Tag Archives: advertising

Link Friday: The Election News Edition

Posted on Friday, September 28, 2012 by Alan

It’s an election year, and that means we’ll be inundated with political news. The days when you had to find politics on the nightly news or in the daily paper are gone. Now politics are in our email, browsers, cell phones, social media, and many more platforms.

Don’t forget to vote!

Christmas is Coming?

Posted on Monday, August 13, 2012 by Tyler

When it comes to marketing your business, spur-of-the-moment decisions should be a rarity. Planning ahead saves time, money, headaches and lost opportunities. Planning ahead also provides you with more choices and gives you far better bargaining power when buying ad space.

In marketing, on-the-fly decision making is the equivalent of playing defense—necessary at times, but what we really want to be doing is playing offense. Planning helps to overcome the human tendency to overemphasize the importance of what’s happening right now and allows us to focus on making decisions that can have the best possible effect on your bottom line.

So, how far ahead should you plan? In terms of your overall marketing strategy, every business, large or small, should also have a year-long marketing strategy. And in terms of ad placement, you should have your advertising schedule set up at least one season ahead.

That means as you’re reading this, your fall advertising should have been placed several weeks ago and ready to roll. And right now, you should now be lining up your pre-Christmas marketing schedule.

Many business owners like the freedom of marketing on-the-fly. The problem is that decisions made on-the-fly often diverge from the overall marketing strategy. And last-minute decisions are often not really decisions at all, but reactions. These reactions are greatly influenced by emotions, highly-pressured ad salespeople, last-minute advertising “bargains” and other inducements that don’t necessarily promote rationality.

If you’ve been in business more than a year, you know when your busiest seasons occur and what parts of the year will be slow. For example, for many retail businesses, summer is slow and Christmas is a blur of activity.

It just makes sense for a retailer to take advantage of the slower paces of the summer months to create the best pre-Christmas marketing plan possible. By the same token, a business owner might want to spend the doldrums of late-winter/early-spring designing ways to boost the traditionally slow summer months.

Living for today is a wonderful attitude to have in life. But, in business, proper planning is crucial. Not making your ad buys at least a season ahead is like cramming for a final exam—it rarely works in school and it really doesn’t work in marketing.

Look ahead. Have a strategy. Be proactive. They are simple things, but all involve action. And that’s the bottom line—take more action and spend less time reacting. Christmas is coming—don’t let it surprise you.

Link Friday: The Getting-Ready-for-the-Games Edition

Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 by Alan

With the London Summer Olympics officially beginning July 27, we’ve seen Olympians everywhere. This year, the Olympics are expected to be bigger and better than ever. With new technologies and increased Internet use since the last Olympics, marketing professionals have been calling 2012 the year of the “Social Olympics.”

Thanks for reading. Go Team USA!


Why more businesses should ‘like’ Facebook ads

Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 by Alan

If it seems like everybody and their mother is on Facebook these days, that’s probably because they are – as well as their brother, sister, cousin and first-grade teacher, too. With more than 800 million active users, Facebook is becoming a huge part of marketing plans for businesses of all sizes – from Fortune 500 companies to mom-and-pop corner stores.

But while setting up your business’ Facebook page is easy and free, one of the advantages of using Facebook promote your business is its unique and inexpensive advertising.

Recent studies have shown that Facebook ads tend to be more engaging than ads on other websites. And the social aspect of Facebook – seeing that your friend likes a business or a product – can be a huge boon to advertisers. For instance, IBM Interactive Marketing says 51 percent of fans of a Facebook brand page are more likely to purchase from that brand, and 60 percent of those fans are more likely to recommend the brand to others.

Facebook provides a good overview and guide to using Facebook ads, and there are plenty of other useful resources online outlining best practices to help you run a successful Facebook ad campaign.

Here are a few quick tips and tricks to making the most of your campaign:

  • Run a variety of ads. Facebook allows you to experiment with different types of ads, so take advantage of that. Experiment with Page Like ads (“Bill Smith likes Brand X”), Page Post ads (highlighting a timely or creative Wall post) or more traditional ads to see which one attracts the biggest audience.
  • Monitor your ads’ performance. Is one type of ad performing better than another? Set a threshold for your ads – click-through rate (the percentage of fans who interacted with your ad), reaching a certain number of fans or some other metric – and check back on it frequently. You can also look at your Page Insights to target ads to your page’s key demographics.
  • Keep your content creative. If you’re running a traditional ad, make sure you include eye-catching content. You’re trying to get people interested in your page, so use phrases that call people to action (For example, “Click here!” or “Book your flight today!”) Images attract people, but make sure your images are relevant to what you’re advertising.

Spending your ad dollars wisely — Be an investor

Posted on Monday, November 28, 2011 by Tyler

The wise business person spends his advertising dollars like an investor. Investors seek safe and reliable returns on their investments. They know they can’t afford to risk all their advertising dollars in one single shot. And just as importantly, investor-minded advertisers know that consistently repeating your message creates confidence in potential customers. This is the basis for brand image-based advertising.

Like an investment portfolio, your portfolio of advertising tools should be diversified. By using a carefully selected range of advertising tools, you can multiply the effects of your marketing dollars.

Lastly, advertising is most like investing in that the return on your advertising dollars will be measured in moderate increases, not windfalls. Many business people, particularly those who are just starting out, expect much more out of their advertising investment than is even possible. There’s no fast way to an easy buck—the business world has never worked that way with any long term success.

So save the gambling for the office pool and start treating your advertising dollars like an investment—with smart planning and measurable return on investment.

Link Friday: The on-time edition

Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 by Alan

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. (Well, not until like 5 p.m., when I go home for the weekend.)

Look at all this neat stuff we found this week:

Consistency in advertising: Don’t be a gambler

Posted on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 by Tyler

Consistency should be the bedrock of any effective advertising campaign. Without consistency, no advertising campaign can be effective. One brilliant, bold, full-page ad that appears once in a magazine is worth far less than a smaller ad running with more frequency. Both alternatives cost the same, but the small ad that is run every month will give you much more impact for your marketing dollar.

Why isn’t it a good idea to run one big ad? Because that would be spending your advertising dollars like a gambler. No advertising vehicle—television, radio, print, cable, internet—performs 100% all the time. In the above magazine ad example, there are many elements out of your control:

  • What if the cover of the magazine isn’t particularly interesting the month the ad runs and no one bothers to pick the magazine up off the newsstand—or even the coffee table?
  • What if there’s something happening in the world that temporarily takes readers’ attention away from magazines for that issue period—high-profile trial in the news, a really nice stretch of weather, football playoffs, etc.?
  • What if your beautiful, high production, full-page ad ends up getting hidden by a special insert that gets spot-glued right over it?

Of course, you might just end up having a lot of people see your ad. But by advertising more often with a smaller ad, you can be assured that your message will get across most of the time.