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Got Boring Marketing Collateral? Here are 5 Ways to Make it Stand Out

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, May 24, 2016 @ 12:38 PM

It wasn’t that long ago that marketing collateral consisted mainly of facts and figures with a few images and pie charts thrown in for “appeal.” These were of course printed on plain old black and white paper in mass quantities.

Thanks to modern technology, today’s businesses can wow prospects by featuring their products and services in full-color and on high quality paper. Yet, despite these printing advances, many companies still consider their marketing collateral as supplemental and don’t bother to make it stand out. This is a disservice.

Today’s consumers are busy and not at all interested in perusing collateral that offers about as much visual appeal as a scholastic aptitude test. They want to be visually engaged and offered information in bite-size bits.

With this in mind, here are 5 ways you can make your marketing collateral stand out and grab buyers’ attention.

Make It Align with Your Brand Image

Make it align with your brand image.It’s not enough to slap your logo on your collateral and call it a day. You need to make sure it represents your brand both in how it looks and the impression it gives. For starters, collateral should use your brand’s colors and font styles so that consumers have a universal experience across your website, social media pages, magazine ads, and collateral. In other words, they should recognize your brand immediately.

Also, make sure your brand’s personality is the same across all channels. Collateral copy doesn’t have to be dry and boring, so make sure to infuse it with your personality and humanity.

Make it Relevant

Whether it’s marketing collateral, an explainer video, or an email campaign, unless your content is 100% relevant to your audience, they will ignore your message. Be sure you know exactly who your target demographic is and use your collateral to speak to their particular needs.

Also important to know is exactly how you will be using your collateral. Will you be handing out a tri-fold at an event, offering a sell sheet at a client meeting, or sending a brochure through the post? Do you want prospects to discover your brand, visit your website, engage with you on social media, or call your sales representatives? Whatever the goal, you need to make sure your collateral reflects it.

And finally, be sure to include your web address, email, phone number, and social icons so customers can easily contact you.

Use Images

Think of how you yourself take in information. If, in an advertisement, you are offered an image as well as text, your eyes naturally scan the image first and then move on to the words. All human beings do this. We have been programmed in a way to seek out images first and text second. Colorful images will definitely help your collateral stand out.

Depending on what type of collateral you are creating, and the goal you want it to achieve, consider using a variety of images such as photographs of your products, illustrations, stock photos and infographics.

forget basicsForget Basic

Perhaps one of the best and easiest ways for your collateral to stand out is to forget using a basic shape. Who says a brochure HAS to be a boring ol’ rectangle? Consider using die-cutting, a unique design element that can add a creative shape to your collateral. And, contrary to what you may think, this element won’t break your bank. But it will give your printed material major impact. So, next time you’re printing some brochures or business cards, consider making them the shape of your logo or something else that connects with your brand.

Choose the Right Paper

If you watch any cooking shows on the Food Network, you’ve no doubt noticed professional chefs spend almost as much time deciding on what plates they will use to present their dishes as they do on the ingredients and preparation. You’ve got to do the same thing with your collateral. While you may have always played it safe in the past and used cardstock, for instance, this will hardly get anyone’s attention. (What gets your attention more… an appetizer served on a little plate, or one served on a spoon?)

To make your printed collateral special consider using textured or glossy paper. Get creative and maybe use fabric or a dark paper with light text. Anything not-typical, that is still easy to read and engage with, will get you the attention you want.

Collateral does NOT have to be boring. It can actually be something that sets your brand apart and continuously bring in leads and sales.

Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

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7 Tips for Effective Flyer Advertising

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, May 17, 2016 @ 12:27 PM

Advertising with flyers is a low-cost marketing option for small, local business. Flyers are a great way to introduce your new business to a specific region or demographic, or promote a new product or service to your local community. For instance, a local deli may target the office worker market through flyer distribution to direct businesses. A new cleaning service may insert flyers into the local newspaper to reach a certain geographic area.

If you’re considering adding flyer advertising to your marketing mix, follow these 7 tip to get the most bang for your buck.

Use a Bold Headline

Flyers aren’t just longer versions of business cards, so don’t use your company name as the headline. Use an attention-grabbing headline that highlights the benefits you’re offering.

Customers are only interested in how you can help them solve a problem. What’s a more effective headline: “Sam’s Lawn Care” or “Let Us Mow Your Lawn So You Can Enjoy Your Summer!”

