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5 Tricks for Effective Newspaper Ads

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 @ 11:08 AM

It’s that time of year again when grocery stores stock their shelves with giant bags of candy corn and Hershey’s miniatures, and parents scramble to put the finishing touches on costumes that may or may not be lame and uninspired, or worse, too trendy (“And what are you supposed to be?” “I’m an App!”).

As every child between the ages of one and 12 will tell you, certain Halloween booty is a treat while others are a trick. Snickers bar (of any size): TREAT. Bag of Skittles: TREAT. Apple: TRICK!

With this in mind, here are some tricks (things to avoid) to create effective newspaper ads:

5 Tricks for Effective Newspaper AdsTRICK #1: Not Including Contact Details

How many times have you seen a full or half page ad that has a bold image and some slick copywriting touting that week’s deals and steals, but no real contact information? Maybe there was a tiny, tiny web address barely visible at the very bottom, but otherwise no real way for prospects to make a connection. Talk about scary! Those ads cost a pretty penny and, without including basic contact information such as a website, phone number or street address, the possibility of getting a good return on the investment becomes next to impossible.

TRICK #2: Including Meaningless Imagery

I saw an ad last week I assumed was for diapers because there was, front and center, a picture of a cherubic baby in only a diaper. You can imagine my surprise when, upon reading further, I found the ad was for new doors and windows. Um, huh? First of all, to the parents of that baby, if your house is drafty because of your old doors and windows, then for the love of God, please put a shirt on your child.

You only have a few seconds to capture and KEEP a reader’s attention. Don’t trick them with some lovely imagery only to try and sell them something totally unrelated. You’ll confuse and annoy them.

TRICK #3: Creating Information Overload5 Tricks for Effective Newspaper Ads - Crayola Crayon Costume

When your kid comes to you the day before Halloween and announces he wants to be a box of crayons, and not the small box, the 64-count, you can either say, “Sure honey, I’ll get started on your costume right away,” and spend hours creating something that ultimately winds up looking like an unrecognizable mess – OR - you can tell him he’ll be the Royal Blue crayon, go find a pair of his jeans and a blue T-shirt, write the word Crayola on it and call it a day. The latter is much simpler and everyone will know instantly what he is.

Keep your ad simple and don’t create confusion with mixed messaging. Your product or service may have numerous, wonderful benefits, but don’t list every single one. Choose the best one and create an ad around it.

TRICK #4: Forgetting to Create Urgency

Do you remember those Halloween movies from the 80s? If so, congratulations, you’re old like me. Imagine if those movies didn’t have someone always running for their lives from a serial killer. They would be pretty dull.

This same sense of urgency needs to be in your ads. You don’t just want your ad to make somebody want to buy your product, you want your ad to make somebody want to buy your product NOW. Including a deadline for your offers is a simple and highly effective way to increase your response rate.

TRICK #5: Not Including a Call-to-Action

Once you have a clear, singular message that includes a relevant photo and a sense of urgency, what are you going to do? What do you want your prospect to do? In a perfect world the reader would know exactly what to do after reading your ad. But we don’t live in a perfect world, as is evidenced by tsunamis and the cancellation of Veronica Mars.

A clear call-to-action, such as “bring this coupon in for 50% off your next oil change,” will ensure your ad reaches its objective.

Now that you know what NOT to do when creating your newspaper ads, come back next week to discover what sweet treats will make your ad ridiculously effective.


Image credit: Club ChicaCircle

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7 Benefits of Advertising in Digital Magazines

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 @ 10:21 AM

Unless you have a strong aversion to dealing with reality you’ve no doubt become aware of the fact the human race has gone mobile. Smartphones were adopted in a relatively short amount of time and have great influence on consumers. Additionally, this increased mobile usage has led to an increase in the consumption of digital content.

7 Benefits of Advertising in Digital MagazinesAccording to the Magazine Media Factbook 2013/2014, more than 90% of American adults still read magazines and an increasing number of them are doing so on tablets and smartphones. The report goes on to say that one in 10 tablet owners read digital magazines daily, and magazine apps frequently top the iPad charts in categories like Lifestyle, Health and Fitness, and News.

