Category Archives: Advertising

The Ever-Evolving Marketing Industry

“Whatever happened to traditional marketing?”

If you’ve been working in marketing and advertising for more than a decade, you’ve probably asked yourself that question once or twice. The simple answer: data sophistication. Several decades ago, businesses and organizations had access to a short-list of techniques that could help them promote their businesses. However, today’s marketing industry is constantly evolving with data sophistication, and in order for clients to achieve success, individual agencies must do the same.

There was an era when advertising agencies merely matched a radio or TV station’s ratings with their demographics and then placed the ad schedule for their clients. As the industry evolved, media buying became super-categorized by market share, programming, demographics and more. With buyer profiles and habits, household incomes, and so much more, marketing professionals began to have the capability to tally quantitative and qualitative data for use in their clients’ marketing plans, strategies and campaigns.

The industry is currently experiencing the power of the internet, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which can help marketing professionals target a diverse audience for clients. We now can learn about our audience’s online searching and buying habits, as well as social and engagement trends. These outlets have opened communication channels between brands and their audiences, keeping them totally connected 24/7.

Compared to all the data and statistics available these days, marketing research back then could be considered “cut-and-dried.” And over the next decade, even our current marketing strategies and techniques may seem ancient. That could seem a little intimidating, but there’s a reason why agencies like Yearick-Millea offer services to help businesses and brands make sense of this information in order to craft a successful marketing or public relations campaign. The industry is changing by the minute, and we are responsible for changing along with it.

How to Advertise on Facebook

Advertising on Facebook is now an essential part of a brand’s strategy to get their message out on the social media platform, due to the way Facebook’s algorithm has impacted organic reach (the number of people who see unpaid brand content). If you aren’t already using Facebook advertising for your brand or business, you may be wondering where to get started.

Here at Yearick-Millea, we have a few recommendations for brands that we help to effectively advertise on Facebook:

• We generally recommend using two types of ads—a page likes ad and web traffic ad—but that essentially depends on what your business goals are. For example, if you are an e-commerce site, your goals could be tied to pushing a specific product instead of general website traffic.

• Use eye-catching creative and interesting, informative copy to encourage people to click on the ad – your ad only has a brief period of time to grab the attention of your targeted audience.

• Monitor ads and make necessary changes to images, copy or target audience if the ad is not performing well enough. However, let ads run for at least a month before making hasty changes. Also, keep in mind that your ad performance will depend on your ad budget – Don’t expect to double your audience size with a small budget.

Facebook ads are a relatively cheap way for companies to advertise online compared to other services such as Google Adwords. A budget of $200-$300 a month for a smaller business can provide a decent return for the chosen business goals.

Contact Yearick-Millea to learn more about how we can help with your social media strategy. 

Our Favorite Super Bowl XLIX Commercials

Super Bowl XLIX is in the books, and though the New England Patriots came out on top, so did a lot of the commercials.

The Yearick-Millea staff has compiled a list of some of our favorites. Here’s a look:

Budweiser’s “Lost Dog”

Lauren: I enjoyed the Budweiser lost puppy commercial – for the way that it evoked emotion. It was obviously pretty cute, too!

Stephanie: A cute puppy works every time.

John: You can’t go wrong with the puppy and the Clydesdales.

Esurance’s “Say My Name”

John: As a “Breaking Bad” fan, I got a big kick out of the Esurance commercial starring Walter White (Bryan Cranston).

Discover’s “Surprise”

Heidi: I’ve watched YouTube videos with screaming goats because they’re so funny! Even though this commercial aired pretty early on in the night, it was definitely my favorite.

Loctite Glue’s “Positive Feelings”

Ian:  I liked it because the last thing I thought I’d see on Super Sunday was a hilarious glue commercial with a catchy beat and fanny packs.

NO MORE’s Domestic Violence PSA

Jay: This is a sensitive subject, but it was very well done.

However, not all commercials–serious or funny–are getting the thumbs up from viewers. Nationwide Insurance’s “Make Safe Happen” spot has received a lot of criticism for being too dark and depressing for the Super Bowl, and some viewers were confused about the insurance company’s intent. What do you think?

In your opinion, what were the best and worst Super Bowl XLIX commercials? Let us know in the comments!

