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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Marketing to the New Food Consumer

Marketing to the New Food Consumer

New trends mean you need new strategies 

What’s new in grocery shopping? What’s new in how people find and consume food? Last year Bloomberg reported that Americans are now spending more on dining out than on groceries. In fact, according to the US Department of Commerce, sales in restaurants are now exceeding sales in grocery stores for the first time since this kind of data started to be collected in 1992.

Dining Costs

Source: Bloomberg Markets

Millennials seem to be leading this shift. 29% of this grab-and-go generation report that they often purchase food and drink while on the run, compared with 19% of consumers overall. While you might think Millennials are running to fancy fast-casual destinations like Panera or Chipotle, the leading category for on the go eating may surprise you; it’s the convenience store.

In this part of the country, we have access to two of the most progressive convenience chains in the country – Wawa and Sheetz. These two chains are leading the industry in progressive menu development, healthy offerings, affordable made-to-order foods and enjoyable eat-in dining areas. Both offer a variety of healthy grab-and-go options that include low-fat yogurt, cheese and fruit, hummus and pitas and even quinoa salad. No wonder they’ve made such an impact on the eating habits of young and old alike.

If you want to attract more food shoppers to your restaurant, grocery store, market or convenience store, here are a few tips to make you more attractive to this time-pressed, grab-and-go generation.

GIVE THEM A REASON TO WALK IN THE DOOR

Why should consumers come to your store over others? Do you have better produce? Bulk bargains? More organic? Whatever your specialty is, promote it over and over again. Offer coupons that highlight the things that make you special. Announce arrivals of limited-time offerings like Rainer cherries or the first local pumpkins. While coupons and flyers are important, make sure you save room to give attention to the things that make you really special.

MAKE MINE TO GO

While many food marketers have caught on to the need for ready-to-eat options, fewer understand that to get more of the grab-and-go market, food must be packaged and presented differently. Are your foods easy to eat in a car? On a park bench? At an office desk? Is it neat to eat? Easy to clean up? Will it leave a smell? Think through all the types of considerations the folks at Wawa and Sheetz are using when they decide which items to promote.

BUILD BRAND AWARENESS

No matter who you are, or how long you’ve been in the area, you’ll need to continually promote your name and location(s). If you don’t, other names and stores will replace yours in your customers’ minds. Pay attention to signage. Advertise a lot. Get your name, brand and logo out there in as many ways as you can. One of the biggest events of the year, the Taste of Home cooking event, is a great way to get into the hands of over 1,000 enthusiastic home cooks. Sponsorships are very limited, so contact us now to find out how you can participate.

GET LOCAL RESEARCH ON WHAT GROCERY SHOPPERS WANTlnp grocery study research  Lancaster County

If you want to know more about what shoppers in Lancaster County want from a grocery store, check out 5 Surprising Ways to Grow Grocery Sales, first posted in June.

No matter how you’re selling food, or who your target market is, LNP Media Group can help you find smart ways to increase your visibility and attract more shoppers. Contact us to find out more.

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.

 

Tourism Marketing Tips

Tourism Marketing Tips

How to Drive Visitors to Your Lancaster County Business 

Everyone in Lancaster County knows that tourism is vital to our local economy. Tourism attracts visitors not only from neighboring states, but also brings guest to our area from Europe, the Far East and India. While the Amish and Plain People’s way of life is a major draw, visitors are also searching for good food, exciting entertainment, comfortable accommodations and interesting shopping experiences. Most tourists find loads of marketing that drives activities associated with the Amish. However, our area’s restaurants, shops, lodging and entertainments have not always done as good of a job of marketing to travelers.

Lititz, PA is known for being one of the coolest small towns and for its unique shopping.

Lititz, PA is known for being one of the coolest small towns and for its unique shopping.

If visitors aren’t aware of your unique offerings, you’re leaving a substantial sum of money on the table. According to research done for Discover Lancaster, over 8 million people visited Lancaster County last year. They spent almost $2 billion in 2015, making tourism one of the fuels that drives the Lancaster County economy. In 2015, tourism industry employment was 8.2% greater than in 2011, representing more than 1,200 new jobs.

Every tourism marketer knows that if business is close to a big tourist attraction, good signage and smart merchandising may be enough to keep you profitable. But, what if you’re not next to an Amish farm? What if no one around you is selling quilts or jam? Without the staples of traditional Lancaster County tourism, you may find you’re not getting your share of the billions visitors spend each year. You will have to work harder and market smarter to ensure tourists spend their dollars at your business.