The factbook shared some other eye-opening figures that speak to the trend of consumers demanding and consuming more and more digital media in the form of online magazine publications:

  • 80% of respondents took some kind of action after downloading the digital version of a magazine such as visiting the magazine’s website, social media sites, or recommending the magazine to a friend or family member.
  • It’s predicted that by 2016 59% of U.S. Internet users will own a tablet.
  • 10% of tablet owners read digital magazines almost every day, and 13% of tablet users read digital magazines at least once per week. 17% of tablets users said they read digital magazines one to three times per month, while 40% read digital magazines once per month.

What do these figures mean to marketers considering advertising in a digital magazine? Digital magazines offer tremendous benefits unmatched by other media channels.

1. Reach Readers beyond Regional Boundaries

Digital magazines have the ability to reach readers on a global scale. They have become a powerfully engaging way to keep a reader’s interest while maintaining loyalty, even when readers have moved to another location. Digital magazines allow publishers to send content to readers no matter their location.

2. Faster Publishing and Distribution

Digital magazines reach their audience in a very short amount of time, and online readers often consume the edition the very same day it’s distributed.

3. Content Flexibility

One of the advantages digital magazines have is they can contain an increase in the number of pages without changing the layout or having to condense text to work with a particular format. Also, publishers do not incur additional costs for paper or printing additional pages in a digital version of a magazine, which means no additional fees are passed on to advertisers.

4. Digital Magazines Don’t Kill the Printed Versions7 Benefits of Advertising in Digital Magazines

Some would have you believe digital publishing replaces print, but this is simply not so – there is room for both printed and digital magazines. In fact, the MPA factbook reports 87% of those interested in reading magazines on a mobile device still want a printed copy. Owning the digital publication of a magazine does not stop readers from wanting the printed copy as well.

5. Better Understanding of Readers

True customer satisfaction often relies on two-way communication, and digital publishing software allows digital magazines to track reader engagement and identify preferred topics, which can then enhance future publications. When content is created around the audience’s interests, they are more engaged and more apt to click on advertisements distributed throughout the content.

6. No Revenue Loss from Unsold Copies

With digital magazines, publishers don’t have to worry about the expense and logistics associated with unsold copies. Again, the more money a publisher saves, the more savings will be passed on to advertisers.

7. Built-in Metrics

Thanks to ad-management and ad-serving technology, publishers can tell advertisers exactly how many readers clicked on ad links. Advertisers are also not limited to plain text links but can now use and get reporting back from rich media such as videos and interactive links.

Digital magazines offer an enhanced brand advertising experience because they place the reader in a highly designed editorial context which drives reader engagement and purchase intent. Publishers can then use special tracking software that uncovers actionable insights into how audiences engage with editorial and advertising content, which allows advertisers to tailor future campaigns for maximum results.


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How Today’s Audiences are Consuming Media (and Why You Should Care)

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Oct 07, 2014 @ 07:32 AM

There is a conventional wisdom that says media consumption can be divided along generational and economic lines, and that most people rely on just a couple primary resources for news. But, according to a survey by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, an entire audience of varying demographics currently relies on a mix of sources to get their news every week.

Here are some findings the study uncovered:

Americans Access the News Throughout the Day Across Multiple Devices

Keeping on top of news throughout the day and across various devices, formats and technologies has become somewhat of an American pastime. Thirty-three percent of survey respondents reported following the news all throughout the day, while 24% prefer to follow the news in the morning and 26% in the evening.

How Today’s Audiences Are Consuming MediaWhile many Americans follow the news on various devices (56% use a smartphone while 29% reach for their tablet), traditional media such as print and television still remain an important channel, even for those with the most gadgets. For example, 62% of respondents who said they use only one Internet enabled device reported to use the print version of a publication to get news as did 60% of people who use three or more mobile devices.

Americans Discover News in Different Ways

The study revealed that today’s consumers are discovering news through different means and generally using between three and five methods, from old-fashioned word-of-mouth to social media to electronic alerts. The most popular way Americans report discovering their news is directly from a news organization such as a newspaper, website or newswire.

A surprising finding was that people tend to discover news in old fashioned ways like word-of-mouth or over the phone (65%) more than they do with modern methods such as email or text messaging (46%), or through social media (44%).

A 2012 report on the State of the News Media put out by the Pew Research Center backs up the idea that, rather than gravitating toward one device or channel, a growing number of Americans are becoming multi-platform news consumers.

