10 Ways to Stretch Your Ad Budget

10 Ways to Stretch Your Ad Budget

No matter how big (or small) your ad budget is, you probably struggle with making the most of your marketing dollars. While outspending your competition is ideal, not every business has the resources to match competitors’ budgets.

What can you do to stretch your marketing dollars? The marketing experts at LNP Media Group have put together some strategies to maximize your advertising impact.

1. Narrow Your Target Audience

A good place to start is by spending some time researching your target market; if you’re talking to the wrong people, you’re wasting your time. To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing plan, create a narrowly-defined profile of your ideal customers.

Think about things like:

  • What age are they?
  • Do they own a home?
  • Where do they live?
  • What special behaviors define them? Do they shop a lot? Watch movies? Mow lawns? Save money?
  • What special needs unite them? Do they hate to waste time? Want great customer service? Are they picky eaters? Environmentally concerned?

A narrowly defined target market is essential for efficient marketing and media decisions. Try not to think of keeping a targeted profile as excluding anyone, but rather keeping your messaging focused on the people who will be most likely to respond.

2. Hone Your Message

It’s easy for companies to get caught up in talking about what they do, sell, offer, or provide. If you want to get customers to pay attention, however, you must stop telling them about your business and focus on helping your prospects:

  • How does your product or service make life better? Safer? Healthier? More convenient? Will I save time? Will you cheer me up? These should be explained from the customer’s point of view.
  • When talking to businesses, start by explaining how you can help them find leads, close sales, reduces operating expenses, save time or avoid unpleasant situations.

3. Crerate A Compelling Offer

Customers are inundated with advertising. One way to get more attention and to drive immediate action is to include a limited-time offer in your ads, such as a seasonal product, weekly sale, coupon, a discount code or gift:

  • Any time you include a promotion or limited-time offer in your ads, you should also clearly note that the supply is limited or include an end date. There’s a reason why the terms “act now” and “while supplies last” have been over-used; perceived exclusivity raises the value of the product and motivates action.
  • Creating new, limited-time offers is also a way to bring in new customers. For years, fast food restaurants have been relying on seasonal and limited-time menu items to draw in a broader audience.
  • You can also use offers to drive business during slow periods, offering deals on slow days of the week or during slow seasons.

4. Male An Impact With Ad Flights

The way you schedule your media can help you increase your impact among your best prospects.  An ad flight is grouping ad placements over a short period of time, alternating with periods without advertising. Flights can work weekly, monthly or seasonally:

  • For example, a restaurant might make a big splash by choosing to advertise heavily for two weeks, and then go dormant for two weeks. A garden center might spend the majority of their budget in the spring, halting ads when the peak planting period ends.
  • Buying ads in flights may even enable you to match or exceed competitors’ ads for short periods while not exceeding their budget.
  • The other advantage of using flights is that you may be able to get preferential pricing.

5. Super Size It

Next, just as running ads in flights may create more impact, running fewer ads at larger sizes is another way to increase your brand impact:

  • Bigger units are more noticeable. They stand out from the ad clutter. Larger placements also allow you to include more benefits, and while frequency helps build awareness, it is important to ensure that each ad has impact and stopping power.
  • Not sure if your business will get more impact from lots of smaller ads or fewer larger ads? Do a test. Run a series of smaller ads and a series of larger ads, then measure results and see which strategy garners the most attention for your business.

6. Make The Most Of Moments

Today, many of your best sales prospects have mobile phones they use to find products, stores, restaurants and more, and you can reach them as they perform these searches. Google calls this Marketing in the Moment and recommends using paid search advertising to reach customers who have one of these needs:

  • “I want to know”: They are searching for information – like how to solve some problem.
  • “I want to go”: They need directions and may be doing a “near me” search.
  • “I want to do”: “How do I fix my dryer?”
  • “I want to buy”: They’re seeking a product and they’re ready to buy.

