How Direct Response Can Work For Your Business

Deciding what type of marketing campaign will be best for your business is the first challenge when it comes to advertising. There are basically two types you can choose from. The first is “branding” or mass marketing. The goal of branding is to remind customers or prospects about your brand and the products and services you offer. The more times your ad is run, the more likely people are to have this brand in mind when they are considering making a purchase.

 

However, if you are a small or new business, this approach is not always feasible. This brings us to the second type of marketing: Direct Response.

Direct response marketing is all about giving your prospective customer a specific action, such a picking up the phone and calling for more information, following a link to a web address or joining your email list.

Here are some of the main benefits of creating a direct response ad:

Tracking

With direct response, you are able to keep track of what ad or which media compelled your customer to pick up the phone, visit your website or place an order. This tracking information will show you would advertisement is actually working for your business, which can save you a lot of time and money in the future.

Targeting

Because you are able to measure just how effective your ad is, you can also get your hands on value information such as specific niche markets, geographic zones, and demographics based on the clicks and calls you receive. Marketing is extremely effective when it can appeal to a narrow target market.

Special Offer

Usually, direct response marketing contains a special offer decided to get prospects to engage in your call to action. It doesn’t necessarily have to sell something; it is merely a device to get more traffic to your call centers or website. The offer focuses on the prospect rather than on the advertiser. It speaks of the prospect’s interests, desires, fears, and frustrations.

Demands a Response

Instead of simply presenting information, like advertising a 50-percent off sale, direct response marketing requires the customer to respond to receive the offer. Therefore interested prospects have an easy way to respond and learn more about your products. Whether it’s calling a toll-free number to hear more information or visiting your website, your customer is obliged to respond directly to you.

Personal

Overall, direct response is the best form of advertisement when it comes to establishing a relationship with prospective customers. If you want your business to excel, there needs to be some form of connection between you and the rest of the world. You need a personal touch to make a lasting impression.

 

For more information on direct response and how to market your business, visit us at mediapartnersworldwide.com or give us a call at (562)439-3900.

 

Tips for Marketing to the Millennial Generation

Millennials are a popular topic of conversation. Whether discussing how much you hate or love them, the internet is abuzz with talk of Generation Y. But despite the negativity surrounding this generation, there are currently 80 million Millennials in the U.S. with an annual buying power of over $600 billion.

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Therefore, every marketer should be making this generation a priority.  As a millennial myself, born in 1990, I can attest to understanding our habits, likes, and dislikes. We may be particular and at time unconventional but we are still loyal to brands we love.

According to a Forbes.com and Elite Daily (the voice of Generation Y) collective study, “millennials are highly educated, career-driven, politically progressive and–despite popular belief–do indeed develop strong brand loyalty when presented with quality products and actively engaged by brands.”

With millennials as a driving force in the marketing place, here are a few key tactics geared towards engaging with this super power generation.

1. Authenticity is Essential

According to AdAge, “Millennials are spending an average of 25 hours per week online – and they’re craving content-driven media.” Between searching blogs, websites, YouTube channels and other social media platforms, we are also sharing, liking, tweeting, snapping, forwarding, pinning and commenting our findings, resulting in a huge online community. The content that strongly resounds with millennials is based on what we see value in and trust.

Millennials connect best with people over logos.

For example, blogs. 33% of millennials rely on blogs before they make a purchase, compared to the fewer than 3% who use TV news, magazines, and books. While the older generations rely on traditional media,  millennials look to social media for an authentic look at what’s going on in the world, especially content written by their peers. Despite the fact that blogs are usually run by an individual rather than corporations, millennials trust the blogger’s opinions. We use bloggers as a kind of adviser to help us make a purchasing decision.

Same with social media platforms like YouTube. I know for myself if I am interested in buying any new product or experimenting with a new brand, I first seek out reviews on YouTube. I have access to these reviews anywhere I go on my smartphone and I like the casualness of hearing someone speak candidly about something they do or do not like. Just like you would seek advice from a friend or family member, I can do that with strangers who share my interests on my social networks.

84 percent of Millennials say user-generated content has at least some influence on what they buy, and 73 percent say it’s important to read others’ opinions before purchasing.