Here are some interesting findings from the report:

Multiple Digital Device Usage is growing

A majority of Americans get their news through at least one digital, web-based device. While laptops and desktop computers remain the primary digital platform for news consumption (54% of respondents get the news there), the number of consumers who get news on multiple digital devices is growing. Nearly a quarter of all U.S. adults, now get news on at least two devices–a desktop/laptop computer and smartphone, a computer and a tablet, a tablet and a smartphone, or on all three.

Consumers Go Directly to the Source

Like the Media Insight Project, this study also found that the most common way people get news is by going directly to a news organization’s website or app. In fact, previous PEJ studies have shown modern consumers who access news through search engines typically type in some variation of the website’s homepage name instead of searching by topic across different news sources.

Social Media Plays a Small Role in News Consumption

Social media usage has proven to be more hype than anything else when it comes to consuming news. While clearly a part of the digital news experience, only 9% of consumers follow news recommendations from either Facebook or Twitter.

Computer Users’ Exhibit Specific Behavior

Consumers who answered they get digital news only on their desktop or laptop computer have a very specific set of behaviors, 48% getting news using keyword search compared with at least 70% of those who use a smartphone, tablet or both for news. Similarly, 54% go directly to news websites or apps somewhat or very often, while 80% or more of those who get news on other devices do so.

Mobile Users Interact with Media More Often and LongerHow Today’s Audiences Are Consuming Media

Localytics, a closed-loop app analytics and marketing platform that helps brands acquire, engage, and retain users, shared its proprietary data with researchers involved in this study. Mobile users typically spend more time consuming news on mobile devices than any other device. Their findings also show mobile users go to news sites more often, spend more time per session and read more articles per session.

Just a decade ago, no one could have possibly grasped the level of media saturation we see today. Media is now moving toward being accessible anywhere and at any time by hungry consumers. That means tremendous opportunity for advertisers who want their message to have the biggest reach with the biggest return on investment.


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10 Reasons to Advertise on Newspaper Websites

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 @ 11:27 AM

According to a 2012 Newspaper Multiplatform Usage Study by the Newspaper Association of America, 56 percent of respondents said ads on newspaper websites made them aware of a product or store sale, 32 percent said they visited a store or another website in response to seeing an ad, 30 percent made an actual purchase, and 14 percent referred the ad to a friend or family member. These numbers indicate how beneficial it is to advertise on newspaper websites.

Here are 10 specific reasons why you should consider shifting some of your advertising budget to newspaper websites:

Newspaper Website Audiences are Growing10 Reasons to Advertise on Newspaper Websites

According to a 2010 study by Nielsen Online, nationally, online newspapers keep growing their audiences. In fact, in an average month during the first quarter of 2010, more than 74 million people visited a newspaper website, which is more than 37% of the active Internet population as a whole.

A Higher Quality Audience

Studies have shown branded content brings a higher quality audience. In fact a study done by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) showed that their audiences were far more likely to make purchases in a variety of categories, including home, financial, travel, automotive, business and entertainment.

Reach Any Demographic

Newspaper websites allow advertisers to get personal and offer relevant messaging because many are local. Beyond this benefit, newspapers also publish various niche sites geared for women, teens, movie buffs, or virtually any demographic a brand could hope to reach. And, because of online registration  programs and audience segmentation software, newspapers know more than ever about their online audience.

Repetition of Messaging

Many users of newspaper websites also read the print version during any given week. This repetition increases brand awareness.

guy-on-laptop-webOnline Newspaper Users Spend More Time Online

Online newspaper website users spend more than twice as many hours surfing the web than the average user. Online newspaper users are also more likely – nearly three times as likely as general Internet users - to be online during the workday, specifically between the hours of eight and 11 a.m.  (Source: “Power Users,” 2006, MORI Research)

An Audience with More Spending Power

According to a report by NAA, 89% of newspaper website users make purchases online while only 56% of general users said they do. The report also noted 40% of online newspaper users have annual incomes higher than $75,000, and 69% own their homes. Also of interest is 18% of online newspaper users had spent more than $2,000 online in the last six months.


Online users spend a good chunk of time consuming content that pertains to sports, finance and entertainment. These categories are a mainstay on local and national newspaper websites, which means that week after week, these sites draw a large crowd.

