The Secrets of Billboards

There are a variety of ways to advertise your business or special events around your town. You can create online ads, use billboards, or make a commercial. With this poor economy, local companies may find difficulty keeping their business afloat; and may not be able to afford the extra expense of advertising, instead of the usual advertisements, check into city banners. Banners can provide a sense of community rather than a massive billboard of your company on the interstate. Using a banner, you can simplify your company by advertising your name, location (number) what you sell and perhaps, even a screen print of happy customers.

Every city has a downtown area no matter the city’s size. With a downtown banner, you are selling your company to the majority of the population, given that most events are bound to happen in the downtown area. Figuring out your targeted population is important. One thing to consider is your banner’s background color. Use a different background color on your banner based on the season. For example, if it is spring, use a brighter banner. Perhaps, your store is located in a shopping center; a bright color would be useful as well to give the “BAM” effect. A shoppers’ eyes will go to your banner, hence increasing your revenue. During the winter, I would suggest a shade of blue or red. Those colors help keep the mood that winter weather provides. Blue isn’t necessarily depressing, just neutral with the continuous grey skies that winter seems to present most days.

A downfall for using banners to advertise would be nighttime. If you are concerned about this, place your banner on a light pole. Day and night passersby will see your business. It’s not typical to put an address on any type of advertisement unless you’ve created a commercial. Just make note of the area of town you are located, like “Downtown you’ll find” or “Located around” and insert your area to help specify where potential customers can purchase your items. Instead of your area of location, at the bottom of the banner put a phone number.

Billboard advertising is the most cost-effective type of advertising and it is very effective.

  1. Chose the best possible location:

In the billboard world, location is everything! Look for a billboard location that is close to areas that your target market will go to so you can expose them to your advertisements.

Also look for billboards that can be easily viewed from far away. You don’t want a billboard that you can only see right as you drive past it. Choose billboards that give you plenty of time to read your message.

Drive by the billboard several times throughout the day to get an idea of how well you can or can’t see it before making your final decision to purchase it or not.

  1. Follow these basic billboard design rules:

Advertisements on billboards only have an average of 7 seconds to be viewed so it is our job as advertisers to make the design the best it can be by making sure the copy is big enough to be read by passing motorists. I would recommend to make it at least two feet tall and to use thick, easy to read fonts. A good general billboard rule is to use 9 words or less in your entire billboard! Less is more.

Make sure you use good contrasting colors. Black copy on red backgrounds does NOT work well on billboards because there isn’t enough contrast between the two colors. However, the black copy is very effective when placed on a yellow background.

Tell the passing motorists who your company is and how they can get in touch with you. There’s nothing worse than a great ad with a tiny logo which makes you guess who the ad belongs to and leaves you with no way of knowing which product to purchase.

  1. Test your results to see just how effective your billboard really is:

Ad tracking is the ultimate way to see just how good or bad your advertisement is doing and the same is true with billboards. Tracking the results of a billboard isn’t as easy as tracking an online ad, but it can still be done with a little bit of creativity.

  1. You can bring it up in casual conversation with your potential customers, you can email them or even ask them on your social media sites.
  2. Put a unique phone number or website address on your billboard so you can see how many people contact you this way.
  3. There are even tracking devices that can be placed on billboards to see who looks at your ad. Of course it’s a bit pricey, but it can be done.

Is Direct Mail Dead?

Direct mail (DM) is an effective tool to market your business. The trick is to make the direct mail so appealing to customers, that they are compelled to give it their attention. If your business has already made a name for itself, customers will be eager to check out the offer you make in the direct mail.

Direct mails are effective only if they target the right group of people; people that will be interested in the product or service you are promoting. A lot of thought has to go into the creation and distribution of DM. Here are some pointers on what businesses should know to make the best use of direct advertising.

Consider the target audience

The target audience is the most important consideration when developing a direct marketing mailer. A list can be made out using the in-house list of customers and contacts, or you can use the services of a reputable list provider. The list should be current and legitimate to be effective. The audience can be targeted based on age, sex, income, geography, marital status, education, etc.

Objective of the direct mail

Businesses should know what they want from the mailing. What is its objective? Once the objective is clear, you need to include all the information required by the customer to respond. The mail should clearly state the action the customer must take – send a mail, call a number, fill an attached form, and so on. All pertinent information should be included such as location, phone number, address, web address, location map or any other specifics.

Effective design

The design is important because color, font and format should catch the eye. Professional designing services make sure the mail is effectively worded and well designed. The goal is to make an instant impact on the customer. The quality of the direct mail reflects on the quality of your business.

Strategic timing

The timing of the mailing impacts its effectiveness. Announcing a sale on Christmas trees near Christmas season is bound to be effective. Businesses should also schedule direct mailing according to the best time for them, such as promoting a clearing out summer sale at the onset of autumn. It is a great opportunity for customers, and also makes space for the store to stock and display its autumn collection. Businesses should prepare to meet the demand that will be created by the mailing before sending it out.

Keep track of responses

Track the responses to the mailing to measure the success or failure. This crucial feedback can be used to make the next round of mailings more effective.

Communicate with responders

Get details of customers who respond to the direct mail. Find out their preferences, likes and dislikes in relation to the products or service your business offers. This is critical data that can help you improve your service to them. Create incentive programs such as raffle tickets and lucky draws to make it exciting.

Plan ahead

Review the process of creating and sending out the mail, and learn from it. Analyze the response, timing, value of the mailing list, look of the direct mail, and any other thing that could have been done better.

