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5 Ways to Create Effective Print Ads for Local Businesses

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 @ 01:00 PM

Understanding how to create effect ads is one of the simplest ways to gain the advantage over your local competition. Whether you’re an established brand or a brand new business, placing ads in newspapers and magazines is a highly-effective way to promote your offer, gain loyal customers, and ultimately generate more revenue.

With this in mind, here are 5 ways you can begin creating effective print ads today.

Have a Clear Message to ShareHave a Clear Message to Share

Your first step to print ad success is to know exactly what information needs to be conveyed in your audience. Who are you targeting? What are their pain points? Why is your offer the solution to their problems? When you have these answers, then, and ONLY then, can you begin creating your ad.

Choose Your Imagery Wisely

You’ll need to do some thinking on whether or not your ad should include a visual and, if so, whether it should be a vector graphic or a photograph. Graphics in vector format are great for fun, entertaining print ads whereas photos are most often used to set a specific tone and put the reader in the right frame of mind for the message. Sometimes images work better when the goal is to show off your product. If you need help determining which visual (and we do recommend your print ad include a visual) to use, look through some local papers and your favorite magazines to get inspiration.

Use Only High-Quality Images

While we’re on the topic of images, it’s important to understand the difference in dots per inch, or DPI, between web design and print design. The standard DPI for web graphics is 72, while print ads require a DPI of 300. It’s very important you only use high-resolution graphics and images when designing your print ads. Equally important is considering the type of media you plan on printing your ads on before you move on to the final renders of any images you wish to use.

Mind your fontMind Your Font

When it comes to typography, font really matters. Many fonts are easy to read in either medium, but a handful of fonts have been specifically designed for print media. Going with one of the following will help your ads avoid ink bleed, especially on absorbent papers.

  • Century Gothic, Verdana, and Helvetica because of their overall versatility.
  • Times New Roman and Garamond over Helvetica thanks to their serifs, according to informal testing by Drew Eric Whitman in his book, Cashvertising.

Remember who your target audience is when choosing a font style. Some readers, like the elderly, may need enlarged or bolded fonts, usually plain ones like Arial or Times New Roman.

When in doubt, it’s always best to go with serif for print ads because it makes for an easy, quick read. Remember, when you put some effort into making your print ad as legible as possible, you greatly expand its reach.

Use a Call to Action

While Coca Cola may be able to afford national TV and radio spots that do little more than keep the brand top-of-mind with consumers, small, local businesses have to be savvy with their ad spend. Print ads are all about getting a direct response from prospects NOT about brand awareness.

Knowing this, you’ve got to use a clear call to action in your ads and tell prospects exactly what you want them to do. If you want to get more feet in the door, provide a coupon and tell prospects to bring it in for a 15% discount. If you want readers to call and speak with a sales rep, tell them that clearly and provide your 1-800 number in big, bold font.

Don’t leave it up to prospects to figure out what they should do – tell them.

 

Local businesses who want to thrive and get a leg up on their competition should definitely consider adding print to their integrated marketing strategy.

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

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Topics: local advertising

The What and How of Geo-Targeting

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Sep 15, 2015 @ 09:54 AM

Have you heard of geo-targeting but weren’t sure what it was or what it could do for you? Read on to find out.

THE WHAT:

Every decade has focused its attention on a different aspect of marketing. The 90s were about creating a web presence for your company. So long 1-800 numbers, hello vanity URLs.

In the 2000s we were all globally-obsessed, making sure our humble websites could be found by the entire world.

local-marketingBut the 2010s have brought us back to common sense marketing and taken our global presence and targeted it so local audiences can easily find us. Google now delivers content and ads based on a user’s location. Social networking sites and apps like Foursquare and Yelp cater to the local crowd. Local businesses like florists and hair dressers are able to advertise solely in their local markets.

Geo-targeting is about relevance and delivering the most appropriate and effective messaging possible at just the right time. If you aren’t leveraging this powerful marketing tactic, you’re not doing as well as you could be.

THE HOW:

Step 1. Decide Which Geographies to Target

In order to determine which locations to target you’ve got to really analyze your current business. Do this by asking yourself the following questions:

  •         Are your customers from a specific area?
  •         Is your industry stronger in certain geographies?
  •         Where does most of your traffic (foot and digital) come from?

Step 2. Take a Look at Your Competition

Once you’ve completed this initial analysis, take a look at what your successful competitors do to see which, if any, specific markets they are involved in. What do their creatives look like? What does their ad copy say? Gather as much intelligence as you can. This will help you to potentially find new markets and locations to target.