Large Gains Generation

Online newspaper websites have the ability to generate very large gains in online ad awareness among high-level management job holders. Whether C-level managers or VP/director-level managers, and across all industries, there is generally an increase in brand awareness following exposure to an ad campaign in online newspapers. (Source: Dynamic Logic’s MarketNorms® database, 2006)

girls-with-mobile-phonesConnect with a Mobile Crowd

Newspaper website readers are more likely to own mobile devices and they are also more likely to be interested in receiving product offers through those devices. (Source: “Power Users,” 2006, MORI Research)

A Powerful Mix

When integrated into a campaign that includes a traditional media mix, ads placed on newspaper websites offer brands a chance to elaborate on their message. Advertising in both print and digital newspapers gives advertisers a high penetration rate with a desirable audience.

Newspapers have always been a powerful resource for advertisers. By having a presence on a newspaper’s website, companies are able to create brand awareness and capture the attention of an ever-growing audience that has real spending power.


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Make Room for Native Advertising in Your Digital Media Strategy

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 @ 10:15 AM

In last week’s post we defined native advertising and shared a few of its benefits such as its ability to combat ad blindness, leverage a publication’s authority and brand loyalty, and go viral.

Let’s take a look at a few more benefits offered by native advertising:

Supports Social Media EffortsNative Advertising Supports Social Media Efforts

One of the biggest benefits of distributing content through paid channels is that it builds an audience that will continue to interact with your brand via social platforms. Whether through a sponsored ad on Facebook or Twitter, making it easy for users to click through to a brand’s page – or on non-social platforms and providing a link to social pages with a strong call-to-action, native ads are a great way for brands to build an audience and engage with their fans.

Maximizes Visibility via Search Engines

Native ads are more than just ads. They’re digital assets for abrand’s rank on search engines. When prospects search for what you offer, they do not search for your homepage but rather for any information that helps them make a purchasing decision. All your branded content, like sponsored articles, populates the search results pages and gives prospects a positive first impression of your brand during a search query.

Allows Brands to Become Publishers

For brands wishing to set themselves apart in the digital rat race for consumers’ attention, publishing relevant content is at the heart of winning the race. It’s not enough for brands to create good content; they need a channel to deliver it as well. Native advertising delivers relevant campaigns while making it quite easy to monitor results and adjust accordingly.

Native Advertising Gives You the Most Mileage for Your ContentGives You the Most Mileage for Your Content

Too few marketers look at their content with an eye for getting the most mileage out of it. Content should be developed not only with the audience in mind, but with distribution and repurposing in mind as well. Native advertising offers a clear opportunity to dust off some of those old blog posts or white papers created a year or two ago and bring them back to the forefront of marketing campaigns.

It’s a Match Made in Mobile Heaven

Native advertising works incredibly well on mobile because native promotions are seamlessly integrated with the main content and consumed in the exact same way as any other content viewed on mobile devices. Native ads are displayed full screen and can be broadcast across any platform such as a desktop, tablet, or smartphone without having to change creative or make platform specific changes.

A New Level of Innovation

Native advertising allows brands a new level of innovation where they aren’t boxed in by certain rules or requirements like small text, limited graphics and time restraints for videos. Instead, native promotions allow for a deeper and richer level of engagement and innovation from brands when it comes to their marketing.

Before Taking the Native Advertising Plunge

Before deciding to take the plunge into the native advertising pool, brands must first assess their personal advertising needs by answering a few questions such as:  How much ad spend should be allocated toward testing native ads and are the anticipated returns worth the initial investment? Who will be responsible for plunge-into-native-advertisingdeveloping and creating the article attached to the ad? What metrics will we use to measure the ad’s performance? Should we test with one single ad first or consider sponsoring a series of articles out of the gate? These answers will guide the creative and marketing teams and ensure everyone is working toward the same goals and objectives.

The world of native advertising is rapidly changing as consumers, marketers and publishers all vie to shape the space. And, though many bloggers and industry leaders try to predict what the landscape will look like even a year from now, the truth is no one really knows. For the time being, though, it is very obvious that native advertising offers exciting new opportunities to creatively engage with audiences in places and ways that matter.


