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Make Advertising Work for You

Above or below the line? A unified brand voice makes advertising across all platforms simpler.

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Over the years, advertising has been divided into a range of theories and categories that professionals adhere to in order to create campaigns. These include Above The Line (ATL) and Below The Line (BTL), which are essentially just rough groupings designed to help people understand what kind of advertising is being done. The entire process is, in truth, much simpler than most marketers would have you believe.

What are ATL and BTL?

  • ATL – Generally this is advertising that is visible – posters, billboards, magazines, television and newspapers, to name a few mass media avenues.
  • BTL – This refers to the marketing you do that isn’t quite so tangible. It’s your point-of-sale promotions, PR or the search engine optimisation you do on your website.

Dual strategies

So, how do you merge the two effectively without losing what makes them unique?

Both ATL and BTL are highly effective methods of advertising that require very different campaign structures in order to work. However, there’s a new way to bring the two concepts together – Through The Line (TTL). This approach allows you to integrate a range of platforms, regardless of which stream they fall into.

The idea is to fully optimise elements from both in order to see measurable returns on your marketing.

This may sound very complicated, but essentially it’s about pinpointing your brand message and voice, and ensuring that it’s consistent for everything you do. Once you’ve established your identity – in terms of colours, design and tone – you can use this on any piece of advertising you deploy.

These elements can be implemented for giant billboards on the highway and on each page of your website.

However, it’s important to remember that the manner in which you do this will be different for each distribution channel. For example, the design of your flyers shouldn’t be executed in the same way as your website. They must relate to each other, while still sticking to best practices for their unique space in the marketing arena.

Draw attention to all channels

Of course, one of the simplest ways to tie ATL and BTL together is to use each channel as a way of pointing to the other. For example, if you’re in retail, you can upload your catalogues onto your Facebook page and then tell people to visit your stores for more information.

However, this must be backed up at each branch, with posters for example. On the other hand, you can make sure that your flyers always have your website’s URL printed on them. Whenever you get the opportunity to use the various platforms open to you as a way of promoting each other – take it.

Remember, with a unified brand voice, each marketing channel that you deploy serves to reinforce your message every time someone comes into contact with your company.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ann Druce

    Dec 12, 2012 at 09:32

    Through-the-line has been around for years, and is also sometimes known by other terminology, like integrated marketing campaign or 360 degree marketing.

    There is no question that this approach is very effective in building relationships with your target market, but the selection of the appropriate channels is a strategic decision. Not every opportunity suits every brand.

    Furthermore, budgets are also a key factor in the decision process. If your budget is limited, it is better to one or two things well and make an impact, Spreading your resources too thin could leave you without any brand recognition or recollection.

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9 Strategies For Memorable Advertising When Your Audience Is Chronically Distracted

Attention spans have never been shorter, and consumers never have had so many options. You need a smart strategy to rise above the noise.

Eran Halevy

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The advertising industry is big. In fact, when all the numbers from 2017 are tallied, advertising spending in the United States is projected to reach $207 billion. However, research shows that 64 percent of people find ads annoying or intrusive. A whopping 92 percent of online ads aren’t even noticed.

If you want to get results from your advertising efforts in 2018, you must adhere to certain rules. These nine definitely are worth remembering as you firm up your strategy for the new year.

1. Optimise your ads for declining attention spans

The consistently shrinking attention span is one of advertising’s greatest challenges. Consider the following statistics:

  • In a recent study, Microsoft revealed the average attention span has decreased from about 12 seconds in 2000 to about eight seconds today.
  • A study by Jampp shows that our attention spans decline by about 88 percent every year – especially thanks to technology and mobile apps.
  • Some sources estimate we are exposed to up to 5,000 ads daily – a sharp increase from a few decades ago.

Audiences suffer from declining attention spans, but they’re bombarded with more ads than ever before. With that in mind, it’s essential to embrace the KISS principle: Keep it simple, stupid.