Why a video for your business is important

Why produce a video? That’s a question that’s been asked by/within companies for a long time. “Give me one good reason why I should spend the money to make a video of my business…” remains a frequently-heard CEO challenge.

Well, there’s more than one reason! A quality video is one of the best marketing tools that a business can have when competing with other companies for clients or projects. A well-produced video can be used as:

  • An introduction to your company designed to attract potential new clients
  • A reintroduction for absentee clients who need a reason to become active clients again
  • A stronger, more memorable impression of your company and its services
  • Company collateral when prospecting for new business

Truthfully, some of the reasons for not making a corporate video in the past—high cost, slow turnover and viewing restrictions— were quite valid, but today’s digital age has radically changed many of the standard steps involved with making a corporate video. High quality videos can be shot on many devices and edited (with voice-over) on a laptop, and former month-long projects have been reduced to several days.

Long gone are the days of VHS tapes/players—videos now can be watched on the internet, PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets, making it easier to present and distribute your content.

We’ll explore the type of content that should be included in company videos in a future blog post. In the meantime, contact us if you want to learn more about creating a video for your business/organization!


(c) Can Stock Photo

Attracting New Business

If you’re in a small business like ours, you know first-hand how vital it is to seek our new customers or expand opportunities with existing ones.

In the restaurant world, a chef might add a new entrée.  In the retail business, a local mom-and-pop shop might run a contest on social media. Both scenarios revolve around a common thread — generating a buzz about your business to attract new customers.

Has your business changed with the hiring of a specialized employee?  Has your company started making or selling a new product, or opened a new location?  Your prospecting program should be designed to make the most of developments like these.

Here are some tools you should consider to help you do so:

  • An accurate and continually updated e-mail database of customers and prospects
  • A mechanism for reaching your customers and prospects on a regular basis, whether it’s an electronic newsletter, a monthly “secret sale” for loyal customers or an informal breakfast meeting with a new business prospect
  • A vibrant website that is continually adding new content
  • A comprehensive social media program focused on the right forum for your targeted audience

Beyond the website, none of these tools has to be a major financial investment.  They just require persistence and a regular investment of time.  Successful gardeners know the work doesn’t stop when the seeds are planted.  The same rules apply to your customer acquisition program.  Take a few hours each week and see what a little watering can do for your business.

PR for Small Business: When Is It Time to Call-in The Experts?

When is it time for a small business to call in a public relations professional? Typically, the answer depends on factors such as your current workload, responsibilities, priorities and your company’s overall level of expertise in that arena.  Here are a few common scenarios for small businesses that don’t have a dedicated marketing or public relations function:

  • Your company is set to introduce a new product line.
  • It’s time to open a new store or manufacturing facility in your town and you need to inform the local community.
  • You are in-charge of a trade show presentation and need help creating a display and attracting prospects to your booth.

Now, here are a few questions: Do you or someone on your staff know how to make all the arrangements for a trade show, including reserving space, coordinating panel copy and design, ordering on-site labor or collecting sales leads? Do you have the media contacts necessary to arrange coverage of your company’s trade show presence, product rollout or grand opening? Are you confident in your ability to write a press release, follow-up with reporters or draft associated content for your website, printed literature and other outbound messaging?  If not, it could be time to reach out to the experts.

For many public relations firms and practitioners, the situations I’ve mentioned are their bread and butter. Leaving that type of work to an experienced firm or practitioner not only saves you time and stress, but typically leads to better results, greater awareness and more sales or traffic at your store or trade show booth.

Almost every city has a community of small PR firms and individual practitioners ready to help your business make a splash for fees that fit comfortably within your budget.  Few people would consider handling a legal issue for their company without outside expertise.  There’s no need to do so with your next trade show, product roll-out or grand opening, either.  For help, simply search the internet for PR firms in your city or visit the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) website.  There’s sure to be a good fit for your business.

How Brands Are Using Snapchat

Snapchat, the free photo- and video-sharing app that allows users to share self-destructing photos/brief videos (“snaps”), is the latest social sharing app being used to drive brand awareness and grow brand loyalty.

Brands that are targeting a younger demographic, who are more likely to use Snapchat, are finding the app especially useful. Snapchat’s video and “My Story” features, in which a user puts together a series of snaps that can be viewed by all their “friends” for a 24-hour window, are the most common ways that brands are reaching out to their customers. Both these features let brands share more information than one single picture can.