Image credit: socialstrategy1.com

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Why You Should Include Native Advertising in Your Digital Strategy

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Sep 16, 2014 @ 11:22 AM

As the digital landscape has continued to grow and shift and new strategies have emerged, one has become the darling of digital media planners everywhere: native advertising. And yet, with all of its recent popularity, native advertising is probably the least understood digital strategy used by publishers, marketers and agencies alike, who have all embraced it without knowing exactly how it can be used effectively or even if it’s right for their brand.

What is Native Advertising Anyway?

Native advertising has proven to be a difficult concept for many to grasp, as definitions of the strategy seem to differ from publisher to publisher, advertiser to advertiser. Some define it as “sponsored content” or featured content that is brought to the consumer’s attention by a particular brand. The key feature of sponsored-contentnative advertising, however, is that it blends seamlessly with website editorial in an attempt to engage visitors. Native ads can take the form of promoted Tweets to branded feature articles that live somewhere within the Huffington Post. In essence, effective native advertising combines the best of display ads and content marketing, leveraging the ease of paid distribution channels and the power of valuable content.

Are native ads effective? According to a study conducted by IPG Media Lab, consumers look at native ads 52% more frequently than banner ads. Because of their seamless integration with editorial content, native ads registered a 9% higher lift in brand affinity and an 18% higher intent to purchase response than traditional ads.

The Benefits of Native Advertising

Here are nine reasons you may want to consider integrating native ads into your digital media planning strategy:

They Combat Ad Blindness

At this point in time the digital landscape is cluttered with display ads, and consumers have become increasingly adept at completely ignoring them while they browse. In order to combat this ad blindness, advertisers must be able to deliver content that naturally integrates into publishing layouts. In other words, these ads aren’t intrusive, and they don’t “trick” consumers into interacting with content, but rather engage them in a way that’s mutually beneficial.

They Leverage a Publication’s Authority and Brand Loyalty

Paid media allows you to reach millions of consumers you might not otherwise have access to, and, like advertising in newspapers and magazines, native digital ads allow you to leverage the authority of someone else’s publication and use their brand to bolster your own.

Native Ads Have the Potential to Go Viralbuzzfeed-native-advertising

Another advantage native has over display is the potential to go viral. According to a study conducted by Sharethrough and the IPG Media Lab, which surveyed 4,770 consumers on their responses to native ad formats, nearly 1 in 3 said they would share a native ad, while less than 1 in 5 said they would share a banner ad.

These results support the main contention of companies like Sharethrough, which helps publishers distribute their native ads across various channels and platforms, by illustrating that readers are more likely to pay attention to marketing messages that aren’t intrusive and resemble the editorial content around them.

Not only do native ads get more attention, they are also easily shared because, like editorial content, they tend to have unique URLs and can be quickly reposted on social media sites with one simple click of a button. Sponsored Tweets and Instagram photos are able to include hashtags that make them more discoverable. And, most native ads exist in formats that allow for live engagement with consumers such as entertainment and news media sites, lifestyle blogs, Facebook posts and Instagram photos, which all contain comments sections allowing consumers to interact with a brand directly on the ad.

Stay tuned for next week’s post where we’ll list six more reasons why you may want to integrate native advertising into your digital media planning strategy.


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Why You Need to Embrace Multi-Channel Marketing

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Sep 09, 2014 @ 12:11 PM

Over the last few years, a considerable number of businesses have shifted from a single-channel advertising approach, where the focus is solely on highlighting the product or service, to a multi-channel approach that focuses on the needs and preferences of the consumer and engages in a two-way conversation with them. Although multi-channel marketing is more complex and campaigns require longer development time, the effort is worth it when you consider its ability to reach customers through their own desired medium, which makes the desired conversion much more likely.

Consider the Numbers

According to a recent global survey conducted by Forrester research, 97% of marketing decision-makers said they had experienced increased revenue which they attributed to their multi-channel activities. Forty percent of these same respondents indicated that improvement was greater than 15% in specific areas Why You Need to Embrace Multi-Channel Marketingsuch as ROI, customer satisfaction and loyalty, and a reduction in customer acquisition costs.

