I grew up on a farm. We raised some cattle. So, when we needed to vaccinate or get ready to wean the little calves, all of them would have to be run through the cattle chute one at a time to get their shots, brands, etc. And in order for that to happen, one person is in charge of “pushing” calves up the chute until they are locked into the headgate at the front. I was always the calf pusher.
And it’s always HOT, dry, and dusty on those days. The kind of hot where you can SEE the HOT in the horizon. All wavy and blurry. The kind of hot that makes flies hot, too, and they just want to stick to your sweaty face and catch a ride to wherever you’re going.
Did you know… that little calves have lightning quick back legs? And if you startle them just right… your shin or upper thigh is going to get a good pummeling. Over and over until all 150 calves have all gone through the chute. Probably 4 to 6 hours of being terrified of when the next “ninja calf kick” is coming at you. I always said I should have worn shin guards, but never did.
I remember one day, when we finished up helping our neighbor, everyone went back to the barn where there was a special room with an old fat fridge in it. All the guys were cracking open some Budweisers, except me. I was 13. Then, my neighbor said, “Hey Bud (he called me Bud), wanna drink?” I said sure, I’ll try it. He gave me my own CAN!!! My own beautiful can of Budweiser heavy with the beads of sweat running down the sides!
And to this day… I can still picture that moment perfectly. It wasn’t about the beer. It was about the whole scenario that played out. It was about my neighbor knowing that I worked my tail off that day… and that I deserved my own can of suds.
And now, I’m an alcoholic. Just kidding! 🙂
Did you know that radio commercials are potentially the best place to paint a picture? And when you tell stories in your radio ads that use words that people can see in their head… then, you’re helping them see things… and your radio ad comes to life.
When I hear radio advertising that doesn’t use “picture words” and it’s just full of adjectives or words like “mouthwatering” (if it’s a restaurant ad) or other feely fluff words, then, you’re missing out on making people “see” what you want them to see. Once you start telling stories in your radio commercials that people can see… then, they get remembered. Once you start making people feel good and remembering you… then come the new customers.
First… HOW do you measure advertising? If you’re measuring by asking people… they don’t actually have the best memories when it comes to things like that. Our brains aren’t wired to retain information of that sort. They might give you an answer, but they’re just trying to be helpful. If you’re measuring your advertising with online reports or google analytics, there are too many different ways to look at all the data to determine what’s good and what isn’t. There are impressions, CTR, TVR, bounce rates, page views, etc. And you can spin the numbers to look however you want them to.
I suggest you measure your advertising by your Sales. Or store traffic, phone calls, etc. NOT, by trusting people to remember which ONE piece of marketing from you actually caused them to walk into your store.
HOW are you advertising? Are you advertising to get immediate results? Then, you better have a low-ball offer or something special that would make someone act NOW. And if you’re constantly doing that, you’re missing out on a lot of profits, I’m assuming.
If you’re advertising to build your brand and get people to remember you when they need you, then someone might actually experience hundreds of your ads before they’re actually ready to buy. And if you’ve made a bigger IMPRESSION on them than your competitors with your ads… your chances are pretty good that you get a shot at their business.
The vast majority of local businesses will benefit from using a long-term, consistent approach with their advertising.
But… that word “IMPRESSION” is what makes all the difference.
All “ad impressions” are NOT created equal.
The digital advertising world throws around the word impressions, but they’re just talking about getting your digital ad in front of people. It has no relation to whether the ad actually “impressed” anyone.
A million ad impressions from Ads that don’t engage people… is no more valuable than 5 ad impressions that didn’t engage people.
In order to make your advertising work, you must ENGAGE your prospect. You have to get their attention and then impress upon them WHY they should choose your business instead of your many competitors. Do your ads do that? If they don’t… then you need to change your advertising creative to make sure they do. If you don’t have anything special to say to people to make them want to do business with YOU instead of your COMPETITION… then you better figure out how to make yourself special and stand out from competitors.
Your competitors need to STEAL customers from you and everyone else in order to grow. And vice-versa. If competition is fierce for you… then, you have to work that much harder to give your customers a better experience. You also have to find a better marketing person to help you convey a message to the public that actually IMPRESSES and ENGAGES people. If your advertising doesn’t do that, you’re wasting your money. If your advertising is just “awareness” (who, what, when, where – but you left out the WHY)… then you’ll be disappointed with your advertising if you’re in a very competitive market.
