The debate over the value of television advertising versus other media began almost as soon as television became a consumer item. The whole concept of commercial television is built around – well, commercials. It’s been right there in front of us, yet many people have never connected the dots. It is really all about the commercials.
Have I got a deal for you!
Getting viewers involved with program content assumes that they will also watch the commercials. (Why else would anyone in the Carolinas have watched the entire Super Bowl 50?) However, advanced technology may be crumbling the foundation of that assumption. For years, the main obstacles to TV advertising were the refrigerator and the bathroom. Commercials were, pardon the expression, “the time to go.” Today, the devil is the DVR. I have a friend who prefers not to watch live TV, but records what he wants to watch. When he has time to watch, he fast-forwards through all of the commercials. Good for him. Bad for the advertisers.
The devil’s twin brother.
It’s Not About the Cost
Arguments about the cost of TV advertising are a waste of time. They are expensive. Period. Set aside that issue, because nearly all commercial advertising is an expense – a cost of doing business. The issue is not cost. It is where to use the spend to gain the maximum return – in this case, lead generation for your home improvement business.
It’s About Exposure
TV advertising is great for exposure. It is a lot like trolling for fish. Your business draws its line through the area where you believe the most fish are at the time you are casting your line. The hope is that, among an entire audience (school) of fish, at least one will take the bait and land in your boat.
I’m not buying it. After all, I’m just a kid.
TV is a difficult medium to use for reaching a target audience. Although tens of thousands may actually be watching when your commercial airs, many of them will not be homeowners. Others will be unemployed and/or living from paycheck to paycheck. They are not interested. Rule out viewers who are college age or younger and those who are living in a retirement home, and the size of the desired audience can be quite small compared to the number of viewers that your local TV stations claims to have at any given time.
It’s About Prime Time
The biggest advertisers get the best time slots. On a national basis, as measured in 2011, the Top Five advertisers on network TV were AT&T, Verizon, GEICO, State Farm, and Direct TV. The Top Five advertisers on Google AdWords were – don’t miss this! – Lowe’s, Amazon, Home Depot, University of Phoenix, and State Farm. It appears that the big-box home improvement chains may know where to utilize their advertising budget best.
NOTE: The number one AdWords spend was $59.1 million which was only 18% of the fifth largest spend on TV.
It’s About Local
If you are going to advertise on television (We are not suggesting that you should not), the issue is how to do so most effectively. What comprises most of the local advertising in your town? New car dealers? Lawyers? Healthcare institutions? Restaurants? All of the above? We recommend against trying to compete with them.
There’s a Better Way
The best ways to use local TV for lead generation is not through commercials. Find a way to get the exposure and lead generation at little to no cost. Two suggestions:
- Negotiate a regular guest segment on an existing local morning or midday broadcast. It doesn’t cost a thing. You get exposure and convey your expertise. The more often and regularly you do this, the more leads will be generated. This is not just advertising. This is gaining respect.
- Subsidize instead of advertising. Example: Some local meteorologists link a charity, a business, and a weather forecast together. If the forecaster predicts the local temperature within three degrees, the company donates $100 to the local charity. In most cases, these campaigns last a month. Your business gets mention and exposure at the same time every day. Plus, your “advertising” spend (or, at least, a portion of it) is tax deductible, because it goes to a registered 501(c)3.
Our purpose in this post is to get you thinking about the idea of using TV advertising for effective lead generation and to help you see that commercials are not the option.
The overall purpose of Keyword Connects is helping your business get quality leads. Learn how Keyword Connects works and why we are different from all the rest.