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  • October 10, 2019

    Cost-Effective Ad Types for Small Businesses

    Knowing which platforms are best for a company or organization to advertise on depends on several factors and a hyper-focused understanding of your consumer. Who is your target audience? How old are they? Where do they live? What are their cultural experiences? These are just a handful of questions that can help shape what type of advertising your company needs.

     

    For many, especially if you have the budget, a good mix of traditional (print, TV, radio, outdoor) advertising and digital and social media advertising is best. However, for some small businesses and non-profit organizations, those traditional mediums are not financially feasible. Luckily, in today’s ever-evolving marketing world, digital and social media ads are the most effective ways to reach most audiences.

     

    Digital advertising allows companies to be nimble and try new things. You can test your ads and if they are not getting the traction you want, you can continue to swap them out in real-time until you find that sweet spot. For example, retargeting allows you to serve ads to your target audience no matter where they go online. It’s happened to you before; you’d been eyeing a new coffee pot on Amazon and then went to check sports scores on ESPN.com and you were served an ad of that same coffee pot you were just looking at. That is retargeting at work. This type of advertising is great not only because you can see who you are reaching, how many people are seeing your ad and clicking on your ad, but it is also a very cost-effective way to advertise.

     

    Social media ads are another way to make a big impact with your advertising online without spending a ton of money. The best social media platforms to advertise on currently are:

    • Facebook: Facebook has about 2 billion active users. That is a huge potential audience for your ads. However, you likely don’t need to reach the whole world. With Facebook ads you can run geographic-specific banner, native, full screen ads and video ads. They also offer detailed performance tracking with ability to make instant changes to your ads, if necessary.
    • Instagram: Instagram caters specifically to mobile users; enhanced targeting with paid ads; Instagram users tend to follow brands. Once users start seeing your ads, it is likely that some of those people will start following your Instagram account, which will increase your visibility and potential business leads.
    • Twitter: You may want to consider using Twitter Ads if you want to reach users who are very active in current events. Twitter also uses an auction system, which allows you to advertise by bidding on your ads, based around your budget. Then, you only pay for the ads that users take action on.
    • Snapchat: Snapchat is one of the best platforms for reaching mobile users in the 18-24-year-old range. If you need to reach a younger crowd, this is where you want to be, especially if you have interactive video ads.
    • LinkedIn: This is likely the best platform to advertise on if you are trying to reach business professionals. With LinkedIn, you can advertise in a few different ways, either with Sponsored InMail (sending direct messages to inboxes), Sponsored Content (in-feed ads), and Text Ads, which are pay-per-click ads, based on the amount of impressions the ad gets. Text ads are cost-effective because you only pay for ads that get impressions or clicks and because there are no graphics, you can create these very quickly.

    Because of the ability to identify your target market so specifically with digital and social ads, advertisers can reach exactly who they want, where they want, and how often they want.

     

    To learn more about cost-effective advertising strategies, reach out to us with any questions at any times. By using our advertising capabilities – traditional, digital or others – we can help your company deliver results. Learn more about our advertising and marketing services at SRB Communications.

  • April 10, 2018

    The Importance of Visual Marketing Strategies

    Technology industry news sources such as TechCrunch say that the average person can spend up to five hours on a mobile device every day, and up to two hours on social media.

    That means that, more than ever, there is pressure for companies to stand out in a world where their target audiences are swamped with information, notifications and messages. Attracting an audience requires creating visual, eye-catching content for short attention spans.

    According to research by global science company 3M, our mind processes visual images more than 60,000 times faster than text. This means, in the digital age, it’s more effective to include a distinguishing visual with your key messages.

    Creating impressive emails

    Epsilon Data Management reported that only 30% of emails are opened, and only one in 11 entice readers to click through them. Based on the average reading speed of 200 words per minute, this only gives companies 30-50 subject line characters to capture potential customers or clients. This is a glaring example of why a striking visual is crucial in engaging audiences.

    An article published in The Next Web offers strategies on how to effectively deliver content through email.

    • Test emails frequently before sending the final version. Previewing emails on desktop and mobile browsers is essential. No one wants to receive an email that’s difficult to view, has badly cropped content or images or that are incompatible with their device.
    • One in five email recipients cannot view an image without taking extra steps, such as, clicking a “view image” option. A quick fix for marketers is to caption images, briefly explaining what the image represents.
    • The time it takes an image or content to load on a mobile or desktop device can determine if your content is viewed or skipped all together. Busy professionals commuting to work or running from meeting-to-meeting, might not have the time or patience to wait for a sluggish image or video to appear. Thumbnail photos are a great solution, as they act as a snapshot for the featured article or text.

    Standing out in a news feed

    On Facebook, when a company posts visual content, engagement can surge as much as 180%. Leading influencer marketing agency, Mediakix, published an article that described how 100 million hours of video are watched every day.

