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. Create 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.

How to Target the Right Audience on Facebook

How to Target the Right Audience on Facebook

By Tiffany  Anderson   

If you don’t already know the value of Facebook advertising, it’s OK. The good news is that it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down in the near future. In fact, the ad manager platform frequently launches new updates intended to create a better user experience.

Businesses can now promote content with a few simple clicks but if you don’t understand the targeting opportunities beyond what boosted posts have to offer, you could be wasting money. We’ve collected a few stats from Facebook’s ad manager to give you a preview of the targeting potential in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Facebook users in Lancaster County Pennsylvania

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Our infographic illustrates just a few of the 200+ targeting options businesses can use to increase their local reach. January reports showed that nearly 70% of the county’s population 18 years and older are active on Facebook. Before you assume this isn’t the right advertising tool for your business, the ad manager allows us to check the potential reach before spending any money. You may be pleasantly surprised by the numbers!

Here are the best Facebook targeting strategies every ad manager should take advantage of.

Custom Audiences

If you have a list of customer emails, upload them to your audience profile. This presents an opportunity to nurture your audience, develop brand loyalty, promote order frequency, and increase the lifetime customer value.

Lookalike Audiences

Who better to target than the friends of your current customers? You can create a “lookalike” audience from a custom audience, conversion tracking pixel, or business page followers. How does it work? First, Facebook scans the active accounts of the source to identify similar qualities based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. Then, those qualities are matched with the friends of the users from the source and curated into a new lookalike audience list.

Location Targeting

This is one targeting option that is pretty easy to overlook. Besides having the option to target locations by country, state, address, and mile radius; there is one selection advertisers should think twice about before starting their campaign. It’s that little drop down box beside the Locations field where “everyone in this location” is preselected. Depending on your business and/or offer, this may not be the most efficient way to spend. When you look at the drop down options (everyone in, living in, recently in, and traveling in this location), you may find at least one of the three groups that make up the default selection does not apply to your target audience.

A home cleaning business, for example, wouldn’t benefit by targeting people who do not live within their service area. A local attraction, however, would see value in targeting people who live in the area and are traveling near their location. In this instance, an advertiser can create different ads that are unique to residents and visitors.

Detailed/Layered Targeting

This is level audience targeting is not available in boosted posts so pay close attention because it can help save you money! There are so many scenarios where this hypertargeting tool comes in handy but let’s pretend we are marketing a new fast and fresh meal option to working moms with small children.

It’s not enough to simply add those selections in one layer because you won’t be targeting the right audience. Without narrowing your selections, you will be targeting all working moms no matter what age their children are and all moms with small children who may or may not be working.  Detailed targeting allows us to exclude or narrow selections to further define your most desired audiences.

Purchase Behaviors

Facebook’s partnerships with big data companies offer advertisers with a whole new set of targeting options based on the buying habits of users. From DIYers, coupon users, fashionistas and consumers of just about any type of product you can think of, there is bound to be a selection relevant to your offer.

Life Events

Some businesses, like jewelers, can benefit greatly from Facebook’s life events selections. Life events is a collection of user data that helps advertisers target people in new relationships, who are newly engaged, have an anniversary coming up, started a new job, and more. This feature gives us the unique ability to capture and convert customers at opportune times.

With the amount of information Facebook collects on their users, to say they know more about you than your best friend wouldn’t be totally far-fetched for some. As scary as it may sound, they are committed to transparency and respecting user privacy. Advertisers will never gain access to personally identifiable information of their target audience unless it is willingly submitted by an individual in response to a call-to-action campaign.

Are you ready to explore the opportunities Facebook has in store for you? Create customized ads for niche audiences, build better connections, and measure campaign effectiveness. For help getting started, contact us!

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.
LNP Media Group is a division of Steinman Communications, one of the largest and most experienced communications companies in the Mid-Atlantic. Steinman Communications is an innovative, multi-channel communications company that delivers high-quality news, information and entertainment to diverse audiences.
The Secrets to Getting More People into Your Restaurant

The Secrets to Getting More People into Your Restaurant

Good Food Starts with High-Volume Marketing

You have great food. Your restaurant looks good. And you finally got the back of the house into working order. All you’re missing are the crowds of hungry patrons. While Lancaster County is famous for having more than its fair share of outstanding eating options, not all restaurants are experiencing the same levels of success.

With so many great options available for diners, Lancaster restaurants need more than word of mouth to keep momentum going. In this super-competitive marketplace, smart advertising can make the difference between busy kitchens and layoffs.

Start with Awareness MarketingEvery Thursday over 40,000 households turn to Entertainment Lancaster to plan their weekends.

You need to reach large numbers of people without paying a fortune. LNP Media Group offers a variety of media options developed especially for restaurants. In addition to vibrant newspaper options and the area’s most visited website, LNP Media also publishes several specialty publications that can also increase awareness. Each Thursday L
NP publishes Entertainment Lancaster, also know as EL, which is the area’s most comprehensive guide to weekend activities, destinations and events. Fly After 5 targets people in Lancaster County looking for exciting nightlife options, including restaurants, festivals and drinks. LNP Media Group also offers Spanish-language ads in LaVoz, the county’s only Spanish-language newspaper. There are so many ways to reach the patrons you’re looking for. We can help you make smart choices that make sense for your business and your bottom line. Contact us to find out more.

IFly Magazinenvest in Photography

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for restaurant owners, it may actually be worth more. Today’s restaurant patrons not only look at photos of food online, they may be posting some of their own! Make sure you supplement their amateur photos with a professional shots of your own. Lancaster County has dozens of young photographers who are both eager to work and affordable. Once you upgrade your food photography, your ads will work better, your social media will get more attention and the perceptions of your restaurant and its food will skyrocket.

If you’re not ready for a website, spend some time with your Facebook page.

Many restaurants skip the website, and honestly, in today’s digital universe, that’s okay. But it’s not okay to treat a Facebook page like a website. You can’t set it and forget it, or update it twice a year. Facebook pages require regular content. We recommend creating new posts daily. You should be promoting new menu items, changes in hours, talk about how you handle food allergies, features shots of guests and employees, and generally create a daily conversation. Facebook pages that look and feel like abandoned property reflect poorly on your establishment.

Advertise on Facebook and Instagram

A few years ago, Facebook purchased Instagram. Now you can place ads on both platforms that are geographically targeted. You can also refine your ad delivery by specifying people of a certain age, gender or interest. Want to promote new gluten-free menu items? Facebook and Instagram can send ads only to people concerned about gluten allergies. Have a pricey menu? Just send ads to higher income groups in Lancaster County. You may be surprised by the ease and cost of these new media. LNP Media Group’s experiences social media experts can help make the most of your campaigns by creating and placings ads, creating special promotional landing pages and even creating and monitoring content.

You Have Dozens of Marketing Options

LNP Media Group offers a variety of print and online publications. We offer a wide range of digital marketing tools and social media content and advertising opportunities. If you haven’t talked to an LNP Media Group representative lately, you may be surprised at how flexible and affordable our offerings can be. Contact us today and let’s get reacquainted.

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.
LNP Media Group is a division of Steinman Communications, one of the largest and most experienced communications companies in the Mid-Atlantic. Steinman Communications is an innovative, multi-channel communications company that delivers high quality news, information and entertainment to diverse audiences.