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Secrets Revealed About TV Advertising: The REAL Keys To Success For Your Business

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by David Garland in David's Blog

TV-Ads-The-Rise-To-The-TopWhen you bring up the word “television advertising” or “television commercials” what pops into your mind? Multi-million (or billion) dollar budgets? Massive companies with lame commercials that don’t really sell anything but instead try to win awards for the advertising company who created them? Bud-Weis-Errrrrrrr? 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/entrepreneur 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 (we will get to how to do both later) 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 ,000 a month in many cases?

Some of you are probably thinking…that sounds like a scam. Isn’t TV much more? Radio is 10x that amount and so is print! No way TV can be that cheap. Well, in this article 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. They are probably cringing right now (sorry).

“But David, don’t you sell TV advertising for The Rise To The Top…why are you telling us all of this?!”

Well first off, we absolutely sell unique advertising/sponsorship/promotions for The Rise To The Top (on ABC, online, events and our new technologies including text marketing, TV widgets and mobile phone video…fun stuff!) and have done quite well at helping our clients; however, I noticed a LOT of shadiness in the industry which is why1 I started Ethical Advertising and Promotions. I’ve worked with a variety of big companies on successful campaigns (including On The Run Mobil, Anheuser Busch, Pepsi Americas, US Bank, UPS) and entrepreneurs/small businesses (including Sub Zero Vodka Bar, Dr. Phil Dembo, Words That Click) and we have always prided ourselves on honest ROI, numbers that aren’t inflated like a hot air balloon and a general lack of shadiness. I’m hoping to spread it like wildfire.

Off the soapbox and onto knocking out some misconceptions, revealing secrets and showing how you can maximize your TV investment. I’ve used some personal examples from my experience as well and hope you enjoy them to put the concepts into practice.

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 (a little bit of a better approach). 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.

Example: For example, BancorpSouth was looking to reach young entrepreneurs starting companies. We were an affordable solution because we fit that EXACT niche.

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. In fact, we work  Deals are made in volume and effective marketing reaches people when, where and how they want to be reached.

Example: Sub Zero Vodka is an amazing local company that spends very little in advertising. We have worked well with Sub Zero through an integrated blend of media: TV advertising plus online advertising, email marketing and social media marketing. They have maximized their spending for a huge amount of tools that have resulted in more customers.

Misconception #3: Video production is damn expensive. :30 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 (probably for a slight upcharge). Video production costs have come down and the benefit is to the buyer. For example, we shoot HD quality commercials often for less than $2,500.

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. For example, if you expect sales to increase, coupons to be used or emails added to your database, 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 meaning a special promo code or special web link only used in a commercial. 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 will eat your face. TIVO and TIVO-like things will spring up and steal your commercials soul as it is passed over by perspective customers.

Reality: Less than 20% of commercials are skipped believe it or not. Still worried? Opt for online-only commercials that can’t be skipped. Another solution: Pay based on CPM (or cost per 1,000 impressions) online 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 the CEO explaining the product/service/showing the website can often be just as effective as a multi-million dollar campaign (shot on a nice camera of course). Plus, a new and effective trend, is to have the host endorse your product (check out this article by eMarketer).

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 me know know and we chat about it.

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