by Shane Boring

shane-3

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” Henry Ford

“Word of mouth is our best form of advertising.” This is what 90% of advertising sales representatives hear when making an initial prospecting call. How much truth is behind this statement? 100%! No marketing compares to a referral from a satisfied customer. The problem is most businesses cannot simply survive only on referrals. That is why there is advertising.

The two main components of advertising are “the message” and “the media”. If you have a great message and are using the right media, you’re going to be very happy with your advertising. But if you have a poor message or you are not buying the right media, chances are you will be very disappointed. This is where a great advertising agency like SDB Creative Group becomes an invaluable partner.

First let’s consider “the message”. If you shortchange your potential buyer on this, forget about getting the results you want. Your message has to be compelling, and has to speak to your buyer from their point of view. Who do buyers care most about? They care most about themselves. Make your message about them.

Most companies advertising on their own without the help of an advertising agency completely miss on the message and talk nearly 100% about their company, not the consumer. “Hi! We’re here! And we’re open!” is the basic theme used by companies working on their own without the help of an advertising agency and is easily dismissed by the consumer. Think about how distracted our society is with the thousands of text messages, emails, commercials, and other messages we are exposed to every day. You have to get their attention, and you get it by talking about them.

A great advertising agency will bring an outside, unbiased perspective. The agency will know your company, its products and sales processes, and it will have very good understanding of your ideal client, and what makes them buy. This data and information is taken into a creative process where amazing ideas for solid, long-term advertising campaigns are born. SDB Creative Group has experience with this process and it is part of their everyday operation. Creativity is in their blood. You wouldn’t go to court without a lawyer. Don’t start shouting out your message without the expertise of a marketing expert like SDB.

Next week we will go in-depth on the second component, “the media”, but here’s a quick preview and some homework. Try to count how many different media channels you use in one day (internet, TV, radio, cable, print, outdoor,). I’ll bet it’s a long list.

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Less Can Be More

March 20, 2013

Can you say what you want to say in 140 characters or less? Do you believe less is more? If the answer is “YES” then twitter is for you. Twitter allows you to update your followers from anywhere you can get to the internet, which means access to a lot of people throughout the day. Twitter has evolved into a major social media player. As a business, you can use Twitter to attract potential clients and lead them to your other content on the internet such as your website, other platforms, and your bricks and mortar business, if you have one. Twitter can also facilitate excellent customer relations as well as help avoid poor customer relations. You must plan your campaign and create quality posts that interest people and make them want to follow you.

We’ve given you 4 details to consider, so you’re not just tweeting blind!

  • DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE AND GOALS
    If your primary goal is to drive people to your website, Twitter isn’t the platform for you. People on twitter want conversation with real people, not just to be pushed to your site. Do you want to keep customers aware of your daily specials or events you’re planning? Your goal is to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. Plan your campaign to include all of your social media platforms, blog as well as your website.
  • ASSIGN THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO TWEET
    The person in charge of your tweets should be knowledgeable and dedicated to listening to your community chatter. They should understand the culture in your company and be someone you are comfortable with talking about your brand. It’s very important on Twitter to respond to messages in a timely manner. That’s what users expect. Real people want to know they are talking to other real people. If your company name is your twitter handle, you should list in your profile the name of those responsible for tweeting. Employees can identify themselves by including a carrot (˄) and their initials, such as ˄KD.
  • FOLLOW THE RIGHT PEOPLE:
    Quality outweighs quantity. Find connectors who post relevant content you will want to retweet with our followers. Look for people who post frequently about your business. Use the search bar often to see if anyone new is tweeting you want to follow.
  • HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR:
    Twitter is a perfect place for your company’s personality to come through. Don’t be afraid to use humor, as long as it is business appropriate.

These are just a few basics to get you started. Once you start tweeting you can find a wealth of people to follow. Businesses have come up with very creative ways to say more with less, and customers appreciate that! If you want to learn more, we invite you to our social media seminar on April 3rd, 11:30am-12:30pm. Give us a call for more details (432)218-6736

Is your company on Facebook or Twitter? Are you curious how your time and resources are being used on Social Media Marketing? You’re not alone!

Social Media & Digital Marketing are the fastest growing sectors of advertising at the moment and having a clear, concise goal for these assets is imperative.

When you start your social media marketing, you must think of:

  • WHO will maintain your social voice?
  • WHAT do I expect to get out of social media?
  • HOW will you convert fans to money?
  • WHEN is the optimal time to make posts?
  • WHERE can I find qualified fans?

WHO will maintain your social voice?

Handing over the reins of your social media marketing should be hard. You are entrusting someone with the identity of your company. They are going to be responsible for creating and fostering a community of brand enthusiasts.

When you make the decision of WHOM, you MUST make sure that this person is very well aware of your current marketing efforts so that all mediums are consistent with each other. Then, they must be able to create engaging and consistent content. If you’re online and there is no movement, you might as well just log off. The more your brand sits there with no content or incentives, the bigger the chance for people to unlike your page and move on to someone who actually communicates with them.

Giving someone control of your social media marketing is giving someone control of a 24/7/365 advertisement for your company. WHO is knowledgeable enough about your business to be given this amount of responsibility?

