It Pays to Advertise!
No matter how wonderful your company’s product or service is, if you don’t advertise, nobody will know about it. The goal of any advertising program should be to cost-effectively reach the largest audience possible and attract new customers. If done correctly, advertising can be a wonderful investment for your small business; if done poorly, advertising can become a huge money sink.
Despite what you see on “Mad Men,” advertising can be a tricky game. Here are 10 important tips to help you plan, execute, and monitor your advertising program in Charlottesville, and Central Virginia.
1. Go After Your Target Audience
An advertising campaign should be geared toward your niche market. It is a common mistake to create generic ads that do not speak the language or grab the attention of your potential customers.
Ask yourself what kind of customers you want to attract, and make sure your ads speak to them on a personal level.
2. Highlight Your Competitive Advantage
One of the keys to all advertising is to accentuate the pros of your company — those factors that give you your competitive edge. Too many ads are clever but fail to sell the specific benefits of the featured product or service. Unless you highlight these benefits, your ad delivers no value to potential customers.
3. Establish an Image
You can recognize the McDonald’s arches while whizzing by on the highway. Likewise, there are plenty of products that you recognize by their packaging or logo. Image counts when it comes to advertising and promoting your business. Too many advertisers do not work to build a consistent image, and they’re missing the chance to make an impression on prospective customers.
4. You Have to Spend Money to Make Money
There are ways to save money, but advertising is typically not the place to cut corners. Doing so will affect sales, and that affects the bottom line. Successful advertising may cost some money, but that is because it works.
5. Advertise in the Right Places
Your favorite magazine, radio station, or even television program might not be a favorite of your audience. Do some research about your target market to understand who they are and determine what they read, watch, and listen to. Then advertise in the appropriate media to ensure that you reach your target market.
6. Don’t Allow Your Budget to Run Your Advertising Campaign
If you budget $5,000 per month for advertising, you’ve made it very easy from a bookkeeping perspective. However, if like most businesses you have seasonal highs and lows, you are spending too much money advertising during down times and not enough when you want to attract customers. Too many entrepreneurs do not budget according to their seasonal advertising needs.
It is all too common for business owners to choose the best place to advertise based on price and potential rate of returns, and then stop. As is the case with investing, you do not want to put all of your eggs in one basket. Spread your advertising dollars around by choosing a variety of suitable media for your audience and budget.
8. Don’t Try to Be Everything to Everyone
No product or service will appeal to everyone. Many business owners, including corporate executives, try to come up with ways to reach every market. Typically, this does not work. It can spell disaster for small businesses, who cannot afford to spread themselves too thin. Therefore, find your market and be everything you can be to that audience.
9. Test Your Ads in advance
If you have the time or money to invest in focus groups, you should test your ads on other people. Do they understand and accept the message you are trying to convey? If not, get insight into how you could more effectively communicate your message.
There are other less-expensive ways to test your ads as well — questionnaires, for example.
10. Monitor Your Ads
It is very easy to ask new customers or clients where they heard about you. As simple as this is, many entrepreneurs do not bother to do so. It is advantageous to understand which elements of your ads are most effective and which media offer the most profitable advertising opportunities for your company.
Original Source: All Business.com
Top 2 areas for growth in in 2021 are Streaming/OTT and Mobile Marketing.
If OTT isn’t part of your marketing mix, it should be. With 25% of total TV viewing now being streamed, this is a growing opportunity! 50% of advertisers said they were going to increase their OTT spend. This strategy is mainly used for branding and awareness.
Mobile Marketing. We call this Mobile Conquesting. With nearly 80% of US adults owning a smartphone, being able to reach your target audience is pretty easy to accomplish these days. Mobile Conquesting is always advancing the technology it offers to reach consumers.
One of the latest advancements is called Cross Platform Targeting. Cross Platform Targeting allows us to follow people that have been served an ad on their mobile device (whether they have clicked on it or not) when they go on to other digital ad platforms and get served other types of ads such as Display Ads, Native Display Ads, Facebook/Instagram Ads, Video Pre-Roll Ads, and Social Mirror Ads. Cross Platform Targeting will help with conversions on the advertiser’s website because it reaches those people on all devices. Remember, on Mobile campaigns, you see fewer conversions on the advertiser’s website due to people’s fast paced actions on their mobile. But, showing the ad on all devices allows people the time to convert, especially from desktops and laptops.
Another capability of Mobile Conquesting is the ability to track on-site visits. In-Store mapping is the most granular polygon layer, serving to precisely map the outlines of the business or point or interest. Being able to track on-site visits from people that have been served your ad gives you an instant idea of the ROI you’re receiving from your digital campaign. And, with a 94.4% accuracy rate (3rd party validated) it’s data that you can trust.
Video ads keeping getting more popular with advertisers and brands are seeing the value. 85% of brands use video marketing in 2020, which is up from 63% in 2017.
According to the iab, nearly 3 in 4 buyers are planning to increase their digital video ad spend in the next 12 months, and nearly two-thirds of digital budgets are allocated to video. What does this mean? Video is continuing to explode. Marketingcharts.com projects a 40% increase in video this year.
Video ad spending and performance is on the rise, and video ads are more captivating than text!
• 80% of viewers can recall a video they’ve seen in the past 30 days the highest of any type of digital advertising.
• 95% of viewers are more likely to remember a call to action after watching a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.
• Even if someone only watches your video ad for a few seconds, there is a lift in ad recall, brand awareness and purchase intent.
We are also using video to determine what to purchase. In fact, 85% of millennials say they’ve made a purchase after viewing a marketing video.
The need to have video advertising in your marketing mix is clear. The only question that remains is what type of video advertising should you spend your advertising dollars on?
