Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

6 DOs & DON’Ts for Building an Effective Ad

By Amanda Bala

Advertising is often times a key tactic in growing a business, especially a business-to-consumer business. You know that. However, what you might not know is that not all ads are effective. When investing time, effort and money into your ad, you want to make sure that you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.  Here are a few do and don’ts to know when looking at advertising.

Do:  Choose targeted media. Ad spaces can be very expensive.  So make sure that you are advertising where your target audience will find you.  Don’t go for a specific newspaper or magazine just because they are the biggest or most popular. You need to advertise where your potential customers are. Choose the correct ad size as well. If you have a small budget, don’t advertise the smallest size ad. Chances are no one will see it. You are better off using that money for more effective and less expensive marketing tactics.

Don’t:  Put too much detail in your ad.  Some business owners feel that they need to put every single piece of information about their company and what they do in their ad.  They literally throw everything but the kitchen sink into the ad. Don’t do this. You do not need to fill every available space with information.  All this does is make the ad look too busy and completely loses your message. No one will read through all that information.  You have 2-3 seconds to get your message across. Make it short, sweet and to the point. 

Do:  Have a headline.  A headline or call to action (a coupon, a special deal, etc) grabs a reader’s attention.  It shows them right away what you are offering.  Keep the information focused and to the point without being wordy. 

Don’t:  Lose credibility.  By creating ads that do not grab attention, are not attractive or simply bore the consumer, you are losing credibility for your company.  If you tout that your company offers a quality product or service but your ad is of low quality and unattractive… People will associate that low quality with your business.  Make sure your ads reflect what your business stands for. 

Do: Add a picture or an image.  You want some sort of picture, image or design element that is associated with your brand.  Keep this consistent throughout your ads.  You want to get to the point where consumers see the image or design and immediately think of your company. 

Don’t advertise just one time. Advertising takes frequency. Do not advertise once and expect results. You will be disappointed. It takes seeing an ad 7-12 times for people to recall it.

Advertising certainly can be tricky, but it can also be fun. Get to the point and give consumers what they are looking for.  You will see returns and not throw your money into wasted ad space.

Advertising vs. PR… What is the Big Difference?

By Amanda Bala

Advertising versus PR… is there really a big difference?  Actually, yes, there is.  Both of these marketing tactics are very important to any business big or small and do work in conjunction with one another.  However, you need to understand the difference between the two to properly use them in an effective marketing campaign. 

Advertising is running commercials, radio ads, print ads, etc.  In general, it is pushing your message out to the masses.  For example, advertising can be a static ad that sends out a message; Come here, do this, buy that.  It can be a commercial run on television, radio or the internet.  It is a way of trying to persuade people to come and try your product or service. 

PR, on the other hand, is the story of what you are doing. It is word of mouth and people discussing you because they read about you in the paper or saw a news reporter doing a story on you. It builds credibility. People think differently about your business if it’s in a more natural story-like manner rather than in an advertisement.

Let’s look briefly at an example. Say for instance, you just had the grand opening of a new restaurant. One of the local news channels runs a story about the grand opening and how great it was. They interview patrons who are there and run the story on the evening news. That is PR.  Now, once that news segment ends and they go to commercial, suddenly there is your restaurant again. This time it is a commercial that you created for your restaurant. That is advertising.  The PR builds the credibility of your restaurant and the advertising tries to drive people out to try it. They work nicely together. PR can often times reinforce what your advertisements are saying.

Try to remember that PR and Advertising are very different, but that both are extremely important.  Once you understand the distinction, you can use the two together and start effectively marketing your company!

Social Media Advertising: Is it For You?

By Amanda Bala

So, you may be thinking about purchasing advertising on a social media site. The three social media sites that are the most prevalent right now are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Each one has a very different advertising platform, so you must consider them separately before you decide where to put your advertising dollars.

Facebook is the social media king right now.  They also have the most developed advertising platform currently available.  Even the smallest businesses, working on a limited budget, can advertise on FB.  At the present time, prices for clicks and impressions are still very low as far as online advertising goes.  Using a wide variety of criteria, FB allows businesses to target their messages by utilizing users’ profile information.  You can specify who and where you want your message be sent.  FB also gives the “like” option for ads that help businesses grow their following and possibly their clients. However, FB is limited in its B2B advertising because it is of such a personal nature.  It is more effective when used in a B2C capacity.

When people think social media, the second site that usually comes to mind is Twitter.  However, Twitter has a very underdeveloped advertising platform for small businesses.  At the present time, they only offer advertising to large companies and brands.  These are in the form of “sponsored tweets” or “promoted trends”.  Therefore, advertising on Twitter is not practical or even available for most small businesses.

The last social media site that you might consider is LinkedIn.  This is the most highly effective advertising site for B2B industries.  Due to the professional nature of LinkedIn, it actually promotes ads that are called “LinkedInAds”.  It allows businesses to deliver their ads to people with certain qualifications or titles, thus making the cost of the advertising much more efficient.  You can also look for relevant groups on LinkedIn that you may be able to target.   There is also the fact that LinkedIn advertising is still reasonable in price and is gaining daily in popularity. 

No matter where you choose to advertise, it is always important to do your homework before you invest your money. This is no different for social media sites. Find the one that best suits your business and run with it!