Tag Archives: Advertising

Advertising Via Groupon

GrouponLaunched in 2008, Groupon is an ever-growing company, having changed the world of online shopping. The company is a group-buying site offering daily deals, and has proven to be very popular amongst consumers. The site provides consumers with great discounts for restaurants, retail stores, spas, theaters, and much more.

With all the traffic the site generates, advertising via Groupon seems like a no-brainer right? Well, while people love discounts – especially when money is tight – businesses may not. Many businesses get into it as a way to advertise without a good understanding of what they want to accomplish by using it.

Like anything, Groupon has its ups and downs, so before you decide to promote your business using it, you might want to check these three pros and cons out first…


1) It advertises your business

If getting your business’s name out there is what you’re after – especially if you’re a new business – a Groupon promotion can be an excellent way to do it. And not only can you share your business’s existence, but you can entice potential customers to try your goods as well. Which leads us to our next point.

2) It attracts new customers

You can reach new customers be appealing to those who are looking for inexpensive deals. Using Groupon, you get to charge lower prices to new customers. The idea is that they are going to like it so much that they will come back and buy from you again (and at full price).

3) It helps build customer relationships

Offering customers a way to save money can strengthen customer loyalty. If you play your advertising cards right, you can use Groupon to build long-term relationships, as opposed to a customer visiting once and never coming back again.


1) It creates a lot of traffic

While traffic is typically a good thing, sometimes too much can have a negative effect. The question is: Can your business handle the traffic that a Groupon deal may bring? If not, you may find it a challenge to keep up with demand.

2) It attracts deal seekers

Since the Groupon customer base is made up of low-end bargain shoppers, some of the traffic you generate might not be willing to purchase beyond the value of the coupon. You may find new customers, but just ones that want to save a buck.

3) It is not always profitable

Groupon deals are not always profitable. In addition to the deal you are offering, like a half price service, Groupon is going to take their share of what you sell (50 percent). In the end, you may find you have done a lot of work, but for little reward.

Now that you know Groupon’s positives and negatives, keep this in mind: it’s all about what you want to accomplish as a business. Many businesses can benefit greatly from advertising through it, while for others there are better avenues to advertise.

Advertising Solution: Instagram

Over the past year, Instagram has expanded its advertising capabilities, enabling users to run ad campaigns…yielding tremendous results.

Instagram Advertising

With over 400 million users, businesses can now advertise to a highly engaged audience in a high-quality environment. Using any one of the social media platform’s three advertising formats, businesses can display creative messages, increase customer awareness, or get more visits to their website or mobile app.

Below are Instagram’s three ad formats, according to their website.

Instagram Ad Formats:

1) Photo ads

Photo ads allow businesses to tell their story through imagery. Whether it’s inspiring people to see their brand differently or to take action, they offer a clean, simple, and beautiful creative canvas.

2) Video ads

Video ads offer the same visually immersive quality as photo ads, but with the power of sight, sound, and motion. And now, you can share videos up to 30 seconds long and in landscape format.

3) Carousel ads

Carousel ads bring an additional layer of depth to photo ads. People can swipe to see additional images, and a call to action button takes them to a business’s website to learn more.

The best part…they all work! All you have to do is decide which format is best for you, depending on the results you want. Click here for guidance.

Want proof?

Click on the logo below and learn about fashion e-commerce site Poshmark, and how the business nearly doubled its campaign app install goal by running an Instagram mobile app ad campaign.

Poshmark Logo

So what are you waiting for? Instagram ads are available for businesses big and small!

The Power Of Search

The Power Of SearchDo you know that 4 out of 5 customers are using search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to find products and services?  And after conducting these searches, customers are taking action right away.  In fact, 73% of mobile Internet searches lead to website visits, store visits, and even actual purchases.

Why do we mention all of this?  Well, because online searching has become a powerful tool…so why not take advantage of it!  Location-targeted search ads could be just the boost your ad campaign needs.

Not to mention that posting a video to your website, Facebook page, and other online social media sites will keep people at your website longer. Why does that matter? Well, because when it comes to search results, the longer people stay on your page, the higher your ranking is, and the higher your ranking the more likely you’ll appear in a search ahead of your competitors.

