How Do I Know Which Media is Right for My Business?
When developing an advertising strategy for your business, it can be challenging to navigate the many different types of media you can use to promote your message. Among the major types of advertising – television, radio, out of home, digital and social media – each has a unique set of pros and cons you must consider.
To better understand how and when to use each type of media as part of your overall advertising strategy, it’s important to have a general understanding of how each works. Let’s take a closer look at the major types of advertising and how we suggest using them for best results.
Television – Producing and placing a television commercial is a big step, which can also reap big benefits for your business, if done correctly. Television offers a lot of opportunity for creativity and to utilize the power of visuals. People can see you or your product in action. Voice combined with visual is a strong combination for making your advertisement compelling and memorable.
On the flip side, it can require significant resources to produce a quality television commercial and then pay to run it enough times to be effective. While you can usually target narrow audiences through cable television stations or niche programming, more often you have to pay for the entire television market, not just your local community. Another disadvantage is the shifting market toward on-demand television and the negative attitudes toward commercials where large parts of the audience will tune out.
Radio – Depending upon your target audience and goals for your advertising campaign, radio can offer some significant advantages over other types of media. For example, radio is a great way to reach a local listenership. It’s estimated that about 80 percent of radio ads are from local businesses. It’s also much more affordable compared to producing and placing a television commercial.
If you think that radio advertising could be a good fit for your business, there are several things you should take into consideration. You need to make your radio advertisement dynamic. Since there is no visual component to back up for message, you might want to incorporate music, sound effects, stories and different voices to make your ad memorable. Repetition is also key for radio advertising success. Listeners will need to hear your ad again and again before they may decide to take action.
Before you place a radio ad with any station, first talk with an advertising agency who understands the reach of each station and how multiple stations might be connected through conglomerates. You’ll get the best value from your ads by working with a professional firm who can help guide you.
Out of Home – Though many sources may lead you to believe out of home advertising is declining due to the emphasis on digital advertising, smart businesses know that out of home advertising is still effective, depending upon your audience and message. Out of home advertising has transformed with technology, namely the emergence of the digital billboard. Moreover, businesses know they have to get really creative with their outdoor advertisements to have the greatest impact.
To determine if out of home advertising is a good fit for your advertising strategy, consider this. Who are you trying to reach? If your target audience is of an older demographic, traditional, out of home advertisements may be quite effective. You can reach people who don’t consume digital media nearly as much as younger demographics. The key is to select the right location and duration for your out of home advertising and to make sure that your message and design is eye-catching and easy to understand.
Digital – Digital media is certainly rising to the top, year after year, of the most used form of advertisement. Digital advertising encompasses a lot of different areas such as email campaigns, search engine advertisements (you know, those sponsored search results that show up first in Google), banner ads on websites and much more as technology continues to evolve. It’s estimated that companies spend over $191.85 Billion in digital advertising each year. If you haven’t made digital advertising part of your strategy, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon!
Digital advertising is so powerful because it can be highly targeted to reach your core audience. It also provides a lot of insight as to how people are engaging with your ad. Based on the analytics, you can constantly tweak your ads to make them more effective. The biggest drawback to digital advertising is that (nearly) everyone is doing it and you really need to focus on how your message and strategy can stand out to grab people’s attention. Where you’re placing your ad and what you’re saying will have a significant impact on the success of your campaign. If this overwhelms you, seek input from a professional advertising agency who can offer their insight and expertise to help you implement the right strategy.
Social Media – While social media advertising can technically be grouped into digital advertising, we wanted to separate this out as its own category, because it’s such a unique opportunity compared to what existed for advertisers years ago. Through social media advertising, you can precisely narrow the reach of your advertisement by nearly any filter you can imagine. Most often you pay for exactly the number of people who see your ad, which is unlike any other form of advertising where it’s a little harder to track your actual views.
While it’s impossible to cover everything you need to know about social media advertising in this article, there are a few import takeaways to help get you started. First, know your audience. Are you targeting a group of people who primarily consume their media and messaging on social platforms? Next, do your research to understand the user demographics of each type of social media. This ranges significantly! Finally, set a realistic budget based upon your desired results. Sure, Facebook will tell you that you can boost a post for $5, but will that help you reach your bigger-picture goals? You may need to invest $500 to really see results. Compared to the other forms of media, this is still extremely cost effective for what you receive!
Do you have another question about how and when to use these different types of media? Leave a comment below!