Step 3. Understand How the Locals Prefer to Consume Media engage-local-community

You’ve got a healthy list of geographies to target? Terrific. Now you’ve got to understand what the media consumption is of each local area so you may choose tactics and channels that will give you the biggest return on your investment. You may at first assume local search will work best only to uncover that out-of-home communication will be the better buy.

Step 4. Go Small or Go Home

The smaller your service area, the more waste you can cut out and the bigger your ROI will be. Why spend money on mass reach, such as a television spot when cable will work even better? Instead of a full page ad in the Sunday paper, consider using free standing inserts (FSIs) instead.

Geo-targeting becomes even more important when purchasing media for part of a co-op and only attempting to cover certain locations. Consider tactics like shared mail, direct mail, print and mobile that allow you to target on a zip code level. This will cut out waste and only reach the absolute right prospects. A win / win.

Step 5. Identify Your Priority Markets

What happens when your budget doesn’t cover the entire desired geography? It forces you to focus on your priority markets and get the biggest bang for your advertising bucks. Your priority markets may be a handful of regional areas or even metro areas. Using this approach will allow you to uncover opportunities that optimize your budget and reach.

Before you develop your next local media campaign, consider geo-targeting. Sure, it may be more thrilling to run a TV ad instead of zip-targeting online or using FSIs. But there’s a very good chance your money will be wasted on useless impressions, so make sure your brand will benefit from that level of coverage before making the buy.

These five steps will help you uncover potentially ripe markets, determine the optimal tactics and channels to use for the specific audiences, and identify priority markets so your budget will be spent efficiently. Yes, this initial research will take some time, but in the end the ROI will be completely worth it.

 

Free Local Media Analysis - Request Now!

 

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Topics: local advertising

10 Proven Local Advertising Ideas for Businesses

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 @ 09:37 AM

Many small, local businesses often feel like the underdog when it comes to advertising because of their limited budgets. But local businesses can absolutely have an advantage over regional or national brands because their market area is A) clearly defined and B) manageable.

Here are 10 proven local advertising ideas for businesses that will help widen your market reach no matter what your budget.

1. Newspaper Advertising

Newspapers, particularly local newspapers, remain the most trusted source of information among consumers. Your local paper is a cost-effective channel for you to reach your audience. Many local papers offer special advertising features beyond box ads and inserts that showcase particular businesses. This is a powerful advertising opportunity. Find out if your local area has special interest newspapers as these may be delivered to the exact audience your trying to reach.

2. Local Magazine Advertising10 Proven Local Advertising Ideas for Businesses

Local magazines are available in every state across the country, as are niche magazines, and these channels have the ability to target a very specific population, namely, locals and hobby enthusiasts. These dedicated consumers are passionate, and if you can get your ad in front of them, you have an excellent chance at creating brand awareness and loyalty.

3. Cable TV Advertising

You may not have the budget to advertise your business during the Super Bowl, but so what? You can still reach your local market while they’re watching their favorite programs. Cable TV companies offer advertising rates that most small businesses can afford. Your ad may run on the TV guide listings or a real estate channel or anywhere in between. There are a variety of cost-effective options depending on your industry and market so speak to a sales rep and see what they can do for you.

4. Local Radio Advertising

Broadcast radio continues to be a leading source of entertainment and information across demographics in this country. This highly-targeted media channel drives engagement and action, and costs less to advertise on than you may think.

5. Local Website Advertising

One simple way to ensure all your advertising bases are covered is to list your company on all the websites that provide business information for your local area. Think Chamber of Commerce and your various municipalities.

10 Proven Local Advertising Ideas for Businesses6. Attend a Trade Show

You may be assuming trade shows are too expensive for you to attend. While the big trade shows can be quite pricey, there are plenty of smaller shows – hosted by a business association or particular industry - that are affordable and can help you get your name and products out there.

7. Claim Your Local Digital Assets

Online guides such as Yelp and Yahoo! Local help consumers find local businesses, restaurants, and retailers. If you haven’t claimed your listing on these sites, you’re turning business away. Most basic listings with these sites are free and you can always upgrade or create sponsored ads.

8. Submit Press Releases

It’s surprising how few local businesses submit press releases to their local newspapers and business magazines because it can be incredibly effective. The key is to make sure you submit a story and not a blatant advertisement. You may want to announce that you have won an award, hired new staff members, are hosting an open house, or are expanding your business somehow. Just remember share don’t sell.

