Let’s start with the big question. Why TV? 

By Laurie Lis, Field Marketing Specialist, Spectrum Reach

If you’re running a small or local business, you’ve probably felt overwhelmed about the marketing and advertising options out there. We’re not going to sugarcoat it—there are a lot. And there are even more media experts that make bold statements about the future of advertising, who tell you exactly where to put your advertising dollars, and who (let’s face it) make plenty of exaggerated claims about the future of TV advertising.

For decades, TV advertising was the golden standard, growing exponentially each year as advertisers realized its effectiveness.

Since then, a lot has happened. Google, Facebook, Twitter, data, data, and more data—and with the huge rise of these tech giants, TV advertising started to get a bad rap. Any small business can hop on a social media site and spend whatever they can afford to set up an ad campaign (whether or not that small budget on social media ads will return any major results is another story). TV, though, was seen more and more as the choice reserved for big brands.

While social media and search advertising certainly have a place in a strong marketing strategy, it’s time to set the record straight on TV and just how important it is for your business’s growth.

Here are three things we should keep in mind as we continue:

  1. TV advertising is affordable, especially at the local level.
  2. TV advertising allows your business to target the customers you need, just like ad tech.
  3. TV advertising is the most effective.

If you want sustainable growth, brand awareness, and an advertising strategy that delivers big results, you can’t beat advertising on TV. It’s the #1 brand builder and the undisputed leader in the time consumers spend each day with media.

Research shows that despite the increase in media platforms, time spent with TV has remained mostly unchanged, because live TV is still the first thing consumers turn to when they want to watch their favorite content.

Time spent per day on video (with a TV set, computer, and digital devices_ among adults is five hours and 24 minutes a day. Compared to a year prior, digital video (computer, smartphone, and tablet) increased by two minutes. But live TV still commands the most time with adults spending over four hours per day with the big screen. Is it any wonder that even ad tech companies continue to advertise on television?

TV Advertising 101

Now that you know why you should advertise your business on TV, let’s talk about how to do it successfully. Asking these four questions can help you establish the foundation for your next campaign.

  • How long should my commercial run?
  • How do I know who my audience is, and how do I make sure they see my ad?
  • How much does it cost, and how do I make a marketing budget?
  • How do I get started?

Let’s dive in.

  1. How long should my commercial run?

Choosing the right amount of time for your commercial to run on-air will help you get the most out of your advertising. Building a branding campaign takes time. You need to define your reach and build up frequency over time. Give your campaign a two- to three-month run so your audience can start to recognize your message.

If you’re having a sales event, up your frequency and shrink your reach. If you want people to come to your event this weekend, you need to get that message in front of them as many times as possible in a shorter period of time.

If your budget is on the smaller side, start with a smaller geography and try to build frequency within the first month. Don’t be tempted to adjust your TV schedule right away. Let your message reach your audience three to four times consistently before changing networks, the times of day your commercial airs, or your creative.

  1. How do I know who my audience is, and how do I make sure they see my ad?

You don’t need a big audience if it’s the right one. Identifying who your ideal customers are and how to reach them is essential to make your marketing and advertising effective.

Are your customers mostly men, women, or both? What age ranges do they fall into? Do you have a brick-and-mortar local business, or do you have multiple locations within a region? Or, is your business online-based? Answering these questions will help you determine who you need to reach—and the areas where you need your advertising message seen.

If you’re a local business, it’s important to note that most customers stay within their neighborhood and vicinity when making purchases.

  1. How much does it cost, and how do I make a marketing budget?

The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending seven to eight percent of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising if you’re doing less than $5 million a year in sales and your net profit margin (after all expenses) is in the 10 to 12 percent range.

When it comes to your marketing budget, take the time to set your goals, and let them guide your overall strategy. Do you want to build brand awareness? Increase traffic to your website? Increase sales of a product or service? From here, you can identify your audience and the geographic areas you need to reach, and that will help you determine how much you need to spend to reach your goals.

If your budget is higher than you can spend, consider narrowing your geography down to a small area and focusing on getting your message out in that area as much as you can first, then add additional areas as needed. You can also advertise on fewer TV channels with more frequency, and add more networks gradually to increase your reach.

  1. How do I get started?

TV has always been the most effective way to grow your business, no matter the size of your marketing budget. At Spectrum Reach, we’re here to be your trusted advisor for all things marketing and advertising. We have the right solutions to help you reach your audience.

We’d love to learn more about your business and how we can help you grow.  Give us a call at 1-844-TO-REACH or visit SpectrumReach.com