Advertisers, therefore, need to find a way to incorporate this information into their campaigns. For brands that want to successfully reach Gen Y-ers, they need to speak our language. Meaning, they need to create content that we will proudly share, like, pin, tweet, snap, and forward to others. That way the can build a real, authentic brand-customer relationship.

2. We Want an Experience

We millennials prefer experiences over possessions. We are more interested in brands that can show us how to improve our lives, rather than brands that are pushy with selling to us.  In an age of growing minimalist and the environmentally conscience, this is particularly important. To us, possessions come and go, but experiences can resonate forever. Advertisers need to ask themselves how their brand can contribute to an overall experience for millennials.

This is where inbound marketing strategies come into play. Millennials want e-books, blog posts, videos, and other how-to information. This is your company’s chance to provide content that ranks high in Google and shows us you know what you are talking about. Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts. But they are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites.

Home Depot is an example of a company who is currently killing it with this marketing strategy. Here is their YouTube channel.

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As you can see, there are a number of how-to videos and home improvement DIYs. Not only can you buy all that you need at Home Depot, but you can learn how to install, build and be inspired all the while they are marketing themselves. Their brand and videos will continuously pop up in web searches. With over 100,000 subscribers, Home Depot’s YouTube channel is clearly ranking on Google searches with inquiries about home and garden projects.

By utilizing millennials favorite social media platforms, you can create shareable content and keep up your authenticity and trust.

 

3. Stay Relevant

Trends come and go. We all know that. However, staying on top of what is trending can help your brand, significantly, especially with hashtags and ranking in Google.

Another great brand that is reaching out perfectly to Millennials is Netflix. “While Netflix has a lot of different customers spanning different generations, Millennials are vital to this company. One way that Netflix reaches out to this generation is by having great social media campaigns and linking up Netflix accounts with Facebook. Netflix is constantly on the watch when it comes to this generation because they want to make sure they keep reaching out perfectly. Studies show 75% of millennials with connected televisions are using them to watch Netflix.”

Here is an example of on of their past advertisements.

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They took a popular hashtag about their company, used for more comedic purposes and meme creation, to target their younger generation audience. Now they are part of the trending conversation and staying relevant.

4. Collaboration

Along with wanting an experience, millennials are interested in having a say.  In fact, 42 percent said they are interested in helping companies develop future products and services. They want to be more involved with how products get created. According to aforementioned Forbes.com and Elite Daily (the voice of Generation Y) collective study, “companies that enable them to be part of the product development process will be more successful. Marketers need to focus on building relationships with consumers by fueling their self-expression and helping them establish their own personal brand.”

Here is an example provided by Hub Spot writer Meaghan Moras: “Coca-Cola used online co-creation to gather expressions of its brand promise “Energizing refreshment.” They prompted their audience to unleash their creativity by interpreting Coca-Cola as an energizing refreshment in whatever style or format they wished. Coca-Cola gathered these videos, animations, illustrations, and photographs to use in its marketing campaigns worldwide. This method was mutually beneficially in that Millennials all over the world got to pour a bit of themselves into a product made for them while helping Coca-Cola bring fresh authenticity to the market.”

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5. Communication and Connection

Staying engaged with the millennial generation is very important. This includes commenting on social media posts, posting consistently, and giving us the impression that each customer is important. A great example of how to do this is through giveaways, special discounts, contests, and loyalty programs. A platform we haven’t discussed much yet is Instagram. According to the Huffington Post, “The visual platform has been rapidly growing and now boasts 300 million monthly active users, with 41% being aged 16-24 and at 35% are in their 24-34s.” These numbers show that your brand needs to be engaging with us through this app. The most successful of brands that use Instagram feature photos regularly (have I mentioned how important consistency is?)and dedicate hashtags. They post pictures on their page that their followers have tagged them in. They invite popular Instagrammers to take over their page to keep their brand fresh and new. We millennials are definitely flattered when a brand we love acknowledges us. I know for myself, I have tagged brands in some of my personal Instagram posts and even a “like” back makes me feel special.

Finding ways to boost engagement will do nothing but improve your chances as being noticed by the trendsetting generation.

Wrap Up

Find the authenticity of your brand and run with it.

Stop screaming “buy!” and start yelling” We have an experience for you!”

Stay up to date on trends and use them to your advantage.

Get us involved in your products.

Consistency. Engagement. Connection.