Research the mailing system

As direct mails involve the mailing system, it is a good idea to have some understanding of it. You should be aware of postal regulations, postal costs, time frame for delivery and other specifics. Many post offices provide free mailing kits that can be very helpful.

Businesses can increase their sales by using direct mails judiciously. They should give due thought to the objective of the mailing, its timing, appearance and target audience as these have a considerable impact on its effectiveness.

What Is PPC Advertising?

If you own a small business in a city, you might find it hard to compete with more established organizations that offer the same product or service as you. If you want to compete with them, you need to find an effective marketing method that can level the playing field. One such marketing method is PPC advertising.

With PPC advertising, you have the chance to get your ads on the first page of search engines like Google, right along with the other more established organizations. Nowadays, people research everything online. If they want to look for a local service, for example, air-conditioning, they will do a search on search engines. So if you own a local air-conditioning company, you can use PPC advertising and place your ads on the first page of a search engine to get more exposure for your business. PPC advertising also allows you to target the audience in the city that you are in.

You can set your campaign to target a particular city or even within a certain mileage range of a city. Then when you place your ads on search engines, they would only appear when people do a local search. This makes your campaign very targeted which brings targeted leads for your business. Why local businesses can benefit so much from PPC advertising is because of its geo-targeting capability.

If you own a business in New York, you will not want to target everyone in America. By targeting your ads to a specific city or area, you prevent people from all across the world to click on your ads that will cost you money.

On the face of things, PPC looks like a very attractive and simple way to generate new leads. Let’s face it, it’s fairly easy to implement and you can even utilize the services of PPC agencies that will do the hard work for you.

PPC is often put in the same category as the ‘get rich quick schemes’, which have been a prominent feature of the internet. In no way is it being said that PPC has become completely ineffective and lacking in value, however, the best way to explain it is that it’s being misused across a number of businesses.

The fundamental problem with PPC usage at present is that it only provides a short-term solution. In a short space of time, a highly targeted PPC campaign can provide hugely effective results. However, as a long-term strategy, it can become extremely costly as many web users have swiftly adapted in order to sift out internet advertising. These factors all amount to the conclusion that PPC now delivers fewer returns when compared with SEO or content marketing.

It’s a short-term solution – The purpose of PPC is simply to catch the eye of potential consumers. Beyond that there is no strategy for building a lasting rapport. It’s all about attraction and fails to incorporate any form of nurture, so when implemented as a lone marketing strategy it will only ever provide small-scale returns.

PPC is a good place to start, but an entire strategy needs to be built around it in order to have any serious impact when it comes to the competitive online marketing world.

Companies need to think long-term in order to generate quality leads, however, this requires effort and it is that effort that will ultimately make or break your business. Effort shows that you take your company seriously and implies to consumers that they can trust and rely on your brand. Building that relationship beyond the PPC campaign is what’s important.

Develop a clear strategy. Within your strategy implement a plan to increase your Click Through Rate and Cost Per Conversion for rewards from Google.

Small and large businesses, as well as individual marketers, are able to market their products and services in a very cost-effective way. Advertisements placed in print media, radio and TV do not give any guarantee of traffic conversion.

The Power of Video Marketing

Video marketing is a powerful tool to use in any marketing venture to provide more traffic to your website and increase your profits. Videos are not hard to do, take less time than writing, and thousands of people prefer watching rather than reading.

The following video marketing tips will get you started.

1) Getting the right equipment. You need to have a flip camera and a tripod. The camera should be HD for better quality and appearance. Both the camera and tripod will obviously make your presentation hands free and allows you to focus on what you have to say.

2) Good lighting. Quality lighting will make your video look much better, and can be done in front of a well-lit window, or even using desk laps. Poor lighting can distract your viewers and you may lose the creditability of the message you want to convey. For example, a Scottsdale Painting Company must incorporate good lighting in all of their video projects to truly see the quality of the paint job.

3) Outline key points before shooting. This video marketing tip will make you appear more authentic and natural in front of the camera. You do not want to be looking down, turning pages, and reading from a script. This will turn off your audience and the rustling of papers and gaps in conversation will be distracting to your viewers.

4) Keyword focused title, tags, and in the description. The keywords you use should be able to be found by the search engines, or in other words, search engine optimized (SEO). Your anchor text, which simply is what is blue and clickable, should also contain your keyword. You should use at least 4-6 keyword phrases if you are doing a 2-5 minute video.

5) “Hook” your audience in the first 15-30 seconds. You want to make a good first impression as if you were walking into a job interview. It is important to get your viewer’s attention quickly. In our fast-paced world, people want quick and immediate results, and this is why your title and first words are vital to your entire presentation. People are always looking for ways you can help them, so make sure you let the audience know how you can be of benefit to their needs and problems.

6) Look directly at the camera. Maintaining eye contact with your viewers suggests that you are trustworthy and confident in what you are saying. Shifting your eyes everywhere but the camera suggests dishonesty and a lack of confidence. The audience will notice this and your message will be lost on them.

7) Be yourself. Converse as if you were talking to a friend and show your viewer’s that you are a real person. Let them know that you can help them today and relay tangible benefits they will receive your message.

8) Have a clear call to action. This is one of the most important video marketing tips or your video will have been a waste of your time. Verbally give them your website address, and embed it in your video so viewers will know what to do next. You can also leave a phone number if you choose to.

In concluding, all these video marketing tips are of value to you and will make your presentation easier than you think. If you are shy in front of the camera, practice repeatedly until you are confident enough to convey your message, and realize you are paving the way to a profitable business. For a more in depth video marketing training, watch this awesome video!