Tag Archives: Advertising

What should be on your 2015 Advertising Checklist?

2015

While the fundamentals of marketing remain the same, the marketing landscape is evolving as rapidly as technology. Effective advertising in 2015 will require an understanding of the current trends along with the ability to anticipate the next major ones. Marketers will have to adjust to a landscape with highly fragmented marketing channels by creating custom content for those channels. The continual evolution of advertising also means that marketers will also have to reassess their audiences in order to learn which methods are effective.

Here is what you should plan to include in your advertising strategy for 2015:

• Video
Video advertising has just as much power as ever, and brands no longer have to pay for commercial time. The power of YouTube offers phenomenal reach and an opportunity to develop personal relationships with customers that has never existed before. 2015 is the year that marketers can show that they care about the quality of their products and services and be available for those in the audience who have questions.

• Increased Transparency
Expect transparency across all marketing channels to become a trend and one in which you should invest. As consumers become more powerful and continue to demand more information, it should be expected that brands will take advantage of this demand. The most successful brands in 2015 will be those that provide the most clear and accurate picture of what they are providing to the consumer.

• Consider Paid Amplification
Content marketing has been a popular trend for some time now and with varying levels of effectiveness. Some brands put out good content, while others are busy publishing spam. Factor into this the changes in the marketplace such as improved technology for blocking ads and you are faced with the need to amplify your content to guarantee that consumers take notice. That is where paid amplification comes in. Marketers can pay to have their content boosted to a more prominent position. Paid amplification thus helps content to get more attention.

• Become a Publisher
In 2015, expect to see more brands getting into the publishing game. While there are many already doing this, more will start to provide content that engages their audiences. Evidence of this trend is already visible in the travel industry where some brands have begun to publish their own full-length magazines.

• Better Targeting
Consumers have come to expect ads to be targeted with the ads being specifically relevant to them. Marketers who fail to tailor their ads and other content will see their brands falter with diminishing click-throughs and increases in subscribers unsubscribing. It will be necessary for them to rethink their audience personas and come up with more accurate profiles. It should be noted that this step will take a significant amount of planning in the early stages and is not for those who want things to be as easy as possible.

• Consider Aerial Advertising
Aerial advertising is not only less expensive than many other forms of marketing, it is also effective. As consumers become more savvy about blocking Internet ads and more jaded when faced with leaflets, aerial advertising stands out as a way to get a brand noticed. Furthermore, it is not intrusive unlike other forms of advertising. It is simply a banner that is being flown overhead. It has been shown that people are more likely to remember banners flown overhead and retain much of the messages from those banners.

The worlds of Marketing public relations and advertising will continue to converge in 2015. The creation of content along with search optimization and social media will be treated less as separate areas and more as universal skills that that everyone in the organization is expected to have. Marketing is everyone’s job and brands will use resources throughout their organization to maximize the effectiveness of their content creation and social engagement efforts.

 

10 Common Misconceptions About Advertising

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Do you think advertising is a four-letter word? Then you’d better think again. In the dog-eat-dog world of business, advertising often makes the difference between success and failure.

Unfortunately, advertising myths abound, and if you can’t separate truth from fallacy, intelligent marketing decisions are almost impossible to make. So watch out for these ten common misconceptions about advertising:

  1. You don’t need it.
    Maybe your company has a reputation for excellence; plenty of customers already know they can count on you to provide a great product or service. So who needs to advertise? You do, because in today’s highly competitive, rapidly changing marketplace, the status quo isn’t a safe place to settle.
  2. You can’t afford it.
    Actually, you can’t afford to do without it, especially when the competition is probably advertising aggressively. The good news is, thanks to the Internet, social media and mobile browsing, advertising can reach farther and cost less than ever before.
  3. One size fits all.
    The fact that the shop down the street manages to pull in customers through its website, doesn’t guarantee you’ll do the same through your website. Know your customers, find out how most of them prefer to hear about products and/or services and tailor your advertising to meet their wants and needs.
  4. Advertising is the same as public relations.
    No way. Public relations is about exposure, free exposure, mainly through press releases. The idea is to inform everyone about your brand, a new location, a new product, etc.
  5. It’s all about sales.
    Okay, good advertising can drive sales, but it can and should also expand your customer base and brand recognition. Effective advertising helps John Q. Public enter into a relationship with you, one that can result in customer loyalty and provide you with the best of all possible ad tools, word-of-mouth.
  6. Advertising is hard.
    It’s nowhere near as tough as you might expect. The Internet offers a multitude of marketing tools and tutorials to help even the novice advertiser come up with a plan and the skill to execute it.
  7. All you need is a website.
    Websites are great, but it doesn’t pay to forget other options. Coupon books and smart buyer papers still provide viable outlets. If most of your customers are outdoorsy, you might get creative with sandwich signs, street banners or aerial advertising.
  8. Mobile ads don’t work.
    The stats say otherwise. Mobile users spent nearly $800 million in 2010, and they’re expected to spend more like $13.5 million this year!
  9. Social media doesn’t matter.
    Although direct advertising on social media doesn’t always pay off in sales in the short run, a social media presence is crucial to your advertising. On Twitter and Facebook you form relationships with current and potential customers, and those pay off big time in the long run.
  10. Do it and forget it.
    Advertising isn’t a one-off proposition. Don’t set your strategy on auto-repeat. Track the success of your advertising—i.e., your return on investment—remain agile and adjust your methods as needed.

Bottom line, how you advertise depends on your customers. The options and resources are practically endless. The only option you won’t want to consider is not advertising at all.

How to Incorporate Color with Your Ads

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Digital or print, the colors you choose for your ads can make a tremendous difference in their impact. Do you want to arouse excitement, project reliability or evoke tranquility? Knowing which colors to use can add subliminal punch to an already effective ad or enhance the viewer’s impression of your brand.

As a matter of fact, there’s an entire science built around the psychological, emotional and sensory effects of various colors. In other words, researchers are not only able to link specific color families to specific responses, they’ve determined which colors work best for which industries.

Generally, colors are grouped into three categories: warm, cool, and black and white. Warm colors include reds and yellows, blues and greens are cool. Warms create excitement and stimulate the senses, while cools tend to generate tranquility. Stark though it may be, black-and-white can evoke a powerful sense of professionalism.

Your choice of color depends on a number of factors:

  • your target audience
  • the response you want to incite
  • the medium you plan to use

Does your ad target children or adults? Men or women? Maybe you’re marketing to a specific ethnic group. It pays to know which colors appeal to which audiences. Did you know, for example, males prefer blue to red? Environmentally-conscious people respond well to blues and greens. Plus, you don’t want to forget cultural differences when it comes to color symbolism. Purple may evoke an impression of wealth in the west, but in India it’s the color of mourning.

The response you want to create will also determine which colors you choose. Restaurants frequently use shades of red and yellow in both their ads and their decor, because these shades suggest friendliness and stimulate the senses, even to the point of increasing appetite. Darker shades of blue—like those used in police and mail carrier uniforms—evoke a sense of dependability and integrity. Combine black and white to suggest power, black and gold if you’re after polished glamor.

Finally, ask yourself where your ad will appear and adjust your colors accordingly. Those exciting reds and yellows may require tweaking if you want to achieve the same effect in your digital and newspaper ads; electronic media reflect colors differently than print media. If you’re marketing to beach goers or sports fans via an aerial banner, you may want to stick with black and white, because colors don’t show as well from a thousand feet up.

If you’re unsure about which colors will best suit your advertising purposes, you’ll be relieved to hear you can find all kinds of help on the Internet. Help Scout offers a handy infographic, and this article from Business Insider provides both guidelines and nine concrete examples of the ways famous brands use color in advertising. Empower Yourself With Cultural Psychology’s business section includes information on target audiences and culture-based color symbolism.

As you can see, using color effectively isn’t difficult, and it can exponentially increase your ad’s impact by eliciting a desired reaction and/or enhancing the customer’s response to your brand.