There are numerous factors to take into consideration when outlining your video digital marketing strategy. What is your budget? Do you have enough funds to produce high quality video or is it going to be something your turn your phone around and film? What is the length of your video? What is the call to action and who specifically are you trying to target? What are your goals and what are you wanting to achieve?
It may seem overwhelming, but once you define your goals, your budget, your target audience and your content, navigating the best platform becomes much easier.
There are obvious options to consider, such as Facebook and Instagram. On this platform you can have a longer length video (up to 240 minutes), and targeting options are plentiful.
YouTube is fairly straight forward as well. You have some flexibility on length, although :15 or :30’s are recommended, and you have targeting options. The draw back I see is you are ONLY on YouTube, you are missing other inventory options.
Where it starts to get a little trickier is when you are deciding between OTT and Video Pre-Roll. The lengths are similar (exactly :15 or :30’s), but that is about where the similarity ends. Let’s unpack these options and start with defining them.
What is Video Pre-Roll Advertising? Well, it is an ad that plays before the content the end user has selected to watch. So for example, I missed a funny clip from late night TV because I’m older now and go to bed early. I go online in the morning, Google the clip I want to see, and I watch a short video targeted to me first. I did this just now, I selected to watch a clip from SNL on Today.com and before it played, I watched a delightful ad from Old Navy which inspired me to freshen up my spring wardrobe.
So now what is OTT? OTT is different, OTT stands for “Over The Top” and it is video programming that is transmitted via the internet, not on traditional cable or broadcast TV shows. Ads appear within programming watched on any type of internet connected device. For example, I’m watching a movie on my TV through my Fire Stick, and I am served an ad targeted to me. The most recent ad I was served inspired me to get on my tax return. Relevant, for sure.
Let’s also take a minute and define Connected TV (CTV), as it is a type of Over The Top (OTT) inventory served ONLY on internet connected TVs not on other types of devices. CTV is extremely desirable for advertisers because it’s the most used device to stream programming. I’m a thousand percent more likely to watch a show on my TV than I am on any other device. It’s not just me, check out this chart, I am not alone! This captures ages 18-66. I do see the youth in my house watching shows on their phones or laptops at times, but they are not the norm. They also have approximately zero dollars to spend, so they are also not the most desirable target audience!
We should also take a beat and define Addressable TV. What is Addressable TV Advertising and how does it differ form OTT Advertising?
The huge differentiator here is that OTT ads do not require a cable connection. Addressable TV content and ads are delivered by Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) like Comcast and AT&T DIRECTV to pay TV, cable TV, satellite TV, and on-demand subscribers. OTT, or Over-The-Top, refers to the delivery of video content and ads via the internet. With OTT, content bypasses a traditional broadcast signal or cable set-top box. OTT content can be accessed without the involvement of a television service provider via any device or app that is used to stream content to a TV or any internet connected device.
Why is that important to consider? Because OTT advertising can reach cord cutters – which Addressable TV does not. eMarketer estimates that by 2021, over 81 million U.S. consumers will have either cut their cords or never signed up for one in the first place, up 64% from 2018.
The targeting abilities of OTT ads differ from Addressable TV ads as well. OTT content and ads are delivered over the internet to connected TVs and devices with persistent IP addresses, so advertisers can target and serve ads to specific people showing specific behaviors, just as is done with other digital video ad products. Addressable TV can only leverage subscriber registration data and set-top box technologies to apply specific audience segments which are not as specific. Addressable TV is heavily marketed as household specific (same set of 4 houses watching identical programming but they get different ads during commercial breaks based on their address) and demographic, whereas OTT is IP address based on their behaviors. So if you have a very broad audience you want to reach, Addressable TV may be fine for your advertising needs, but if you want to get to a very specific type of person who is showing behaviors related to your business, it will have a tougher time reaching those people with your ads.
Now that we have all those definitions out of the way, let’s circle back to OTT vs. Video Pre-Roll and two of the biggest items to consider:
We have direct deals with large publishers and devices like Samsung TV, DirecTV, NHL, Fox, local news stations, Disney/ABC, AMC Networks, NBC Universal, National Geography, A + E Networks, Bloomberg, Discovery, the CW, and MLB to serve ads through direct connections.
We also have access to Amazon OTT, through the Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP). And with Amazon OTT we can target by people’s behaviors, Amazon Product Targeting (targeting people who have searched for or purchased certain products) AND through a Custom Audience from a client’s database list.
Do you currently run ads on TV? Adding OTT can help your current marketing Campaign! OTT can extend the reach of a business that is currently doing traditional or broadcast TV since they are reaching that audience that has cut the cord to cable (cord-cutters), or those that have never had cable (cord-nevers) and you are able to reach a more targeted audience with OTT.
Back to Video Pre-roll, remember this is a video ad that plays before the content the person has chosen to watch I click to watch, I’m captivated and I’m all in. Targeting options can be a mixture of very specific behaviors, Retargeting from a website, Artificial Intelligence, or even a Keyword list. All are all options to consider. There is a lot of flexibility for “restricted” categories as well. Cannabis ads, Casinos, Political, Medial, Recruitment – all verticals of business are welcome!
Reporting is robust with Video Pre-Roll. You will see impressions and clicks, and if you have a container tag in place you can also track your view throughs and conversions. You can see a device breakout and you can also see completion rates and a website/app breakout. Video Pre-Roll is also a lower cost option with a much more affordable CPM if budget is a determining factor.
With all that being said, if this now has you feeling like you want to do both, you can! Just consider who is handling them for you. At Vici, we feel both are important and we offer both Video Pre-Roll and OTT exclusive of each other OR as a combo.
With your video commercial you have the option to run it on broadcast TV, cable, or online. Ponder these closing thoughts and decide what is best for you.