Be HumanBe Human

Your local customers are itching to give you their business instead of handing over their money to large, faceless companies. Make sure you share the people behind your products and services by including some personal photos. Also, share your company’s story. How and why did you start this business? Did your father start it 33 years ago and the family has been providing quality jewelry sales and repair ever since? Be human.

Use a Call-to Action

By using a bold headline, focusing on the benefits you offer customers, and sharing your personal story and humanity, you’ve laid the groundwork for acquiring a sale. So don’t stop now! Use a call-to-action to tell the customer exactly what you want them to do: pick up the phone, bring in a coupon for 15% off a bag of horse feed, like you on Facebook, etc.

It’s also a great idea to use calls-to-action that prompt repeat or future sales. For instance, using something like, “Book before August 11th and receive a coupon for 10% off your next purchase.” This rewards your new customer when they return to use your services again in the future.

Ask them to pass it onAsk Them to Pass it On

You know the old saying, “Pass it on,” well that very much applies to flyer advertising. Let’s say a local resident sees your flyer in the Sunday paper, but they themselves don’t have a pool so don’t require a pool cleaner. Perhaps they know someone who could use your services. Word of mouth advertising is powerful, so leverage it by including something in your copy that asks the reader to pass on the flyer to someone who may be interested in your product or service.

Use Both Sides

While it is cheaper to only print on one side, it doesn’t cost much more to print on both sides. And, when you think about the fact you’re paying to have your flyer distributed, you might as well get more of your message out there for a slightly higher cost.

Obviously you don’t want your flip side to compete with your main message, so consider using the backside for things like:

  • A comprehensive list of services
  • A map of your exact location
  • Customer testimonials
  • Recent awards

Test

Flyers are no different than any other type of marketing channel when it comes to testing. Always see if you can get an even better return by changing up the headline, body copy and images. Sometimes the smallest changes can bring the biggest results.

Proof Before Submitting Your Order

There’s nothing worse than ordering thousands of flyers and THEN finding a mistake or two. Once your order has been printed, that’s it, there’s no going back and fixing mistakes. Mistakes can undermine all of your advertising efforts, so hire a professional editor if need be to go over your text with a fine-toothed comb.

Flyers are one of the most cost-efficient and effective ways for local businesses to reach their target audience. By following these 7 tips you’ll have a much better chance of ensuring your campaigns increase your reach, leads, and sales.

Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

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The Truth About Print (That Your Competition Doesn't Want You to Know)

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, May 10, 2016 @ 01:26 PM

If you ask marketers how their ad campaigns are going, many (if not most) answers will include words and phrases like clicks, banner impressions, and viral looping. While digital marketing offers real value, it doesn’t always offer lasting impressions with your target audience. Print, on the other hand, makes a campaign memorable to readers and sets your message apart.

How much time do you spend each day staring at one or more digital screens, multitasking and not really paying attention to the content in front of you? Even when binge-watching our favorite cable shows, most of us have our mobile devices nearby, texting with friends and surfing the net for information about stocks or the weather.

That’s why we love when we can unplug from the digital world and connect to a traditional newspaper or magazine. And that’s why print is so effective at reaching audiences: because when interacting with print, people are relaxed and fully engaged. Add to this the fact that print offers frequent exposure, repeat impressions, pass-along readership, and message permanence, and you can see why your competition hopes you won’t find out the truth about print’s absolute effectiveness.

Here are some other truths they hope you won’t find out:

Print Grabs and Holds AttentionPrint grabs and holds attention

Print is like that new, shiny toy that comes along after we’ve been bombarded with the same-old same-old from our computers and mobile devices. And you know, shiny toys have the ability to completely grab and hold a person’s attention. When we hold a newspaper or magazine in our hands, we tend to pay full attention to the content inside.

Print Solves the Problem of Customer Retention

Customer retention is a big problem for many brands today. But did you know that print publications were traditionally started by brands to retain and resell to their customers? While digital channels may allow you to quickly extend your reach, how many of these newly-acquired customers keep coming back to your blog or social media pages to engage with you???

Print is the New New

It’s funny how something old can become new again. Though print has been around for 100+ years, consumers, normally caught up in all-things-digital, find it new and novel. Presenting your message in this “novel” way feeds consumer demand for interaction with something unique and special. Print advertising will help your brand stand out and do something not every brand is doing.