How to Strengthen Your Local Advertising

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Local advertising is where the money will be made in the future. As people turn to their smart phones and tablets for the answers, they will be looking to make purchases from places that are nearby. If you are not a part of this local advertising boom, then you may literally be missing customers who are right in front of you. Here are a few of the best ways to immediately improve your local advertising program.

– Create a Google+ page so that your business can rank for local search

Google+ may not be much of a social network, but it is connected to the largest search engine in the world. Google controls around 70% of the local search traffic on the Internet, has the best map system around and gives precedence to profiles with a Google+ page. It should be a no-brainer to take the time to fill out this page fully. If your storefront is located in a metropolitan area, then Google likely has a listing for your business already; it is up to you to claim it and reap the benefits.

Many savvy business people are actually claiming the Google+ and Google Map listings of competitors and charging a scalping fee for those companies to get the listing back. Claim your listing so that you will not have to go through this hassle.

– Ask your customers to leave a review of your business

Reviews are a great way to get the attention of the Google search engine crawler. Reviews are also a great way to keep in touch with your customer base. Great reviews will obviously lead to more business as well as a lower bounce rate for your website. However, even bad reviews can help.

First of all, you will be able to address problems that your customers are having before they turn into talking points at social gatherings. You will also gain the favor of Google, which does not like to see a listing with nothing but positive reviews. Some sites have actually been penalized because all of their reviews were overwhelmingly positive. The charge was that they were faked. Encourage your customers to be truthful, especially when you have no reviews and no trust with Google.

– Make sure that your contact information is clear and easy to find on your website

In order to turn your online visitors into real customers, they need to be able to find you. Make sure that your contact information is on every page of your website as well as on your Google+ profile. The first excuse that a person has to not attend your business, that person will take. It is up to you to provide a professional front to draw in new business.

Keep the above tips in mind in order to immediately improve your local advertising. Keep your ear to the street so that you will be on the cutting edge of new ways to affect the local markets. Staying on top of things online is the number one way to grow locally.

Four Advertising Changes You Need to Make Right Now

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With the world of marketing moving at lightning speed, you have to keep up with companies across the globe, not just your neighborhood competition. Here are four advertising changes that you need to make right now in order to compete in a global, mobile economy.

1. Expand your advertising into mobile strategies

We are almost to the point at which people actually prefer to do business on their mobile phones with PayPal or Apple Pay rather than do business face-to-face with cash. In order to access the customer of the future, you will need to create a viable mobile advertising campaign that targets your most likely customers in a consistent way. With huge changes coming to the Google search engine algorithm, advertising in the mobile platform will also help your search engine results as well.

2. Learn to soft sell

Inbound marketing is much more effective than traditional advertising on new mediums such as mobile phones and tablets. Even people who prefer to receive their advertising from traditional platforms are responding less to the hard sell. In order to create the kind of longevity that you need in an advertising campaign, you must learn to couch your message in humor and in information that your customer will find immediately relevant. People are no longer purchasing products – they are purchasing items from companies that they trust.

3. Increase your ROI with digital advertising

Traditional advertising mediums continue to hold their pricing even as they lose ground to digital advertising channels. If you can create a viable advertising strategy in the digital world, your maintenance costs will be much less prevalent than on traditional platforms such as TV or radio. For instance, a video that is produced for your YouTube channel and syndicated on blogs will remain online indefinitely. It will also gain traction as it ages within the major search engines instead of losing relevance as it gets older.

4. Leverage new media spokespeople

There is an entirely new crop of spokespeople who have access to an audience that you may otherwise be unable to touch. They are less expensive and more relevant to demographics such as Millennials and international customers. These social leaders are being made on social media, not by Hollywood. There are the people with huge followings on websites like Vine, YouTube and Instagram. Delving into the demographics of each of those websites will give you a great indication of what hiring one of the social leaders will give to you in terms of targeted reach. For instance, YouTube is great for people who are over age 25, unmarried and socially forward thinking. If you are looking for teenagers, however, Instagram is the platform for your company.