9. Joining Professional or Business Organizations

Every professional or business organization offers its members exclusive advertising deals. This could be free advertising on their website or advertising in a special section of the newspaper. Plus, being a member is a good reflection on your business – a win/win.

10. Email Newsletters

Did you know 80% of your future profits will most likely come from 20% of your existing customers? Isn’t this a staggering realization? Like most small, local business owners, you may be spending most of your time and ad budget on trying to acquire new customers when you should be spending time treating your current customers like kings and queens.

One cost-effective way to engage current customers is through email newsletters. If you own a gardening supply store, you could send a newsletter once or twice a month to your customers offering garden tips and information they would find helpful and relevant. Then, every once in a while, you can send a promotion, say a printable coupon they can bring into the store to receive 30% off.

These 10 advertising ideas are easy and affordable ways you can promote your business. The best thing to do is choose several of these and start experimenting. Remember, like any kind of advertising you do, these ideas will be most effective if you plan your advertising campaign first and then track your results.

Free Local Media Analysis - Request Now!

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Image credit: "Tradeshow Floor Greenbuild 2010" by Charles & Hudson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Topics: local advertising

7 Benefits of Local Magazine Advertising

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 11:46 AM

About the only other topic that gets discussed as much as whether or not print is dead is whether or not Elvis is dead. We cannot vouch for the King’s status (although we once swear we saw him at a Chuck E.Cheese in Dayton, Ohio back in ‘89), but we can vouch for the fact that print is very much alive and thriving.

In some ways, print advertising is like a cockroach, only not as filthy or gross-looking. But, you know, when television came onto the scene, everyone cried aloud it would be the death of print. But it wasn’t. And then the Internet arrived and the children and grandchildren of Henny-Penny also said the sky was 7 Benefits of Local Magazine Advertisingfalling and print would be crushed and killed under its weight. But it wasn’t. And it doesn’t look like anything will ever really kill print (hence our disgusting comparison to the indestructible cockroach).

Here’s a perfect example of print’s ability to always bounce back: Back in 2012, Newsweek pulled its print version, which certainly didn’t help stop the rumors that print was dead. But, lo and behold, Newsweek’s new owners brought the print version of the iconic magazine back from the dead. The “catch,” if there was one, was that Newsweek would only be available to subscribers. Which is genius, really. In essence, Newsweek is now a niche magazine, targeted to a very specific market segment.

In the same way, local magazines, which can be found in every state across the country, are also niche magazines, targeting a very specific population, namely, locals. Magazines like Minnesota Monthly, Vermont Living, Bay Living, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles, Louisiana Life, and Carolina Gardener all offer numerous benefits to local advertisers.

1. Target a Dedicated Market

Enthusiasts are always the most dedicated consumers and the best to market to. Besides people who are passionate about certain hobbies, most people are incredibly proud and passionate about where they live. Since most humans have an incredible need to be part of a community, local magazines serve as an important hub where locals learn about their surroundings and events they might like to get involved in. In other words, as a local business, you will get your ad in front of a passionate crowd that is already interested in who you are and what you have to offer.

2. Nothing Beats that Tactile Experience

Sure, many consumers spend a ton of time online chronicling the latest minutiae of their daily lives on their Twitter accounts or uploading their newest selfie onto their Instagram accounts, but when it comes to engaging with websites, most readers only scan a website for 15 seconds before moving on.

People interact much differently with printed magazines. There’s just something about that tactile experience. Magazine readers really take their time and linger when reading print. They also tend to fully interact with the content, including the ads inside.

7 Benefits of Local Magazine Advertising3. Your Ad Will Stand Out

Who stands to sell more tacos and make more money: the taco truck parked downtown amidst a sea of food trucks, or the taco truck that is parked five miles outside of town on the side of the highway surrounded by nothing but hungry travelers? So many advertisers have fallen for the myth that print is dead. Many have migrated their marketing budgets online where they vie for consumer attention is a sea of other digital ads. This is great news because it means your local magazine ad has far less competition and will stand out from the crowd.

4. People Don’t Fear Print Ads

The Internet is full of cybercriminals who use viruses as an attempt to gain access to consumer’s private information. Because of the proliferation of these malware viruses, web surfers have become very wary of clicking on banner ads, even if those ads are enticing. But consumers have nothing to fear by reading your print ad, and this makes them more open to receiving your message.

5. A Longer Shelf Life7 Benefits of Local Magazine Advertising

While digital ads come and go, print ads have staying power. A magazine left in a doctor’s office will be read by countless patients for many months, and your ad can be seen by a majority of them.