Writing Radio Ads that Work

Bad writing can mean the death of your radio campaign.writing

Because the power of radio relies so heavily on the quality of the copy, it is in your best interest to find a writer who recognizes this medium and understands how to target your specific audience.

Here are some tips for writing ads that will work and generate sales.

1. When Hiring a Writer

The best writers are those with broadcast experience. Radio relies on skill and salesmanship so you need someone who has an understanding of  direct response marketing. You also need to be willing to spend some money, as good writers aren’t cheap.

When hiring a writer, remember to let them write. Good writers will listen to you, but they will also do what is necessary to create the best ad to sell your product. Don’t get in their way and take over the project. Let them do what you hired them for.

2. Timing

Most radio spots are broken up into 30 second or 60 second segments. 60 seconds gives you twice the amount of time to get listeners attention. 30 seconds are usually good for well known products or a simply offer. We typically advocate for a 60 second commercial, as you need to mention the phone number or call to action, such as go to your website, at least three times. A 30 second advertisement is usually too short to include everything you need.

3. Call Now!

Since the main focus of direct response advertisement is to make the phone ring with inquiries, everything in the spot should prompt the listener to pick up the phone and call. Offer free consultations, free information or limited time offers to instill a sense of urgency in the customer. You want them to ACT NOW.

4. Selling Comes First

When you only have 60 seconds to work with, every single second counts. Get the listeners attention, make an offer and generate a response. That is your objective.  A good way to test if your ad is concise enough, remove the product from the copy. If you still have a complete concept, then your ad isn’t selling. The product, website, offer, phone number or selling idea should make up the entire spot.

5. Know Your Audience

This is key in any form of advertising. With radio, you have two options: Talk Radio and Music Radio.

With Talk Radio, your audience is ready to listen. Catching the listeners attention or blending into the surrounding talk are two ways to infiltrate talk radio. You want to encourage further listening.

With music radio, your ad will be an interruption. Your spot must peak the listeners interest before they can change the station.

6. Choose a Creative Format

There isn’t a set way to write a radio ad, however, here are a few creative formats that have been proven to work and get your listeners calling.

Straight Announcer- With a clear, straightforward copy and a strong, direct voice, nothing could be simpler for your ad. The announcer should speak as if addressing one single person. Asking questions such as “Have you ever…?” or “Wouldn’t you like…?” helps create a personal connection with the listener and makes the ad feel less like a lecture. With the right voice, this effortless approach can pull listeners in quickly.

Dialog – A typical example of this type of format, involves two people conversing with one another. One person is excited about a product or service and wants to share this information with the other person, who knows nothing about it. That person asks questions, while the other relays the information, thus divulging your product or services main information. If you have voices that match your demographic, speaking in a believable way, then this ad will come across as a testimony or referral, which is great for business.

Person on the Street– Asking real people what they think of your product is a great attention grabber. Get the person you are talking to on the street to describe how the product worked in their own words, or how it benefited them. Ask if they would recommended this product to others. Listeners will hear real people giving their true opinions and this will act as a testimony to your product. You can take this one step further by having the person on the street address the audience directly. Add in a celebrity endorsement or an experts opinion works great as well.

Vignette– This creative format, starts off with a short life scene exhibiting a problem. Then it cuts to the announcer who will describe your product as the solution. Time permitting, the life scene will continue, this time to show how your product has made their life easier. Make sure to return to the announcer to end the spot with a call to action and your 800 number.

7. Establish name identification early and often

Give the name of your company, service or product early in the spot. Since you only have 60 seconds, you want to establish everything your listener needs to know about your business as quickly and efficiently as possible. Repeat this information at least three times throughout the ad.

8. Use a memorable or relevant 800 number

Most radio isn’t interactive, like podcasts and apps like Pandora where you can click to call or purchase right from your phone. Most listeners are in the car or at work when they hear your ad. Therefore, they need to be able to remember your phone number if a phone isn’t within their reach.  A special 800 number relevant to your product, is very helpful.

9. Call to Action

Answer the question that listeners might have: “What do you want me to do right now?” Of course, you want them to call! Don’t be subtle about it either. For example, the announcer could say, “For a free brochure on how to get rid of extra weight fast, call 1-800-LOSE-FAT.”