Keep your ear to the street in order to retain the relevance of your advertising campaigns. There will be huge changes in the future as the world of digital commerce continues to solidify its rule set – stay on top of these changes and keep the above tips in mind in order to succeed with your advertising campaigns.

Should You Have an Employee in Charge of Advertising?

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Every business needs to have a marketing and advertising department. Small businesses are faced with a choice. Owners can decide to give the job of advertising to an existing employee within the company. The alternative is to outsource advertising to a third-party marketing agency. Which decision is right really depends on the business and its management. You should consider a few benefits and drawbacks of having an employee in charge of advertising for your business.

Brand and Product Awareness

An advantage of having an employee in charge of advertising is immediate brand and product awareness. The employee will be intimately familiar with the overall brand of the business and the company culture. Employees will also have an in-depth understanding of the products or services you offer. This is beneficial because it will take an outside agency time to gain this same knowledge and create appropriate advertising.

Experience

A potential drawback is experience. The employee you place in charge of advertising might not have an extensive background in the field. This can make your advertising awkward or ineffective at first. An outside agency will have complete expertise with advertising. An agency can be relied on to create sophisticated and effective ads from the start.

Simple and Fast Communication

Placing an employee in charge of advertising allows to communicate quickly and simply about marketing. If you are developing an aerial advertising banner, then you can see how the design is progressing every step of the way directly in your business. You will have more limited contact and input when using a third-party advertising company.

Limited Resources

A disadvantage of relying on an employee to do your advertising is that resources might be limited. You will have to purchase all the tools needed to create and manage advertising campaigns. This might not be practical if your business is small. Advertising agencies already have all the equipment, software and tools necessary to create professional advertisements.

Lower Initial Cost

Assigning an employee to handle advertising can have a lower initial cost than signing a contract with an outside marketing firm. The payment to your employee will be proportional to existing salaries within your business and area. Signing up with a large advertising agency can sometimes be much more expensive since the cost is based on larger market rates.

Return on Investment

Something to consider is that it might take some time for your employee in charge of advertising to learn everything necessary to be efficient and effective. This means your return on investment might be very low for months or years. If you decide to use an advertising firm, then you are likely to see a much better return on investment right away. This can keep your marketing budget low.

More Invested In Results

A final advantage of having an employee in charge of advertising is that person will be more invested in results than a third-party agency. Your employee will realize that the success of the business means personal success as well. This means the employee will work harder and bring more passion to every advertising project than an outside firm handling dozens of clients at once. This can benefit your business over time.

 

Five Signs of a Great Advertising Agency

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The marketplace has evolved tremendously in the past few decades. Since the advent of the Internet, there is a whole new audience, and it is now possible to market products and services on a worldwide basis. Of course, this means an influx in competition. In order to ensure you have the best chance to get your business or product name out there, there are five signs of a great advertising agency you should keep in mind as you create your marketing plan.

1. Cost Effective

We all want to save money, but you don’t want to sacrifice quality when it comes to your advertising campaign. Advertising agencies that truly put the customer first will be innovative in coming up with creative ideas that remain within your budget while reaching a large audience.

One great way to achieve this goal is to hire an agency that offers aerial advertising. This entails having a banner flown over a populated area with your message. So many advertisements go unseen, but, when a loud plane flies overhead, most people on the ground will look up. This makes aerial advertising one of the most cost effective methods.

2. Understanding of Your Needs

You want to get the most with your advertising dollars, and this means your agency must have a clear concept of your needs. Beware of agencies that try to keep meetings brief and fail to ask questions. A competent agent will ensure they have a clear understand of the message you are trying to get across to your audience. This means they take the time to listen to you as well as follow up throughout the process.

3. Keeping Ethics in Mind

Just as you face competition, so do advertising agencies. As a result, it can be tempting for them to offer claims above and beyond their capabilities. We all like to save money, but never compromise on quality. To ensure you are getting a quote that will deliver the results you are paying for, explore your options. This allows you to get a good idea of the realistic prices and eliminate those offers that are too good to be true.