6. Brand Recognition

When you advertise in a reputable local magazine, people instantly become familiar with your company. This recognition is then reinforced when they meet you in person, either at your place of business or at a local trade show or charity event. This not only builds brand recognition but, in time, brand loyalty.

7. Credibility

Local magazines are highly valued and respected publications that build a sense of community among local consumers. In fact, many people turn to local publications as a source of advice. Advertisers can greatly benefit from this credibility when their ads are viewed not as ads but as recommendations from a trusted source.

We recommend you take a cue from the new owners of Newsweek who realized print is not dead, but rather a channel that offers true engagement with a targeted audience, and invest some of your marketing dollars into local magazine advertising.

Free eBook: The Benefits of Print Advertising

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Topics: local advertising, magazine advertising

Were Your Local Advertising Tactics Naughty or Nice This Year?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 09, 2014 @ 08:57 AM

If you’re a local marketer, you know how important it is to use your advertising time and dollars wisely to generate leads and sales and build brand loyalty. But many small, local businesses aren’t always aware of the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. ‘Tis that time of year to look back on your advertising and take stock in what worked and what didn’t.

Were Your Local Advertising Tactics Naughty or Nice This Year?

With this in mind, here are some nice and naughty local advertising tactics that you should and shouldn’t use in the coming year:

Not Tracking Results - NAUGHTY

Continuing with the theme of not knowing if your marketing efforts are paying off or not, if you’re not tracking your results, how will you know if you’re wasting your time and money or investing wisely? Your ads must be trackable, so use a special URL address, QR code, 1-800 number or coupon. If only three people visit your dedicated landing page or call your dedicated 1-800 number, then you know either your ad’s message was wrong, or the ad was in the wrong place.

Get to Know Your Customers – NICE!

Speaking of putting your ads in the wrong place, why did that happen in the first place? Chances are it’s because you don’t know your customers and prospects well enough. You don’t know which print channels they engage with most or what time of the day or week is best to reach them.

Target marketing, knowing your customers’ behavior, needs, and wants, will help you craft the right ad copy and place your ads properly so your budget is not so much an expense but a true investment in your business.

Spending the Same Budgeting Dollars Each Month - NAUGHTY

An easy way to budget your advertising expenses is to spend the same amount each month over the entire year. At first glance, this seems like a good idea, but is it really? What happens if your competition down the street runs a giant promotion or your particular industry gets a bit of bad press? Will you have the necessary ad dollars to combat these issues? Don’t view your advertising through a month-to-month lens but through a yearly one and always have enough reserve funds in case of an advertising emergency.

Were Your Local Advertising Tactics Naughty or Nice This Year?Staying True to What Makes You Special – NICE!

One of the first things any business does when starting out, no matter how big or small, is determine their Unique Value Proposition (UVP); what makes them unique from their competitors? Those businesses who can state their UVP clearly and capitalize on it will become top-of-mind to customers and prospects.

For instance, if you’re a local restaurant that caters to families, you may have found that offering family style dining with platters of food in a casual atmosphere attracted steady business. So it wouldn’t make much sense to suddenly change your niche and offer upscale dining with smaller, fancier (and pricier) dishes in a romantic setting to attract a different clientele. And yet this is what many businesses do.

Whatever it was that made you unique and set you apart from your competition, stay with that angle and work it for all you’ve got.

Trying to Attract New Customers and Forgetting Loyal Ones - NAUGHTY

All businesses want to attract new customers, but generally speaking, it takes far more advertising dollars to attract new customers than it does to keep existing ones. It makes much more sense to put some of your budget and time into nurturing existing relationships either through a monthly newsletter or via loyal customer rewards programs. Customers who are real fans won’t just give you repeat business; they’ll also become brand ambassadors and drum up new business on your behalf.

Promote Benefits Instead of Features – NICE!

Which of the following gets your attention?

The such and such car has a 420-horsepower V8 engine…

OR

The such and such car is rated number one in safety, which means you and your family can enjoy your summer road trip without worries…

Obviously the second one. The second promotes the benefits of owning such and such car while the first ad promotes the features.

Don’t list your product or service features; always create ads that tell prospects what your product or service will do for them.

Not Using a Media Buyer – NAUGHTY

Today’s media landscape is far too fragmented for most small business owners to be able to navigate properly and make effective and affordable ad buys. Nowadays, not using a media buyer and trying to go it alone is a bit like not going to the dentist and doing your own root canal.