The Power of Search:

In order to fully reach your target audience, you’ve got to be communicating with them through all available channels.  So, before you start your next ad campaign, consider advertising via the following media outlets…

  • Cable television
  • Digital
  • Mobile
  • Search

Selling Ads On Social Media Sites

In last week’s blog we shared some information with you about the rise of digital advertising and tips for getting the most out of social media ads. But to fully appreciate advertising on social media, especially if you’re a small business, you need to have an understanding of selling ads on these networking sites.

Social Media Shopping CartSocial media sites sell ads in different ways, but for the most part, there are two primary pricing models.

The first, used by networking sites like Twitter, has companies pay on an engagement basis. This means that every time users click, retweet, or favorite, a fee is charged.

On the other hand, sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn have companies pay per impression, where they are charged whenever their ad shows up in users’ feeds (regardless if it’s been clicked on or not).

The difference may seem trivial, but to get the most value out of your social media advertising, it’s critical to keep these two pricing models in mind.

Here’s a quick example.

Let’s say your business has a Twitter account. Since companies pay Twitter each time users click on their ads, it’s important that you get people to, well, actually click on them. This demands creating tweets that are engaging, but also short and sweet. In this case, the goal is to interest audience members enough so they’ll click on your ad, not just to attract as many viewers as possible.

So what’s the key takeaway here? Keep pricing models in mind when buying ad space on social media, especially if you’re a small business. Then design your ads accordingly.

For a more in-depth look at social media advertising and small business, click this.

Understanding ROI

Understanding ROI

In our last couple of blogs we reinforced the idea of creating exciting and engaging advertisements, because in the world of advertising, “content is king” (or so the age-old saying goes). When advertising – a product, a service, a business, ANYTHING – presenting content that’s unique and memorable is critical in creating brand awareness and winning the consumer’s trust. But from a business standpoint, understanding ROI is crucial too.

Return on Investment (ROI) is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. Basically, ROI tells you how profitable an investment is, expressed as either a ratio or percentage.

ROI is a common profitability ratio, and while it can be calculated using a number of different variables – each suiting a different purpose – it is typically calculated like this:

 [(Gain of Investment – Cost of Investment) ÷ Cost of Investment] × 100 = ROI

We’ll give you an example…

Starbucks Logo

Starbucks is willing to spend $100 to advertise to one person, because they estimate that one person’s lifetime value to the company is $500.  Additionally, they estimate every new facility attracts 1,000 people on average.

Using the formula, Starbuck’s ROI looks like this:

[($500 – $100) ÷ $100] × 100 = 400%

Starbucks has a very high ROI at 400%, which justifies their spending $100 for each customer (or $100,000 annually for each new facility, if you do the math).

And, if there’s an ad that’s working particularly well, considering their ROI, it’s easy to see that Starbucks would purchase infinite airtime. This is why you see a new Starbucks ad every quarter.

Keep in mind, however, that while ROI may seem like a simple calculation, other factors such as: time, a company’s budget, and other expenditures haven’t even been factored into the equation yet.  Once you factor in other costs, ROI becomes much more complicated.  Whether we’re talking about Starbucks, Ford, or Yankee Candles, having a basic understanding of ROI can still go a long way.

So you see, understanding your return on investment can start to help you not only determine what your audience is worth, but also make smarter advertising decisions with your money.

For more information about return on investment and how to calculate it, click the “ROI” button below.

ROI Button


  • Entrepreneur: Encyclopedia – Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Investopedia: Terms – R – Return On Investment (ROI)
  • Investopedia: Articles – Basics  – FYI On ROI: A Guide To Calculating Return On Investment

Understanding Your Target Audience

Target AudienceEvery advertisement tells a story, a story about your brand. Obviously you want people to see your ads, which is becoming increasingly difficult due to that thing called a DVR (you can read more about this problem in last week’s blog here). But understanding your target audience is also important, and here’s why.

You have to understand your target audience, the people you are trying to reach with your advertisements. These are the people that you ultimately want to form trust with, ensuring brand loyalty.