Print Causes People to Stop and Think

The web is full of information and, throughout the day, most of us surf it in order to find answers, read product reviews, or locate a local merchant who has a service we need. But print is a channel that actually makes people stop and think. When we engage on such an intellectual level, we become much more receptive to the information in front of us, including the ads.

BlankChalkboard3_copy.jpgPrint Publications are Viewed as Credible

Print has always been seen as a credible and trustworthy channel by consumers. In fact, one study found that newspapers were still a highly trusted news source. And, surprisingly, it is not only the 40+ crowd who flocks to newspapers. The study found that 44% of young adults trust print media, roughly the same percentage as adults of all ages. By leveraging this trust, marketers can connect with consumers when they are in a highly receptive mood.

While there’s no denying digital marketing is effective, there is also something undeniably powerful about print. Print makes an impact, fully engages readers, and helps brands look special in the eyes of consumers. But let’s keep this secret between us.

Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.

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7 Digital Marketing Strategies to Help Small Businesses Dominate Their Local Market

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, May 03, 2016 @ 02:50 PM

Many small, local businesses neglect to spend much effort (or advertising dollars) online. This is mostly due to the fact that the Internet is crowded, and typically dominated, by large, national brands.

But what small, local businesses fail to realize is they are not competing with these giants and can easily dominate their local market by incorporating the following 7 digital marketing strategies.

Have a Mobile Friendly WebsiteHave a Mobile Friendly Website

While every sized business should have a mobile-friendly website, it’s particularly important for local businesses. Your prospective customers might find you when they’re out and about and do a search on their phone or other mobile device. If your site isn’t optimized, these prospects will have a hard time interacting with it. And, because Google’s mobile algorithm won’t necessarily show non-mobile-friendly websites in a mobile search, prospects may not even see your site to begin with.

Optimize for Local Search

It goes without saying that if you want local customers to find you, you have got to have a robust search strategy. Make sure your website not only includes information about your products or service, but also your location. It won’t do your restaurant much good if people in other states can find you but no one in your local community can. Make sure you include keywords that specify your location. You’re not just a diner serving breakfast all day, you’re a diner serving breakfast all day in Youngstown, Ohio.

Have a Great Looking Website

As I just mentioned, many customers are going to find you during a quick search on their mobile device. When people search for information on a desktop, they tend to care more about the information they are looking for (how to get rid of ants, how to pay down debt, how to build a new deck) than how the website looks. But this isn’t the case with mobile searchers. These people will only give you seconds to see if you are the establishment where they want to eat, shop, or get their oil changed. Since you only have a few seconds, your website needs to look great and be easy to navigate. In other words, make sure it is professionally designed.

Use Social Media to Target Your Local AreaUse Social Media to Target Your Local Area

By now you know social media is a great way to extend your brand’s reach, but for small, local businesses, the key is to extend that reach in the right direction. When using sites like Facebook to advertise, be sure your campaigns target relevant customers in your immediate area. Leverage the targeting capabilities within these social networks to maximize your budget and your campaigns.

Claim and Optimize Your Local Listings

Sites like Google, Yelp, and the online Yellow Pages also provide customers information and reviews about your company. It’s really important that you claim these listings so you can control and optimize the information they contain.

Use Apps to Target Hyper-Local Customers

There’s local targeting and then there’s hyper-local targeting. Mobile apps now allow local business owners to target prospects who are in close proximity to their business. Why not use an app like Foursquare to send alerts about a sale or offers to customers who are shopping nearby?

Pay Attention to What Works

If you’ve been advertising for any length of time you already know some things work and some things don’t. You’ve got to really monitor your campaigns and pay attention to your results so you can refine strategies and keywords as necessary. Look for what’s driving the most measurable results – those conversions like emails, phone calls, walk-ins and actual sales. Whatever is actually driving customers to your business – do more of that and cut out whatever gave you no results.

You may be small, and you may be local, but to your immediate community, the products and services you provide may be hugely appreciated. Don’t be intimidated by big brands. Use these 7 digital strategies to dominate your local market.

  Free Local Media Analysis - Request Now!

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3 Ways Newspaper Ads Will Help You Reach Your Audience This Summer

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 @ 09:03 AM

Summer months bring higher temps, BBQs and pesky biting insects. They also bring a plethora of travel and frenetic schedules to consumers. This can make engaging prospects even more challenging for advertisers, who are looking to make a push in the third quarter. How can marketers get their ads in front of consumers who are distracted and on-the-go?

