Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 47 – More Effective Print Advertising

If you’re a small business advertising in print then there is a good chance that your ad is not very effective. I can say this, with confidence because I see this problem in a large majority of print ads in all of the local publications around me. I will also add that it’s not the fault of the publication either. Print is still a viable medium and in my area there are several magazines that are worth advertising in. For a lot of small businesses, it can be a very effective way to connect with a local audience.

The problem however, is what I like to call “Information Overload”. It’s trying to fit too many messages, either in copy or in photos, into one print ad. The next time you open a local magazine just have a look at any ad and you will see bullet points and paragraphs and what do you do? You look away, you move on, because your eye doesn’t know where to go and it’s simply confusing.

But I get it too, I know why you want to include a lot of text in your print ad, because no matter what size your ad is, it’s an investment and you want to feel like you’re getting all of the right information across. But there should be a limit to one message only. Yes one, and here’s why.

Here is what you need to know about print advertising:

Print works best as a support medium. By that I mean it should support other marketing material that will help convey more information. It should not be the piece with all of the information. Why? Because no one wants to look at it. Again, when you try to fill an ad with all the information it gets confusing and messy. It should assist in the repetition and recognition of all your advertising.

Media that is best to deliver information includes:

  • Websites
  • Brochures
  • Blog
  • Advertorials
  • Content Marketing

Your support media should act as a reminder to seek out more information at any of the above channels or by contacting you directly.

Media that is best to avoid information (All forms of support media) include:

  • Print Advertising
  • Billboards
  • Digital banners
  • Car Wrap

Why is it best to avoid too much information? Well think of a billboard for example. If you fly by a billboard on the side of the highway, you can’t possibly read a paragraph of text, a bunch of bullet points and even remember a phone number. These are all forms of support media because people are going to look at them quickly and they should be designed to be eye catching and simple. It’s the repetition and recognition of your brand and your message that will drive an audience to learn more about your products or services. Simplicity is the key to being noticed. In case you missed it, I do have a previous episode on the RnR of advertising that you should watch too.

Let’s look at some print ad examples:

I want to start by saying that I’m not trying to point the finger at anyone or make anyone look bad. But I did want to show exactly what I mean by information overload. And hey, anyone on these pages is getting free advertising so there you go. That being said, here are 2 different pages from Georgian life magazine which is a great local publication by the way.

Now looking at the example below, you can see that too much information becomes very busy and actually forces us to just avert our eyes. Even if they were on their own, almost every ad has just too much information. The only exception here, I would say is the Molly Maid ad at the top left. Have a look at that one. They have one message, dependable cleaning along with their brand and their contact. That’s all you need and you see that because they have included only one message, they have allowed enough space to make that headline really huge, relative to the other ads. It’s really the only thing that gets through on this page in my opinion so thumbs up to them.

Let me just show you what it looks like if you really took a chance and went with pure brand advertising. Now this is a bold move and not for everyone of course but look at what happens when we add this BFresh.Media ad right in the middle. Anyone flipping through Georgian Life would immediately be drawn to this brand ad because it’s clean, simple and there is a lot of white space.

So that was a drastic example, what if we included a message and contact, here’s how I might approach that. Again, it’s a really clean and simple design with lots of white space but we have one message, Graphic Design and our contact information which also doubles as the website url. But that’s it, and again, your eye is drawn to that because it is such a contrast to everything else.

Here is one of our clients who inspired this topic because we were looking at ways to make his half page ad (for Georgian Life) more effective and this was the result. We cut the messaging down to one message which is meant to be slightly vague. That’s because the mortgage business can be complicated and intimidating so we wanted to really make his personal brand and web page a key focus without overloading it with too much information. We wanted to convey professionalism and integrity in a simple and appealing design. The great thing about what Gerard is doing is that he is also writing articles in Georgian life that help fill in that information piece. So if someone happens to read is piece on reverse mortgages then this ad will support that through repetition and recognition and help drive sales.

When we spread out our marketing material into a good mix of those support media and information media, we can allow ourselves the ability to simplify our message and the result is advertising that people want to look at.

Finally, here is another example of a client ad that BFresh.Media not only designed but shot the photos as well. It is a good example of not adding too many photos either because the photos do add to the information component. But the purpose here is to inspire the viewer with beautiful photos and drive them to the website or to contact for more information.

When it comes to photos, advertisers often want to show as many as possible because the thought is how will people know what we do unless we show them? Well my answer is if you really want people to know then you’re going to have to run more ads. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It will certainly help with the repetition, and recognition.

Have A Great Week!

Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 46 – Cure for the Blue Monday Funk

Today is Blue Monday, apparently the most depressing day of the year and I am definitely feeling that. I woke up not really motivated at all. I had a topic all lined up for today’s episode too but all I wanted to do was drink coffee, play candy crush, and try not to think about work or how bloody cold it is outside.