If you’re looking to grow your share of the business being done in your market, then you need to create advertising that engages and reaches more people. Radio has that power. The power of sound has so much more “sticking power” than a quick visual.
The radio advertising plans that work wonders for good, local businesses, are the ones that are consistent all year long. Constantly telling different stories to listeners to help win their hearts. Can you predict when someone will need you? Nope. That’s why winning hearts and minds over time, ensuring that they’ll remember YOU when they need you, is the best kind of local advertising you can buy.
Here are 3 things that are needed in your radio ads to make them fly like eagles:
Attention Grabber – People are busy. A bazillion things going on all of the time. You need to slap people out of whatever they’re doing or thinking. You need to SURPRISE them.
Relevance – make sure what you’re saying is important to your prospect.
BONUS #4 ingredient: ENTERTAINMENT – If you can get people to look forward to hearing your next ad… you just won the “marketing lottery”!
Confusion in the marketing world runs rampant. Do this, do that. Nope… now do this. Anyone ever told you that you HAVE to do some kind of advertising? Or “If you’re not advertising here… your business will fail.” ??? There’s no ONE place you have to advertise. But I do know what you NEED in order to make advertising work.
It’s definitely not where you advertise… it’s what you SAY in your advertising that makes all the difference. And there actually are a few places you can advertise that have advantages over others depending on what you’re trying to make happen.
#1 You think that the more places you advertise, the better your advertising results. You equate good advertising with “reach”. You feel that if you advertise in many different mediums, you’re reaching more people. The problem is, you’re probably not reaching that many more people since we all watch, read, and listen to multiple different mediums, not just one. By spreading your budget too thin across too many ad mediums, you’re not putting your ad message in front of people enough times to make an impact and be remembered by them. Too much “reach”, far too little “frequency”. You’re trying to reach 100% of the people, but you’re only convincing them 10% of the way.
#2 Your advertising message has no impact on the audience you’re trying to convince to do business with you. You think that results come from the advertising medium you choose. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Your advertising will only work when the words you convey to an audience are relevant, entertaining, and memorable. If your ad message doesn’t resonate and get attention, then your advertising won’t work, no matter where you place your ads.
#3 You believe that anything “visual” is the best way to advertise. The truth about advertising effectiveness is that sound is more easily remembered than visuals. It all has to do with how our brains our wired. All of those big national companies with huge budgets that moved the majority of their dollars from TV and Radio into online advertising are finding out that it was a big mistake. Is there a place for online advertising? Of course. But the bigger chunk of your advertising budget should be put into “sound media”… and the online or “visual only” should be a support media for the “sound media”. There is way too much money being wasted on the new and shiny things in advertising. But that is happening mainly because those advertisers haven’t figured out how to get consistent advertising results. So, you’ll try anything hoping that something will stick… instead of getting to the bottom of how to make advertising actually work.
#4 Your advertisements and marketing (even your social media) only talk about what you do and who you are… instead of talking about what your products and services do for your customers. Your customer doesn’t care about you. They don’t. They only care about what you do for THEM. So, your ads must talk about the benefits of doing business with you. How can you solve their problem? How can you improve their life? Also… why should they buy from you instead of your competition? You want your prospective new customer to subconsciously think that they’d be making a mistake if they didn’t buy from you. And that’s not done by presenting them a laundry list of your products and/or services. When your ad message only conveys “who, what, and where” you are… then, you’re allowing people to dismiss your ad completely. It’s not memorable. It won’t move someone closer to doing business with you.
#5 You’re too “logical” with your ads. The questions you should ask yourself when creating or evaluating your ad message is “Does this evoke emotion in people? Will they ‘feel’ something?” Emotion is the key. If you don’t “move” people in your ads, then, they’ll never be as powerful as they could be. Do you know what causes people to listen and remember what you’ve told them? Tell them a story. And that’s what most of your advertising should be doing. Put your ad in story form and it will make a much bigger impact.