    The official Facebook Business website posted a blog in 2015 explaining video’s continued growth as the preferred and most effective storytelling medium for individuals and brands. The company shared their best practices for creating video ads that grab consumer’s attention and drive business goals. They include: tailoring your story to your audience, investing in production, using the first few seconds of video to attract and persuade the viewer, and telling stories with and without sound.

    Twitter also released an update in 2013, allowing users to view photos and videos immediately. In a statement released with the update, the company said, “timelines on Twitter will be more visual and more engaging: previews of Twitter photos and videos from Vine will be front and center in Tweets. To see more of the photo or play the video, just tap.”

    In a world where 65% of people are visual learners, companies must implement “snackable content,” e.g. media in bite-sized pieces, with their marketing content. This allows your target audience to easily spot, understand, and engage with ease.

    Best in class companies and brands began integrating more video and visually pleasing images into their content several years ago. Now a universal mainstay, consumers expect content that will grasp and keep their attention. Remember that at the end of the day the goal is to stand out, enhance your work, and communicate effectively with the public.

    Written by Diana Ochoa, SRB Communications Intern.

    SRB Communications, LLC is an award-winning, full-service boutique advertising and marketing agency specializing in multicultural markets, media relations, public relations, community outreach and broadcast production. For 28 years, it has provided services to utilities and energy companies, educational institutions, transportation and infrastructure companies, the federal government, local and state governments, and political campaigns. The agency is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with satellite offices in Baltimore, Maryland and New York City.

     

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  • March 2, 2018

    Is Networking in the Digital Age Genuine?

    It’s easy to connect with others on LinkedIn, but do 500+ connections mean anything?

    We think of LinkedIn as a place to build a professional network and learn about industry specific news, trades and opportunities. The platform has more than 467 million users, and over 94 percent of recruiters use it to find job candidates.

    However, in today’s society are online connections genuine, or merely a case of sending requests with no intent to follow-up?

    Distinguish Contacts from Connections

    When networking, it is important to distinguish “contacts” from “connections.” One notable distinction is that contacts are usually one-way and will touch base if they need something. With contacts, the more one has, the better.

    Connections should be two-way, where users care about the people in their network and put just as much effort in the relationship that they want to receive in return. With an authentic connection, a person will stay in touch whether or not they need something from the other. This can become a win-win for both parties.

    In the digital age, a “connection” can be formed with one mouse click. Previously, the only way to build a network was with face-to-face interactions. Building a network from the ground up came with the added value of that personal interaction. Today, building a professional network online can be done with a certain level of ease, however, the value of one’s network may not be leveraged as easily without an authentic connection.

    The Invisible Meeting Point

    Listening actively and giving one’s full attention forms a more genuine connection. Australian author Mick Mooney calls this an, “invisible meeting point.” This meeting point is where a bond is formed between two individuals who are both passionate and heavily invested in their industries. This in turn, could possibly turn into a personal relationship, in which both individuals are supportive of one another when business opportunities arise.

    Your online network should consist of people you know, respect and who you are somehow engaged with, beyond an introduction through a networking site. This can include former supervisors, colleagues, clients or talent you’re recruiting to join your organization. LinkedIn supports this idea by recommending that users only join groups that they want their name associated with.

    Turn Contacts into Meaningful Connections

    If you’re looking to turn followers into long-lasting professional connections, try writing a personalized thank you message that both compliments the person’s work and offers a memorable impression of who you are. Remember, you want to convince someone that you’re worth their time. If it goes well online, this opens the door to connect offline and could lead to new business, strategic partnerships, creative collaboration and more.

    One way to turn a contact into a connection is to find something that you have in common. This common ground can range from taking the same flight to a conference or having a mutual friend in the business. Once this is identified, it becomes easier to continue the conversation.

    Another way to convert a contact into a connection is to email the person occasionally to casually check-in. For example, start your email with a link to a news article or blog post that you recently read about their company or industry. You could lead with “I read this article today and thought about you and your team.” This gesture is often appreciated, and further allows you to strengthen the connection. However, it is critical to speak with ease, respect the person’s time and not expect too much from the encounter.

    Although LinkedIn is becoming instrumental for personal branding, building credibility on the site goes beyond the number of connections you have.

    Within your professional network the key is quality over quantity. Connect with those you have a true business relationship with, or those you’d like to develop one with, then think twice before sending a “recommended” person a request.

    Written by Diana Ochoa, SRB Communications Intern.

    SRB Communications, LLC is an award-winning, full-service boutique advertising and marketing agency specializing in multicultural markets, media relations, public relations, community outreach and broadcast production. For 28 years, it has provided services to utilities and energy companies, educational institutions, transportation and infrastructure companies, the federal government, local and state governments, and political campaigns. The agency is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with satellite offices in Baltimore, Maryland and New York City.

     

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