Category Archives: Integrated Marketing

Marketing Director’s Guide to Traditional Advertising in 2020

Old School Media items

Many people are quick to assume that digital marketing is the ideal method to deliver their content and reach their customers, and they have a point—to a degree. 

Statistics show that 70% of consumers prefer to learn about products through content as opposed to conventional ads. Preferring content may be due to conventional-ad overload, or a simple desire to combine advertising with actionable information that you can find in marketing videos, blog posts, or other media.

However, this doesn’t mean that traditional advertising doesn’t have its perks. 79% of customers say that they read direct mail ads, which means the market penetration is still there. Also, a sizable chunk of customers still consider print advertising the most trustworthy type of advertising, and many will head to your company website after looking at traditional advertising. 

So, perhaps the best way to look at traditional advertising is by thinking about it not as something to be replaced, but rather, as something that can upgrade and integrate into other things while taking advantage of its pros and mitigating its cons.

How Is Traditional Advertising Purchased Today?
The greater traditional marketing umbrella includes the most common advertising methods that we’ve seen all our lives, including:

  • Print (newspaper, magazines)
  • Broadcast (TV, radio)
  • Direct Mail
  • Telemarketing
  • Billboards/Outdoor

How you go about purchasing advertising space is likely to vary depending on the medium. For example, if you were to look into advertising in a print magazine, you would generally reach out to the sales team there and discuss a package. In this case, a package may include the size of the ad you want, the frequency for running the ad, and the ideal placement for your ad. 

If you were looking to advertise your dietary supplement in a health magazine, you would likely place your ad in or near an article about supplements. Many magazines will give you a frequency benefit, where you buy ads over a given period for a discount or feature you in a special section.

However, this isn’t the same for every type of traditional media. If you were running a direct mail advertising campaign, for example, your price would be determined by how many mailers you wanted to send. The type of paper you wanted them printed on and the radius you were looking to see covered also play significant factors in total cost. 

For broadcast advertising on cable, you would make your ad buy based on the channels you want to appear on and your timing. Every traditional advertising method has a different purchasing style, which can be a shock to digital-only marketers who are typically using pay-per-click, impression, and programmatic buying techniques.

For those interested in using multiple methods or transitioning from digital-only to a digital/traditional hybrid, working with an agency is best. Agencies generally already have media partnerships with magazines, radio, and television, among others, and receive discounted rates. So, rather than doing the research and dealing with multiple media reps and processes, the agency does the work for you. If you want to handle it internally, be wary about bundled options that benefit the media companies more than you. Even with tracking, if you don’t have a strategic plan for capturing and converting leads, it can be difficult to determine success or failure.

Better Ways To Track Campaigns
Choosing the preferred marketing vehicle or vehicles is only the beginning of putting together a successful campaign. Strong marketing often ebbs and flows: you make shifts as your audience changes or responds to what you are putting out. The only way to do this effectively is by getting plenty of marketing data, understanding it, and capitalizing on it. Data is one area where traditional marketing has historically fallen short of digital. However, that’s changed. Integrated marketing strategies have made it a lot easier to track data through traditional marketing. Here are a few examples.

Vanity URLs
vanity URL is a branded web address for your pages, generally designed for easy memorability. However, these are also useful when it comes to traditional marketing integration. It’s a lot easier to put a vanity URL on a mailer or other physical piece of advertising than a traditional address. If you use a tracking cookie with the vanity URL, you can quickly determine how many customers are accessing your site, engaging, and converting.

Call Tracking Numbers
Call tracking entails putting a unique phone number on a piece of marketing. Adaptive for any form of messaging, call tracking can be used with traditional and digital. When a customer or client calls that number, you immediately see the engagement, and they can be put into the next stage of the sales funnel and credited to that particular piece of advertising. You can also record the phone conversation to determine if messaging is on point and help train your sales team. Split testing with two different numbers is a great way to see if one piece of advertising is helping more with conversions than others. For example, if you have two billboards on different sides of town, call tracking can help you determine which one is more effective.

Neighborhood-Specific Content
Customizing your content based on different neighborhoods can be useful for those looking into direct mail, but generally only for hyper-local businesses. However, it does enable you to test your messaging in real-time. If one style of content gets better traction in one neighborhood, you may want to make that the message you use for other neighborhoods also.

