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What Works Radio Virginia http://whatworksrva.com We’re Listening and we’ll show you What Works...So, What’s YOUR Story? Sat, 10 Dec 2016 11:54:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The 6 Best Advertising Strategies For Small Business http://whatworksrva.com/2016/09/17/the-6-best-advertising-strategies-for-small-business/ http://whatworksrva.com/2016/09/17/the-6-best-advertising-strategies-for-small-business/#respond Sat, 17 Sep 2016 09:57:09 +0000 http://demo.teslathemes.com/enterprise/2016/03/25/dictum-suscipit-sit-amet-ac-estc-lorem-ipsum-dolor-sit-amet-consectetur-adipiscing-elit-copy-2/ Small business owners need to be realistic about their advertising campaigns. Typically, of course, they’ll be looking for effective, low-cost solutions, but typically, too, you can have just one or the other; you’re unlikely to find a simultaneously effective and inexpensive channel for your ads.

Related: The 4 Digital Advertising Trends That Are Reshaping Advertising

That’s why you absolutely must budget for advertising, not just play with the money you have left over. By assigning the right amount of money to the right channels, you can get the results you want, or at the least, improve the results you have, based on the data you gather along the way. Since your monthly spend will be consistent, you’ll be better able to measure overall efficacy, too.

Given your need to optimize your advertising efforts, then, here are the best advertising strategies for small businesses.

1. Target your audience.

Sorry, but that particular product or service you’re touting does not match the needs of anyone who currently walks the Earth. Many small businesses don’t run adequately targeted campaigns, despite the fact that targeting is one of online advertising’s primary advantages.

Indeed, you should be able to create an accurate target customer profile based on the data you’ve collected. With this information in hand, and what you know about your current clientele, you can begin to target similar demographics and psychographics with your campaigns to attract more customers.

Whether you’re advertising online or off, make sure your copy and imagery reflects the kind of customers you want to work with. This is key to targeting well.

2. Measure and track your advertising.

Many small businesses simply have no idea whether their advertising is actually working. This simply won’t do.

Online advertising platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook provide you with extensive stats related to your ads, and will help you determine what is working and what isn’t. This doesn’t mean that you won’t need to test and experiment, as it can take time for you to create an ad that resonates with your target customers, but it does mean that you can make faster decisions about what to try next.

If you’re advertising offline, and you have to set up a specific email address or phone number to gain a clearer understanding of how your leads are finding you and what’s working, then that effort is worth the hassle. Stop making guesses.

Related: 5 Digital-Marketing Tactics to Ditch in 2016

3. Know when to advertise.

At first glance, advertising year-round and spreading out your budget equally month-to-month may appear to be a wise and commonsense approach.

But if you think back to your business launch, odds are you did a lot of things that can’t be scaled. There’s no way for you to sustain a similar marketing and advertising initiative throughout the entire year.

If you sell seasonal products, you should be advertising in your highest-performing seasons. You may even want to start a little bit early and hold some of your advertising until a little after.

Black Friday and Christmas tend to be high-performing seasons, depending on the type of business you’re running. It may be advantageous to set aside some extra ad money for these days and/or other holidays.

Finally, it can also be worthwhile to keep an eye on when your competitors launch their own big promotions. If you have an advertising budget set aside, you may be able to keep pace or even outmaneuver them.

4. Brand well.

Can your customers immediately identify your ads based on your copy, color choice, imagery, logo or typeface? If that question seems absurd, just look at what the major brands and companies are doing. Oftentimes, you can recognize their ads just from the colors they’re using.

Over time, your customers will come to identify with and respond to your ad layouts. The temptation may be to change your branding every time you create a new ad, but that could be confusing and ineffective over the long haul. Your goal should be to show up in expected places, with familiar-looking ads that consistently resonate with your target customers.

Bottom line: Brand well, and stick to your image. Build loyalty through resonance.

5. Use your resources well.

You know the importance of ranking well in search, but you may simply not have the resources and time to consistently create new, informative content for your website.

In an instance like that, your best bet is to take advantage of services like Google AdWords and Bing Ads, so you appear higher in SERP results without having to optimize posts for your chosen keywords. If you have the budget to advertise, but not the time to create content, this is a good use of resources.

If you only have a small budget to allocate to advertising, it may not make sense to take out an expensive magazine ad. A Facebook ad campaign would be much more practical, since you can control your daily spend.