Newspaper ads.

As marketers have flocked to digital channels, the newspaper industry has been working diligently and tirelessly to innovate. It was either innovate or die, as so many people falsely claim they’ve already done.

Newspapers have consistently improved their products to meet the changing needs of audiences. These innovations help advertisers reach their target market no matter where they are or what they’re doing.

Here are 3 ways newspaper ads will help you reach your audience this summer.

Local Guides and EventsLocal Guides and Events

Newspapers are at the forefront of planning and hosting local summer events for the community. Why not leverage this direct access to subscribers and get your message in front of the right market?

For example, your local paper may put out a special summertime edition called something like “The Summertime Guide to the Hudson Valley.” In it would be a calendar of events and free concert series, as well as local merchants who are sponsoring these activities. Becoming a sponsor is a great way to get your name out there. These kinds of guides typically list local restaurants, shopping, and other entertainment venues as well, another opportunity to extend your local reach.

Technology

According to data released by comScore in 2015, audience engagement with newspaper’s digital content is on the rise, with 176 million unique visitors last spring. This is great news for advertisers because it means they have a way to connect with all of those people glued to their mobile devices this summer.

Recognizing that mobile devices are how many consumers choose to engage with newspaper content, newspapers have developed new apps to retain long-time readers and attract new ones.

Many apps are bundling handpicked articles or curating top articles to provide a more customized experience. A customized experience means happy readers, and that means consumers who are in a great frame of mind when they come across your ad.

Niche Marketstarget.png

The digital versions of many newspapers have focused their efforts on trying to appeal to specific, niche audiences through targeted partner sites and products. After all, there’s no better time than summer to dive into a topic that interests you and spend hours reading all about it by the poolside.

An example would be The Tennessean’s 12th & Broad, which collaborates with local partners to create unique events that showcase Nashville’s thriving cultural scene. Subscribers of 12th & Broad receive tickets to local events, home delivery of its quarterly magazine, and other perks from local partners.

If your local paper has partnered up to form a niche channel publication, you can become a partner perk. Make Thursday free iced coffee day or Saturday free gelato day.

These are just a few ways newspapers have embraced innovation in an effort to not only survive the digital onslaught but thrive despite it. Niche and digital products allow newspapers to truly engage readers wherever they are with customized information. And, with targeted community events, advertisers can take full advantage of having access to their local audience to further increase brand recognition and customer loyalty.

 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Include OOH in Your Next Campaign

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:32 PM

When most people think of out of home (OOH) advertising, they think of the ubiquitous billboards along the highway or on the side of a city building. But OOH has become far more than just these big, bold signs. OOH ads can pop up on bus stops, taxi cabs, benches, and the floors and corridors of shopping centers.

According to a 2013 Arbitron Out-of-Home Advertising Study, Roughly 9 in 10 Americans age 18 or older travel by car or public transportation. And, the average time spent traveling is over 20 hours per week. That’s a considerable amount of time spent out of the home. The same study found that over two-thirds of travelers make purchasing decisions at a location other than their home at some point during the week.

These numbers speak to incredible opportunities for advertisers. If you haven’t included OOH into your media mix, here are 5 reasons why you should consider doing so for your next campaign.

More ImpactMore Impact

Unlike other advertising mediums, consumers don’t really have a choice as to whether or not they see OOH ads. Because OOH ads are part of the environment, and can’t really be ignored, they offer much more impact for your campaigns and for a longer period of time.

Less Competition

Placing ads in other mediums, like on television or in a magazine, means you’ll be vying for consumer attention amidst a sea of other messaging. But, unless you place it in the middle of Times Square, an OOH ad doesn’t really have to compete. Plus, because these ads tend to be larger and far more creative and engaging, they naturally draw attention.

OOH is More Cost Effective Than You Think

In a recent study, the Outdoor Media Association found that OOH delivers a high ROI in all categories. And, the higher the budget spent on OOH ads, the larger the return.

It simply costs less to reach 1,000 using OOH. For instance, online ads can cost over $15 for one thousand impressions, magazines can cost over $20 per thousand, and a spot on cable broadcasting can cost between $22 and $25 per thousand. Compare that with OOH’s $3 - $9 per thousand impressions and you see how effective your ad spend can be when spent outdoors.