New Technology Across The Industry
There are also other pieces of new technology that are modernizing traditional marketing across the board. Many of these are focused on either better integration with digital marketing channels or trying to close the gap in areas where digital has an advantage. Customization is a good example of this. Here are some of the innovations we’ve noted in this area.

Informed Delivery
This unique service, currently being tested by the USPS, allows people to digitally preview the mail they are going to get before it’s delivered. Previewing means that customers will see your content far earlier in the process than usual and can allow them to build curiosity. It also means that your physical mail will be in the digital realm from the start and have the ability to be viewed on people’s computers or smartphones.

Digital Codes on Print Ads/Sales Flyers
Integrating both digital and traditional is a major goal for modern marketers. Utilizing Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality is a great way to integrate this approach along with QR coding. Adding one of these digital stamps allows users to activate a story or offer with smartphones that can instantly take them to a website or landing page to get them started in your sales funnel. 

Video Ads For Apps/Streaming Services
Cable advertising is more affordable than broadcast advertising, but it’s still has a high barrier to entry for many companies. Glintegration ReportingHowever, the advent of channels coming up with custom content on their streaming apps to try and retain audiences creates an opportunity for advertisers. By and large, apps and YouTube channels still put you in front of similar audiences as cable television, but for a lower cost per view. Thinking of video in this way will provide higher value by allowing you to take a traditional 30-second spot and chop and edit it into smaller segments for custom integration into any digital format. 

Even as digital marketing becomes the flagship of many company campaigns, the fact is that a multifaceted plan of attack is always going to be the ideal one. Traditional marketing is always going to have its uses, even if the way it’s purchased and utilized isn’t the same as it was in the past. 

If you need help integrating these new methods and technologies into classic strategies, a veteran marketing agency like Glint Advertising can help you figure out what options are best for you.

How To Make A Company Podcast

Podcast of Cooking ShowIf you’re looking for a new medium to reach your business audience, a podcast may be surprisingly effective. As much as 30% of all audio content that people regularly listen to is podcasts. A podcast is also material that a listener is motivated to follow the entire way through. 

Another major benefit of a podcast is its ability to validate your experience. The easiest way to prove you know what you’re talking about is by providing lots of information on a subject. Podcasts offer an audience-friendly format to provide actionable and valuable information for your audience. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to implement them.

Step 1: Decide What Your Goal Is For A Podcast
Like any marketing method, you’re not going to get far with a company podcast if you don’t fully understand what your goal is. Like most inbound marketing, you’re generally going to want content that teaches, similar to an e-book or other content marketing methods. Most people tune in to podcasts either to be entertained or to learn, and a company podcast fits neatly into the latter.

Your secondary question, though, is going to be what your goal is through teaching. Saying something general like “getting more traffic to the website” isn’t going to cut it, either. Do you think a more informed audience will be more likely to follow your sales funnel above your competitors? Alternatively, do you want to create an interesting podcast, then start slipping more marketing time into it? Whichever you think is best for you, make sure that the goal is front and center when applying the other steps we are about to cover.

Step 2: Determine Your Target Audience and Their Questions
Another fundamental element of marketing that carries over to company podcasts is determining your ideal audience and planning content for them. In some cases, this can be harder than others when applying to a podcast format. If you were a company that specializes in making, say, sunglasses, it would be difficult for you to create a content roadmap (more on that later), just around sunglasses. The average consumer wouldn’t likely be interested in an hour-long podcast about sunglasses construction and other elements.

Keeping an audience engaged is tough and is why it’s so important for you, the team creating the podcast, to think about not just topics related to your niche, but questions that customers may have. Using our example of sunglasses, customers may be curious about how sunglasses support eye health, finding transition lenses, or even accessorizing their sunglasses with outfits. All of these can make good fundamental starting points for podcast topics. In addition, by building your content around customer questions, you may get organic SEO benefits from people who weren’t even aware of your content. For example, a person searching for “how can I tell cheap from quality sunglasses” may end up stumbling on a podcast optimized for that subject.

