TV Advertising For Small Business: Overview
Is TV advertising for small business effective? Is it too expensive? What should you consider before you decide? Well, there is no short answer to those question. While there are many variables, we are going to help demystify the world of TV advertising, and help you understand the details of how TV advertising can help your small business grow. In the past few years, the face of advertising has changed dramatically. While print, radio, and television ads once dominated marketing, online marketing tools like SEO are now taking over advertising for many organizations. But, is that really the best way for smaller businesses to spend their advertising budgets?
Understanding Marketing Trends
It’s certainly true that online marketing is increasingly important, and it makes sense to take advantage of that option. However, advertising any business, especially a smaller business, requires a sense of balance to garner the best overall return on investment (ROI). That’s why ignoring the potential of TV advertising for small business along with other venues is not generally a good idea.
Trends are just that—they’re changes that need to be explored to determine if taking advantage of any specific trend will benefit a business. In the event cable TV ads appear to present a better option than print ads, it’s a good idea to invest some of the advertising budget and track the results. If those results represent a positive change in sales, following up with additional ads of the same type is probably warranted.
If, however, a specific type of ad fails to generate necessary returns, altering the marketing budget and trying other venues is generally recommended. The point is, there is no single trend a business owner should ignore without testing the waters.
Considering Television Ads in Today’s Highly Competitive Market
Television advertising is still a strong component of marketing plans for large businesses, but are TV ads affordable and effective for smaller business owners? The short answer is yes, television ads are proven to provide a significant return on investment for smaller businesses around the country. However, there are some caveats to consider when considering TV ads.
Creating Quality Ad Content is Crucial
The television ads that generate the greatest returns are not typically created by amateurs. In most cases, professionals had a hand in developing the content and producing the ad. However, the costs for creating an ad for cable television don’t have to be exorbitant. It’s always a good idea to work with experts when developing television advertising of any type, but that doesn’t mean smaller business owners must spend at a level to compete with industry giants. It’s just not necessary.
Define Both Short- and Long-Term Objectives Before Creating TV Ads
When determining what types of content should be included in cable television ads, business owners must take the time to determine what their actual objectives are before proceeding. Doing so helps to keep costs down, as ads won’t have to be replaced unnecessarily. And, careful planning makes sticking to a comprehensive ad campaign easier. Again, cable television ads should be part of an overall campaign, not the only advertising venue. Working closely with a television ad specialist is strongly recommended to define objectives.
Identify Your Target Market
Large corporations may have the financial ability to shotgun ads across a variety of networks, but most smaller businesses don’t have the resources to advertise that way. Determining who the target audience is for your product or service is before signing any contracts is strongly recommended to further boost the ROI for your advertising dollars.
Cable TV providers make it rather easy for advertisers to target specific markets. Data is available outlining who watches cable TV channels at specific times, which allows small business owners to decide when and where their potential clients are most likely to see their ads. By placing ads only on channels target market members watch, and at times when they’re most likely to be watching, small business owners can generate business and keep their advertising expenses to a minimum.
Expanding Advertising to More Channels: Pros and Cons
Smaller business owners always have to watch their budgets carefully, so should they consider expanding their cable television advertising to more channels if their first efforts are successful? The answer isn’t clear cut, as there are variables to consider.
First, is adding more advertising on additional channels in the budget without jeopardizing other marketing efforts? That might take a little analysis to determine. However, if the initial TV spot improved business significantly, adding more spots may well make sense. In some cases, running additional ads may have a multiplier effect as viewers see the spots more frequently.
Of course, the same guidelines apply that were present when the initial cable TV ad was aired. The channel must be one the target audience watches, and the available timeslots must be during programming the target demographic routinely views.
Cable networks may also provide some type of discount when business owners agree to air more ads on local channels. While that’s not always going to be the case, advertisers should certainly ask about volume discounts to make the per-ad cost lower.
Creating the Balance
There are times when TV ads don’t fully meet a business’s needs. For example, it isn’t always practical to create new ads for relatively short sales. In that case, using a well-designed online site will help to make customers aware of specials. It’s relatively easy to include a mention of a website potential customers can go to for more information or special sale pricing in a cable TV ad.
Business owners are always encouraged to work with advertising professionals to develop an overall marketing strategy that includes a variety of options for gaining the attention of customers. While cable TV ads are proven to generate traffic and phone calls, clients may want more information than a short ad can provide.
Developing an effective balance takes time and effort, but marketing experts routinely point out that cable TV ads are, when properly presented, more effective than most other types of advertising.
A Couple More Reasons to Consider TV Advertising for Small Business
Statistics can be fun to explore, but understanding those statistics is crucial when looking for the most effective ways to advertise. One interesting statistic is that cable TV viewers tend to have more disposable income than viewers of network channels.
Another interesting industry statistic is that cable viewers tend to watch more TV than network viewers. That means your target audience is more likely to see your ad when it’s on a cable channel.
Finally, it simply costs less to run ads on cable TV channels. In other words, your target audience viewing a cable channel has more money to spend and is more likely to see your ad than viewers limited to network channels. Those facts, when put together, suggest exploring advertising on cable TV should be at the top of any small business owner.