The thing is, I still have to do a video. I would be letting everyone down, and letting myself down, if I don’t get a video out. So what do I do? Blahhh...

Hang on, I think I know what can pull me out of this funk. It’s crazy enough it might just work... What’s the one thing that can help overcome any challenge? What does every underdog need to persevere? One word, MONTAGE.

For the record, mental health is no joke. We as entrepreneurs and business owners are certainly not immune to depression. Do yourself a favour and talk to someone about it.

That’s my Public Service Announcement for today. Wishing you a happy and healthy Freakin’ Monday.

Have A Great Week!

Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 45 – Why Use Instagram Stories

I am admittedly late to jump on the Instagram Stories bandwagon. It is January 2019 and I posted my first story last week. The reason? I just never had the time or the interest to flip through the stories of those I follow and so I never felt the need to post my own. However, I know that is a terrible excuse! When it comes to choosing your marketing channels, it should never be based on anecdotal evidence but true, honest data and the data is pretty clear.

Why use Stories

Instagram Stories is a trend that is not going away and in fact becoming more and more popular and I cannot ignore it anymore. How popular you ask? Well between June and October of 2018, the number of users grew by 100 million to an estimated 400 million users daily. So at least I’m not the only one who is late to the party.

Here is a chart of that growth up to june of last year. Source: Statista.com (click the image for direct link)

Now in my defense, the demographics using stories does tend to be younger which is not exactly my target audience. That being said, some of my clients do fall into that age range and therefore it is a channel that I want to explore.

It is also a channel that my followers are using and by not being there, I’m definitely missing an opportunity. According to Ad Espresso, 80% of all daily active instagram users are watching stories as often as they are browsing their feed.  Source: AdEspresso 

So here is a very active and popular media space that you need to be exploring. Last week I spoke about capitalizing on “Micro-Moments” and stories was a prime example of how to do that. If you are trying to get your message in front of Instagram users and keep your brand top of mind, then you need to diversify your messaging and understand some users might be looking at their feed while others are looking at stories.

Stories are fantastic at keeping your audience engaged with short messages and there are lots of creative ways to make that message fun and entertaining. Not to mention, you can and should use those to expand your Instagram profile by creating Highlights. These are saved stories that remain at the top of your profile which is a perfect way to showcase different products or services that you provide.

The point is that Instagram is an amazing channel for engaging your audience and advertise your business. However, if you’re not using stories, you’re not getting the most out of the platform and you’re missing a huge portion of your audience.

Stay tuned next week when I continue to spread the Insta love and talk more in-depth about HOW to use stories for your business.

Have A Great Week!

Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 44 – Instant Marketing

The landscape of digital marketing is changing. In fact, it has always been changing and evolving, the trick is trying to stay on top of change and lasting trends. One of those lasting trends that I want to talk about and focus on for myself even, is the Instant marketing trend.

What is instant marketing? Well there are 2 aspects to this concept of Instant marketing and the best way to illustrate them is to think about how you consume media. The first part is about our expectation for “instant” as consumers. For example, if you have a problem like your toilet is backed up, you will probably google plumbers and hope to have a solution within minutes. The same goes for shopping with sites like Amazon really pushing that instant solution, and speedy delivery.

As consumers, we are all becoming increasingly demanding with our need for instant solutions to our problems, and as marketers we need to be aware of that, and cater to it.

The second aspect is how we actually use our devices. Statistics show that we are online a lot but that’s a total amount that is generally made up of many short bursts. So if you think about your day you probably looked at your phone when you had time. You might have spent 10 min here, 15 min there, checking social media, or shopping when you had a few minutes to spare.

Google actually coined the term “Micro-Moments” to define this behaviour of usage and demand that seems to only be getting more micro as digital media continues to evolve. The fact is that the window of time that advertisers have, to be in that right place at the right time, is becoming shorter and shorter.

Digital marketing may have always been considered “instant” but new channels and tools are making your regular Facebook posts look like a week old newspaper because of their increased immediacy. To stay on top of this trend we need to think micro, think instant, and even right now.

Here are 2 ways to stay on top of this and deliver your marketing to consumers in an effective way:

1. Live streaming

Live video is a very powerful tool that I have talked about before but I will say it again that you should be live streaming things like events, sales, and special promotions to cater to that “in the moment” mentality. You want your message to be shorter but more frequent and across more platforms. Live streaming is instant because it is happening right this moment and your followers will get notified when you go live.

2. Stories

Stories should also be a key focus for you in 2019. So Instagram and facebook stories for example that allow you to craft simple but short messages that disappear in 24hrs. These are capitalizing on the immediate with an added sense of urgency as the posts are usually deleted after 24hrs so it’s a great place to post about a sale that your followers won’t want to miss.

I for one have been late to jump on the story bandwagon for my own business but one of my resolutions for 2019 is to kick that into high gear. So stay tuned for next week when I talk more about stories, why they are effective and how to use them to your advantage. See you next week!

Have A Great Week!