#6 You only think short-term with your advertising instead of long-term. If you only advertise for brief periods, or only for special events and sales, you’re missing out on the bigger portion of the population. Think about how many people need you right now. Not very many. So, as soon as your ad is done, you’re easily forgotten or not even considered because most people weren’t currently in the market for your product or service. How long do you plan on being in business? Then, you have to think long-term. Remind people frequently and consistently with a strong ad message and a story… and guess who people will automatically think of when they NEED what you offer? YOU. That’s the power of branding. When you “stamp” your business name and “what you stand for” on the brains of the public with emotional messages that make people like and trust you before they even meet you… you’ll win this game of marketing by a landslide.
I tell people all the time… if there was a better media to use to advertise your local retail or service business… I’d go work for them.
I had a conversation with someone recently who was concerned about the future of Radio. He was wondering about it because he doesn’t listen to “regular radio” as much any more. But he’s a business owner. Business owners don’t listen to AM/FM Radio like the average consumer does. They have too many shoes, chainsaws, and hammers to juggle every day. The time to listen is limited for them.
As long as the radio industry is proactive with technology and keeping live and local DJs… Radio will be fine. After all… approximately 89 to 91% of adults listen to AM/FM Radio every week.
Some feel that Spotify or Pandora might be stealing a lot of listening time from Radio. But that’s just a perception, not reality……..
The audience share of AM/FM Radio is actually 8x bigger than Pandora and Spotify combined.*
If you’re a business owner, you have to understand that as long as there’s still a FREE option for good music, interactive and entertaining DJs, local news and event info… there’s always going to be a big audience for AM/FM Radio.
Now, that we have that out of the way, I want you to think about what the biggest, most successful brands on the planet do to advertise. It’s all about reach. Reaching the masses. They’re discovering that narrowing their target audience by moving more dollars into targeted, digital advertising was a big mistake. They’re starting to understand that the reason they used mass media from the beginning was because the more people who know about you, directly translates into more customers and more sales.
And why local radio for advertising? Remember? Radio reaches approximately 90% of adults. But the best reason is because radio is intrusive. Meaning you don’t have to do anything to hear them. They’re just there. And you can move or shut your eyes, but you can’t close your ears.
All you have to do is say something in your radio advertising that people would care enough to listen to. And that’s our specialty at Results Radio Townsquare Media. The message. We know how to create ads that get heard and remembered.
It doesn’t matter if you’re advertising on the biggest radio station in town… if your ads don’t cut the mustard, you’ll be unhappy with the results. We’ve acquired a certain set of skills here that can take an average advertising strategy and plan… and turn it into something that has horsepower. Or we can start from scratch and bring something to you that will have traction from the get-go.
The list of our happy clients is pretty extensive. If you’d ever like to speak with any one of them about their experience with us… let me know.
I’m confident that Radio has a bright future, and our radio clients can rest a little easier because of that. This is still the best local advertising medium to build a great brand in my opinion, and it also helps that I work for a great company that is still doing things right. Otherwise, I’d go work for someone else.
Quick story. I’m having the exterior of my house painted. They’re on Day 2. And they should finish up today. BUT… it’s gonna be HOT. Hot hot. So, when they got here this morning, I opened up the window of my office and said, “I bet you’re gonna work fast so you can be done before it gets too hot.”
And I wasn’t trying to imply to them that they should bust their ass, so my house could be finished. I was just kind of feeling bad that they were going to be stuck outside on such a wicked hot day.
But the owner, Dana, said to me…
“I hear ya, but it’s hard to work fast.”
I stopped and thought about that.
He’s a painter. He’s working on the trim today. There’s some delicate work. If he rushes… then the quality suffers.
There’s “hustle” and then there’s “rushing”. There’s a difference. If I rush through any process of creating great ads for my clients… or skip parts of the sales process… then, the end result suffers. So, yes, sometimes it’s hard to work fast… especially when you’re in the good habit of doing the best work for your customers that you can. Which ensures that some day you’ll get a referral from that happy customer.
Here’s another quote – I think I heard it in the movie “Shooter”…
“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”
Slow doesn’t have to mean turtle-slow or sloth-slow. It can also mean “smooth-slow”. And isn’t “Smooth” something you’d like to be?
