If you have ever done any advertising for your business or organization, you have probably faced this question: What type of advertising should I use?
This is pretty complicated, as there are tons of options and many ways to use each. Though I would have to know your specific situation to give any exact recommendations, I will break down five of the largest categories of advertising and provide guidelines depending on the goal of the advertising campaign.
Here are the five categories of advertising:
Print advertising: Newspapers, magazines, etc.
Social media advertising: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Broadcast advertising: Primarily TV and radio
Outdoor advertising: billboards, bus stations, park benches
Hyper-targeting: delivering digital ads to specific individuals based on specific triggers
Next, here are some of the best avenues, depending on the audience you’re trying to reach and the message you’re attempting to send:
In this type of campaign, we are trying to get individuals or organizations to take a specific action that either completes the sale/application or starts them down that path. For instance, if I sell software to companies, the specific action could either be them buying my product or signing up for my newsletter that will eventually convert them into a sale. Generally speaking, if the item is fairly cheap, the goal should be to get the actual sale in a one-step process. With larger sales, we are generally just trying to get the buying process started. In this type of campaign, hyper-targeting advertising is best — you can specifically target only the ideal customers/applicants and they can complete the first stage in the buying process with a simple click to your lead page or sales page.
Which medium you pick heavily depends upon the audience to which you are trying to cater. I recommend starting with broadcast advertising, but make sure you use primarily non-skippable ads. Social media advertising is also good and probably the cheapest way to get in front of individuals. But it can be less effective unless your creative is interesting. Print advertising is also good, and you can have very significant impressions for the money spent.
Print advertising is best here, and for a very specific reason. If you have messed up recently and it got into the news, chances are the best way to reach those who saw the bad news is to be in the news with your message. Broadcast advertising is effective for the same reason as print.
This is different from the other forms of advertising in that the goal is to reach a specific group that is not necessarily customer- or recruit-focused, but who need to have a favorable opinion of the organization. Again, print advertising is one of the best options. Full-page and full-color advertising can say, “We are strong, and you are right to support us.”
Outdoor advertising is also effective — specifically large billboards in areas where your constituents live and work. Similar to full-page ads, this shows, by its size and placement, that your organization has a fairly significant budget.
Thirdly, hyper-targeted advertising should be considered. This can be really powerful if you have a pre-set email list or mailing addresses, as you can set your ad to only deliver to people living at those specific houses and to deliver at high frequency. That means they will see your advertising everywhere they go online or through connected radio or TV — such as Pandora or Hulu. This is a highly effective way to appear everywhere but only spend a small amount of money.
Timothy A. Zercher is president and CEO of Pueblo-based EasySocial. Zercher can be reached at easysocial.solutions.