Related: Podcasting Is The Most Authentic Form Of Advertising

rule-of-seven2. Follow the ‘Rule of Seven’

One of advertising’s golden rules is explained by the “Rule of Seven:” Most prospects will need to see your message at least seven times before they consider your offer. Don’t expect most people to convert the first time they see your offer. Instead, use different means and channels to get the same message across to them. You’ll increase the odds they’ll respond to your offer.

3. Retarget your ads to people familiar with your brand

According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a new prospect is about 5 to 20 percent while the probability of selling to an existing customer is about 60 to 70 percent. It’s much easier to market to people who already are familiar with your brand or who have been customers in the past than it is to “sell” people who are just learning about you. Research shows that retargeting your message to people who previously have visited your website can result in 10 times the clicks and a 70 percent increase in conversions.

4. Sensory adaptation beats CTA colour

In one of its articles years ago, Hubspot famously proclaimed that “Red beats green” in terms of coloured-button performance. For a long time, experts have touted red as the best choice for a call to action (CTA). Unbounce, on the other hand, says orange leads to more conversions. Others have found green, yellow or blue to be best.

So which colour, really, produces the best results? None of the above. Colour psychology has taken a back seat to an even more powerful underlying principle: sensory adaptation. In basic terms, our brains ignore anything that blends in with its surroundings. A green button will convert better on a page using a red colour scheme and vice versa. You should ensure your CTAs stand out. Do this, and every colour will convert well for you.

Related: The Quick and Dirty on Marketing, Advertising and Branding

5. Segment and target

Marketing Sherpa structured a study that compared the return on investment of targeted emails (sent to users based on their interests) with “batch-and-blast” emails (sent to everyone on the list). Segmented emails resulted in a 208 percent higher conversion rate than emails that weren’t targeted. Increasingly, advertising research emphasises the importance of segmenting and targeting. More recently, marketing professionals are using artificial intelligence to develop sophisticated options for targeting users.

6. Focus on retention

A recent study from Adobe Digital Insights found that ads are getting more expensive while reaching fewer consumers. Experts expect this trend to continue as users find more ways to block ads. Meanwhile, advertising platforms will struggle to increase revenue. To get the most from your advertising efforts, consider ways to retain users. It’s more economical than paying to reach them each time. Start building a user list you can segment into groups: an email list, a push-notification list and others.

cellphone7. Don’t ignore mobile

Overlooking mobile users is perhaps the deadliest mistake any advertiser can make at this point in time. Mobile-only internet users outnumber desktop-only users. What’s more, research shows that engagement is higher on mobile devices than on desktop devices. If you don’t have a mobile-advertising strategy, you’re alienating more than half your potential customers.

Related: 7 Ways to Make Advertising a Sure Thing

8. Embrace the ‘less is more’ principle

It’s easy to assume that presenting people with more options will yield a better ROI, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, psychologist Barry Schwartz argued against this in his book “The Paradox of Choice.” He cited a jam study conducted by Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper. The pair of researchers divided shoppers into two groups. They presented the first group of shoppers with a table that contained six varieties of jam. The second group of shoppers were offered a table containing 24 varieties of jam. More people viewed the table with greater options, but 10 times as many people actually purchased from the table with fewer varieties of jam. You can do the same: Provide fewer options, and you’ll see conversions increase.

9. Use text strategically

An image is worth a thousand words – until it isn’t. A lot has been said about the power of images to drive action and boost advertising conversion. But an increasing body of research is finding that when used properly, text is even more effective than rampant visuals. Launchbit found that text-heavy banner ads generally result in more clicks and conversions than banners that consist primarily of graphics and colours. There’s an important caveat, though: Ensure your text communicates exactly what users will gain when they click your ad.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Marketing Tips For Start-ups

How to make marketing work for you when your business is just starting out.

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Starting a business is one of the most rewarding endeavors any individual can undertake. It can provide life experience not achievable in any other way. It has an open ceiling while also not having a floor either. You can make your business whatever you want it to be and, with a lot of hard work, can turn it into something that people believe in.