There are many times that I need to hustle. And that just means putting a little extra giddyup in my step and staying focused on my task at hand… and when that’s done, starting my next task. And the next. But I don’t rush something that shouldn’t be rushed. Because then the work suffers. When you can see the bigger picture, “smooth” and “hustle” will always bring you greater success in the long run versus just working fast just to get something off your plate.
Maybe you have employees and you wish them to work a little faster. It might not be “fast” that you want out of them. They might just need to quit with excessive “Lolly-gagging”. Or maybe they need more focus and direction. Don’t assume that faster work means more money for the company. Because if work suffers from too much “fast”… then, your customers will “smoothly” never be repeat customers.
We’ve hired our painter multiple times and referred him to others. And we’ll keep hiring him when we need his unique kind of “smoothness”.
Why do people act a certain way? Why do they say things they don’t mean? Why do they buy the things they buy? Why do they call one business for service instead of someone else?
What makes people do the things they do?
It’s the question that MARKETERS have been asking for centuries.
There are some obvious ones…
Keep up with the “Jones’s. To impress others. It’s what everyone else is doing. To look like you have a big bank account. And then some.
But as far as really knowing… all I can talk about is myself and my habits. And for the sake of keeping this a marketing article, let’s talk about my own BUYING habits for a second.
They’ve changed over the years. I’m soon to be 45 years old.
When I was younger, I mostly cared about how much something cost because I didn’t have much to spend.
But now, I want good products that perform and last. I want good service even if I have to pay a bit more.
Here’s the thing though… how do I know for sure if a local company is going to treat me right? How would anyone know?
They wouldn’t… unless they knew you… and trusted you.
Which is exactly what a good radio campaign can do. Cause people to like and trust you before they even meet you.
If I need a plumber, but I haven’t ever found one that I’ve fallen in love with… then I’m going to shop around. If there’s no one that comes to my mind, then I’ll do a google search for “plumbers in Sioux Falls” or something. The results I get will either jog my memory and one will look familiar… or it’s going to be a complete eenie meenie miney moe type of decision on who I call.
If one looked familiar, it’s probably because I’ve seen a lot of their service vehicles around or I’ve been exposed to some of their advertising. But I still really don’t know much about them, and I’m still reluctant.
But what’s the best case scenario for a business owner to get my business?
It’s when I’ve been exposed to their radio campaign for a while… and I’ve gotten to know them through those ads. They’ve talked about things in the ads that make me trust them. They’ve entertained me. They’ve given me some helpful information. So, now, when I need a plumber… boom… I automatically think of that business. And do I google “plumbers in sioux falls”? Heck no. I google the business name. And I either go to their website, or I click the Call button from their Google Business listing. Done. No competitors even came into the picture.
And as a side bonus, do you know that google rewards businesses with better ranking when more people type your business name directly into google. It shows them that you’re a good, reputable, popular, trustworthy business. So, being searched for by name on google not only gets you a direct call or click, bypassing your competition, it also helps you rank higher on google.
What makes people do the things they do? Well… a lot of times it’s EMOTIONS. The emotion of wanting to do business with an easy-going, trustworthy, and friendly company is POWERFUL. So, that’s what you need to convey throughout your Radio campaign. That’s the secret.
But the problem is… most marketers, ad reps, and ad agencies don’t know HOW to create Ad campaigns that does what I’m talking about. Sure, some might be creative, but there’s no tie-in to the business. Some might be full of lots of fluffy “we’re the best” type of stuff, but nobody believes them.
WHAT CAUSES SOMEONE TO CHOOSE YOU AND BUY FROM YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME?
They feel like they know you, they already trust you a little bit, and they like what you stand for. And those things can be conveyed to people in a couple different ways – such as their friends told them about you, or your advertising told them about you through a series of ads over time.
Do you see now why your advertising can’t just be about “awareness”? Awareness isn’t enough. There needs to be something else. Some secret sauce. There needs to be some kind of message that causes people to feel like you’re going to treat them well and deliver what they’re paying for. And then some.
Did you know that 90+% of people still listen to local Radio? Yup.
Sure there are lots of other ways people are consuming entertainment. But that doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned radio. We just have more options. It doesn’t mean we’re not listening. Do young people use radio as much as adults over 25? No. But I don’t really recommend you use radio if you’re trying to target kids either.