Many of these searches create marketing opportunities for your business; advertising on search engines enables you to capitalize:

  • The key is to ensure that your advertising targets the right search terms and provides a highly relevant offer.
  • Customers seeking to fix their dryer, for example, may want help and parts. Can you provide that? If so, you may win a new customer. Customers searching “lunch near me,” may be pulled through the door by hearing your specials.

Another key to “marketing in the moment” is to ensure that your place of business appears on search engines for local searches. So when a hungry customer Googles “restaurants Lancaster”, you want to be on the list. To make this happen, you need to add your names and address into local directory listings like LancasterOnline, Yelp, and others.

7. Repeat Yourself

No matter what medium you choose for your marketing, repetition is key to success:

  • While studies vary widely on the most effective level of repetition, most marketers agree that it’s wise to try for six to nine impressions.
  • Retargeting is one of the most powerful methods to achieve repetition in digital marketing. Retargeting allows you to show ads to customers who have visited your site previously, by tracking their website activity. This use of repetition builds brand awareness with your best prospects.

8. Combine Media To Get Better Reach And Frequency

Your customers are interacting with a variety of online and offline media, so your advertising plan should be built around intercepting them in a variety of places:

  • For example, newspaper advertising can reach consumers with larger ads in a highly engaged environment. A consistent schedule of newspaper advertising creates a familiarity that leads to awareness and trust of your brand.
  • Adding a digital advertising component to your plan can increase both the reach and frequency of your advertising. People interact with digital ads differently than how they do with print, however. In digital, the ads are smaller and the average attention span is shorter.

Choose LancasterOnline as a supplement to your print advertising campaign or run ads on Facebook or Google. That way, sales prospects see your brand with their morning coffee, when they check the weather online over lunch, and when they search online. The result will be an increase in brand awareness that may result in sales leads and store traffic.

9. Become A Social Marketer

Social media platforms offer targeted, engaged online audiences. It’s a great type of media for most businesses and if used wisely it can become one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal:

  • Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram are excellent marketing tools for businesses, but effective social media marketing requires time, skill, and financial commitment to be successful.
  • Users determine what they see and which unpaid messages come to them. While communicating with friends is fun and easy, most of these social media platforms also make it very difficult for businesses to bubble up on newsfeeds without a paid component.
  • Social media marketing doesn’t need to be expensive. Our marketing experts recommend a mix of organic (unpaid) content combined with paid messages to targeted audiences. Since social media platforms regularly change rules, formats and advertising options, it’s also important to keep up to date on changes.

10. Never Stop Testing

No matter how much you strategize and estimate, testing your marketing is the only way to find out how effective it will be:

  • Testing one idea or approach against another will help you understand how each decision affects your businesses’ success; compare results to find out which methods are most effective for your business.
  • Don’t rely on reports limited to clicks and impressions; you need to determine which digital ads drove prospects to action. Some ads, such as ones made for brand recognition, will not have the immediate tangible impact as others but will play an important role in growing your business.
  • Be patient. Testing just one campaign on a particular platform isn’t enough to provide accurate insight into whether a given tactic is working. Instead, experiment with ads over different time periods, targeting slightly different audiences.

Once you’ve got enough data to start making decisions, you’ll become more confident about what works and what doesn’t drive business. Monitoring relevant metrics across your ads is one of the most effective ways to make the kind of smart decisions that increase impact and create efficiencies. We can help! Contact us for effective, efficient marketing strategies tailor-made for your business.

LNP Media Group is committed to delivering exceptional experiences to our audiences, our customers, our vendors and our employees throughout Lancaster County and Central Pennsylvania. We provide value to our marketing and advertising partners by building effective and innovative solutions and by delivering exemplary customer experiences.

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How to Market to Lancaster Millennials

How to Market to Lancaster Millennials

How To Reach This Elusive But Lucrative Market.