Step 3: Plan Out A Content Roadmap
Good topics and a slick presentation are important for long-term podcast success, but so is consistency. If you set an expectation for content production, whether it’s every week, every month, or something in between, you can’t afford to miss it. Inconsistent posting gives the impression you’re disorganized or unreliable, two adjectives you don’t want to be associated with your company. Along with this, you don’t want a sudden dip in quality. Say that you budget for a 12-episode “season” of podcast content, but end up running out of solid topics or interviewees after four episodes. Your audience will notice this, and you lose that authority you’ve been working so hard to create.

The best way to make sure you don’t end up in this situation is by putting together a content roadmap. Use the brainstorming you’ve done for step 2 to put together an outline of exactly what each of your podcast episodes will cover. The roadmap is great for a company podcast as it allows you to see potential topics areas where you are lacking, and address them early on. For example, a travel company can make sure they have episodes dedicated to family travel, singles travel, cheaper excursions, and splurges, among others. 

Step 4: Choose A Format
Now you have the premise and the topics. It’s time to start getting into the nuts and bolts of your company podcast. Choosing the right format may be the single most important thing when it comes to prolonged success. A lot of the most popular podcasts follow a simple formula of an interview with a different person each week. If you have competitors in your niche, it pays to see what they are doing, as you have many formats to choose from, and a different approach may help you stand out. Some examples include:

  • A solo format, where a host talks about a given topic for the podcast.
  • A group-host format, where multiple people discuss the topic, rather than a different interviewee each episode.
  • A narrative format, where the host is telling a relevant story as the centerpiece of the episode.
  • A hybrid format, which mixes elements of each.

Even the traditional interview format has some room for development. For example, rather than a single interview on a topic, you could record all your interviews at once. Recording one time will allow you to extend and customize each episode from your interviewees on a potential topic. An approach like this also decreases the number of setups, recordings, and edits you need. It would be best if you also chose an appropriate length for the podcast based on your audience’s needs. 

In terms of logistics, we’re not going to get too much into the technical side of things when it comes to choosing your audio/recording equipment. There are many options to fit different budgetary needs. However, the logistics of setting up a podcast go well beyond that. Some of the logistics may include things like:

  • Creating your artwork/music, if needed.
  • Determining the best platform to take your podcast live.
  • Having a plan to reach out to interviewees.
  • Deciding who at the company will host the interviews.

If often helps to incorporate some of this work into the content roadmap. 

Step 5: Solicit/Incorporate Feedback, Then Improve
One thing you need to understand is that a company podcast is a long-term, Leaving Feedback Onlineslow-burn form of marketing. It would be best if you had time for a few episodes to come out for testing the best ways to get traction with your target audience. It’s also a good idea to continue making refinements as things progress. After a pilot episode/first few batches of podcasts, encourage people to give you feedback via social media or whatever platforms you think are appropriate. While you may think you know what your audience is looking for, things may be quite different in practice.

For example, you may have a podcast that’s too long for your target audience, or end up misfiring when it comes to a topic selection. While you don’t want to fall into knee jerk reactions, it’s a good idea to address common, repeated criticisms you see. If you find things are getting traction, you can start making other investments like better audio equipment.

At this point, you should have the foundation you need to create an effective podcast. In time, this can be a cornerstone of your marketing efforts, positioning your company as a true market authority. However, to properly leverage your hard work, you need to make sure that you have the means to showcase and market your podcast. 

Managing this balancing act, while still running a company, can be tough. Sometimes it’s best to hire an accomplished marketing agency like Glint Advertising to assist. We can help you formulate a company podcast that best suits your needs, as well as promote it so you can get more traction. Reach out to us for a consultation today.

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Highest ROI Marketing Platforms for Q1 2020

Many people assume that you need to have an annual marketing plan ready before the year even starts to see any success. This philosophy is great in theory (being prepared), but it is often rare that a marketing plan doesn’t alter based on business conditions and opportunities. However, for those who are still trying to put something together, keep in mind ROI (return on investment) should be the overarching focus with the plan. Here are some of the top platforms to consider in 2020.