4. Willing to Lend a Helping Hand

It is easy to spot a reputable ad agency when your agent is always willing to lend a hand. After your initial consultation, they should be quick to take your calls and establish an ongoing relationship. In any industry, things change, and your agency should always be ready and willing to accommodate your needs and help you adapt your campaign as necessary.

5. Understanding Their Arsenal

There are a variety of outlets today through which your advertising can be displayed, and you should ensure the agency you choose has an understanding of all the methods you can employ. They will be better able to understand your needs and match them up with the medium that will best suit your unique needs and reach the largest audience possible to bring you new clients.

 

 

4 Reasons You Should Increase Your Advertising Budget

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Whether you are the owner of a small business or the director of marketing of a large corporation, it always an imperative to discover ways of how to increase your company’s advertising budget. With increasing competition in the global business arena, organizations and businesses are constantly fighting to win over the minds of consumers. Here are four major reasons why it is imperative to increase your advertising budget for your business.

Brand Awareness

Creating, sustaining and increasing your company’s brand awareness and recognition is obviously one of the most important reasons why you should constantly strive to increase your advertising budget. With the rise of digital advertising and the proliferation of social media, businesses constantly have to find new and innovative ways to increase their reach into the minds of consumers. More dollars into your advertising budget ultimately means higher brand awareness. If you really can’t make the connection between increasing your investment advertising as a means of increasing your company’s brand awareness, always remember you are also competing with other brands.

 

More Sales

Generating new sales is also another strong benefit of increasing your advertising budget. Obviously all businesses want to ensure that their advertising has good ROI. Creating effective advertising campaigns will produce new sales leads, which ultimately convert into sales. More money into an advertising budget in the long run means more sales. Businesses that are willing to spend money on advertising will generally see more sales.

 

Create Customer Base

With a bigger advertising budget, businesses and organizations can seriously strategize to create and sustain a profitable and loyal customer base. Studies have shown that it costs more to gain a new customer versus keeping a current one. This goes back to the classic 80/20 rule in marketing. 80 percent of a company’s sales will come from 20 percent of a brand-loyal and satisfied customer who constantly buys products and services. This year, you should examine ways of how to stretch and increase advertising dollars to create a loyalty rewards program.

Competitive Edge

Another final and yet compelling reason why it’s time to increase your advertising budget is to gain and maintain an edge over your competitors. You better believe that your competitors are utilizing the latest and greatest advertising and marketing tools to promote their products and services. This is the mindset you should have. With that being said, gaining market share, weeding out competitors and dominating your industry should be ample reasons enough to increase your advertising budget.

There are many more reasons why you should increase your advertising budget. In the end, the point taken is that it never hurts to figure out ways how to pump more dollars into your company’s marketing and advertising. Whether you are looking to buy television ad space or looking to roll out a new website, more advertising dollars will pay off in the long run to build a powerful and profitable business. More advertising means more money.

 

Three Advertising Methods You’re Missing out on

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As 2015 gains speed, more and more business owners are ready to optimize their advertising campaign in order to wield the greatest return on investment (ROI) possible. Yet in many cases, these business owners are not modifying their marketing strategies to incorporate techniques they haven’t used before. In many cases, there are a plethora of effective, expedient advertising strategies available that business owners need to tap in to in order to attain the skyrocketing conversion rates and steadily expanding customer base that they desire. Here are three advertising methods that your company may be missing out on:

1. Viral-Worthy Tweets.

It’s no secret that social media marketing is an incredibly cost-effective and time-efficient way to build a brand in the online world. Yet what many business owners don’t know is which specific strategies to implement in order to make their social media marketing campaign wildly successful. If this is your dilemma, you should know that the solution is oftentimes the creation of viral-worthy tweets. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “viral,” note that it references the process of a piece of web media getting published, becoming popular, and subsequently being shared all over the internet at “lightning speed” such that millions and millions of people are exposed to it in a matter of hours (and in some cases, minutes). As you may have gathered, having one of your web advertisements go viral is an incredibly effective way to gain exposure and credibility for your brand. To make it happen, it’s advantageous to create a viral-worthy tweet. Developing a viral-worthy tweet results from your knowledge of your target audience, so it’s critically important that you familiarize yourself with their language and values. Once this foundational step is complete, you can move forward by creating a tweet that will appeal to them (preferably with a link to one of your stellar product pages).