Your advertising strategy and the words you use in your ads… are SO IMPORTANT. The MOST important. They either make you or break you. They can either make you hate advertising or almost like it. Like “Like-like” it. A few of my clients actually LOVE it. They know it’s the biggest driver of new customers for them.
I worked for a radio group in sales and marketing for 16 years. Now, I’m an independent marketing company. I still recommend using radio. As long as the strategy and the message is relevant and engaging… there’s not a more versatile way to convey a message to the masses that can stir people’s emotions and get them to like you before they’ve ever done business with you (and the repetition of your radio ads are a huge part of why it’s one of the best ways to get you stuck in people’s heads – in a good way).
Of course, Radio isn’t right for every business. Maybe their profit margins weren’t good enough to make it pay… or they were still fairly new and didn’t have the budget yet to run enough ads to give it a chance to start sticking into people’s heads. There are variables.
Yes, you have a lot of advertising choices. It can get confusing. I can help you navigate all of it. If you have questions about some other forms of advertising and marketing, I’ll give my advice. And if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it for you… or we’ll talk through it with each other.
Sorry for being so long-winded today! Making advertising work can get complicated… unless you know the right person. 😉
I hope you have a great rest of the month, quarter, and year!
You can try to fool yourself into thinking that your success is all because of the products you sell or the services you offer. Yes, of course, what you sell is important. You need to offer something to consumers that is needed or desired. That’s a given.
But in my humble opinion, the #1 reason for continued long-term success is your people. You need good people who know how to create, build, and service. And you, their leader, needs to instill in those people your passion and your mission. (Your passion stems from more than just making money, right?)
Now, let’s dig a little deeper. All employees need to be good… BUT… THE MOST INTEGRAL PARTS OF YOUR TEAM, THAT MOST DIRECTLY EFFECTS YOUR SUCCESS OR FAILURE, are the people who deal with your customers and your potential customers ONE-ON-ONE. They’re the ones who make the customer experience a great one. They provide a better customer experience than anyone could get from your competitors.
There are companies past and present who have great products and offer much needed services, but they’ve either gone away or are constantly struggling because the customer experience is… or was… horrible.
When a consumer is uncomfortable during an interaction, sales pitch, or service call – it will all fall apart. If not immediately, it will eventually.
Do not kid yourself. If you run a company that depends on multiple employees… one person does not make a successful company. You may be a great leader, but you also need to identify and mold good talent. And you need to know when someone does not fit the mold. Not everyone is trainable at this very moment in time or sometimes ever. And if you need help identifying “the right stuff” in people when you’re hiring them… then get some second and third opinions on your potential new hires. You have to uncover who people really are in your interviews. You have to get them talking. It’s more than just a sheet of questions asking about their skills and where they see themselves in 5 years. It’s about making them feel comfortable enough in an interview to open up and be honest with you.
But again… not everyone is trainable. You know what I’m talking about.
Think about a time you had a great customer experience when you purchased something. Usually, the big, fat, juicy main reason for that great experience was because of one person. Or a string of people who were on-point with how to interact with you.
It’s how they talked to you. They were pleasant, skilled, positive, and they were REAL.
But have you ever been in a buying situation where a person went into a canned sales pitch, and you just wanted to tell them to stop the bullshit and level with you? It’s like your lizard-brain is telling you to run away. Or have you ever got a grumpy service person, and you vowed right then and there never to hire that company again? Ever talk to a rude front office person who gave you a bad taste in your mouth? Yup. All of them. Me too.
Anyone within your company who deals with your customers (or prospective customers) one-on-one… in-person, on the phone, or even through email… are your main reasons for your success or your failure.
People have more choices than ever before to buy the goods and services they want or need. So, when that one employee gives a customer an easy interaction, and creates an environment of calmness and trust, that customer will stay with that person no matter what. Even if that person goes to work for a competitor of yours, that customer will most likely follow that person. Because we all like to do business with PEOPLE… not corporations.
This blog post was inspired by a buying experience I had recently with a salesperson. We’ve done a lot of business with this person, over many years. And this person always treats my wife and I like we’re human beings. They “get it”. This person is almost the complete opposite of what you usually find. They’re a gem that makes us feel COMFORTABLE. If this person ever changed companies, we’d follow.