WHAT do I expect to get out of social media?

If you jump in to social media marketing without thinking through your goal, you will be wasting valuable time. When speaking with clients, we ask for clear, succinct goals for their social media. Telling us that you want more fans is a given. Everyone wants more fans. But telling us that you’d like to sell 10% more of your product this month compared to last month is even clearer to us.

Knowing what you want your end result to be will help determine the kind of strategy to implement. If you want to sell more this month, your posts should reflect that – more posts about the product, pricing points on the product, information about the product, etc.

To that end, whatever you’re expecting out of social media will only be received by what you put in to social media. If your posts are nonchalant and off-topic, don’t expect to meet your goal.

PS. Don’t forget to let the person who’s handling your profiles also know what your monthly goals will be.

HOW will you convert fans to money?

Unfortunately, while social media is a 24/7/365 advertisement, it doesn’t always mean that people will flock to you to buy what you’re selling. Like with any form of advertising, consistency is going to be the key.

Fans have liked or followed your company for a reason. You’ve given them some kind of incentive to be a fan. Because of this, you must continue to hammer home your company name, products and services. The more consistent you are, the more you will be on the top of people’s minds when it comes time to buy what you have to offer.

Facebook received a lot of scrutiny recently when GM decided to pull all of their Facebook marketing budget. Claiming that the money would be allotted elsewhere because social media wasn’t ‘selling cars’ was a big eye-opener for the rest of the Facebook Advertising world.

While it may be hard to track exactly how many people bought a car directly related to any Facebook Advertising, it’s more than obvious that the marketing they put in place online was designed  to work directly with traditional advertising – TV commercials, radio commercials, print ads, etc.

Maybe GM forgot that social media was meant to be SOCIAL. The more people hear and see the product you’re selling, the more apt they will be to buy in the future and if you’re being social in the process, the more willing they’ll be to buy from you BECAUSE of your social-ness.

WHEN is the optimal time to make posts?

This has been the golden question for a while now and just like any advertising that’s done for any client, the optimal posting time for every single business is going to be different. Learning what time is going to be the best time to post is going to take some time to figure out.

Utilizing your Facebook page statistics will be the key. By analyzing data, you’ll be able to see which posts are creating the most engagement, which posts are being seen the most, which posts resonate with your potential clients the most, etc.

When you initially start your social media marketing, you’re literally creating a community from scratch. Since that’s the case, you will want to post at various times of the day in order to figure out what is working for you and what isn’t. This also works for businesses that’ve got a great presence online. It’s never too late to monitor what works and what doesn’t.

Recently, Buddy Media, a social media marketing suite that was bought by Salesforce.com, put out a study:  Strategies for Effective Facebook Wall Posts: A Statistical Review. In this study, they consistently remind businesses that every company is going to be different and figuring out your own optimal posting times will take some time, but they do offer some very interesting insights by industry. Take a look at a few of them below:

Entertainment Industry: Don’t overlook the weekends! With mobile usage growing, many of this industry’s target customers are extremely active on Saturday & Sunday.

Media Industry: Stay away from Mondays!

Retail Industry: Take a look at Sunday; think twice before posting on a Friday.

Automotive Industry: Sunday is your friend!

Business & Finance Industry: Engagement peeks mid-week.

Food & Beverage Industry: Engagement high mid-week and Saturday.

Healthcare & Beauty Industry: Look at Thursday!

Sports Industry: Post more on Sunday!

Travel & Hospitality: Look towards the end of the week.

In addition to this industry breakdown, Buddy Media also stresses the importance of creating short and engaging content while also creating concise calls to action. Don’t forget to include words like: Click here, LIKE us, Follow us, Call us, Stop by, submit, share, comment. You’d be surprised what people will do if you ask them to!

WHERE can I find qualified fans?

Our recent blog post, 3 Steps to Better Facebook Fans, and our subsequent webinar, delved into this topic at length. You can read that blog here.

In a nutshell, you must give fans some kind of incentive to LIKE your page. Use things like coupons, specials, giveaways, etc., to entice people to your page. Once they are fans, it’s up to you to keep them!

Facebook ads are another great way to target your specific demographic. With the wealth of user information, Facebook can offer some really great options when advertising. Pricing is open and based on your budget and can be bought on a pay-per-click or pay-per-impression pricing scale. We’ll be offering an in-depth webinar about Facebook ads in the future, so be on the lookout for that.

Finally, cross-promoting can help you find more qualified fans. If your advertising is consistent, your TV commercials should be highlighting your website which should highlight your Facebook page which should in-turn highlight everything else. Adding your pages to store receipts, posters, business cards, brochures, websites, commercials, etc., gives your core customers the opportunity to find you online.

By taking all of the above into consideration, you’ll have a better idea of how your social media marketing is working for you. Just remember that this is one piece of advertising that will stick around after 30-seconds. People can come back to your page at any point in time to see what you have to offer. What will they see?

Written by Danita Maldonado, Director of Social Media, SDB Creative Group

SDB SocialLink is a product of SDB Creative Group offering social media and digital solutions for businesses. For more information about SDB SocialLink, check out our website: www.sdbsociallink.com.