Businesses around the world do incredible work within their communities and for the larger global population. While all of this is great, and certainly possible, the beginning of the business is not always a dream. Case in point: Marketing.

What you need to know about marketing your start-up

When starting a business, you probably have your idea mapped out in exquisite detail and have every possible contingency planned. Even when your product is down pat, and you believe your plan is impeccable, there are still a number of things that require a different level of patience and expertise.

Marketing your business can be an existential endeavor as you fine tune exactly what your business stands for and who your audience is.

In this article we hope to expound on how to make marketing work for you when you are just starting out. Startups are tasked with doing an incredible amount of work upon their inception. They have to test and refine their product while also carving out their own path within a crowded industry.

Related: Why You Should Be Investing In Marketing

The last thing that startups need to be focused on is marketing. Luckily, thanks to the innovation and advancement of automation and artificial intelligence, marketing has become a much simpler task through the services of online applications.

Who can help you set-up a marketing campaign?

Companies like HubSpot and MailChimp make digital marketing easier than ever before. These tools can automate email blasts and generate visits to your website.

Speaking of which, websites are now easier than ever to make thanks to companies like WordPress and Squarespace that make creating websites easy and entertaining. Using automation and artificial intelligence will help to make marketing much easier as most startups do not have the resources to hire professional marketing teams.

Related: 5 Marketing Missteps That Make Cash Flow And Business Growth Stumble

Though advisable when they can be hired, marketing teams are often too expensive for most startups. The same goes for web designers who are typically too expensive for brand new companies. Going online and starting marketing campaigns for your business has never been easier thanks to these wonderful resources and the people who keep them running.

Is you marketing message clear?

When coming up with a brand, make sure that your message is embedded and can be deduced easily. Do not be afraid to create a message that your company stands for and don’t hesitate to proclaim it loudly for everyone to hear. If your company is based in organics, for instance, then have a logo with earth tones and naturalistic graphics.

This will send the message that you are interested in the environment and care for it deeply. At the same time, this will help to develop an audience that you can target and interact with honestly. The same goes for any industry you want to get into.

Related: 7 Dreadful Marketing Mistakes To Avoid In 2018

Make sure that your logo and brand message represents the audience you want to attract and the industries you are interested in entering.

Showcase any charities you are invested in and all of the causes your company supports.

This will continue to carve out your audience and refine your message so that people know exactly what you are about. The goal of any company is to ultimately provide a service to the audience that would benefit the most from it.

Network your company’s message through every avenue

Truly, it is diligence and hard work that will eventually attract customers to your product.

Start a social media campaign focused on relaying your message to the online community.

Contact other companies that share your goals and missions so that you may support each other publicly. Join charities and other causes that will both give you exposure and develop an audience. Use automation services and artificial intelligence to make marketing easier.

Be steadfast and confident in your idea and your company’s mission. This will be the ultimate selling point for your business. Your startup is only as good as you are. Going out into the general public and spreading your message is the best way to draw attention and market your product.

Draw a crowd whenever you can and insert yourself into the public conscious.

Confidence, with reality thrown in, is the ultimate selling feature of any business. Teaming up with investors and other businesses will give you the exposure you need to draw the audience you want.

In the end, a startup business that is successful benefits us all and is worth pouring your heart into. Treat your startup as an extension of yourself and take pride in working for it to succeed.

 

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5 Ways To Market Your Business On A Limited Budget

A very common misperception amongst small business owners is that in order to make their business stand out from the competition, big bucks has to be splashed on advertising.

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A very common misperception amongst small business owners is that in order to make their business stand out from the competition, big bucks has to be splashed on advertising.

Not true. Thanks to the ever-developing digital marketing landscape and online tools available, there is a host of creative marketing techniques you can employ to successfully market your business in a cost effective way.

It’s all about content

A great way to drive visitors to your website and acquire new customers is to do content marketing. Content marketing is simply creating and distributing relevant, valuable content that your potential customers want to engage with and share with others.

It is an effective method to generate leads and reach the KPI’s of your business and include things like blogs, videos, podcasts and social media updates etc.