Effective media buying is an art form, and successful advertising campaigns require strategy and an understanding of cost and placement options. Good media buyers bring with them a reservoir of data that can help make proper ad buys and uncover hidden opportunities while reducing media costs.

Here’s hoping 2015 sees less naughty and more nice tactics in your advertising strategy.

Free eBook: The Benefits of Print Advertising

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Topics: local advertising

An Easter Basket Full of Effective Local Advertising Strategies

Posted by Hannah Hill on Thu, Apr 10, 2014 @ 11:06 AM

The following is a guest post by Jenna Bruce.

Walk into any Walgreens, CVS or Rite Aid this time of year and you’ll see it – that seasonal aisle lined with cellophane-wrapped Easter baskets containing various cavity-inducing candies. Now, as a kid, I saw an Easter basket as a giant sugar rush. But as an adult, I see an Easter basket not simply as chock-full of sugar, but chock-full of effective local advertising strategies. Stay with me here.

Target Your Ideal Customers

Marshmallow Chicks – They’re not for everyone. I’ve met many individuals who simply never embraced the gooey marshmallow bird with the same enthusiasm I did as a child. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

An Easter Basket Full of Effective Local Advertising StrategiesTargeting is a critical component to any campaign, especially in local advertising. Considering that three-quarters of consumer spending happens at retail locations within a 15 mile radius of consumers’ homes – targeting ensures the most relevant consumers walk into your store. By utilizing online and offline data, you can understand your demographic and serve up ads that are tailored only to those individuals interested in your product or service.

Embrace Digital Advertising

I remember the first time I ever got a bag of candy coated almonds in my basket. They were new, they were different, and I wanted nothing to do with them. Then I tried a few and realized they were pretty awesome.

Many small and medium sized businesses are used to traditional advertising channels like newspapers, magazines and radio spots, and while those channels can be highly effective at reaching your audience, you shouldn’t avoid digital advertising just because it’s new and a bit scary to you.

Digital advertising has the ability to deliver meaningful messages to your target audience at just the right time in a cost-effective way. It also affords you the ability to repurpose existing campaign content, such as from a direct mail piece, which can save time and scarce resources.

Claim Your Online Listings

One year the “Easter Bunny” accidentally left one of the baskets at the checkout counter and didn’t realize it until Easter morning when she found only the one hidden in her closet. So, that year, my sister and I had to share an Easter basket. I never let my mother live that one down. At any rate, as my sister was removing the cellophane from the basket, I got into a position that would allow me to pounce on the candy I wanted, claiming it for myself. There would be no delicate splitting of candy that year, my sister and I were smart enough to know that. We would simply grab and claim what was rightfully ours. She claimed the giant milk chocolate Easter bunny and I claimed everything else.

Many businesses are unaware they have digital profiles on major local platforms like Google+An Easter Basket Full of Effective Local Advertising Strategies Local, Yelp and Foursquare. Google will often create business listings based on information that is available online, and many customers will create a business listing in order to leave a review about a company. It’s important to search for your business on these platforms and, if you find a profile you didn’t create, claim the business as your own and verify it. Just doing this can help you rank higher in search results.

You should also make sure all the information about your business is correct. This includes spelling, address and telephone numbers, as well as category. If you do a search and don’t find any profiles, create them yourself so you can be found by potential new customers.

Seriously, Just Go Mobile Already

The Easter Bunny is not an idiot. There’s a reason he (or she) delivers all that candy in a little basket instead of, say, a bowling ball. Because little baskets are easy to carry – hence, they are mobile.

The Local Search Association and comScore, Inc. conducted a study which points to the fact that search, using non-PC devices like smartphones and tablets, continues to grow at a significant pace. “The continuing shift of mobile usage signals an opportunity for local businesses to evaluate where they devote their online ad spending,” the report reads.

Here are a couple key findings in the report:

  • Traffic to online directories and other local resources from non-PC devices more than quadrupled in 2012, reaching 27 percent share of total web traffic in December 2012 from 6 percent share in December 2011.
  • 48 percent of U.S. mobile users used their devices to access local content in December 2012, up from 42 percent in December 2011.

Mobile marketing is clearly a powerful tool to reach ready-to-buy consumers on a local level.

The only thing sweeter than a tiny wicker basket full of milk chocolate goodness is getting more customers to walk through your door and buy from you time and time again.

Download the 10 Benefits of Local Advertising eBook  Download  The Smart Marketer's Guide to Local Digital Advertising

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How Can National Advertisers Reach Local Audiences?

Posted by Hannah Hill on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 @ 03:42 PM

The following is a guest post by Jenna Bruce.