How Does ROI In Marketing Work?
Before getting into the platforms themselves, let’s briefly talk about the importance of marketing ROI. Many marketers get lost in all the KPIs out there and lose sight of what’s most important. As an example, say that you put together a social media campaign utilizing a popular influencer, who isn’t necessarily related to your niche. The influencer does their job, leveraging their fanbase to try and visit your sites, but you don’t necessarily get many conversions. Conversion drop is probably happening because the fanbase the influencer reaches is less likely to buy your product or service. 

If the marketing team was focusing the tactic on web traffic, they might see this as a success. However, in terms of ROI, this is probably not an ideal tactic. With low conversions vs. paying for the influencer, you may even end up losing money when all is said and done. However, if this is a branding play and you’re looking to create the first touchpoint with this audience, then this could be very powerful, long-term.

So, how can you tell if a given platform has a successful ROI? The best way to measure this is by taking your sales growth from the venture, removing the marketing costs, then dividing by the marketing costs. If you saw a sales growth of $2,000 from a campaign that cost $200, you received a 900% ROI from it. There are other measurements worth looking out for, like branded queries or referrals, but that’s the base calculation you want to have in mind. Now, we can start getting into specific platforms.

Video Marketing
For many marketers, a successful video campaign is the crown jewel of their overall strategy. From increasing your traffic to growing revenue, a single successful set of videos can deliver a variety of different benefits. On top of this, when looking at ROI, this is one of the strongest options possible. Some marketers may be wary of video due to cost perception, but new technology has made it easier than ever to break in. In fact, some professional-grade videos can be created utilizing newer smartphones, smart lighting, and a little planning. Along with this, video tends to draw people in for longer periods than many other digital and traditional tactics. Thus it can allow you to tell a better story.

So, with that said, how do you guarantee video marketing success? As video marketing continues to grow, bad editing or poor audio isn’t going to cut it, so first, video quality matters. Another thing you want to make sure you’re doing is taking full advantage of the platform hosting your video. A video series about your services provides the opportunity to define facts while crafting a narrative. It may be worth working with outside help to create a true video script if you’re struggling in this area. 

CRM/Marketing Automation
Depending on whom you ask, these are two separate categories of software, and both play a vital role in marketing ROI. For example, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool is generally associated more with the sales world, helping to chart all interactions with clients and prospects. Marketing automation is more about helping companies streamline some of their existing marketing tasks utilizing automated responses and drip campaigns. Since sales are uniquely tied to marketing and marketing typically needs a sales converter to close, Glint believes these categories should be combined and provides this type of blended platform for their clients. Learn more about the Glint platform here.

Most people assume ROI is mainly financial, and while that is true, it can also be evaluated through time involvement cost. Using the previous influencer example, it takes time to find the right influencer, negotiating, rolling out the campaign, and running the calculations to determine if the campaign was successful. Marketing Automation platforms help cut down on your time costs by automating and personalizing basic, but necessary tasks.

Social Advertising
Successful advertising is all about being where your audience is, and that means having a social media plan in place. These are great platforms to build marketing ROI because the cost of entry is relatively affordable, and there is an extensive audience available that can be segmented. With this in mind, let’s do a quick run-through of some actionable advice for marketing success on three of 2020’s most popular platforms.

Facebook

  • Have concrete goals in mind (driving traffic, conversions, adding value)
  • Use all of Facebook’s features to help determine who your ads/marketing target
  • Be proactive when it comes to creating engagement opportunities
  • Schedule content ahead for optimized timing

 

Instagram

  • Optimize your biography for a strong first impression
  • Ensure your visual content stays at a high quality
  • Optimize through smart use of hashtags
  • Maintain a regular pace of content

 

Linkedin

  • Remember you are targeting a business audience
  • Analyze competitor pages for advice
  • Use commenting and engagement to drive your content
  • Be sure to understand why people use Linkedin (connections, business development) when drafting content

 

Creating An Overarching Campaign Strategy
It’s also important to remember that you need an overall marketing strategy in place, not just a concept. Using only video marketing, or Marketing Automation, or social advertising isn’t likely to yield success. One major trend that we’re seeing is finding ways to link traditional and digital marketing together and ensuring you have at least three points of integration. An approach like this also allows companies using legacy approaches to leverage their expertise while competing in the digital age. 