Related: 7 Creative Strategies For Marketing Your Start-up On A Tight Budget

Creating content that your target market will love is important, but driving traffic to that content is equally as important. It’s no use having incredible content, but it’s not reaching the people you want to reach and achieving what it’s supposed to. That’s why having a solid action plan in place for promoting your content is vital. Draw up a calendar that specifies how and when your content is distributed.

For content to be powerful and effective, it needs to be fresh and unique. Something that hasn’t been done before by competitors and that consumers want to bookmark or save as it provides valuable, helpful information.

Powerful content is also tailored content. Tailor your content to your specific target audience, their needs and internet consumption habits. And lastly, creativity is key in content creation.

Deliver your content in meaningful, new ways, using the latest technologies and methods to draw higher engagement.

Get social

If used effectively, social media can contribute greatly to the growth of your business. Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn are great ways to distribute your content and reach your target audience.

Using these channels is cost-effective as it is mostly free to use. However, most of them offer fantastic paid business advertising solutions that allow you to promote your products or services to new customers outside of your own geographic location.

Related: 7 Social Media Marketing Secrets No Marketer Wants To Admit

There are also great free tools available online to schedule your content in advance and monitor and manage the engagement on it. From these social media insights, you are able to understand your user better and improve your marketing strategy accordingly.

You’ll be able to see the number of reach, likes, comments and other engagement your content receives and from this derive which of your content works and which doesn’t, the best times or days of the week to publish, which channels work best, and who to target with your content.

Optimise for the search engine

search-engine-marketing

Another awesome way to spread the word about your brand and products or services, is through Search Engine Optimisation.

SEO, as it’s often referred to, is the effective process through which website content is cleverly optimised in order to rank higher in organic search engine results and consequently increase website traffic.

It allows you to rank high on search engines, like Google and Bing, for popular search terms within your niche, without actually having to pay for an advert.

Related: Basics Of SEO For Businesses And Brands

SEO can get rather technical, but there are many effective SEO tactics you can apply to optimise your website. With a few clever tricks, like installing SEO plugins and using key worded titles and content, you can also optimise your Blog, YouTube channel and other distribution channels.

Not only will SEO enable you to drive traffic to your company website, but increase awareness of your brand, and give you the edge on your competitors when it comes to securing new and potential clients.

Send an email

It’s a myth that email marketing is dead. It is still very much an effective and inexpensive method to promote your business and products to your target audience, and an easy way to reach people on-the-go on their mobile devices.

You also don’t need to be a technical boffin to send out an email marketing campaign. There are great tools, like MailChimp, available online that will help you set up and distribute your email campaigns, and depending on how many emails you want to send, it is either free or very reasonably priced.

Related: 4 Revolutionary Behavioural Email Marketing Ideas

Targeted emails to smaller databases that contain content relevant to its recipients are proven to be more cost-effective yielding better results, than ‘blanket’ emails to large databases of people that are less likely to convert into customers.

Email marketing is great for introducing new products and services to potential clients, upselling existing clients, nurturing possible leads, driving traffic to your website or blog, and promoting special events.

Classifieds and business listings

classified-and-business-listings-online-marketing

Classifieds is another great way to market your business on a limited budget. Not only popular for advertising second-hand goods, cars and property, classifieds have fantastic free advertising benefits for businesses as well.

Websites like Junk Mail Classifieds even gives you the option to register a free trader account for your business, and create an online business profile that has the potential to reach thousands of customers and generate daily leads.

Classifieds are known to be very effective, as they are high-traffic websites that allow you to advertise in specific categories, sub-categories and regions. This enables you to target a specific audience with your products or services and makes it easier for people to find and enter into business with you.

So, if marketing your business seems a bit like conquering Mount Everest right now, then take a deep breath and relax, because it really is easier (and cheaper) than you think.

Just take the time to do some research and familiarise yourself with the multitude of helpful tools readily available to help you get the word out about your brand and products, without breaking the bank.

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