2. Aerial Advertising.

Aerial advertising is another wonderful advertising method you may not have thought of up until this moment. Luckily, aerial advertising need no longer be a mystery! In short, this advertising method involves using a fleet of planes to fly a company’s message over large crowds. Aerial advertising is an incredibly effective way to build or expand upon a marketing campaign, and this type of broad exposure can improve your bottom line by sparking interest in your brand. When you utilize this marketing strategy, you create the impression of professionalism and success amongst your target audience, and doing so is an important key to sending your conversion rates through the roof.

3. The Engagement Principle.

In the era of traditional marketing, it was not uncommon to see a variety of businesses adopt an attitude towards the public that might be considered, well, “stuffy.” In this contemporary world, however, the stand-offish approach is no longer effective. Rather than simply flashing messages about the great value of goods and services, businesses who want to be competitive on the global stage need to develop meaningful relationships with their customers. Doing so is the key to transforming initial visitors into lifelong customers who will eventually evolve into your most enthusiastic brand ambassadors. So, how do you cultivate a meaningful relationship with your target market? By engaging them. In short, engagement is the process of somehow getting your audience interested in your brand such that you (the brand owner) and they (the customers) are in continual communication. There are numerous ways that you can put the engagement principle in play, including by hosting free contests that offer free promotional prizes. You can also include Share Buttons on your website or blog so that visitors who like your products and services can share information about them with everyone in their social networks.

Conclusion

If you’re serious about taking your business to unprecedented levels of success, it’s important to note that advertising is the key to realizing your goal. By utilizing the three advertising strategies outlined above, you can increase your conversion rates while building a base of lifelong customers who will be enthusiastic about your brand. Good luck!

 

Best Events For Aerial Advertisements

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When you want to use aerial advertisements, there are certain things that you should focus on. Some events are not going to go over well if they are advertised in the air, but there are other things that people will immediately come to when they see an advertisement in the air.

Air Shows

Your local air show should be advertised with a banner flowing on the back of a plane. The air show is an exciting time for all, and it is very exciting to see the advertisement floating behind the plane. People will remember the advertisement, and they will want to see what else you can do with airplanes.

Car Sales

Car dealerships that use aerial advertisements are going to reap great rewards through these simple ads. People equate cars and planes with power, and people will remember the dealership that used the aerial ad. This makes your business the one that always uses aerial ads, and people will be waiting for the next aerial ad that you put in the sky.

City Events

When you are using aerial advertisements, they can only be seen in a certain area. You can advertise your city events over the town square, or you can advertise the county fair over the largest town in the county. This is something people can look forward to every year, and it will alert everyone in the area when they congregate to see the ads.

Mall and Shopping Center Events

A mall or shopping center can advertise its sales and large events with an aerial advertisement flying near its area. The people who live and work in the area will be able to see the ad easily, and they will know where to go for the event. These ads do not have to fly very far, but they will still bring in a great number of people to the event.

The Races

When a local racetrack has a race coming to their area, they should advertise with the aerial ad. These aerial ads are going to attract the people who love to watch racing, and they will also reach people who may not live very close to the track. When people are not close to the track, they could learn about the track with the aerial ad. Flying the ad far enough will bring in many more visitors than before.

When you are planning on using aerial ads for your events, you need to remember that the aerial ad is going to become a spectacle around which your event can be planned. You can gain more visitors and sales through the ads, but you must use the ads for the right purpose. When you are using the ads for simple events, you are not going to catch the eye of the public. You want to make sure that your ads are for large events that will attract people from all over the area.