SDB Creative Group is a full-service marketing and advertising firm. For more information about SDB Creative Group, check out our website: www.sdbcreativegroup.com.

SDB Creative Group. Focused on your success. Empowering your future.

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Here at SDB Creative Group, it’s not uncommon to hear misconceptions about advertising. In an industry with so many avenues to relay your message, there is bound to be a few. Here, we tackle a few of those myths.

Myth: Our business can’t afford advertising.

Truth: A well thought out marketing plan, with your goals and budget in mind, will make you money. Often, when we talk about running a television campaign, a business owner’s response is, “I just can’t afford it.” Truth is only about 1% of companies can run a commercial during the Super Bowl with David Beckham as their spokesperson, but all businesses with a well thought out plan can have success on TV, radio, cable or any other medium, for that matter. The key is to find the right combination to reach your goals.

Myth: A great commercial make my product or service better.

Truth: Advertising will not make your product or service better. If the product or service is bad, no amount of advertising will fix that problem. Go back to the drawing table. Figure out the problem with the product or service. Then, advertise. Make sure you are offering your clients the best possible product or service and advertising will make you look as great as you really are!

Myth: I have a marketing plan and a great product. I should make lots of sales and $$$, right?

Truth: This is only true if your team is able to sell the product or service you are advertising. If I have a specialty candle business, but don’t train my staff on what makes them so special and give them tools to help them sell more effectively, I won’t sell many candles. This is where your efforts come full circle. You have a product. You introduce the product to the consumer through an effective marketing plan. Now, your customer wants to buy. You have to sell them!

As an advertising agency and marketing firm, our job is to make your advertising efforts seamless and effective. If you don’t start to see results from those efforts, we’re not doing our job.

Let SDB Creative Group help you with your next advertising push or marketing campaign. Call 432.218.6736 today to speak with one of our Marketing Representatives or check out our website (www.sdbcreativegroup.com) to see other companies, just like you, who’ve debunked the above myths and now believe in the power of advertising.

Out here in West Texas, we have a car dealership that is known for its tacky approach to advertising. As a matter of fact, when we talk to potential clients, they always say, I just don’t want anything cheesy like the salesmen with the cars and circus animals.

So, why do we see those commercials continue to be made year after year? They must work… right?

Well, yes and no. They do work by getting the audience’s attention, but not necessarily the way the business owner would intend. It is often said that even bad publicity is good publicity, but no business really wants to have negative remarks made about their advertising. So why then, year after year, in every market in the country, are there dealership ads that sell cheese better than cars?

The truth is that it works. Unfortunalty, it is more effective to “ask for the sale” than to show beautiful cars going down picturesque roads. Those ads are easily forgotten, but the others are a little harder to forget, and as much as a consumer will say they hate to see those ads, everyone really wants a good deal.

Is there a way to have the same effect without the cheese? Absolutley! A well thought out campaign, with effective sales tactics can give your business the edge, without making your possible consumers cringe.

Bringing in customers and making more sales can be as easy as asking yourself 3 questions.

  • What’s Your Goal?
  • Who’s Your Target?
  • Are You Asking For the Sale?

Question 1: What’s Your Goal?

Although it’s a simple question, we are still surprised by the business owners who have no idea what they want their advertising to accomplish.

For example, if your goal is to focus on one area of your business and really make that particular area grow, a generic commercial with shots of your storefront may not be the best approach to reach that goal, and it’s usually is a waste of money. However, a campaign focused on the goals you set, will help guide your business in reaching more qualified prospects.

Question 2: Who’s Your Target?

Based on your goal above, what demographic will you target to make sure that your advertising message is directed at the right people?

We know you’re bombarded by media sales people day in and day out. While some of their products might be a good fit, others might not fit either #1 or #2. Don’t let those impulse decisions guide your end goal.

Think about the times when you go to the grocery store without a list. Do you always come out spending more money than you anticipated? Did you end up forgetting something? The answer to both questions is usually ‘YES.’ When you’ve identified your goal and then, identified your target, you will not only save money, but you’ll also be speaking to the right customers for your business.

Question 3: Are You ASKING for the SALE?

It seems like a no brainer, right? But again, it’s more often than not overlooked. If you’re selling widgets, make sure you include that you’re selling widgets in your message. Why do people need to come and see you? Because they need that widget. Let them know you have it.

Then, make sure your staff is trained and ready for clients to walk through the door, and, of course…they should (again) ask for sale!

While there are many people who ‘window shop,’ there’s a far better chance that they are in your store for a reason. They want something that you have and they found out you had it through some form of advertising. SELL THEM! CLOSE THEM! All you have to do is ask. Then, once you have their business, make sure to maintain that relationship by frequent contact and support.

By taking control of your message and making sure that it’s targeted to the right people, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make sales, which will then start to raise your bottom line.

Would like us to help you create a marketing plan for your company or for a future campaign? Give us a call at 432.218.6736 or email info@sdbcreativegroup.com.

For more information about SDB Creative Group, check out our website: www.sdbcreativegroup.com.

SDB Creative Group. Focused on your success. Empowering your future.