The one-on-one human interactions are where your battles are won or lost.
It’s not your social media.
It’s not whether you have great products or services.
It’s not because you just “know” that you’re better.
Make sure you have a team of diamonds dealing with your customers. If they need more training on how to deal with people… give it to them. And then, continue with that training weekly… forever. If you need to hire more diamonds, go find them. They may be hiding in a rough… but they are out there. And if you have trouble KEEPING those gems, then, figure out what you can fix.
If you’re finally ready to shake up the world and make big things happen with your advertising… BUT… your first question is “Where should I advertise?”… then, you’re asking the wrong question. You’ve just skipped about 6 steps.
You should be asking yourself, “What can I SAY to people that will cause them to want to do business with me?” Only then… should you ask the question of where to advertise.
People don’t care about what you have to say in your ads until you’re saying something that’s relevant to THEM or something that entertains them. And what usually entertains people is Humor or a good Story. We all love a good story.
When you want to finally make your advertising work… let’s sit down and discuss your situation. I’ll help you understand the most important factors that make advertising work, plus all the little variables in the formula that can make or break an advertising campaign.
But beware… because I will talk to you about the mighty benefits of branding your business. If you only have the marketing mentality of “I need a fat and instant ROI with every ad investment I make” …then you will be disappointed and forever chasing something that really doesn’t exist. Not profitably anyway.
Of course, there are exceptions – but I’m writing to all those local businesses who have tried just about every kind of advertising and nothing has ever worked worth a crap. You’re frustrated, fed-up, and ready to flick the next Media Salesperson you talk to right in the brain.
Advertising that always brings instant results is the kind that only plucks the low-hanging fruit. Meaning, it’s just the tiny group of people who only need you at this very moment. And most of your competition is advertising TO THAT VERY SAME TINY GROUP…. giving you an even tinier slice of that low-hanging fruit.
But when you advertise consistently with a relationship-building message that engages emotions and causes people to like and trust you, then you’re advertising to that extremely LARGE group of people who may not need you now, but most of them will in the future. When you “brand” your business properly, those people will remember you when they need you. They’ll be more confident in doing business with YOU… even when your competitors try grabbing them as low-hanging fruit with their intermittent advertising.
When you BOND with people in your relationship-building ads, they’ll remember you because of how you made them feel. Because you spoke to them about THEIR NEEDS… not yours.
If you only “shoot from the hip” or “roll the dice” periodically with your “Act Now!” type of advertising, you’re just hoping and praying that people choose you based on luck… or price. Sounds like a bad bet to me.
So, I said that you need to figure out your message and your strategy FIRST. But you might not know how to do that. That’s ok. But neither do most other media and marketing people. Most of them know how to place a media buy and that’s it. And those salespeople hand off some client notes to a “creative” person, and they come up with a pile of garbage that doesn’t work.
I’ll help you with your advertising strategy. Your message. Your plan.
“Trying this… and trying that”… is getting a little old, isn’t it?
Oh, it warms my heart! Sometimes when I bring up our Digital Advertising options to clients, they say something like… “why would we do that? we love what radio does for us.”
Some specific comments to me have been:
“Do you think we need it?”
Where I will say, “I just wanted to make you aware of our capabilities, just in case YOU thought you needed it. When it’s time to add to your budget and continue with your growth, I would add another radio station before I added digital. And they said, “We love our radio.”
“Every time we start a new ad, I know about it the first day it airs, because someone mentions it to me. I don’t think digital advertising is where it’s at.”
I asked if I could give them a hug after hearing that one.
“I don’t remember one digital ad I’ve seen recently. But I could name at least a dozen different businesses who I’ve heard on the radio in the past week.”
I said, “That’s interesting because it’s so much easier to brand a business with sound than with sight only. There’s a whole lot of neurological mumbo jumbo proving it. I’ll send you a short, but interesting article on the power of sound.”
“Online ads are just in the way when I’m trying to read an article. It’s annoying.”