USE THE RIGHT SEARCH TERMS

Travelers can quickly get overwhelmed when planning a trip. Increasingly people are going online to get the answers to their travel questions. It’s no surprise to tourism veterans that people start thinking about trips weeks, even months ahead. Google research shows that 37% of travelers think about vacation planning at least once a month; 17% think about it at least once a week. When these travelers are ready to start mapping out itineraries, they go online. Expedia reports that the average person visits 38 sites when planning a trip. If you want Lancaster County tourists to consider your business, you need to be easy to find and rank high on relevant searches. Smart SEO strategies combined with paid search campaigns will ensure your best customers find you at the right time.

food

When travelers get hungry, they search for nearby restaurants. The right mobile marketing strategies will ensure you show up to the right tourists at the right moment.

REACH TRAVELERS IN THE MOMENT

In the past year, conversion rates have grown 88% on mobile travel sites. Reaching travelers on their phones, at moments when they’re in Lancaster County, can have a significant impact on your bottom line. LNP Media Group offers a wide range of mobile marketing strategies, including geo-fenced ads that only appear on phones when the visitors are close to your business.

TAP INTO STAYCATIONS

One of the hottest trends in vacations is staying home. “Staycations” give hard-working folks in Lancaster County a chance to rest up or catch up on home improvements. A recent AAA survey found that only 35 percent of Americans are planning on traveling more than 50 miles from their home this year for their family vacation. While staycationers may want to spend more time in their backyard, they’re still open to having fun eating out, visiting local shops or catching the latest play. Make sure your business is a well-known destination for locals as well as out-of-town visitors. You’ll not only attract staycationers, you’ll get more local business all year long.

DON’T FORGET ABOUT TOURISM GUIDES

visiting lanc

Visiting Lancaster is a great guide for tourists that features the areas attractions.

Printed tourism guides are still a staple for visitors to Lancaster County. Each year visitors pick up millions of guides. One of the best is Visiting Lancaster, published by LNP Media Group and distributed to thousands of visitors each year in hotel rooms and at tourist information centers. Our guide mixes compelling content on area attractions with well curated ads.

Ready to step up your tourist marketing efforts? Contact us to find out how LNP Media Group can help your Lancaster County business attract more visitors here and abroad.

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.

Marketing Tips for Home and Holiday Retailers

Marketing Tips for Home and Holiday Retailers

Fourth Quarter is Just Around the Corner. Are You Ready?

For businesses in the home and holiday markets, July is truly the calm before the storm. While home décor and holiday sales are traditionally very slow in July and August, September heralds the return of the hordes of eager shoppers. They’re ready to outfit their home for the cold weather and make this the best holiday season ever.  

It’s no secret that fourth quarter can make or break a home fashion or holiday business. It makes sense to start planning your fourth quarter marketing strategies early. We can help.

The Goal is Top-of-Mind Awareness

When you think of phones, which brands come to mind? When you’re considering a new vehicle, which brands do you look at first? The brands that popped into your head have top-of-mind awareness with you. They are the brands you think of first when you think of that category.

Top-of-mind awareness is one of the most powerful marketing goal. Think of your best customers today. They come to your store often. They don’t complain (much) about price. They’re loyal. You have already achieved top-of-mind awareness with those people. Wouldn’t it be great if you could create the same kind of awareness with hundreds, even thousands, of new customers? This Fall your business goals should go beyond creating awareness. You want to create top-of-mind awareness.

Here in Lancaster County LNP Media Group offers a variety of ways to create top-of-mind awareness. We all know newspaper offers a highly visual medium. But did you know that LNP readers tend to be 40+ homeowners with families and above average income? For many home and holiday marketers, that’s the sweet spot.Lancaster County Consumer Advertising

That’s why, every Fall, LNP Media Group creates special Fall home sections developed to engage homeowners looking for ways to make this season the best one ever. Contact us to discover all the ways these special advertising opportunities can help your home and holiday business.

Combine the Reach of Print with the Laser-Focus of Digital

Nothing beats LNP for creating brand awareness, but if you want to combine your awareness campaign with super-targeted digital ads, we’ve got some great tools to help drive traffic into your door at the right time. LNP Media Group offers geo-fencing, a relatively new technology that pushes your ads out to customers’ mobile devices when they’re close to your store. That means they’re g
oing to be reminded of your business when they’re already in the neighborhood.

We also help businesses create special promotional landing pages, social and internet ads and help push those ads out to the targeted audiences that are most likely to purchase your goods. Be sure to contact us so our team can explain all the exciting digital options to your business.

