Cable TV Advertising
Cable TV advertising is an excellent way to get your product or service in front of potential customers. With a bit of market research and a lot of planning, your ad has the chance to increase your profitability.
The cost of cable TV advertising depends on three primary factors: length, frequency, and timing. Most commercials run 30 seconds to 1 minute in length, though some can run shorter. In some areas, cable companies even permit companies to double up, with two companies purchasing the same 30-second spot and splitting the airtime. The price is not automatically double for a one-minute spot, though, so be sure to check the pricing for each amount of time.
Television advertising runs like many other companies in that purchasing larger quantities can lead to discounts. The frequency with which you choose to run your cable TV advertising spot will affect the price you pay per airing. The key is to balance the amount you are paying per ad, with the point at which more ads will not equal more success in selling your product or service.
When you choose to run your ad also affects the cost of cable TV advertising. Running ads during prime time, when more people are watching, will be more expensive than running those same ads during daytime television shows. Knowing when you should run your ad depends on the demographics of that segment, as well. An ad targeted to women typically does better during the day, while men's products will do better when aired during sporting events.
Script writing is a skill that writers learn with practice, but you can study the craft enough to work on the script for your cable TV advertising spot. The first step is to come up with the points you want to make. If you have a new business, your purpose may be to let people know who you are and what you do. If you are running a special, the details, such as the percentage off and the dates of the special, are paramount to writing a successful cable TV advertising script.
When you have everything you want to cover written down, coming up with a feel for the commercial is next. Think through commercials you have seen for other products. Some use a gimmick to pull people in. Others use a funny story line not really associated with the product. Still others have the owner or manager speaking frankly to the audience. Knowing which of these tactics you want to use will make it easier to write the script.
Using the specific points you want to make and the theme or feel you have selected, work on a few pieces of writing. Be natural. Write as you speak. Once you have a draft, read it aloud to see how it sounds. Try it out on others until you perfect it.
Locating actors for your cable TV advertising will not be as difficult a prospect as it may sound. The first place to go is a talent-recruiting agency. Most of these agencies represent local models and actors and will be able to set you up with someone for your cable TV commercial. These agents may want to see a script first, so be prepared to offer information about the commercial itself. Find out now the cost of using one of these agencies to help budget for the commercial.
Should you opt not to use an agency, you can find actors for your cable TV advertising easily on your own. Put up flyers at places where likely candidates may be, such as college campuses and grocery stores. Also consider running an ad in the newspaper. Be specific about the pay you are offering and what the expectations will be.
Once you have seen the portfolios of a few local actors, begin to hold auditions with a few who pique your interest. Ask the actors to read your script to see how they do with it. Also check to see that they seem natural and that they fit for your company. An ad spot for a retirement service will work better with an older actor rather than someone college age, for example.
Making your own TV ad has appeal to it. The process is exciting and gives you a chance to experiment in an unused advertising medium. On the other hand, you do not want to shell out the money for cable TV advertising if your ads will not be beneficial to you. As you begin to run your ad, give viewers time to respond to it. Most people need to see the ad multiple times before they consider making the purchase.
Find a way to track how often people come to your store after viewing the ad. Use the ad to offer promotions and give out the promotional item, which can be a small token, only if people ask for it. Having your sales staff record the number of times people ask for the promotion will help you get an idea of whether your ad is working.
Also consider using a survey to help judge whether your cable TV advertising is working. This survey can ask how people heard about your store, and you can get the names for it from people who make purchases. Another way to track customers without them needing to do anything is to set up a website for your store. Watch the traffic to see if it picks up in the hours the ad runs.
Video crews are easy to find for little money if you look in the right spots. Colleges are the perfect place to look. Visit with a professor and ask if he or she can recommend any students. Also check with the library and student services, as many of these departments employ students who video campus events. The directors may be willing to give your information to one of the students to pick up some freelance work. While college students should be paid fairly, they tend to ask for less money than an established company because they have no overhead and are likely still learning a good deal about video editing.