For many national advertisers who sell through local outlets, local marketing is a bit of a mystery and a highly underserved marketing channel. These advertisers spend millions of dollars every year to build brand awareness and interest using consistent messaging across multiple touchpoints. However, when it comes to marketing at the local level, where purchases actually occur, national brands tend to miss with their messaging and see less ROI.How Can National Advertisers Reach Local Audiences?

According to a report by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council in partnership with Balihoo, 59% of national brand marketers said local marketing is crucial to their business growth and profitability, yet only 7% admitted having effective campaigns that can reach consumers at the local level.

The following are ways national advertisers can close the gap and improve leads and sales at the local level and ultimately increase revenue.

Mine Local Data

It’s not enough to research a customer base; national brands must apply data about their target market and compare their ideal customer profile to local areas. Mining the population data offered by the US Census will identify hyper-local markets to be tapped. Once this information is gathered, micro-campaigns can be developed that match local attributes. Content and strategies that are uniquely in tune with local conditions can then be created.

How Can National Advertisers Reach Local Audiences?Befriend Social Media

National brand messaging is not, by its very nature, locally relevant. Local businesses have the upper hand when it comes to messaging that’s relevant to the communities in which they operate. But all is not lost. Thanks to digital channels like Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram and Yelp, national brands can now actively pursue local customers through campaigns that are locally relevant and easily delivered via trusted social media channels.

Maintain Unified Creatives

Maintaining branding and consistency at the local level can only happen through the use of unified creatives. This can be easily accomplished by creating corporate-approved templates which can then be localized by each specific store. Allowing some freedom means each store can go beyond standard localization and include highly-relevant content such as local reviews and photos.

Set Some Boundaries

A little freedom on the local level is a good thing, but too much can disrupt the brand’s overall message. National brands must be clear about how much input and control local-level managers should have, and utilize an approval system where specific content can be sent in for approval by corporate before being published and distributed.

Understand Each Channel is Unique

Each marketing channel employed by brands to engage with consumers has its own unique set of characteristics and benefits. National advertisers should continually monitor how local communities respond to messaging on one channel, such as Google+, versus others like Twitter and Foursquare. Monitoring these results will greatly inform marketing strategies for each campaign.

How Can National Advertisers Reach Local Audiences?Go Mobile

National brands that can harness the power of local mobile marketing will see significant ROI. But this power isn’t easily gained. Many brands think buying a few banner ads or designing a responsive website is enough. It’s not. In order for brands to connect with specifically targeted audiences in unique and effective ways, brands must understand how each and every local market may differ from others in how it chooses to interact with mobile technology. Knowing these differences will aid in creating powerful calls to action for every audience in each local market.

Measure, Then Measure Some More

There is an old saying that goes something like this: “If you can’t measure it, you shouldn’t be doing it.” This is particularly true with local advertising. Brands that measure in a location-specific way are tapping into meaningful trends and opportunities that will help them create even more effective campaigns in the future. Brands that don’t measure in this way are missing out.

In the end, every national advertiser wants to be not only visible to local consumers, but a relevant choice as well. To do this they must gather location-specific data, create content with a local spin, embrace social and mobile media, understand each channel offers its own benefits and limitations, and monitor the results of every campaign.

Download the 10 Benefits of Local Advertising eBook 

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Topics: local advertising solutions, local advertising

3 Keys to Local Media Buying

Posted by Scott Olson on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 @ 12:10 PM

Media buying is what Mediaspace has built our business on. What we’ve learned through the years is if advertisers really want their campaigns to be effective, they need to understand three main objectives when it comes to their local media buys. However, if they don’t understand these three keys, they can certainly benefit when they bring us into the mix, since we’re fully versed on bringing advertisers to market and driving action on their print and digital ads.

Without further ado, here are the three keys advertisers must build into their local media buys in order to be successful:

1. Know the local media – This means all the local media, not just the broadcasters and themaking assumptions in local media buying can make an ass out of u and me weekly print publication. We’re going to go ahead and [ass][u][me] you know your target demographic and who you’re trying to reach, and have determined that these key consumers are in the local areas you’re targeting. Hopefully that assumption isn’t going to make an [ass] out of [u] and [me.] So you know your targets are there, you know they live and shop in their local area or the surrounding area, and now you need to reach them. You need to take a look at local market websites like Metromix and Patch in addition to the television, radio and newspaper websites. Beyond that, you need to understand the social sites and their capabilities for geotargeted advertising.

