My Unique Advertising Story
Learning how to work with small business advertising for over 4 decades while being a small business owner myself, I feel, has given me a unique perspective. What I mean is I’ve both sold advertising as a local TV sales rep and bought it as a small business owner.
Why this sets me apart as an expert in digital media is my experience is somewhat unique having been on both sides of how it’s supposed to work. I learned it by spending my own money. (Back then I was raising a young family as well)
Contrast that with most local media sales reps from any and every company contacting you about digital advertising and they’ve been mostly trained to sell the main media they work for first.
They have never taken money from their own pocket and paid for “air-time”, 30 seconds of air and its gone! Thousands of dollars spent and your left to wonder, did anyone see it?
More importantly, will they respond to it in a way that at least takes the next step in paying me back my investment?
Any good local sales rep must first sell you time/space on their media and then offer you other services like web design, social media management, video production or maybe all they offer are sales of “impressions” … which has always been only an estimated number in any traditional media.
Digital media is now tracked in ways I did dream of as a TV sales rep.
That was how my interest in the online world of advertising evolved over the last 3 decades.
As a retail business owner in the 1980’s spending my own money as “an investment” in my business to keep sales going every month was difficult.
Many times, I questioned which radio, newspaper or TV station should I advertise with?
As the Internet has evolved, we all know, it changed advertising of every type forever!
I’m “self-educated”… meaning no college degree, and if you’re the type that thinks you only want to work with college educated people, I’m good with that, we probably wouldn’t be a good fit anyway.
I taught myself how to build in WordPress out of necessity, I had no money to hire others to help, but I did look for talented, underappreciated people, who might want to take a chance on working together and share together in the fruits of our labors.
Playing to each other’s strengths and each doing their job, should work, right? Not so much for me.
After years of struggle I’m willing to admit, it might be me… but it’s always been an issue finding people who would do as they say.
I, therefore, became very focused on never promising something to a client I couldn’t deliver on, and now more than ever I do that.
I’ve learned what I can and cannot do, or more accurately, what I want to put the time into learning.
But I’ve also learned when I need to bring in help.
I know how to build you a nice website in WordPress, but I am not a coder.
I enjoy the psychology behind how advertising works and can help design your website to give your customers the best user experience possible, but I’m not a “shrink”.
My biggest competition in web design is “FREE”… We all have access to the knowledge to learn how to do something…
Now more than ever many people use a free website builder to at least attempt to do it themselves and save money. EVERY ONE of those who tries, never gets it done completely, because a website is never really “done”.
Over the past 7 years while learning to work with WordPress, everything thing I was learning was also evolving and changing how it might be done. Not to mention that everything you do to build a site usually has several ways you can accomplish the same thing.
The point I’m getting at, is, that no one can really keep up anymore with how marketing and advertising a business is done because it’s continually evolving.
Having the traditional “if its not broke, why fix it” mentality will continue to become riskier for businesses to operate under. Many industries like travel, hotel, Real Estate, Car Shopping, etc. have had their business models completely transformed and the list continues to grow.
The reason I’m sharing my background is to give you an idea of what my experiences have taught me and how I prove what works before I offer my services to others.
I’ve been working with small businesses over the past 30+ years and 20+ years online.
I have clients who have continued to pay me every month to support their digital marketing efforts with web development, social media management and video production.
I’ve used a monthly strategy of free posting to social media channels and additionally a relatively small dollar ad budget that target each client’s best possible audience.
This has been happening effectively year after year… why would these clients continue to pay me if they had not seen results? Fact is, they wouldn’t!
I find simple strategies that work, then repeat and “tweak” them to work better.
The following explains more detail about I’ve learned from my experiences and the strategies I’ve used with other businesses of various types and what has worked for them.
Different Approach to Website Design!
In today’s info saturated world, the need for simplicity has never been greater!
Great Web Design today is about one page.
Very few local businesses approach it with simplicity in mind.
Many still see their website as an “online brochure” but that is not how their prospects and customers see it or how they want to use your website.
The majority of people today research their purchases online, but most often visit their local retailer to purchase, the business whose website meets their needs will usually get their business.