Should your idea for a cable TV spot call for videos of fast-moving or difficult objects, then a professional crew probably will work better. These crews can be expensive, but a good crew will make your spot look better. Video editing is a skill learned through practice and a good bit of trial and error. Not only does the video crew need to know the mechanics, they should understand how to use sound and lighting to pick the best clips to showcase your business. Finding a crew means checking references and asking for past work samples. Don't shy away from asking; your ad depends on the quality of their work.
The first step to buying cable TV advertising is setting a budget. Salespeople at the cable company will try to get you to purchase the most expensive advertising they can, which is why you should know the budget you have before you begin your search. You may find that tweaking the budget is necessary; perhaps you had underestimated the cost of buying advertising. Still, you should know about how much you want to shell out for ads before you see a representative.
Once you decide to buy, make a decision about how long you intend to run the ads and how you will judge their success. Buying ads indefinitely can lead you to spending money past the usefulness of the advertising spots. Some spots work well for a few weeks; others may do so for a few months. Ask questions of the sales representative about how long the average company runs an ad.
Make sure you have a clear contract before you buy. Find out when payment is expected and how that transaction will occur. For most small companies, cable TV advertising is a major expense, and you need to go into it with a clear idea of how the process will work. Ask all your questions upfront; don't be shy. Your company should be glad to answer you.
Demographic information seems boring. Reports will show the numbers of people who watch shows and a bit about those shows. This information may include age, occupation, educational level, income level, parental status, and more. While you may think looking through this information will eat up your time, you should approach it with fervor.
Advertising your products at the wrong time during the commercial breaks of the wrong show can mean spending your money without any return. On the other hand, spending your cable TV advertising budget at the right time can mean a significant increase in sales from the advertising.
Watch commercials on your own for a bit and notice the difference. Women's products are not advertised during sporting events. These ads tend to be for beer, cars, and other items men are more likely to purchase because the viewing audience of most sporting events is men.
Once you get an idea of how the demographics matter and know the demographic audience in your store, seek out the media or advertising kit for the shows running during the time you plan to run your ad. These kits are ready-made demographic studies to let you know the intended audience for the show. Use these reports to guide your requests for advertising to get the most out of your advertising time and money.
Large companies use focus groups to determine the success of their advertising. Though you may not be able to put together a huge focus group, you can run a local group to let you know whether your advertising works. Focus groups often run after a commercial is shot, but before it goes on air. If you do a group beforehand, shoot two or three variations of your commercial. Have the members of the group give honest feedback, most likely without you in the room, about the product or store they are viewing and about the ad. Tweak the ad, based on the comments you get.
Another way to get feedback on the ads is to ask customers as they come in after the ad begins to air. Feel free to ask if they have seen the ad, or ask if they will fill out a survey about the ad. You may find people being upfront about the advertising with either positive or negative feedback.
Also watch your sales. They should increase after ads begin airing if those ads are successful. If your ad focuses on a specific product, track the sales of that product. The profit you gain from running an ad is the best indication of whether your campaign is successful, and tracking sales is the easiest system to check.
Cable TV advertising is a form of marketing different from either newspaper or radio spots. Know the audience watching cable TV before you buy an ad, and make sure you are playing to those people's needs and wants. Putting the wrong content in a cable ad is a surefire way not to see a return on the money.
A newspaper ad can include detail. Put into different font sizes, the text of the ad gives the reader an understanding of the important points. You can include detail in these ads because readers do not have to remember everything since it is written down for them. In cable, you need to keep it short and simple. Give viewers the highlights that make them want the product.
Radio and cable TV advertising work differently because radio thrives on sound. Since the listener cannot see the advertisement, the retailer must paint a beautiful picture. On the television, however, most viewers are looking for something to entice them because it looks appealing. A car commercial should feature great angles of the cars being sold, rather than a voice telling the customer all about the car's features. The benefit of television advertising is that people see the product or the person offering the service; make sure you are presenting that person in the best way.