I told them that I agreed that online ads can be annoying, but we could do digital ads that would complement their radio and they would allow us to “touch” people in another way, and also link to their website. Which they replied, “We want people to call us, we don’t even care if they go to our website.” And I said, “Exactly. I’ll shut up now. I just wanted to see how you felt about it.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m ok with digital advertising, as long as we have a solid enough radio campaign to go along with it. The best kind of advertising for a local business is the kind the brands you in the brains of the people. So, when they have a need for what you do or sell, they think of YOU first.
For example, if someone needs their carpets cleaned, but they don’t have a regular carpet cleaner they trust… do you want them to type “carpet cleaners in Sioux Falls” into Google to see all of your competition? Even if you are ranking #1 on the first page… or even buying Google Ads… you’re still right there with a whole list of competitors. OR… would you rather they immediately think of YOU when they need their carpets cleaned and they simply type YOUR BUSINESS NAME into Google and contact you directly?
The power of good branding is so much more beneficial than obsessing about ranking the highest on Google.
BUT… a good SEO plan and website is also beneficial. What if a person didn’t quite think of your business immediately, and they typed “carpet cleaning” into Google? Do you think they’ll choose someone they’ve never heard of? Or will they see your name, remember the radio ads, and call you because they have a good feeling about you and they feel like they know what you’re about? Right. They’ll call the business they’ve heard of and they’re familiar with long before they call anyone they don’t recognize or know nothing about.
Did I just get way off track? Yes. But that’s the nature of marketing today. You have so many choices, and it’s confusing. Do you know what I think you need? I think you need a good marketing person in your corner that you can trust. Someone who will honestly answer the questions you have… and who has the “stuff” to actually make your advertising work.
Someone like that could quite possibly be priceless. Am I that person? Maybe I’m a good fit for you, maybe I’m not. But my goal is actually to BECOME PRICELESS to my clients. I want to be your trusted marketing resource. Which comes from making your advertising work.
And it’s also why I have clients who say things like… “We love radio. I say we double-down on THAT.”
Creative > Strategy > Copywriting > Media Planning & Management
Don’t use these cliché words or phrases down below for the rest of your life… and then for exactly 6 months after that.
For all your ______ needs.
Make your dreams a reality.
Second to none.
Your __________ headquarters.
They’re called clichés because the words hold no voltage. They’re “empty words”. I know you have something better to say than that.
A good Facebook post is anything that snaps and jolts your prospect out of their current trance. People have thousands of things going on each day. Kids to school, cranky boss at work, dinner tonight, car needs an oil change, house payment is due, lawn needs to be mowed, traffic, road construction, dropped their phone in the toilet, etc., etc., etc. So, it should be no surprise to you that your “target” on Facebook is not excitingly waiting for the next post from your business. They’re scrolling… and scrolling… and sorting and sifting through their Facebook feed. It’s a break for them. It’s entertainment. It’s “socializing”. And their time is valuable. So, your business FB post needs to NOT WASTE THEIR TIME.
What do people love to see on Facebook? Pictures and videos.
If you’re including a picture… make it one of your own. Not some stock photo. Personalize it! If you post just words without a picture, the engagement of that post will be much lower than if you had included a relevant image of some sort.
If you’re including a video… make sure that video is helpful. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. At the end of the video, do you truly feel that anyone who has watched is going to be glad they did? Or is it just another “post” because you heard you should post on Facebook 6x per week? If you don’t have anything good to post, then, skip it. Don’t bother. And you better keep your videos short. 90 seconds or less. 30 seconds or less would be even better for anything on social media. I’m not saying longer videos aren’t ever effective. The only thing that really matters is how long you can keep people engaged.
And if you’re one of those who are TRYING to make something go viral… you’re wasting your time. And probably embarrassing yourself and your business in the process. 99.99infinity% of viral videos were not planned. Have you ever watched a clip on America’s Funniest Videos and you KNOW it was staged? Yeah… those don’t win. They’re not funny. Your inner BS detector flushed it out and said, “I don’t think so.”
And most viral videos aren’t selling something like you’re trying to do. Viral videos are spontaneous, entertaining, shocking, tear-jerking, super-funny, jaw-dropping, etc. Stop trying to create viral videos.