FREE WEBSITES offering “Do it Yourself” design editors abound and make it seem so simple to do yourself.
However, Web Design when done correctly to work with search engines is MUCH MORE involved than that.
There are those who work with web design who may have the “technical knowledge” or may even be coders, yet lack advertising and marketing skills to know what works best for specific customers.
You must build a website that focuses on your customers just a little more than your business and brings together the info your prospects and customers are looking for to make your investment pay off!
You can learn to make basic changes yourself so you do not need to continue to pay for updates or you can hire someone to do it for you.
How New Tech Advertising works for Local Business.
I have worked with small business owners and been one myself for nearly 40 years.
I have learned through experience what local small business owners need to know about advertising on the Internet and what works.
I openly and willingly share with you from that experience and maybe, if you have time, can learn how to do it yourself too, or learn why to hire it done for your business.
Today keeping up with marketing and advertising your business has become nearly impossible if you are working in your business daily.
I have talked with so many business owners who tell me “I just need someone to do this for me” and that is how my services have evolved into what I am doing today!
Digital advertising has changed how businesses reach their customers because what has traditionally worked has become so invasive. We all have learned how to “tune it out”, so with traditional media much of your advertising budget is wasted on people who may never become your customer!
“Content campaigns” are you creating daily posts related to your business type or industry and with an emphasis on “being social” and informational.
The “socially acceptable” method of using social media for business says that 80% of what you post not be advertising about your business. Using about 20% of your posts to promote your business will not offend most users.
Create a monthly posting schedule in advance of what you want posted to your social channels.
The posts can include links to your current offer, product info, event or any web page you decide to direct it to.
Facebook has also become a paid advertising media that allows ad campaigns to reach way beyond those who “like or “follow” your business.
Much of traditional media’s audience has moved online and people now spend more time daily on social channels than they do with TV and significantly more than with radio and newspapers.
Facebook content providers have taken over those audiences and your customers attention to captivate them into using the best of traditional media, including using videos and images designed to capture the attention of your potential customers.
You could hire someone to design and create the content for those campaigns and then schedule them for yourself every month.
However, keep in mind there are many rules and regulations when advertising on Facebook and every other social channel such as YouTube, Twitter, etc. and understanding the right ways to set it up are critical or your campaigns could possibly be penalized or not run at all.
Do you have time to learn all there is to know about EVERY social channel?
Or which you should use?
Or even know for sure which will provide the best results for every advertising dollar you spend?
Small businesses today need to create and manage the content, plus those paid campaigns on each channel they choose for their business every month!
If You Aren’t Utilizing Video in Your Marketing Campaign You Are Missing Out on A Huge Opportunity
0% Of People Remember The Video Ads They See Online
80% of people remember the video ads they see online
Almost 50% of web users look for a video before visiting a store, says Google.
Wyzowl says that 79% of consumers prefer watching video to reading about a product.
And Hubspot says that 43% of consumers want to see more video content this year.
On and on the statistics can go on about the effectiveness of using videos on your website and social channels.
High Quality video has typically been expensive to produce. Do-it-yourself software abounds but, again, who has time to learn?
Today having affordable high-quality video is so important I can’t emphasize it enough! However, the cost to produce the videos you need has dropped in recent years making it more affordable for most businesses.
These 3 areas of digital marketing form a solid foundation for your business to advertise effectively online.
In the very least my experience gives me a rather unique position to view businesses digital marketing strategies and I have been around since the beginning to watch it evolve.
Many of my predictions about how it would happen were true and some not, I don’t think anyone correctly imagined where technology would take us when it came to advertising and the levels of sophistication we could achieve.
Digital Marketing and Advertising has become an impossible task to keep up with. Focusing your message to match your prospects and customers’ needs is essential.
The saying “the right message, right place, right time” has never applied more than to online digital advertising today.
People no longer want to be “advertised to” but want to find you when they are ready to purchase AND they want to see that others have had a good experience with your business in the form of “reviews”.
We now see national chains offering “buy online pickup in store” (I’ve been saying that was coming for about the last 3 years). E-commerce is exploding as large retail chains fold up.