Here are some quick questions to think about before we move on:

  1. Do you know who your target audience is?
  2. If so, are you educating, serving, or empowering them through your ads?
  3. Do your ads provide something that they can relate to?

Keeping these questions in mind, it’s important to shape your advertisements around specific groups of people, allowing them to connect their personal needs and values to your brand.

In order to build trust – and come across as an authority – through your advertisements, you have to understand who’s seeing them.


DVR-ProofingAdmit it, you love watching TV – we all do. And why wouldn’t you? There’s so much out there to watch, with even more places to watch it.  Now, not only can you turn on the telly, but there are also streaming and video-on-demand services like Netflix and Hulu to consider.

For viewers, the amount of TV that’s out there is great news, but what does it mean for television networks?  Networks are faced with an even greater challenge in today’s TV market: create content of high quality that is appealing, but that also demands instant viewership.

Then there are the advertisers – they too are being challenged by the vast wealth (aka “Long Tail“) of TV shows on the air.

So what’s the problem?

Well, in order to reach consumers, advertisers need people to actually tune in. But, due to the magic of DVR, viewers have the ability to commercial skip, meaning less and less people are tuning in live.  Currently, about 76% of U.S. households have a DVR – that’s over three quarters of America!  What does this mean?  It means advertisers have to rethink where they’re putting their ads, and more importantly how they’re introducing them.

That’s where DVR-proofing comes in.

In order to make a maximum impact, placing advertisements during DVR-proof programming is essential. What programming is DVR-proof? Here are the big three:

  1. Sports
  2. Late-night talk shows and
  3. Award shows

Advertising during these types of programs is preferred because they garner the most live viewership than anything else on television.

So, what else can advertisers do to ensure the public is seeing their ads?


For starters, advertising around juggernauts Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, and others is one solution, although it can get tricky.  As they release more content and gather larger viewing pools, coming up with creative ways to advertise around them will become increasingly important. And who knows, video-on-demand services may come to feature more advertisements in the future.

Streaming is another avenue for advertising. Many TV networks offer full episodes online via their website to entice viewers, allowing them to watch their favorite shows or news stories from a laptop or mobile device. With only limited commercials, streaming is essentially DVR-proof, and so capturing ad space in between this content is another great solution.

One more idea – and arguably the most significant – is this: keep advertisements engaging!  Regardless of an ad’s location, if it doesn’t cut through the clutter and catch the consumer’s eye, then it might be missed.  Always strive to make ads original and worthwhile for the viewer – that way, they stick around to watch your ad and stay away from that pesky fast-forward button.


  • Fordham News: Fordham Magazine – On Demand: The Art And Business Of TV’s New Golden Age
  •  Mediapost: MediaDailyNews – DVR Service Soars in U.S.
  • MediaPost: TelevisionNewsDaily – TVBlog – Networks In The Hunt For DVR-Proof Non-Sports Programming

Ineffective Ad Campaigns: What’s Causing Them?

At their core, all ad campaigns are about the same thing: reaching your audience. But why then do some struggle while others flourish? With regards to ineffective ad campaigns, we delve into what might be the cause.

Ineffective Ad Campaigns: What's Causing Them?

When using multiple mediums – Television and Radio or Television and a Billboard – in an advertising campaign, it’s important to know how those results will capture your audience.

The CAB Proprietary Scarborough Study found that of the four giants of advertising (Television, Radio, Print, and Billboard), Television sends 38% of the people who viewed your ad directly to your website, while Print (Magazine) came in second with 17%, leaving Radio in third place with 13%, and Billboards dead last with 3%.

But why is this?

Attention and retention of your ad plays a huge part in how people will react to your ad. Television and Print are higher on the list because they are delivered to your audience when the internet is more accessible to them. 77% of audiences now watch Television with another device in close proximity, 49% with a Smartphone, and 34% with a PC or Laptop (Source: Google/Ipsos/Sterling).

I have to set an alarm to remind me to take the garbage out, nevermind trying to remember an ad I drove by on the highway on my way into work. The time between the two events, seeing the ad, and finding a computer, is too long to reasonably retain the information I had received from that Billboard.

If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, then Television is your best bet, with the exception of putting your ad online in the first place.