Farther Reach

If you’re trying to reach a broader audience, OOH is an effective marketing platform. Because of where they live, these ads can reach those who may otherwise be hard to reach, like busy travelers and low income consumers.

According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, OOH can significantly improve reach of other channels at a lower cost. For instance, it can increase reach by 18% for TV and up to 316% for mobile ads. OOH has the power to drive consumers to search a brand, interact with it, and make a purchase.

It Impacts the Path-to-PurchaseIt impacts the path-to-purchase

Location, location, location. It’s not just the key to real estate, it’s the key to OOH as well because it impacts across all stages of the path-to-purchase. According to APN Outdoor, 70% of purchases actually occur outside of shopping and retail centers. And, research by Outdoor Media Centre (OMC) suggests that OOH is the medium most seen by consumers in ‘the last window of influence’ before they make a purchase.

Consider Using OOH in Your Marketing Mix

When combined with other channels in an integrated media plan, OOH can extend reach, drive consumer action, and at a price point that leaves room for a large return on investment. This is most likely why OOH is the fastest-growing advertising media around and why you should consider it for your next campaign.

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5 Media Planning Mistakes That Will Kill Your Campaigns

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 @ 02:34 PM

Whether you want to build brand awareness or promote your products or service, you’ll need to engage in some good ol’ fashioned media planning. It may seem simple to some – after all, how hard can it be to gather some data and use it to align your campaign goals with the right messaging and marketing channels, right?

But media planning is both an art and a science, and the complexities make mistakes far too common. Are you sure you’re getting the best bank for your buck? Are you reaching the largest number of prospects? Will your ROI make you a hero or villain in your bosses’ eyes?

To help you with your next campaign, here are 5 of the biggest media planning mistakes that will kill your campaigns every time.

Having no clear measurable goals.

Before any media is purchased, it’s important you have gathered that data I mentioned earlier to identify exactly who it is you want to reach with your ads. What is their lifestyle pattern and which channels will get your message in front of them? But perhaps even more important is to have measurable goals in place. How many campaigns have you launched without having any clear plans in place as to how you’ll measure their success? Do you want this campaign to increase web traffic by 12%? Increase actual sales by 5%? Or something entirely different? Without measurable goals, how will you know if your campaign benefitted your business?

Not spending money on testing.Not spending money on testing.

Most small businesses are cash-strapped and budget-conscious, and, in general, there is nothing wrong with that. However, it’s important to figure testing into your media budget. You may think this an unnecessary expense, but spending a little money in the beginning can potentially save you a lot in the end.

Not diversifying your media spending.

When it comes to planning your campaign, it’s incredibly important that you diversify your media spending. This will help you cast a broader net to catch more prospective fish. To be safe and smart, avoid spending too much in one area (80% digital – 20% newspapers and OOH), then be sure to monitor the results so you can adjust your approach and better target the most productive channels and regions.

Not looking at the big picture.

As your campaign progresses and those results start to come in, you’ll naturally want to take a look at your spending to identify areas to make cuts. Having said this, it’s important to look at the big picture, and not just the most recent activity. Keep in mind media responses aren’t predictable – that would make your life far too easy, wouldn’t it? Remember that advertising is a volatile business, which means you’ll definitely want to look at in-depth analytics before making any budgeting decisions.

Stopping before really getting started.Stopping before really getting started

Evaluating your campaign’s effectiveness should entail measuring frequency. Otherwise you may cut a campaign’s life short right as it’s beginning to gain momentum and make some real progress. By analyzing frequency you’ll be sure to pick up on the signals that give you a head’s up that things are progressing nicely.

 

Don’t fall victim to these common media planning mistakes. By clearly defining your goals, testing for effectiveness, diversifying your media spend, looking at the bigger picture and analyzing thoroughly before making any cuts, you can improve your campaign’s odds of success.

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4 Native Advertising Best Practices for Local Businesses

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Apr 05, 2016 @ 01:00 PM

Have you tried native advertising yet? If not, let me throw a couple of quick stats at you:

  • Research from BIA/Kelsey suggests that native advertising on social media alone will grow to $5B in 2017. That’s up from $3.1B in 2013.
  • A 2013 study conducted by Sharethroughfound that consumers engaged with native ads 53% more frequently than display ads. The study also found that native ads resulted in an 18% lift in purchase intent than banner ads.