Who’s seeing most of your business Facebook posts? Your current customers. Your fans. Facebook isn’t a great place to find new customers for most businesses. Especially most local service businesses. We don’t care about your plumbing company right now. We only care about you when we have a plumbing problem. (Side Note: Service businesses benefit incredibly with a good branding campaign on the Radio. A campaign that helps people get to know you, trust you, and like you before we even meet you.)
Facebook Ads are great for products. Interesting products. Something new. Where a quick picture can capture our attention in a busy world. More on FB ads later.
Should you have a Facebook presence? Sure. But throw some smiling pics of your employees in action on there once in a while. Maybe stir the pot a bit, and share something like, “Here’s why you’re paying more than you should to most plumbers.” (or whatever category you’re in) Or give some helpful tips (being helpful and “non-self-serving” increases trust).
I have a client who advertises only on the Radio. They rarely post on Facebook. They’re very successful. They treat their customers and employees better than most or all of their competitors. They’ve been advertising on the radio for 10+ years. They grow every year. They’re happy with their radio advertising because it brings them new customers consistently without them having to come up with some social media gimmick to attract someone new. And just like a good Facebook post, our ads are attention-getting, engaging, and entertaining. Week-in and week-out, they’re getting new customers. If you’re not getting a consistent flow of new customers every week, every month… then, you’re probably hurting.
Their Radio plan / strategy / ads are reaching 10s and 10s of thousands of people each week. Their social media posts are reaching mostly current customers, friend, and family. Even if they had a couple thousand Facebook Fans (they have maybe 400), it would still be a drop in the bucket compared to the number of people their Radio reaches. And most of their Facebook fans are going to keep doing business with them anyway.
Yes, it’s great to stay fairly consistent and post some valuable things on your FB page. But don’t hang your entire marketing plan on social media. It’s social. People are there to “socialize”. Or watch dumb videos. Or bitch about politics.
Now, if you’re a retail business… I want to know about your products. I want to see pictures of your products and why I might want your product. I want to see any specials you have. I DON’T want to hear you spout off about how “you’re the best” and you have “the best quality”. PROVE IT TO ME.
And what about Facebook Ads? I think you’ll have to try some out for yourself and see if it’s worth it. For some, it is… for others, it’s not. And make sure you’re looking at your Facebook ad results with a questioning eye. Facebook has gotten known for grossly over-inflating their views and clicks. And what if you do get a ton of views or clicks on your ad? The only thing that matters is if it gave you the results you wanted. Did your sales increase? And isn’t that the only thing that matters?
I know a few businesses who are paying someone around $700 every month to post on Facebook for them. These “marketers” don’t have a clue what makes people tick. They’re just winging it for the most part. Posting for the sake of posting won’t get you anywhere. And the business owners don’t even know if it’s giving them a positive return on their investment. Are they getting more views? A few more likes? Maybe. More sales from it? Very questionable.
There are a TON of Realtors in Sioux Falls. So, do you think it would work for a Realtor to post things like, “Looking for a good Realtor? Contact me for all of your residential real estate needs.” ??? Yuck. No. That won’t work. The best Facebook posts and “boosts” for a Realtor are new listings and Open Houses. On most of those, there is always one or more people who tag someone they know who is looking for a new home. And when you get shares or “tags”… that’s when you get a ton more people seeing your posts.
Social media for any business is a good way to stay in front of current customers. It’s a good way to help stay “top of mind” with them. But relying on it for a good source of finding new customers is going to give you ulcers. Just remember when you’re going to post to Facebook… if it feels forced… skip it. Make sure it contains VALUE for people. Such as entertainment value or helpful information. If you’re doing video, keep it SHORT. If you’re posting pics, make sure it adds to the power of the message you’re trying to convey.
One last thing… if you do your other advertising properly (like Radio Advertising), it will greatly improve your social media impact.
When we figure out the right things to say in your radio ads (or any of your advertising), you’ll never have to wonder how to find new customers, and keep them coming. I’ve seen a lot of different trends in media and marketing over the years. But one thing has always held true – the things you SAY in your ads are what makes or breaks an advertising campaign. It doesn’t matter if you buy the cheapest ads in town… or negotiate for weeks to save a few bucks… if they don’t work, they’re all expensive. And this is worth repeating… When we figure out the right things to say in your marketing communications, you’ll never have to wonder how to attract new customers, and keep them coming.