10. Limited Time Offers

People respond well to limited time offers. It provokes a sense of urgency and urges a call to action. People don’t like to miss out on good deals. Establishing a deadline forces an immediate response.

I hope you found these tips for writing radio advertisements helpful! For more information, call us at 800-579-3031.

Direct Response Writing for Success

EngageWriting for Direct Response requires a different approach as compared with regular retail radio advertising that focuses on developing a brand and image. While some of the same key approaches are required for any successful radio campaign, here are some of the essential elements a direct response radio script needs:

  • Speak to the heart of the listener with a clear purpose to solve their problem. From the start, your commercial needs to be about the listener, not the product. How does your product or service provide benefit to them – their needs and desires
  • Present the unique benefits of your product in relation to how it solves the listener’s problem. You may have a product that is similar to your competitor’s, thus you must present a compelling unique characteristic that sets you apart. You can focus attention on a characteristic or benefit that your competitor is not talking about. Competing products may be quite similar, thus the advertiser who communicates a unique benefit will set themselves apart
  • Include a strong offer: A special limited time free trial, discount, risk free incentive, or low introductory price. You must communicate the idea that if people do not respond to your offer immediately, they will pay too much later or miss out. The stronger the offer, the stronger the appeal of your direct response radio copy, and the greater the response you will see
  • Refer back to the benefits of the product later on in the script after drawing in the listener on a personal level after stating the offer.  Repeat the offer in the CTA (Call to Action)
  • Your Call to Action should be focused. A phone number repeated, or a website.  Not both.  Don’t give listeners an option to call or go to a website. The result will be fewer responses.  Listeners should only be given one clear call to act
  • Consider using Vanity 800 numbers and URLs

It’s that simple. Is your message and offer compelling enough for the listener to stop what they are doing and call you now? So, start thinking about what your company is, who you are trying to reach, what gives you an edge, what is your incentive – and then give us a call and we can put together a direct response media campaign structured to succeed!

What Elements Make Up an Effective Radio Ad?

Radio advertising is an often overlooked avenue to market a product and/or service. Yet it continues to be a tremendous source for cost-effective lead generation, especially now in trying economic times. However, writing radio ads is a learned art form that is only effective when done by experienced professionals. When all is said and done, an ad written by an expert will drive a lower cost-per-lead than would an ad written by an amateur. The first thing to know is that success with any given radio ad campaign is dependent on your ability to trust the writer; give the writer the freedom to do what he/she does best. Here are some elements that will lead to a successful radio campaign.

Drive a Direct Response

Running a radio ad certainly creates brand awareness, but an even greater value is found in driving a customer to call your 1-800 number. Then it’s up to your call center to turn leads into conversions. With a great radio spot, customers will not be calling to ask questions, rather to make purchases. This is the art of direct-response advertising; this is the art of writing spots with an effective call to action.

Make an Emotional Connection

Emotions are the greatest driving forces for human action. Even our own thoughts are vulnerable to be overcome by strong emotions. Successful advertisers have known this for decades and have been cashing in ever since. If you want someone to act immediately or if you want an ad to be remembered, rousing emotion is imperative.

Choose the Right Creative Approach

In order to illicit a direct response, we’ve already discussed how emotions play a significant role. But how is this accomplished? One way is through the script design itself. Creative formats range from testimonials and sole announcer, to story-form and vignette. Remember, the most-effective format for your ad is dependent upon your industry and product/service. Also, make sure to understand why your professional writer chose the particular format, and then trust him/her to execute it.

Consider the Production Value

Have you ever seen a good movie that would have been great if they’d invested more money into the production? Or have you seen a dated TV commercial that makes you think poorly of the product? The same goes for radio ads, except you generally only have 30 or 60 seconds to leave a lasting mark. Good writers will set up the scene with sound effects that not only compliment the spoken words, but encourage an emotional response as well. Poor-quality sound effects can distract your audience or even give the entire spot a dated feel to it.

As a full-service direct response advertising agency, Media Partners Worldwide (MPW) has been a leader in direct response radio advertising since 1997. With pre-negotiated remnant rates and innovative advertising strategies, MPW consistently delivers low-cost, highly targeted campaigns to its clients.

To get your Radio Advertising Evaluation and find out how remnant radio will increase cash flow for your business visit www.MediaPartnersWorldwide.com or call 1-800-579-3031.