2. Know how to get into the local media – In the rural markets the media buying process is local media buys can drive consumers to action and ensure an advertiser's product end up in shopper's cartsprobably as old school as it gets. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work, it just means it operates a little differently. My brother-in-law just started in sales with a rural local radio station. He got the company car and drives around the countryside with his media packets talking to the small business owners about 20-second spots on his station. It works, it works well for them. However, you’re probably a national advertiser, and you want to reach these local audiences, too, so they can know about your product and put it in their cart when they’re at their local retailer. Then when they’ve become repeat buyers, you want them to go to your website and put your products in their figurative cart, the one in the upper right corner of their browser.

In order to make that happen, you need a company who knows the local media outlets and how to optimize your campaigns in analog and digital formats. You should start by asking and answering a number of questions before you hire that agency. Lucky for you, we’ve built a guide to walk you through that process.

3. Know how to optimize your campaigns – I mentioned this above and this is third, but most important step in your local media buys. The great part about local markets is they are ubiquitous and you can choose a market of any size when working with the right media partner. The worst part about local markets is they are ubiquitous and you can choose a market of any size to get into. You want your campaign to be effective, that’s a given. But in order to do that you need to measure it and then get rid of underperforming media. Don’t feel bad about it. It’s your budget and if the media outlets work with you to get the rate and reach you need in your local media buys, they can be optimized. When you’re measuring ad performance you get better at targeting, can go back to step one, find local media that reflect the areas that are working, and make your campaigns more effective. Sounds like a good idea, right? I think so.

It may seem like a simplified method, and in reality, it can be. You need the right buying service who knows and understands your goals and how to help you achieve them. Two resources to help you select that buying service are the questions you need answered and the reasons to skip the RFP process when it’s time to make your selection.

Download our guide to hiring a media provider

Download 'Four Reasons the RFP Hurts Your Media Buying Process'

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Scott Olson is the director of marketing at Mediaspace Solutions. His career has spanned marketing positions in the non-profit, software and utility sectors providing various marketing experiences. You can connect with Scott on FacebookGoogle+Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Topics: local advertising, media buying, media buying agency, local media buy

Local Marketing’s Effect on Your Fantasy Football Draft

Posted by Scott Olson on Thu, Sep 05, 2013 @ 04:16 PM

Today marks the opening of the 2013 National Football League season, the day local market football fans all across the country are filled with hope and optimism for their team and Super Bowl glory. For the past month those same rubes across the country (the world?) have been gathering for fantasy football drafts to build their team, win oversized trophies their wives won’t let them display in a prominent location in their home, and rub it in the faces of theirlocal marketing affects everyday life, including fantasy football drafts friends. Now those of you who have participated in these drafts know there are a few cardinal rules to building a successful team:

  1. Get the number one overall pick

  2. Avoid your local team’s rival players like the plague

  3. Go running back, running back in the first two rounds

  4. Grab a hometown guy so you have someone to root for on Sunday

OK, those middle two might be a little subjective but the first one is almost always a guarantee (barring major injury) for some level of fantasy success. The last one, however, is something I’ve heard at nearly every fantasy draft I’ve been a part of for the past 12 years. When it comes to selecting that hometown boy, there are a number of factors influencing that decision. Let me elaborate.

In many markets, mine included, the football never really ends. While baseball might be America’s past time, football is the sport that seems to have the most passionate fans. Even in ‘The State of Hockey,’ in which I live, the following of the Minnesota Vikings is larger and more polarizing than the Minnesota Wild. Who should be the starting quarterback? How many wins will the team have? Can we beat Green Bay, Detroit and Chicago to make the playoffs? What about the wild card? Who’s going to be the third string mike linebacker and special teams specialist? I know, it’s ridiculous.

Those questions get asked and answered all year. Another thing that happens all year is the constant marketing and advertising of the team. Whether it’s ‘The Home of the Minnesota Vikings’ on the radio; newspaper advertisements for season tickets featuring Adrian Peterson, the face of the franchise; television spots showing touchdowns, sacks and interceptions; or banner and display ads on local market web sites, the bombardment never stops. So let’s get back to the fantasy football draft for a minute.

With all this local marketing to build hype leading up to today, we are exposed to players we might otherwise never imagine adding to our fictional football team. All that local marketing has influence, and the repetitiveness and bombardment of that messaging has influence when it comes to the middle rounds of the draft and we’re deciding between Jerome Simpson and James Jones. In Minnesota, the answer is simple. No one wants a third string Packer when you can take the flash of a guy who literally jumps over people and wears the purple and gold, regardless of whether or not he ends up catching even 10 balls all season. So with all that said, who did you reach for in your draft as the result of the constant inundation of local marketing?