The Forrester study respondents also held a number of common observations about the value of a multi-channel approach:

  • 86% believe successfully integrating multiple channels under a single integrated marketing strategy is critical to long term success
  • 66% believe a multi-channel customer is worth much more than a single-channel customer
  • Half of the respondents indicated a negative customer experience is affected by inconsistent treatment across channels

Let’s take a look at some of the specific benefits:

Better Tracking and Measurement

With a traditional, single-channel advertising strategy, there is very little scope or data for measuring a campaign’s performance. This kind of strategy is pretty much like throwing messaging against the wall and hoping it sticks. A multi-channel approach, on the other hand, is measurable because it uses intelligent data to answer questions related to how the campaign is being managed, the return on investment, and how you would allocate ad spend for future campaigns.

Less Costly in the Long Run

It seems counterintuitive that targeting multiple channels costs less than targeting just one, but this is easily recognized when you consider all the combined financial benefits of multi-channel marketing. For starters, integration of different marketing efforts into a single platform often helps lower training and support costs. Shared segmentation helps get the most out of marketing time, which leads to higher productivity. All this is to say you get more with the same amount of resources.

Higher Revenue

Leveraging multiple channels gives you access to customer data from all channels at the same time. Why is this significant?  Because having access to this invaluable data helps you categorize your customer base and identify your target audience, which leads to higher conversion rates and higher revenue.

Faster Campaign Execution

In today’s competitive global marketplace, the most effective strategies are those that can be executed quickly and stay up-to-date with the latest trends. A multi-channel approach offers greater effectiveness and efficiency than a single-channel marketing strategy because it reduces creation and execution time. And, because it is more dynamic than a single-channel campaign, it offers real-time response and customer feedback.

A Consistent Consumer Experience

When executed strategically, an integrated multi-channel marketing approach ensures a consistent consumer experience amongst your target audience. This ability to maintain consistency across all channels and campaigns can boost the effectiveness of your strategy and improve your brand identity.

consumers-handsPuts the Choice in Consumer’s Hands

A multi-channel approach means you give customers and prospects the choice of how they will interact with your business. When consumers have the choice of which channel to receive your message, your chances of completing conversions dramatically increases.

More Touch Points

More touch points in your marketing funnel gives you the ability to collect more data and better understand which of your promotions are working for you and which are wasting your advertising budget.

Consumers are increasingly using more channels to interact with businesses. Once you understand how customers and prospects are interacting with your brand across multiple channels, you can optimize their touch points, deliver relevant messaging, and help ensure they stay with your brand while interacting through various channels. You can also measure how your campaigns are performing and make sure you’re spending your advertising dollars wisely.


Image credit: Fashezine

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Tags: integrated marketing, multi-channel marketing

Best Practices for Local Digital Advertising

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Sep 02, 2014 @ 12:04 PM

Businesses who are looking for a cost-effective way to connect with customers and prospects in their local market should consider advertising digitally if they’re not doing so already. Consumers are spending an increasing amount of time online, thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices, and local digital advertising allows a business to have an online presence 24/7. Local digital advertising also offers precision targeting and a faster and wider reach.

For those businesses looking to digitally connect with their local audience, there are some definite best practices to follow:

Claim and Optimize Your Profile

All businesses should claim their free local ad spots by logging into Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local and walk through the verification steps. Once this is done, descriptions, titles and categories should be optimized for specific keywords that will help customers find them.

Emphasize Why Local is BetterBest Practices for Local Digital Advertising

Too many local businesses create ads putting emphasis on proximity only without telling the prospect why doing businesses with local merchants adds real value to their lives. For instance, a pizza shop that advertises as “Your Neighborhood Pizza Joint since 1988” tells the consumer nothing about why they should buy pizza from that joint instead of the other joint on the next street over. But an ad that says “We use locally sourced ingredients on our pies!” tells prospects much more and gets them in the door.

Use Real Photos in Ads

One of the reasons consumers choose a local business over a national brand is because they don’t want to give their money to an impersonal corporation. Many of these larger corporations will use stock imagery on their websites and in their ads. Local businesses should leverage their location by including real photos of their business and customers in every piece of messaging.

Make Your Ad Visually Appealing

For ads to be effective they must be visually appealing; local ads are no exception. Written text should be balanced with attractive visuals and information shouldn’t be crammed in. Negative space – that space around the words and images – is just as important as the rest of the ad.

