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Will TV Work for Your Small Business?

Think TV advertising is only for “the big guys?” You might be surprised to learn how effective it can be for small businesses looking to increase reach and grow.

Meredith Cunningham Published: June 21, 2017

Think TV advertising is only for “the big guys?” You might be surprised to learn how effective it can be for small businesses looking to increase reach and grow.

AdWeek recently recorded spikes in marketer confidence (or intention to increase spending) across broadcast and cable TV, as well radio for that matter, indicating marketers’ optimism for legacy media. That’s because TV delivers the reach brands of all sizes need to sustain customers and sales—and it doesn’t have to come with budget-breaking production costs.

The following tips highlight what’s important to keep in focus when producing successful TV ads for your small business.

Don’t Just Produce an Ad … Tell a Story

Unlike more passive media like print ads or billboards, TV presents opportunities to tap into emotions and tell compelling stories that resonate with your target audience. Combining audio and visual elements, TV advertising is naturally suited for products that are visually appealing or services that are interactive, but it can be effective for any business with a story to tell. Both the audio and the video should be able to stand on their own but also fit together seamlessly.

Be clear and explain the advantages of your service or product, and don’t be afraid to be creative. Bold ideas can get your business noticed, so long as they are in line with your target audience and relevant to their needs, goals or pain points. Avoid the temptation to follow the same approach as your competition or to develop your creative without a solid understanding of who you’re trying to reach.

Keep Production Costs in Check

If you’re new to advertising on TV, the thought of a production shoot can bring to mind expensive equipment, demanding actors and big dollar signs. But in reality, it doesn’t require a huge budget or a giant production crew to produce an effective television commercial. You can use company employees or actual customers as your talent, which can help make your message feel genuine and relatable.

TV is priced based on rating points among specific target audiences. Your media partner can help you determine your target audience and the programming to best reach them while staying within your budget. Work with them to choose a station and develop a schedule that will maximize your ROI. You may discuss buying around certain times of the month or times of year that are high demand for some advertisers to help stretch your dollars further.

Be Clear with Your CTA and Track Results

With your TV ads, be sure to include how people can find you. Many businesses promote their website, social media channels or both through their TV ads, and it’s wise to include a CTA that sends viewers to you directly, whether that is through a phone call or a storefront visit or a website visit.

Once your CTAs are determined, set up tracking mechanisms such as unique phone numbers for each version of your TV ads within your advertising campaign, so you can monitor results. Determine appropriate KPIs to measure around your TV advertising, like store traffic, social media lift, sales lift and so on.

Use TV and Digital Together

Make the most of your budget and increase your reach further by using TV advertising as part of an integrated approach with digital. More and more viewers are using a second screen while watching TV, creating opportunities to boost response by using digital marketing with your TV ads. Digital marketing can drive customers further down the path to purchase after your TV ads create awareness and interest. For instance, if customers go to look up the products they saw in your ad, you want to make sure you show up in search results. By purchasing search ads around the terms that you used in the TV ad or that consumers would be likely to use to search for that product.

Don’t miss out on the opportunities available in TV advertising. Make media decisions around your target audience and produce relevant and creative ads, and you can reap the benefits of a tried and true outlet that continues to efficiently reach highly engaged potential customers.

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