content and ads are delivered to consumers. Here's a little help for you as you navigate your options for TV or Digital video advertising in the Charlottesville area:

“Advanced TV” in Charlottesville Virginia is the general label being used for these new technologies but there are a lot of different products that fall under that term. Here is a glossary of the most common terms and most commonly accepted explanations of them!
OTT: “Over The Top”
in Charlottesville Virginia is an umbrella term for video programming transmitted via the Internet that bypasses traditional cable or broadcast (linear) distribution. It can be consumed on any device including computers, mobile devices, TVs, and gaming systems.
CTV: “Connected TV”
in Charlottesville Virginia is a type of OTT and refers to consuming video programing through TV sets that are connected to the Internet through built in technology (Smart TVs) or through devices connected to the TV such as Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, and gaming consoles.
OTA: “Over The Air”
in Charlottesville Virginia is broadcast TV also called “linear TV” or “traditional TV”. It’s content that is delivered without using satellite transmission or cable.
AVOD: “Ad-Supported Video-On-Demand” 
in Charlottesville Virginia: Ad-supported video-on-demand platforms like YouTube make their money off ads in between their content. As a result, the platforms are free for viewers. Are you paying for the service? No? Do ads run between the content? Yes? Then it’s an AVOD service.
SVOD: “Subscription Video on Demand” in Charlottesville Virginia: Video content that requires access to a subscription video on demand service. Examples include Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.  Are you paying for the service? Yes? Then it’s an SVOD service.
vMVPD: “Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor”
in Charlottesville Virginia: These are distributors that aggregate live and on-demand television but deliver the content over the internet. Examples include Sling, DIRECTV NOW, PlayStation™ Vue, YouTube Live, Hulu Live, fuboTV, Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV.  Does the digital service offer content similar to how cable and broadcast do?  Yes? Then its a vMVPD.
Hybrid Models: in Charlottesville Virginia: Several streaming services fall into more than one category. For example, Pluto TV and Xumo both offer 100-plus linear channels for livestreaming, they also offer a growing collection of video-on-demand programming.  The Roku Channel, while its primary offering is ad-supported video-on-demand, also includes a small collection of linear channels.
Skinny Bundles
in Charlottesville Virginia: A skinny bundle is what is offered by a Virtual Provider (vMVPDs) and is a small selected amount of channels (usually well under 100 channels) available to consumers to purchase at a reduced price vs. what they pay for traditional cable TV. These bundles are aimed at being cheaper than a cable package and also an alternative to purchasing individual over-the-top (OTT) apps directly from each video content provider. Examples of companies offering Skinny Bundles are Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DIRECTV NOW.
ATV: “Addressable TV”
in Charlottesville Virginia: The ability to serve different ad content to different audience segments watching the same TV program on IP connected TVs and set top boxes of cable companies or satellite providers, by dynamically inserting an ad based on specific audience targeting in either live, playback, or Video On Demand mode. Examples would include offerings by Comcast, DIRECTV, and Dish. (Addressable TV got the go-ahead from the FCC for local TV stations. See “Next Gen TV” and “ATSC 3.0” below.
Smart TV
in Charlottesville Virginia: A television set that is capable and enabled to access the internet.
Internet Connected Device
in Charlottesville Virginia: Devices connected to the TV that are used to stream content such as Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, gaming systems, smartphone, computer, laptops, etc.
Linear Platforms
in Charlottesville Virginia: Refers to video content that is real-time television service that broadcasts scheduled programs, over the air or through satellite or cable, not streamed to a specific user.
Next Gen TV
in Charlottesville Virginia: Sometimes referred to as Addressable TV for local stations. More formally known as the ATSC 3.0 standard, was approved by the Federal Communications Commission, enabling the broadcasting of high-quality content over the air using an internet protocol (IP) signal. This could enable local TV stations to provide targeting options to advertisers similar to digital targeting options.
ATSC 3.0: “Advanced Television Systems Committee”
in Charlottesville Virginia. This is the next version of the broadcast standard for how local TV channels are distributed without needing to have a cable or satellite subscription. ATSC 3.0 is supposed to make it so that you could get these channels not only on a regular TV screen but on your phone, laptop, tablet. Through ATSC 3.0, local TV will be able to air through devices that have this chip inside without having to go through your wireless signal. ATSC 3.0 would enable local TV stations to track what you’re watching and then target ads to you.
Outstream Video in Charlottesville Virginia: Sometimes referred to as Native Video ads. Outstream video is sometimes also referred to as native video. It is a digital video advertising ad unit that’s integrated within a page and autoplays once the user scrolls near it. Then, the video auto-pauses if the user begins to scroll away from it before it’s complete. According to eMarketer, 77% of ad agencies across the world see Outstream video ads as important to their clients going forward.
Pre-Roll Ads
in Charlottesville Virginia: These are video ads that play before the content you want to consume plays. Typically these are ads that you have to watch (or at least part of them) in order to get to the content you’ve clicked on to watch.
Mid-Roll Ads
in Charlottesville Virginia: These are video ads that run during the content you have clicked on to watch. In exchange for viewing the free content you have to watch the ad.  
<![CDATA[6 Reasons Why a Strong Brand is Important for Your Small Business in Charlottesville and Central Virginia]]>Wed, 17 Mar 2021 12:25:47 GMThttp://anneflinn.com/blog/6-reasons-why-a-strong-brand-is-important-for-your-small-business-in-charlottesville-and-central-virginiaBeyond just a memorable logo, good branding increases the value of a company, provides employees with direction and motivation, and makes acquiring new customers easier. So what exactly is a brand? And why is it so important in Charlottesville, and all of Virginia?