An example of this in practice is vanity URLs. These are essentially URLs that make it easier for people to remember a web address, while also redirecting to a longer URL with tracking info. On one end, you’re increasing your brand presence by making it easier for people to remember your site/pages. On the other hand, you’re able to grab some vital tracking info to power your decision making. This is a great type of measurement to start tracking marketing ROI.

Call tracking operates on a similar principle. Many companies underestimate precisely how much of a role calls can play in lead generation, whether it’s cold calling or following up on other marketing efforts via a phone call. Call tracking allows you to tie campaigns to a single business number helping you determine which marketing tactics are delivering. It’s also important to note that the calls are recorded to help you better train your sales team on the way’s to handle and close inbound calls. Like other marketing tracking, this makes it easier to determine which methods are successful, and which need to be improved. 

2020 may be rolling along, but that doesn’t mean you have missed the boat in terms of your marketing strategy. Making some key adjustments throughout the year can contribute to better ROI and the impact of marketing. However, when you’re making shifts, a good starting point is to consider working with a veteran marketing agency, like Glint Advertising. By taking a look at your current goals and marketing plans, we can help you find the ideal platforms to grow your business.

Narrow Vs. Broad Marketing

Broad_Narrow_Marketing_HeaderOne of the fundamental things that every marketing professional learns early on is the importance of targeting an audience with your content. In addition, trying to be everything to all people rarely leads to results due to competition increases and individual expectations. After all, it’s hard to justify a brand if it doesn’t connect with you. 

However, something that doesn’t get talked about nearly as much is when the opposite situation happens, and you get too specific. For example, if you target a very distinct niche of customers, you may grab their attention, but you also may be building your company on a flimsy foundation. If something happens to lower that pool of customers or competition appears, suddenly, you may not have enough conversions to sustain your business.

Figuring out how to manage this is a tough balancing act for many marketers, but it’s also time well spent. Here are some of the elements you need to consider when deciding on a narrow or broad marketing focus.

Narrow Marketing: Pros and Cons
Narrow marketing primarily uses the idea of “being the best to a certain audience” and takes it to the next level. Essentially, all of your marketing content is going to be tailored to a particular niche. For example, if you are an educational software provider, you’re going to try and choose a subset of education to try and reach out. Do you expect your target audience to be mainly teachers? Administrators? Students? Parents? A narrow marketing focus would generally take 1 or 2 of these options and focus on those. If people from other niches get on board, that’s great, but more of a bonus.

The main pro of a narrow marketing focus is that you’re much more likely to get qualified leads and results this way. By putting out more specific content/marketing material, the people who end up reacting to it likely already have either deeper ties or a greater understanding of the niche you want to service. Following up on our previous example, if you were trying to market educational software to teachers and focus a lot of your messaging on teaching-related issues, that audience knows you understand their needs. A focus like this builds authority for your company and increases your opportunity for conversions.

An additional benefit of going narrow that may not be widely known is that, in some ways, it can be easier to put together materials. By comparison, working on broad marketing requires you to draw on information for a variety of different customer segments, which can be difficult if you don’t have the experience. 

With narrow marketing, you can focus all of your data collection and research on one particular customer niche. Know them inside-and-out, and you’ll be able to put together the marketing materials that interest them.

The major drawback of using narrow marketing, though, is that you’re going to see fewer results overall. Fewer results make sense, considering that your targeted marketing, by nature, isn’t going to be addressing some of these other niches and customer segments. The major issue here, though, is that if your marketing misses the mark with that segment, you have nothing to fall back on. The margin for error is far smaller with narrow marketing. 

Broad Marketing: Pros and Cons
Alternatively, broad marketing casts a wide net when it comes to putting together materials. As mentioned before, you can’t be all things to all people. However, you can market a product or service on traits that have as broad an appeal as possible. Good examples of this include competitive pricing and ease of use. 

Let’s revisit that educational software example. The niches of administrators, teachers, students, and parents may all want different things out of their software. Therefore, a broad marketing approach might focus on things like pricing or the number of options within the software suite. These are traits all four categories will find appealing.

