While business confidence surrounding financial prospects is supposedly down in the UK, this has not stopped firms investing in marketing and advertising. According to research group Markit, just 25.3% of surveyed entrepreneurs felt optimistic about their firm’s financial prospects for the year ahead, but despite this, only 12.2% of respondents increased their marketing budgets during the second quarter of 2015. This expenditure included multiple facets of marketing, including television advertising, PR and digital campaigns.
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Despite a lack of positive sentiment in the UK business market, it is clear that entrepreneurs are determined to invest in their ventures in the pursuit of growth. Advertising is the best way to achieve this, so long as you can determine the most cost-effective and ultimately profitable platform for your campaign. While video on demand (VOD), television advertising and radio spots all providing viable options, it is crucial to create a tailored and integrated campaign that delivers the best possible return.
With this in mind, here is our guide to these advertising platforms and key considerations you should undertake before embracing them:
1. Television Advertising
While there are people who continue to reiterate that television advertising is moribund, this remains a significant generalisation of the medium. While recent reports by Nielsen confirm that online video streaming is growing at a faster rate than television viewership, the television remains the dominant medium at this time. So although Internet viewership figures grew by 60% during the final quarter of 2014, television still accounted for 141 viewing hours in this time and outstripped all other alternatives in terms of popularity.
These trends suggest that while television may become increasingly redundant between now and 2020, for now it offers considerable advantages to some advertisers so long as they are selective and thoughtful in their approach. More specifically, television advertising should be reserved for innovative products with a high sales projections and a clearly defined market, as this makes it easier to create targeted campaigns that deliver a measurable return.
To identify which products are best-suited to the televisual medium, you should first balance your sales projections against the cost of TV advertising. Production costs can range from between $500 and $1500 for a 30-second local commercial, for example, extending to an estimated $340,000 for national spots. The cost of procuring air-time varies according to your preference, although primetime and peak spots can often be procured for $400,000 - $500,000.
If you have determined that a potential campaign is profitable, the next step is to ensure that your product is well-researched and aimed at a specific demographic. This will enable you to get the most from your investment, as the ability to target specific market segments has evolved exponentially in line with media expansion and a rising number of available, niche channels. By targeting specific channels and time slots that are relevant to your audience, you can optimise sales conversion rates.
2. Video on Demand (VOD)
Despite the continued relevance of television advertising, the growth of the VOD medium cannot be denied. Much of its popularity can be traced to the fact that it is diametrically opposed to traditional media, as it offers a more expansive, real-time reach and negates the need to select specific time-slots. It is also decidedly more cost-effective, with sites such as YouTube and Vimeo providing high-traffic, low-cost third party resources where branded videos can be uploaded and shared.
If this makes VOD advertising sound like a viable host for all of your advertising campaigns, however, it is time to think again. The latest Nielsen figures confirm that videos streamed online generate just 11 viewing hours per month in the typical household, for example, which is dwindled by the 140 hours produced by television. Even accounting for the cost benefits and improved flexibility offered by the VOD medium, it still lacks the immediate impact delivered by television.
This method of advertising is ideal for independent business-owners, but companies looking to launch non-premium and experimental products onto the market can also benefit. By creating an affordable, 15-30 second VOD slot for online channels and selected websites, brands can reach a loosely targeted market and reduce wastage. This type of advertising is also charged at a fixed cost per thousand views, so it is far cheaper and easier to create an accurate budget.
VOD’s can also provide a supplementary advertising medium for premium campaigns, through short and impactful spots that link to an extended video hosted on the advertiser’s website. This method should therefore play an important if not central role in mainstream consumer advertising in 2015.
3. Radio Advertising
If there are some experts that believe that television advertising is moribund, their views on radio spots are probably best left unpublished. Even this traditional and seemingly outdated mode of advertising has relevance in the modern age. Even if it’s not used as a primary medium, then as an option for niche or service-based campaigns. There are also several advantages to this medium, such as reduced costs and access to a potentially older consumer demographic.
In simple terms, radio advertising is best suited to service led campaigns as opposed to those that are based around physical products. This is because the core benefits of a service can be effectively promoted through scripted dialogue and audio effects, whereas premium products must be allowed to flourish through a visual medium. While lower cost radio spots are suited to both mid-range and premium products, it is imperative that you understand the unique nature of pricing and target a specific demographic if you are to secure a financial return.
To achieve this, access a copy of each station’s media kit (which has a detailed profile of their listener base). Then calculate their unique CMP, simply by dividing the cost of your proposed spot by the number of listeners. This will give you a broken down cost plan per individual customer, which in turn can be compared to the money generated on each potential sale.
This will leave you with a viable spend and estimated return, which in turn will help you to determine whether radio advertising is right for your particular service. This may even emerge as the primary mode of advertising for service-driven brands, especially those that are independent and restrained by a relatively low budget.
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With these points in mind, you can hopefully create a targeted and integrated advertising campaign that optimises the impact of each individual platform. If you would like to share your thoughts, please do so using the comments box below.