Make an honest assessment of the resources available to you, and leverage them in a way that helps you grow your business.

6. Show up in the right places.

It’s dangerous to make too many assumptions about your target customer. For example, if there’s a certain radio show that you like, and you assume that your customers like it too, you may be misinformed about the wisdom of spending money on a radio ad there that could prove expensive and ineffective.

If your advertising dollars are going to the wrong place, you’re wasting your money. Instead, you need to get to know your customers. So, survey them. Get a sense of where they like to hang out online, what books and magazines they read, what podcast and radio shows they listen to and so on.

When your advertising is matched with the right understanding of your customers, you’ll begin to attract more worthwhile leads to your business.

Final thoughts

There are plenty of opportunities to monetize through advertising. The key is in knowing who your target customers are, where they like to hang out — and thus where to find more people like them — and allocating your resources to those specific channels.

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Website Visitors http://whatworksrva.com/2016/05/23/website-visitors/ http://whatworksrva.com/2016/05/23/website-visitors/#respond Mon, 23 May 2016 10:32:01 +0000 http://whatworksrva.com/?p=1 Welcome to What Wrks RVA.

What Works RVA is a based Richmond, Virginia independent Audio/Video producer who combines original videography, personal photos, unique aesthetic imagery, compelling graphic motion, and along with captivating music we crafts a personal custom tailored visual narratives for your enjoyment.

Our What Works RVA team creates memorable videos that capture the last essence of uniques and most important business and personal life moments.

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What is Media Relations? http://whatworksrva.com/2016/03/25/what-is-media-relations/ http://whatworksrva.com/2016/03/25/what-is-media-relations/#respond Fri, 25 Mar 2016 09:56:54 +0000 http://demo.teslathemes.com/enterprise/2016/03/25/dictum-suscipit-sit-amet-ac-estc-lorem-ipsum-dolor-sit-amet-consectetur-adipiscing-elit-copy/ Media relations, or publicity, is a powerful tool for influencing and changing behavior. It provides critical, third-party endorsement for a product, service, issue or organization. As opposed to more direct forms of communications, such as advertising or direct marketing, communicating through a journalist provides valuable and sought-after credibility that other forms of communications cannot match.

Though it is more credible than an advertisement or a brochure, getting your message across through the media is much more challenging. How does it work? Here are a few examples of different media relations goals attained for Acme Communications, Inc.

  • Acme is announcing the launch of its newest phone, Planit, which provides the quickest connection of any other cellphone on the market. Aside from advertising and direct marketing to its current customers, Acme is looking for a placement with a key consumer tech outlet. You email an announcement press release, product fact sheet and photo to John Q. Techie, the editor of The New York Times Circuits section, and follow up with John to offer an interview with the head of new product development, the CEO and a satisfied customer. The following week, a photo and blurb on the Planitappear in the New York Times, leading to a national bump in sales. Good job!
  • After the launch of Planit, Acme’s third quarter earnings were higher than expected. To announce the news, you schedule a web conference with top business reporters at the wire services, major daily newspapers, business magazines, blogs, business cable news and radio shows. With 20 reporters tuned in, you announce the news, landing an immediate story on Bloomberg News’ website. The story is picked up by Bloomberg radio, cable news and more than 100 daily papers around the company, putting Acme at the top of the day’s business news and achieving a bump in the stock price. Good job!
  • Acme has always been considered a follower of technology, not a leader. To get to the head of the pack, the CEO would like more coverage in Techy Blog X, which consistently announces “the next big thing” before it happens. You know the blogger is going to be at the Tech 1000 conference the following month. You send him an email offering breakfast and an opportunity to meet with corporate representatives and your spokesperson, a top tech futurist at the show. He agrees and the interview leads to the following post: “Acme surprising lead in news from Tech 1000 conference.” Good job!
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How Public Relations Works http://whatworksrva.com/2016/03/25/how-public-relations-works/ http://whatworksrva.com/2016/03/25/how-public-relations-works/#respond Fri, 25 Mar 2016 09:54:06 +0000 http://demo.teslathemes.com/enterprise/2016/03/25/dictum-suscipit-sit-amet-ac-estc-lorem-ipsum-dolor-sit-amet-consectetur-adipiscing-elit-2-copy/ In today’s media-saturated culture, effective PR is a crucial part of any public undertaking. Image and public opinion mean everything, especially in the increasingly influential realm of social media. The individual or group who wins the media race will win the ultimate goal: the trust of the people.