Sports franchises are one group who seem to have figured out the value and benefits of local marketing and advertising, and the necessity of hitting markets and consumers where they live. If you want to learn more about how to accomplish local marketing like an expert, download our ‘Smart Marketer’s Guide to Local Digital Advertising,’ and get started today.

Download  The Smart Marketer's Guide to Local Digital Advertising

Scott Olson is the director of marketing at Mediaspace Solutions. His career has spanned marketing positions in the non-profit, software and utility sectors providing various marketing experiences. You can connect with Scott on FacebookGoogle+Twitter or LinkedIn.

Topics: local marketing, local advertising

Local Advertising on a Stick

Posted by Hannah Hill on Tue, Aug 27, 2013 @ 11:23 AM

Local Advertising at the Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair has been up and running for five days and is drawing huge crowds of people from across the region, per usual. If you aren’t aware, the Minnesota State Fair is one of the most widely attended state fairs in the country and we Minnesotans are beyond proud of that little snippet of trivia. The fair exposes us to good food, live music, farm animals, butter sculptures and lots of local advertising. That’s right. The Great Minnesota Get-Together could just as well be a fair for local advertising. Think about it. You’ve got your local farmers showcasing their produce and animals, local food offered by a number of local vendors (wild rice corndogs, anyone?), local businesses promoting their products and more! It’s 12 days of good old fashioned local advertising fun.

Each year there is a smorgasbord of new foods available at the fair. Fair organizers compile a list of the new offerings to try to build hype prior to the fair. Some of the crazy new foods offered at the 2013 Great Minnesota Get-Together include:

  • Candied Bacon Cannoli
  • Cocoa Cheese Bites – as if regular old cheese curds aren’t enough
  • Fried Pickles ‘n’ Chocolate – I think I’ll pass
  • Wine Glazed Deep Fried Meatloaf

Local Advertising at the Minnesota State Fair

While you may not be able to add chocolate or bacon to your current product, I’m sure there are ways to make your advertising more appealing to consumers. Try a new promotion strategy or even a different media outlet. Place an ad in your local newspaper to let readers know you’ll be at the fair. You may even entice them with a free pronto pup or one of Sweet Martha’s cookies if they engage with your company on social media while at the fair. It’s just an idea. I’m sure you’ll think of something.

When you advertise at the Minnesota State Fair you can take advantage of an audience of nearly 1.8 million potential customers. That’s a whole lotta reach, and gaining exposure to an audience that size in less than two weeks is worth the limited investment, if you ask me. ButLocal Advertising Sweet Martha's Cookies if that’s not enough to persuade you to allocate some of your 2014 advertising budget to the fair, consider this: Many people go to the fair in search of something new, whether food, product or otherwise. Fair goers are likely to try new things and take promotional materials home to read later. Case in point, my dad goes to the fair each and every year. He may not always buy something, but he will always look, learn and collect more information so he can continue to do research and move through the buying process after the fair. I have a local Minnesota vendor to thank for the new dock we have up at the lake, all because of their presence at last year’s Get-Together.

The marketing and promotions information packet provided by the fair’s organizers offers the following suggestions to promote your business with local advertising leading up to the fair:

  • Pitch story ideas to the media in the form of news releases – the Minnesota State Fair’s marketing and communications department will distribute all news releases to on-grounds media on the first day of the fair
  • Submit company information for state fair publications (media kit, website, daily schedules, etc.)
  • Offer a special deal, drawing or giveaway – approved promotions may even be included in the Deals, Drawings and Giveaways Guide which is available at information booths throughout the fairgrounds
  • Use social media to generate buzz and community support

Sponsorship opportunities are also available and worth looking into if you have a heftier advertising budget. Whatever your budget, local advertising, even if not at your local state fair, can increase your return on investment.

While your body recovers from consuming those state fair goodies and walking endless miles from one vendor to the next, read through the 10 benefits of local advertising detailed in this report. You’ll learn why local advertising is more beneficial to advertisers and maybe even consider an advertising opportunity at next year’s fair.

Download the 10 Benefits of Local Advertising eBook

Image credit: Heavy Table, MNstateflair.blogpost.com

Hannah Hill is a marketing specialist at Mediaspace Solutions. Her marketing experience includes writing, inbound marketing, social media and event management. You can connect with Hannah on LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.

Topics: local advertising solutions, local advertising, benefits of local advertising