These numbers speak to the effectiveness of native ads and the ability they have to help small, local businesses create additional revenue streams.

Why Does Native Advertising Work So Well?

Native ads are essentially content marketing and are used to build relationships with consumers, not sell to them.  They are called “native” because they mimic the content around them. For instance, in a health and fitness magazine, a native ad may appear as story or column about a new dieting trend.

Because they blend in with the editorial content, consumers do not view them as ads so much as valuable information. The only thing really separating these ads from the editorial content is a surreptitious label indicating the content is sponsored.

Nowadays, native ads are all around us. They are on Facebook as News Feed ads, Twitter as Promoted Tweets, as well as in other digital channels, and can be placed almost anywhere within that media.

4 Native Advertising Best Practices

As with any advertising strategy, your success will be determined by whether or not you’ve used the best (or worst) practices. Here are some of the best for developing and launching native advertisements.

Be SubtleBe Subtle

You’re probably used to creating ads that stand out and grab attention, but native ads work because they blend in to their surroundings. You’re Elmer Fudd and you’re hunting rabbit. Are you going to wear bright orange hunting garb so you can be easily spotted, or camouflage so you can blend in and get that bunny?

Make sure your font’s color and style blend in with the editorial content of the publication, and opt for light shading as opposed to high-contrast backgrounds.

Develop Strong Headlines

Here is where native ads are similar to other forms of advertising. Just like developing headlines for print ads, blog posts or email subject lines, you want to be sure you create a headline that gets the readers’ attention quickly.

The key is to make sure you promote benefits in your headline. What does the reader get if they take the time to read your entire ad? Remember, native ads are content, like an article, and they will require a reader to commit a bit of time. So be sure you talk up those benefits right away.

Will the reader learn how to lose belly fat in 21 days? How to retire to somewhere tropical and affordable? Or how to remove the stains from their kitchen countertops?

Besides leading with benefits, be straightforward, not coy or clever, and keep your headlines short and sweet.

Make Your Ad Relevant

You won’t be successful if your ads aren’t contextually relevant. Native ads have one job and one job only: to serve the reader. Once the reader is served, then the brand can be served, but only in this order.

No sales pitch or same-old-same-old brand messaging will do. You must give consumers what they expect: content they actually care about and that helps them in some way.

Partner with Trustworthy PublishersPartner with Trustworthy Publishers

The value of your add can only be as good as the publication it appears in. Partner with a publication that has a loyal and trusting following and you can leverage their credibility.

 

Native advertising may be just what your integrated campaigns have been missing. If you follow these 4 best practices, you’ll have the best chance of connecting with prospects and nurturing lasting relationships.

  Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.

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5 Reasons to Advertise in Niche Magazines

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Mar 29, 2016 @ 01:29 PM

You may remember back in 2012 when Newsweek, a behemoth in the magazine world, decided to stop the print version of its publication. The word gasped, and those who had started the myth that print was dead began to victoriously announce, “I told you so!”

But then something happened. Newsweek decided to bring back its print version, but this time they would offer it as a niche product and make it only available to subscribers.

What can we learn from this?

A: That print is alive and well, and B: that niche magazines offer a number of advantages over other advertising channels.

target.png1) A Dedicated Market

It’s one thing to get your offer in front of your target market – a group of people who are most likely going to be interested in it; but it’s an entirely different (and better) thing to get your offer in front of a dedicated market. That’s what niche magazines offer, a group of people with significant interest, if not a downright passion, in a particular topic. A merchant offering baby-proofing services will spend their advertising dollars much more effectively if they get their ad in a parenting magazine as opposed to any old magazine.

2) Magazines Engage Readers

On a daily basis I see people promoting digital marketing as if it were the second coming. Online channels definitely have their place in an integrated campaign, but think about how not-engaged most people are when online. They may be uploading their latest selfie to their Instagram account while emailing a friend about dinner plans, checking on their Amazon order and reading the latest Hollywood gossip all at the same time!

Compare this to a person reading a magazine. They sit there, or in some cases lay there, and they read the magazine. They are actually engaged with the content, giving it their full attention. This attention and engagement is transferred to the ads they come across in the magazine, and this is really good news for you.