Are you one of those marketers who still think that Millennials are just teenagers glued to their smart phones? Think again. Millennials have come of age, and with a spending power hitting trillions of dollars, Millennials are fast becoming one of the most sought-after demographics:

  • Now ranging in age from 23 to 38, Millennials not only act differently than older generations, they’re also one of the largest generations. According to the US Census, Millennials represent more than one quarter of the nation’s population.
  • This large group is linked by social media, and is racially diverse. They’re burdened by debt, but also financially conservative. While they are more distrustful of people than older generations, they remain optimistic about the future.
  • They care deeply about business ethics, and are more likely to use their wallet to express their conscience. This generation’s shopping behavior is driving the nation-wide resurgence in small and locally owned businesses.

Fiscally Conservative

Millennials have grown up in difficult financial times and have experienced a relatively austere childhood:

  • These young people carefully weigh the urges of consumption and aspiration against their desire to play it safe. This generation is fiscally conservative, an unusual trait relative to the youth of previous generations.
  • That’s good news for banking, insurance and investing businesses. It also means that this group is going to be especially interested in preferential pricing, low-interest loans and short-term deals on bigger purchases like auto and home.
  • Millennials have a combined US spending power of 600 billion per year.

Less Trusting

According to Pew Research, Millennials have rather low levels of social trust:

  • When asked a long-standing social science survey question, “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people,” only 19% of Millennials say most people can be trusted, compared with 31% of Gen Xers, 37% of Silents and 40% of Boomers.
  • Promoting your certifications, qualifications and good standing in the business community will resonate with this group. Millennials will be especially receptive to businesses that provide extra security, like anti-theft devices, home security, renters and home insurance.

Cause-Driven

You may know that Cause Marketing is becoming more important to all age groups, but it’s especially important to Millennials:

  • According to a Nielsen survey, more than half of Millennials will pay extra for sustainable products. About half of that group will go even further and check packaging for sustainable labeling before purchasing.
  • 90% of Millennials will switch brands to one associated with a cause, reports The Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study.
  • Cause Marketing should be a part of your Millennial marketing efforts; highlighting your commitment to causes will be an important part of getting and retaining Millennial customers, clients, patients and employees.

Still Optimistic

Even after growing up in one of the worst recessions in memory, Millennials still retain the optimism of youth and believe that the United States is improving:

  • 49% of Millennials say America’s best years are still ahead, a view held by 42% of Gen Xers, 44% of Boomers and only 39% of Silents.
  • That’s good news if you want Millennials to invest in their future. Organizations like colleges, technical schools, or training programs are well positioned to recruit Millennials into programs with long-term benefits.

Hyper Local

Millennials love their community and love supporting the businesses and services that also contribute to the local economy. They especially like knowing that they are spending their cash on the community instead of on corporations. Shopping locally is a big part of this mindset. In fact, 40% of Millennials prefer to shop locally, even when it means they have to pay a little more. The individualized experience that locally-owned shops offer reinforces Millennials’ ideals and values.

How Can You Reach Millenials?

Now that you know more about Millennials, there are a few key things to remember when marketing to them:

  • Don’t be afraid to do the math. Because Millennials are more concerned about finances and more financially aware than previous generations, they want to see the value you’re providing. Be clear about offers in your ads and messages.
  • Be transparent about who you are and what you do. Being open and honest in marketing communications will build trust and restore low trust levels.
  • Don’t be modest. In the past, talking about causes has been considered “bad taste.” In today’s marketing world, talking about the causes you support is not only appreciated, it’s expected.
  • Stay upbeat. Even though Millennials grew up in austere conditions, they look forward to the future. They are upbeat and gravitate towards brands that mirror their enthusiasm.
  • Promote your role in the community. Even if you’re not a locally-owned business, you can still tap into the local mindset. Talk about the number of local people you employ, the local causes you support and the ways your business works to improve the community. After all, social responsibility is one of the key drivers behind the local movement.

Wondering which media tools to use to reach Millennial audiences? LNP Media Group can help you reach Millennials with a wide range of media options including mobile marketing, web services, events, search marketing, online marketing, magazine and print. Contact us today and we’ll help you evaluate the mix of media that will ensure you reach your Millennial marketing goals.

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