I’m going to reveal some secrets.
Secrets big advertising agencies, television studios, other forms of media and video production companies DON’T want you to know.
When you bring up the word “television advertising” or “television commercials” what pops into your mind? Multi-million dollar budgets? Horrible local commercials which look like they were shot on the first camera ever created in the history of mankind? I asked this question recently to a big CEO and he said “Soap.” That is all he said when I asked what he thought of when I said the word “commercial.” Just soap.
But what if I told you that if done creatively and correctly, TV advertising can be a MASSIVE asset to gain new clients and increase your sales in a very provable and profitable way (Yes, ROI can be proved). AND you can have an HD studio-quality advertisment/creative promotional segment that you can reuse online and in other places. Oh and that whole budget thing. You don’t have to be Apple, Dove or McDonald’s. Did you know you can be effective for less than $1,000 a month in many cases?
We’ve worked with a variety of big companies on successful campaigns as well as entrepreneurs/small businesses and we have always prided ourselves on honest ROI, numbers that aren’t inflated like a hot air balloon.
Misconception #1: Go Broad. What this means: Most people selling TV advertising think a big blanket is the best way to go. Lots of commercials over lots of channels. Or blanketing one single channel over and over. Blanketing can work if you have zillions to spend but lets be honest, most of us don’t have zillions.
Reality: Go extremely niche: Buy shows, not stations. Instead of buying a network or a bunch of random stations that supposedly hit your demographic, focus on shows that attract your exact audience: Pregnant females, angry cat owners, baseball players, whatever.
Misconception #2: Old media is the only solution: TV buying or other forms of old media including radio and print is the golden child and the answer to all of your problems. Therefor you should save up and buy a LOT of it. If that sounds fishy, it is.
Reality: When researching and purchasing media, look into a blend of new and old media and you can get a better deal if you purchase all of them. Often times for a very reasonable price in one big swoop you can purchase TV ads, blog ads, website ads, podcast ads and much more. Media consumption is changing, and quickly. Focusing on where you know your clients will be is the only smart way to buy media. “It’s how we’ve done it for year’s” is not a strategic media plan. Reach people when, where and how they want to be reached.
Misconception #3: Video production is damn expensive. A :30 second spot could cost $10,000 to produce or more. Doesn’t sound so good for the entrepreneur.
Reality: Bundle production with your advertising buy. Buying TV ads and other media? Have them include production. Video production costs have come down and the benefit is to the buyer. For example, we shoot HD quality commercials often for less than $750.
Misconception #4: ROI can’t be proved. Nothing is worse than the media source coming back to you and telling you the campaign worked if it really didn’t. How do you know if it worked if all you see is a spreadsheet of random numbers?
Reality: The way to prove ROI is to that YOU determine what the return is and tell that to the media source. You define success before you invest. For example, if you expect coupons to be used or texts added to your database, measured traffic increase to your website, make sure the media source knows HOW you measure. A secret to maximizing ROI is to have some kind of call-to-action that is trackable on your ad. Then, you can see EXACTLY how it worked.
Misconception #5: :30 spot is the only option. This is the traditional commercial time and form and that is generally accepted…but it is CERTAINLY not the only one.
Reality: :10, :15’s are viable options that media companies keep in their back pockets…because they cost less. Also, look for in-show sponsorships (segment sponsors, closed captioning sponsorships) and online-only ads which often can be even more effective since most online videos only show a limited amount of ads during an online broadcast. Also, some shows have adapted advertorial-type advertising which makes it look like your commercial is part of the show. Unique option.
Misconception #6: TIVO and TIVO-like things will spring up and steal your commercials soul as it is passed over by perspective customers. TIVO will eat your face. TIVO will spoil your milk and soil all your clean clothes.
Reality: Less than 20% of commercials are skipped believe it or not. In fact TV viewership has increased since the introduction of DVR giving your audience more opportunity to see your ads. Still worried? Opt for online-only commercials that can’t be skipped. Another solution: Pay based on impressions via on demand options and make sure you only pay WHEN your commercial is watched.
Misconception #7: TV is only for big brands. Big brands. Big dollars. Often pointless commercials.
Reality: Highly-targeted ads for small businesses are an extremely viable options. The key? It doesn’t have to be flashy or have millions of dollars of explosions. TV viewers are smarter than people give them credit for. An honest straight-forward ad featuring sincere testimonials from clients or the CEO explaining the product/service/showing the website can often be just as effective as a multi-million dollar campaign.
The bottom line is TV and cross-platform advertising is extremely effective if done correctly and won’t run you to the bank for a loan. Follow these tips and hopefully you will become inspired to try the wide world of TV.
Also, if you want to see if a TV-based new/old media advertising option is right for you and your company, let us know. Branding Iron can help.