The major benefit of using a broad marketing focus is its ability to provide an abundance of results. Giving something for multiple customer segments to latch on to means that even if you don’t reach everyone in that segment, you’re likely to have more interest and impressions overall. Multiple impressions are important for companies in the starting stage that need to build a large customer base at first. In time, that base will likely whittle down to a few major customers, but you’ll want to have as large a pool as possible to start your foundation for selling.

Another advantage of the broad strategy is that it may provide insight into new marketing demographics for your business that you don’t currently know. This approach is often common for pieces of hardware, where you may be targeting one customer segment, but an entirely unrelated one finds it useful for a purpose. The ability to unintentionally stumble on a new audience is an appealing draw for any marketer.

The major issue with broad marketing, though, is that no matter how powerful your message is, you’re only going to get a fraction of those interested customers to convert. As they go through the sales funnel, customers might be interested in your competition or realize that your product/service isn’t exactly what they need. With a narrower campaign, customers that enter the funnel are more likely to convert.

Focus On Viability And Need
So, with all of this said, how should you approach deciding whether to go narrow or broad? In some cases, it may be a case of using both. Many marketing strategies for new campaigns will intentionally go broader at first. An approach like this Marketing_Focus_Sideview_Mirroris often used when launching a new product because it can provide pivotal information to gauge interest in your campaign. In some cases, going broad and then very narrow may be able to provide interest from customers outside of your primary audience. For example, an initial email blast can be a great way to apply this approach. 

If you need to get customer attention and continue to work on persuasion, a more detailed and tailored message to drive that persuasion will be required. For example, if you plan on using content marketing to drive conversions, you want to focus on material that’s tailored to a more specific niche. Trying to go broader here will lead to weaker results because your topics have likely already been covered.

It’s important to make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of “winner vs. loser” when it comes to making a decision on a narrow or broad marketing focus. Also, based on your budget and resources, one may be more viable than the other. The best way to decide on your focus is to have a well-thought-out plan when it comes to your desired objectives and how to reach them.

If you find that your marketing plan, broad or narrow, isn’t giving the results you want, you may want to consider outside help with a skilled marketing agency, like Glint Advertising. By taking a look at your current goals and marketing plans, we can help you determine if a narrow or broad focus is best for your needs. Email us at agency@glintadv.com or, better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320 to get some additional insights.

Mesquite Convention and Visitors Bureau earns five state awards.

Mesquite, TX – September 4, 2019 – The Mesquite Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) received five awards at the recent Texas Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau’s (TACVB) Annual Conference for excellence in destination marketing.

 

The Mesquite CVB received the People’s Choice Awards, selected by tourism industry peers, for its budget size in the categories of Advertising, Website, Mobile Site, and Video. “We had a record 116 entries this year,” said Kim Phillips, TACVB Chief Operating Officer. “The winners faced stiff competition, and these awards are well-deserved.”  

 

Glint Advertising created a new logo identifier and brand vision for the Mesquite CVB in late 2018. After the brand strategy was approved, the agency played an integral role in ensuring it was represented correctly across all new marketing assets. Also, Glint created an advertising campaign that targeted different audience segments within multiple media outlets that resulted in a second-place award for budgets under $350,000.

 

“Rolling out any brand slowly over time has its challenges. But not doing so would have hurt the Mesquite CVB tourism and revenues goals for the year, and that was not something we were going to get wrong,” said Craig Lloyd, Glint President/CEO. “We are honored the Mesquite CVB trusted us to help create and push their new brand forward.”

 

About the Mesquite CVB: The Mesquite CVB will continue to balance its award-winning marketing efforts with strong sales partnerships with local hotel properties as well as collaborative programs with restaurants, retail, and area attractions. Digital outreach and printed materials will contribute to a blend of promotional campaigns to sustain Mesquite’s relevancy as a destination of choice for conferences and day travelers. For more information, go to www.visitmesquitetx.com

 

About Glint Advertising: Founded in 2000 and located in the heart of the DFW Metroplex, Glint specializes in branding and integrated marketing campaigns. With a focus on strategy and collaboration, Glint provides its clients with branding, advertising, and marketing solutions that are tracked and measured, and brand-focused for superior ROI. For more information, visit www.glintadv.com

 

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