Include Local Details

Local businesses can convey their trustworthiness and value in a few different ways:

  • By including feedback and reviews from local customers in their ads
  • By mentioning any awards they have won as well as community events with which they are routinely involved
  • By including a phone number and address, which proves to prospects they are conveniently nearby

Use a Variety of Tactics

Just because a business is small doesn’t mean they have to think small when it comes to filling a customer funnel. Local marketers must integrate paid, earned and owned media channels into their mix to be able to drive direct response and organic traffic, retarget existing audiences, establish long-term engagements with customers and create more brand ambassadors.

Keep Local Pages Up-to-Date

Search engines prefer to rank websites they feel are current and relevant to users. One way business owners can appear current and relevant is to regularly add fresh content to their sites through an attached blog, create new sub-pages and refresh content on local webpages by adding new photos or video.

Engage with the Local Community

Many business owners still debate the efficacy of social media for local markets. While platforms like Facebook and Twitter aren’t usually a good source for conversions, they can be a great source for getting Best Practices for Local Digital Advertisinginvolved with the local community. Having active accounts on Google+, Facebook and Twitter is a great way to see what community members are talking about –what they care about – and what their current concerns are. Getting involved in events through social media is one of the best ways to make a positive impact in the local community.

In an increasingly global marketplace, where large, faceless companies have traditionally dominated, small businesses can now compete and stand out as viable options for consumers. When combined with other tactics, local digital advertising offers small business owners a cost-effective way to reach potential customers in their own backyard.


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Improve Your ROI with These Magazine Advertising Strategies

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:22 AM

Magazine advertising has been around for a long time and for good reason: it’s a highly effective way to get your message in front of your target audience, an audience who is interested in hearing from you.

Here are just a few benefits of advertising in magazines:

  1. A magazine’s strength lies in the active way in which readers choose and use the medium. Magazines are an active medium and the reader is in control.
  2. Magazines deliver receptive readers. Often the positive brand image of the magazine is transferred onto the advertisements.
  3. Readers find magazine ads relevant and valuable. And, since readers are in control of which ads they interact with and when, magazine advertising is not considered an interruption.
  4. Magazines allow advertisers to easily target their message with precision and without wasting their ad spend.
  5. Readers tend to take action after seeing magazine ads.

Follow the four strategies below to create and launch successful magazine advertising campaigns.

Improve Your ROI with These Magazine Advertising StrategiesChoose the Right One

Not all magazines are created equal, and not all are the right channel for your message. You’ll first need to determine which magazines fit your target market segments, that is, the ones that will most likely be read by this audience. If you sell organic cloth diapers, it makes little sense to advertise in a hunting magazine. Determine who your ideal prospect is and then think from their POV to determine what kind of information or form of entertainment they are drawn to.

Determine Reach

Once you’ve selected the magazine that makes the most sense to advertise in, you’ll want to determine its reach. Ask the sales representative for the magazine’s circulation numbers and pay attention to the number of direct subscribers to the magazine’s circulation ratio. This is important because many magazines sit on the shelves of book stores and grocery stores and are never purchased.

You’ll also want to inquire about which states the magazine is distributed in, its cycle, pricing and market image.

Knowing market image is important because this is the subscriber’s perception of the magazine’s quality and content. Magazine A might have a lower circulation rate, but if it has a better image than Magazine B, it has a greater chance of being read by your prospective customers who will then view your ad and place more trust in it.

Determine Placement

Next, decide where to place your ad within the magazine. According to Starch Advertising Research published by the Rochester Institute of Technology, placing ads next to the table of contents offers the best reach. If your budget doesn’t quite allow for this, placing your ad next to an article or editorial related to your offer is also a good option. For example, if your ad is offering a free consultation on window Improve Your ROI with These Magazine Advertising Strategiesreplacements, you could place it next to an article about home winterizing.

You may also consider piggybacking and place your ad next to another prominent ad. Leverage someone else’s budget and claim a spot right next to those big ads so the reader’s eye will naturally be drawn to yours.

Make Your Budget Work Harder

You should always ask your sales rep for a media kit that lists all the rates for the various ad sizes. When placing your order, be sure you understand how the magazine’s scheduling and readership and your business cycle all work synergistically to reap the greatest rewards.

