“Where Should I Advertise?” is the WRONG QUESTION

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 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?

We’re not right for everyone, but for those that fit… we do some pretty amazing things for their bottom line.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

Email: duane.christensen@townsquaremedia.com

Call or text: 605-940-7984

SiouxFallsRadioAdvertising.com

Budget For Advertising

If you don’t have an ad budget, you need to set one. Usually, anywhere between 3% and 12% of revenues. It depends on whether you’re a service biz or a retail biz, profit margin, location, and how aggressive you want to be (competitive landscape, speed of desired growth, etc.).

If you’re a retail business, then your “visibility” plays into it. When you’re in a high traffic area, your rent is most likely higher, but so is your exposure. So, you don’t need to advertise as much. If your location is low traffic (cheaper rent), you need to increase your exposure (increase ad budget). Your profit margins also play into your ad budget, obviously. You’re going to be able to spend more on attracting purchasers of your product when you’ve got a 50% markup…versus 15%. Service businesses generally budget between 7% and 15%.

You need to advertise because you always have a competitor gunning for more market share. And you may THINK people know about you…but the reality can be quite different. And people can “know” about you…but often FORGET about you when the time comes for them to need what you have to offer.

Once you SET your ad budget, you might feel the need to distribute your ad dollars among many different ad mediums. Stop! When you do that, you end up “sprinkling” a few people here and there. To make advertising work, you need to “soak” your audience. Why? Because everyone is busy. And when you spread ads thinly across multiple ad mediums (radio, print, TV, Cable, magazines, billboards, etc.), they don’t get heard or seen enough times to make a difference. Start with ONE ad medium. And dominate it. You don’t have to try to reach everyone. If you want multiple ad mediums to work well together, the way Budweiser and Apple do it, you better have a pretty big ad budget.

If all you have the budget for, is a tiny cable TV program, that has about 1500 viewers per week…that’s ok. You have to start somewhere. You have to start getting into the minds of an audience repeatedly. And most importantly, when you create an ad message and campaign that gets attention and hits your prospects’ hot buttons (my specialty-wink wink), you start to bring in new customers. As you grow, then you can increase your ad budget and increase the audience.

If you have that small of an ad budget though, I’d recommend putting your efforts into making something stand out about your business. Get some word of mouth going about how you’re turning your industry upside down. Or take the time to make every precious customer you have…love you. Not like you. Love you. OR BETTER YET – instead of spending $200 a month on a small cable TV audience, you’d have better luck if you gave 20-dollar bills to 10 random people a month and say, “Hi, I’m ____ with _________. You should give us a try when you need a _________!”  And then walk away saying, “Have a nice day!” (Seriously, it would work better than the majority of sad advertising I see today!)

A good place to start with an ad budget…is on the RADIO. Radio allows you to communicate your ad message to an audience many times during a week at a much lower cost than TV or newspaper. Of course, you might think I’m biased because I work for Results Radio. But I decided a long time ago that my passion is helping small to medium-sized businesses GROW – no matter where I’m working. I’ve learned about the benefits and drawbacks to pretty much every advertising medium. Radio will always be my first recommendation to local businesses because of the power of sound (our memories prefer sound over sight only)…and the overall VALUE of it (you can air more ads, and I don’t charge you a nickel to make a new one).

There are lots of Radio commercial scheduling options. A good ad rep won’t bombard you with industry jargon and confuse the heck out of you.

You might get shown a $4500 per month ad schedule and think that it wouldn’t be too hard to pay for that with an extra few sales here and there. But you might also choke on your coffee if you saw a proposal of that amount. I’m not a fan of making up a schedule out of thin air with no budget to work with. The thing you need to know…is your AD BUDGET, remember? And not to “sprinkle” yourself out among multiple advertising mediums when you don’t have a lot of budget.

If you set the proper budget, have a great message to communicate to the public, and find a radio station or two to start out with…good things happen. New customers start finding you. New customers appear when you didn’t expect new customers to appear.

MY GOAL…is for my radio clients to grow and thrive and be as successful as they want to be. When that happens, I grow and thrive as well. See? Win-win.

Have a great week! Thank you for reading…and spreading the word about this cool radio guy you know.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My work website: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/ (And if you’d like a business website like this, or nothing like this, give me a shout. I’ll point you in the right direction)

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.