Public relations, better known as PR, is the art and science of making people, governments and organizations look good. PR professionals work behind the scenes — sending press releases, courting journalists, researching public opinion — to position their clients as positive role models, ethical businessmen, concerned public officials, or at the very least, not criminals.

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Pricing Strategy http://whatworksrva.com/2016/03/25/pricing-strategy/ http://whatworksrva.com/2016/03/25/pricing-strategy/#respond Fri, 25 Mar 2016 09:52:25 +0000 http://demo.teslathemes.com/enterprise/2016/03/25/dictum-suscipit-sit-amet-ac-estc-lorem-ipsum-dolor-sit-amet-consectetur-adipiscing-elit-copy/

Pricing is one of the classic “4 Ps” of marketing (product, price, place, promotion). It’s one of the key elements of every B2C strategy.

Yet for many B2B marketers, the pricing strategy in their marketing planis challenging to write; many aren’t even involved in creating their pricing strategy.

There are many factors to consider when developing your pricing strategy, both short- and long-termFor example, your pricing needs to:

  • Reflect the value you provide versus your competitors
  • Match what the market will truly pay for your offering
  • Support your brand
  • Enable you to reach your revenue and market share goals
  • Maximize your profits

When you offer a truly unique product or service with little direct competition, it can be challenging to establish your price. Define a strong strategy and competitive analysis so you can view:

  • What your prospects might pay for other solutions to their problems
  • Where your price should fall in relation to theirs

When your price, value proposition and positioning are aligned, you’re in the best situation to maximize revenue and profits.

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How to create a promotions strategy that works http://whatworksrva.com/2016/03/25/how-to-create-a-promotions-strategy-that-works/ http://whatworksrva.com/2016/03/25/how-to-create-a-promotions-strategy-that-works/#respond Fri, 25 Mar 2016 09:50:45 +0000 http://demo.teslathemes.com/enterprise/?p=11 You may have the greatest product ever but if you don’t tell the world, it will sit on the shelves collecting dust until you finally have to close your business. Remember, you know what is great about your business because you created it. The rest of the world is not thinking about you and what you have to offer. So you have to tell them and you have to tell them in a way that makes them want what you have to offer.

Many small businesses shy away from promotions thinking they can’t compete with the advertising, public relations and promotions budgets of their large competitors. But good promotions do not have to be expensive. And if you stay focused and create a clear plan, they don’t have to be time-consuming either.

First develop a plan. This should be included in your business plan. Here are the steps to developing a strong promotional plan:

Identify your target buyer

Consider what kind of customer you want to do business with and to whom your product or service is most likely to appeal. Take into account demographic (i.e. age, gender, location, marital status), lifestyle (i.e. athletes, club goers, outdoor enthusiasts) and psychographics (i.e. personality traits and emotions that affect buying decisions) information.

Make Them Want What You Have to Offer

Distinguish your product or service from all the rest. This has to be meaningful and accurate, otherwise you will lose credibility with your consumers. First you will need to know what features, benefits and brand attributes your target buyers consider when making a purchase. For example, if you are a local nursery, your target buyers might take into account return policies on plants that don’t survive, quality of plants in store and availability of informed people who can assist them with plant choices and directions for caring for the plants.

Create a strategy and make it clear

Write down who your target buyers are, what your competitive environment is and what your meaningful differences are. This is called your positioning strategy statement. You must develop a consistent message and look and feel in all of your promotional campaigns.

Think about the personality of your business in relationship to your target buyers. Is it a young, hip, friendly, casual environment? Or is it a more reserved, traditional and slightly more conservative environment? These characteristics will inform the look, feel and tone of your business, as well as promotions.

Create a clear, concise and memorable message that impacts your target buyers

This can be a challenge but doesn’t have to be. Think about your business value proposition (BVP). If you have clearly identified the unique features and benefits of your product/service that truly matter to your target buyers, you will be well on your way. Take this information and brainstorm potential slogans, keywords in all marketing messages and visual images that correspond to your BVP.

Consider your budget

When promoting your products, services and business there may never seem to be enough money. However, not all promotion costs money. Creating a mix between word-of-mouth, customer referral programs, public relations and advertising will save you a lot of money. Imagination and relationship building are the keys.

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