Promotional Marketing

Even the most loyal customer needs an occasional push to get them to shop at your business. Break through shopping apathy with exciting promotions and sales. While nothing moves people to action like super low prices, if you want to maintain margins, you may want to consider fun, thematic promotions that pique curiosity and encourage foot traffic. It requires your business to think creatively and get a little less predictable. Have a sale on everything orange. Run a scratch and win promotion. Unveil new merchandise at an invitation-only event.

And then promote it creatively with things like digital landing pages, social media ads and geo-fenced mobile ads. Fourth quarter is a time to make big, bold moves, so be creative and try moving outside of your comfort zone.

We’re Ready to Rock the Fourth Quarter

LNP Media Group is continually growing and adding new, exciting technologies to our suite of marketing and media products. If you have talked to us lately, fourth quarter is the time to get reacquainted. Give us a call and we’ll help you make this your best fourth quarter ever.

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.
Marketing Tips for Lawn and Garden Marketers

Marketing Tips for Lawn and Garden Marketers

It’s Time to Start Thinking About Fall

It’s hard to get motivated about Fall sales when the temperatures have climbed past 90 degrees, but for lawn and garden services and retailers, July marks the end of the summer selling season. It’s time to start thinking about Fall marketing efforts and to get prepared for the lawn and garden rush that begins after Labor Day.

The local lawn and gardening business has always been competitive, and Fall 2016 will be no exception. Staying top-of-mind will be key to business success as more and more retailers and lawn service flood the Central Pennsylvania market with promotional messages.

Frequency is Key to Top-Of Mind AwarenessHome Garden Lawn Fall Advertising Lancaster County

Top-of-mind awareness is a powerful marketing goal. When consumers put a business into that small set of names they
remember first, they’re also highly likely to patronize that business over less familiar names. Top-of-mind awareness also increases a business’s value to consumers. It is an image enhancer. When customers familiar enough with a business to assign it top-of-mind awareness status, they’re also much less likely to be price sensitive with that business. They’re, also less likely to shop around. They stick with the businesses they know.

One of the most effective ways to build top-of-mind awareness is through frequency. Frequency is a marketing term that refers to how often a consumer will see an ad. High frequency means consumers see the ads repeatedly. Repeated exposure to ads results in heightened awareness. And if these ads have relevant content that customers care about, that awareness can quickly escalate into top-of-mind awareness for the business.

Smart lawn and garden services here in Central Pennsylvania know they can create top-of-mind awareness with regular advertising in a major medium, like newspaper. Newspaper is an especially desired format for lawn and garden businesses, After all, LNP readers tend to be 40+ homeowners with families and a yard. Advertising in LNP not only offers affordable way to reach homeowners who care about their lawn and garden, it also offers special Fall sections developed to engage homeowners looking for ways to improve their homes, lawns and gardens this Fall. Contact us to discover all the ways your lawn and garden business can build strong awareness with LNP.

Reinforce the Message with Social Media Marketing

Newspaper are a great tool for creating top-of-mind awareness. However, when businesses combine newspaper with targeted digital campaigns, they can amplify targeted reach quickly with relatively inexpensive programs designs to build on core messages. For example, if a lawn care business promoted a series of “fall cleanup” ads in LNP, they could also target those readers again with social media ads that allows prospects to click through to a website, or find a special offer on a stand-alone landing page. Our LNP Media Group teams can help you map out synergies like this, and can also create and place social media ads, develop landing pages and proactively optimize campaign performance daily, to ensure your business gets the best results possible.

Effective Advertising Won’t Work if You’re Not Ready for the Leads

While mixing traditional and new media is a key part of growing a lawn and garden business today, there are still some old-fashioned basics that make the difference between success and failure.

Media makes the phone ring (or emails or texts ping.) However, no matter how prospects contact a business, crackerjack sales teams must be ready to take the call (or email or text) and start selling quickly.

Make sure your team is ready to handle new leads. Consumer expectations have changed. They now expect quick responses, and if you’re not ready to answer quickly, they’ll move on. For example, If someone expresses interest on your website, have someone contact them within five minutes to close the deal. And like in the past, you need to look at the bigger picture when creating a marketing plan — which could include a mix of old and new channels.

The Trifecta of Lawn and Garden Marketing

When you combine a strong print campaign with a creative social media effort, and have a team in place that is ready to respond and sell quickly, you’ve set yourself up for record Fall sales. If you want to learn more about how LNP Media Group can help you create a marketing trifecta, or how we can employ our wide range of marketing and advertising tools to take your marketing efforts to the next level, contact us today and we’ll create a custom plan that makes sense 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.
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.