Also, consider using some of your advertising budget to create professional ads. Depending on what your offer is and who your ideal customers are, a polished ad can mean the difference between seeing a 3% increase in sales or a 7% increase.

No matter what you may have heard about the “death” of print, advertising in magazines is still one of the most effective ways to get messaging in front of a target audience. Magazines reach millions of consumers on a regular basis, deliver ROI, generate positive brand awareness and significantly increase sales. In other words, if you haven’t included magazines into your marketing plan yet, what are you waiting for?


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Tags: magazine advertising

National vs. Local Newspaper Advertising: Which Is Best?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 @ 10:28 AM

Newspaper advertising is the oldest form of advertising and is still used widely today by many businesses for a very specific reason: newspapers are a chosen media purchased by the reader. In other words, advertising in newspapers puts you in front of a very special group of consumers: those who value and are immensely receptive to the information (and ads) they find inside. When your message appears in newspapers, readers believe the editorial content adds credibility and legitimacy to your brand and offer.

national-local-newspaper-advertisingMany businesses already recognize the power of newspaper advertising, but many more are often confused as to whether they should spend their budget on local or national papers. First, let’s take a look at the benefits both national and local newspapers offer advertisers.

An Audience that Wants to Hear from You

Newspaper readers don’t find print ads intrusive (like they do online, radio and television ads) because they are in control of when (and if) they read them. Beyond this, readers actively seek advertising that alerts them to deals and coupons.

A Targeted Audience

Besides getting your ads placed in the sections of the paper with similar content, newspapers (particularly local ones) can target audiences in other ways by using events such as holidays, or using specific geographic locations such as neighborhoods and streets, and even focusing on specific individuals like parents or ethnic groups.

A Quality Audience

According to the State of the News Media 2013, newspaper readership correlates with higher income levels of $100,000 or more as well as higher education levels.

Leveraged Trust

Newspaper publishers work diligently to create solid relationships with readers and build a loyal customer base. In a sense, newspapers become like a print version of friends and family. Just as friends and family “won’t steer ya wrong,” readers feel the same about their beloved print publications. Consumers believe publishers only do business with solid companies that can be trusted. Advertising within a trusted newspaper that has a loyal customer base means a brand can build a positive reputation in a short amount of time.


One of the greatest benefits of print is readers can easily keep content close by for future reference. Try saving a radio or television ad or cutting it out and putting it on your refrigerator. Print ads also have a way of “going viral” in that a newspaper can wind up in the waiting room of a doctor’s office and the ads inside will be viewed by many, many people over the course of the week.

Great Flexibility

With newspaper ads you can choose the type of ad and position (classified or feature-section) that will most effectively put your message in front of your target audience. You have great flexibility on the size of your ad, the format, and color so you can achieve the desired impact.

Why Local Newspapers Edge National Papers Outhomepage-image-web

Local newspapers provide a special kind of connection with consumers. While national papers provide a window to a broader world, local papers connect residents to their community and to each other.

According to the 2013 Community Newspaper Readership Study conducted by The Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) on behalf of National Newspaper Association (NNA), about two-thirds or 67% of residents in small U.S. communities read their local paper from one to seven days per week. The study concluded that local newspapers continue to be the primary source of information for consumers living in small towns and cities across the country.

Looking further into the numbers, 94% of responders agreed their local paper was informative; 80% said they and their families looked forward to reading the newspaper; 78% said they relied on their local papers for local news and information; and 72% said the newspapers entertained them. The findings of this study suggest the perceived value of local newspapers and the important role they play in community members’ lives is a true asset to advertisers.

Sure, national ads offer more exposure, more eyeballs on your ad (possibly) but that exposure and those eyeballs may not mean a hill of beans if you don’t get a return on your initial investment. The truth is most small businesses’ ad spend would be much better served in local papers.

Another benefit of local newspaper advertising is the rapid turnaround on production changes. If you need to make last-minute changes to your ad (and it’s bound to happen at some point in your campaign), the newspaper’s advertising department can usually get the job done quickly and not throw you any shade in the process.

As you know, we’re big fans of advertising in the newspaper and know firsthand the benefits print ads bring to our clients. Whether you choose to go national or local, we believe newspaper advertising should be the cornerstone of any campaign.


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Tags: newspaper advertising, local newspaper advertising