The short answer is: everything.

A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of a company’s customer service, reputation, advertising, and logo. When all of these parts of the business are working well, the overall brand tends to be healthy. On the flip side, we all probably know a company that offers excellent products or services, but has a tarnished brand due to poor customer service.

Let’s take a look at the important ways a strong brand impacts your business:
1. Branding Improves Recognition

One of major components of your brand is your logo. Think of how we instantly recognize the golden arches of McDonalds or the simple, but powerful eagle of the USPS. As the “face” of a company, logo design is critical because that simple graphic will be on every piece of correspondence and advertising. A professional logo design is simple enough to be memorable, but powerful enough to give the desired impression of your company.

2. Branding Creates Trust

A professional appearance builds credibility and trust. People are more likely to purchase from a business that appears polished and legitimate. Emotional reactions are hardwired into our brains, and those reactions are very real influencers.

3. Branding Supports Advertising

Advertising is another component of your brand. Both the medium chosen and demographic targeted for advertisements builds a brand. Too narrow an advertising focus, and a company risks being “pigeon holed” and losing their ability to expand into new markets. Too broad a focus, and the company fails to create a definable impression of the company in the minds of would be customers.

4. Branding Builds Financial Value

Companies who publicly trade on a stock exchange are valued at many times the actual hard assets of the company. Much of this value is due to the branding of the company. A strong brand usually guarantees future business. Whether a company is in the position to borrow funds for expansion or rolling out to an IPO, being perceived as more valuable will make the process advantageous for the owner of the company. The greater a company’s devotion to build its brand value, the better the financial return from its efforts.

5. Branding Inspires Employees

Many employees need more than just work— they need something to work toward. When employees understand your mission and reason for being, they are more likely to feel that same pride and work in the same direction to achieve the goals you have set. Having a strong brand is like turning the company logo into a flag the rest of the company can rally around.

6. Branding Generates New Customers

Branding enables your company to get referral business. Would it be possible for you to tell a friend about the new shoes you love if you couldn’t remember the brand? A large reason ‘brand’ is the word used for this concept is that the goal is an indelible impression. As the most profitable advertising source, word of mouth referrals are only possible in a situation where your company has delivered a memorable experience with your customer.

The most profitable companies, small and large, have a single thing in common: they have established themselves as a leader in their particular industry by building a strong brand.