3) Your Ad Will Stand Out

One benefit of people continually claiming print is dead, is that many advertisers have believed the hype and have focused all of their budget and time on digital channels. This has made it very easy for print advertisers to gain attention without need to compete against similar print ads.

magazine-spread.jpg4) People Trust Print

Studies have been conducted on this topic over the years and each time the results are the same – people trust print ads more than any other channel. This means they also trust the ads they see in print publications, which makes people far more open to your message.

Beyond trusting the information they get from print publications over digital websites, people are also weary of the viruses and malware they can pick up while surfing online. This makes them far less likely to click on those popups and banner ads.

These are two more reasons to get your ads in a niche magazine.

5) A Longer Shelf Life

Online ads come and go. They pop up and people click them off, or they completely ignore the banner ads beside the content they are reading. But print ads have real lasting power. Think about a niche magazine that lives in a doctor’s office. How many people pick up that magazine in a month and peruse it? Even a year later that magazine may still be sitting there and your ad will still get read.

The staying power of print ads offers an incredible ROI.

If you haven’t advertised in niche magazines before, consider adding this channel to your next campaign. You just might be surprised how effective this strategy is.

Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why magazines are still an effective advertising channel.  

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6 Dos and Don’ts of Direct Response Marketing

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Mar 22, 2016 @ 10:57 AM

Direct response marketing is one of the most powerful advertising strategies because campaigns are carefully designed to elicit an immediate and specific response from consumers. Because of this immediacy, businesses know quickly whether their marketing is delivering enough ROI.

As effective as this strategy is, it can be difficult to pull off a successful campaign. With this in mind, here are 6 dos and don’ts of direct response marketing.

DO: Offer Something Your Market Wants offer something your market wants

One of the most important things to understand about direct marketing is that it has NOTHING to do with creating markets and EVERYTHING to do with finding existing markets and offering them something they already want. This truth is what makes this method of selling so efficient, streamlined and profitable.

Your direct marketing campaigns are not about creating brand awareness but about putting your product or service in front of the right audience who already has a need or desire for it. Understand this and you are on your way toward success.

DON’T: Sell Products, Sell Solutions to Problems 

Once you find a market that wants what you have, do NOT sell them your product or service. No one really cares about your product or service – what they care about are their own needs and wants. Mark doesn’t need his car washed, he needs to NOT look like a pig when he picks up his date on Friday. Mrs. Clarkson doesn’t need new glasses, she wants to look stylish, and hopefully ten years younger.

The more you put the focus on your prospects’ needs and wants, the more of a response you’ll get out of them.

Appeal to EmotionsDO: Appeal to Emotions 

When creating direct marketing campaigns, it’s easy to become overly logical and focus on data. After all, you’ve spent a lot of time looking into things like reach, frequency, and CPM, so it stands to reason you would naturally focus on the data of your product or service and list a dozen bullet points of why your offer will save the prospect X, Y or Z.

But people buy based on emotions, not numbers. Only after they’ve already made an emotional decision will they use logic to justify their choice. So, always hook them by their emotions, and then reel them in with logic.

DON’T: Reinvent the Wheel

Direct marketing has been around since the first days of advertising, and after centuries of using this technique, there are certain things that have been proven to work over and over and over again. Things like:

  • Offers with time limits are more effective than offers without.
  • Offers with a free gift get more action than offers with discounts, particularly when the free gift matches the prospect’s need or want.
  • Sweepstakes work - especially for impulse items.
  • Benefits out-pull features.

Don’t reinvent the wheel – stick to what has been proven to work.

DO: Value Function Over Form

Often advertisers put too much effort into how their ad will look instead of what it will say. You’ve got to focus on the point of your ad. What do you want your ad to do? Who’s your audience? How can you get your message across efficiently? Once you know the answers to these questions, you will then know what copy and layout will work.

Focus on the function (point) of your ad before you start thinking about its form (layout).

DON'T: Forget the Basic Elements of a Direct Marketing Ad

When creating direct response campaigns, make sure your message includes the three basic elements:

  1. Your offer
  2. The benefits of your offer
  3. A call-to-action for responding to the offer

 

Without each of these, you are not doing direct marketing but merely pretending to.

Though there are numerous digital channels that have taken the focus off of direct response marketing, those that still use this technique know it’s one of the best ways to make sales and track campaigns. Use these 6 do’s and don’ts to ensure your next direct marketing campaign is successful.

  Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.

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