There are many variables to consider when selecting the right media. A first step in helping you to decide how to deploy your advertising budget is do an analysis of where your competitors are advertising. Once you have a good understanding on where your competitors are, you can make informed decisions on your own strategy. Will you choose to go head-to-head in the same medium or choose other options to reach the audience? Both could be valid strategies. Also, you will want to gather information about the market, research industry trends, and get a better understanding of where your target audience spends their time.
One note of caution: Be careful not to make the common mistake of spreading your budget too thin. As we mentioned above, typically the best strategy is to realize the full potential of each medium before adding others. Many novice marketers will chase the “shiny objects” of multiple platforms, without investing enough in any one to create a productive presence for its audience.
Typically, the two mediums that give advertisers the “biggest bang for the buck” and instant credibility are television and radio. Both can reach large audiences at a low cost per thousand.
Television provides the most reach of all advertising. Despite the growth of digital, and even in today’s fragmented media world, viewership studies show that television is still where the largest audiences can be found.
And this brings up an important consideration. When buying television, it is important to focus on the total audience a program reaches, not the number of spots you buy. For example, a media buy of 100 spots might sound great but, if each spot is only seen by a dozen people, you’d be better off having just ten spots in programming seen by thousands.
A strategy used by media salespeople is often to offer a large number of spots for one low price on the one or two channels that they represent. Unfortunately, in these “package deals” many of the spots will typically run at times and in programming that doesn’t deliver much audience.
Taking a “program specific” approach to placing your ads allows you to target AND to understand how large an audience you’re actually reaching. Media experts typically subscribe to ratings services to evaluate the value of buys with up-to-date audience sizes for all programming.
The two most common ratings services are Nielsen and ComScore. When comparing television ratings and the effectiveness of media buys, it’s important to compare apples to apples (Nielsen to Nielsen and ComScore to ComScore) as both services utilize different averaging and projection methodologies that impact their final audience measurements.
Regardless of how you measure your audience, for lead generation, it’s important to reach homeowners when they are most attentive. To accomplish this, the media experts at RCG will often invest ad dollars in programming that viewers tend to watch live, like local news. Viewers have a high level of trust in local television news, so this strategy has the added benefit of aligning your business with respected programming.
Keep in mind, however, that broadcast television stations reach a large geography. If your trade area is a small, broadcast TV may not always be a good fit for your business.
Local radio is also a great way to reach a mass audience. Radio stations target specific demographics through their format (rock, country, contemporary hit radio, etc.) Since most people are loyal to a radio station or two, it is also a great way to make sure your target audience hears your message multiple times.
And, unlike television, radio production can be relatively simple, so changing messaging isn’t difficult and you can react quickly to changing market conditions.
Finally, the one investment that should be considered mandatory in today’s advertising arena is pay-per-click (PPC) search engine marketing (SEM). Google Ads is the leading platform and others can be added if your budget allows.
The reason to prioritize SEM is simple, if a potential customer is actively searching for your product or service, PPC ads can get you near the top of the list of results. And, once a homeowner clicks on your PPC ad, you can employ a retargeting campaign to continue to “follow” the customer across the web with banner advertising. This constant reinforcement helps keep you top-of-mind as they consider their options.