Brands are sharing promotions, launching new products and sharing behind-the-scenes footage for those people who follow them on Snapchat. The common denominator between brands that use Snapchat seems to be the brand’s voice – young, fun-loving and they don’t take themselves too seriously.

Taco Bell chat

A story from Taco Bell featured on Snapchat.

The unique benefit of using Snapchat to grow brand awareness is the focus the app requires from users– Snapchat’s users are consciously clicking on snaps or stories to see what brands are sharing. Unlike Instagram, Twitter or Facebook where users can just scroll over a brand’s post or paid ad, users are actively seeking out brand content on Snapchat. Where else on the Internet does your content get that much attention?

How Less Content In An Ad Can Be More Productive

It’s long been the belief of some advertisers that “bigger is better,” meaning a company’s message should provide you—the consumer—with every little detail that can be wedged into a sales pitch. Make the ad big, bold and bright! That practice, fortunately, is beginning to fade.

Shoppers today are more selective about the advertising they choose to review. Readers/viewers are able to tell the difference between an ad that’s “over the top” with superfluous text and flashy graphics, and one that gets straight to the point and carries a focused message. With today’s hectic lifestyles, consumers don’t have the time to read lengthy claims. They know what they want to purchase and want to determine whether or not you have it.

Think about it: How often have you driven by an outdoor display but were unable to read its message because the artwork was so busy? Have you ever browsed through a magazine, newspaper or online ad only to have your interest disappear in a maze of words and useless glitter?

Thankfully, more and more companies that advertise on a regular basis are discovering the value of stepping back from their (or their agency’s) work, placing themselves in the role of their consumer and asking, “Is my message clear?” The answer to that question lies with the firm’s return on investment. If the leaner/cleaner new advertising is producing higher sales totals and improved revenue, then you’ve discovered the “secret” to getting more out of less.

Pinterest Launches Ads

Everyone’s favorite virtual pinboard, Pinterest, just launched ads for the social network this past week. Tearing a page out of Instagram’s book, ads are being tested by a small group of brands in the fashion, food and travel industries, all of which are highly visual industries, making them perfect for Pinterest.

To minimize user unhappiness over the introduction of ads, they will not be placed in users’ home feeds, the start-up page of the site. The ads will look just like regular pins, only being distinguished with “promoted pin” text at the bottom, similar to Twitter and Instagram’s ad models.

pinterest

Once Pinterest expands its ad program to accommodate other businesses, it will be something for businesses in the retail, food, travel, home design or other popular Pinterest categories to consider. Another reason for businesses to consider advertising on Pinterest would be their target audience – if women (who account for 92 percent of all pins on the site) are your target audience, it should be something you explore.

Pinterest will need to lower its prices considerably for smaller companies to be able to advertise with them though, as reports are showing that the social network is asking for commitments between $1 million and $2 million for the testing phase.

Traditional Advertising in the Digital Age

The dictionary describes the word traditional as, “something that has been used by society, or a particular group, for an extended period of time.”  In the field of marketing, that definition can be accurately applied to advertising.

Traditional advertising has been in use since the earliest days of modern civilization.  Posters on a wall, leaflets, rudimentary newspapers and even the heralded town crier all existed then—many have survived and grown to this very day with the sole purpose of disseminating targeted information to the general public.  And by doing that, traditional advertising has played a vital role in global history.

But how is traditional advertising faring within our current digital age?  How has the time and preparation required by the standard approach to advertising been impacted by today’s faster, easier and less complicated approach to “stating your case?”  Simply put, traditional advertising is alive and well, and it’s even co-existing quite nicely with web-based methods of marketing.

The secret to obtaining the highest degree of results from both forms of advertising is allowing them to work together for your common goal — profits.  Web advertising alone will not necessarily achieve the desired results. However, incorporating your website and/or social media URLs into your traditional outreach campaign (TV, outdoor, print ads, direct mail, etc.) will increase the odds of attracting customers. Once consumers make it to your website, Facebook page, Twitter page, etc., the web content could hold their attention and increase the chances of new business relationships.

So if you’re on the fence regarding where to direct your advertising revenue for the foreseeable future, you may feel confident in the knowledge that the strategic combination of traditional advertising — utilizing references that drive people to your attractive, informative website and social media pages — will result in increased brand awareness and greater profitability for your business.