Top TV Advertising Tips For Better TV Ads


You may think that a television commercial is unreasonably expensive for a small business, but the actual cost might surprise you.

The price will vary depending on:

  1. The size of the television market (depending on the area)
  2. The time slot
  3. The popularity of the show you choose

However, as a general guide, TV advertising costs:

  • Big cities: probably run between $5,000 and $10,000 a month
  • Smaller cities might charge around $1,000 – 2,000 a month
  • Smaller towns, you might be able to run an advertising campaign for as little as $500 a month

This is still  a significant amount, but TV commercials will allow you to reach a larger and more engaged audience than most other forms of advertising.

How to Buy TV Commercials

First, you’ll need to decide if you want to advertise through:

  • Cable/Satellite
  • Local broadcasting

Local broadcasting means buying advertisements through your local versions of the big networks. In USA: Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC.

Cable/satellite advertising is generally cheaper but will reach a smaller audience.

Network broadcasting will be more expensive but will allow you to advertise during popular programs such as American Idol and NFL football and therefore reach a bigger audience.

Target the Right Audience

To make sure your commercial is effective, you need to make sure the right people are watching it.

Television stations will allow you to choose the show and time slot you advertise during, although they may come with different price tags.

Think about when and what your potential customers will be watching to make an informed choice.

If you’re not sure, you can share some demographic information such as the age, gender, and income of your average customer with the television station.

They should be able to help you choose a show and time slot that matches your target group’s preferences.

Factor in Production Costs

Remember that the price of airtime is not the only cost for your commercial; you will also have to produce it.

Depending on your approach, this can be fairly cheap, but if you want a complex commercial, you will have to buy or rent equipment, pay actors, and probably buy some things for set design and costumes.

This can add thousands of dollars to your expenses.

Some local broadcasters, however, may be able to make the commercial for you if you are running the advertisement for long enough.

They may still charge you for this service, even if you are advertising with them.

Ask an account executive if they can offer you a deal on a package of advertising and commercial production.

What do you think?

Have your say in the comments below.

Cold Calling: 3 Tips To Generate New Business With A Cold Call

Cold calling can be intimidating to do, but it can be an effective way to reach new clients and increase business.

Cold calling is the process of contacting prospective customers who do not expect to be hearing from you.

You can use this call to explain what your business offers and how it can help the person or business on the other end of the line.

You are looking for a win-win. They win because they get what they need. You win because you make your sale.


1. Do Your Homework

  • When calling businesses or people you think might be interested in your services, take the time to find out some information about them before calling.
  • Try a simple Google search or looking on Linkedin.
  • If the company you’re getting in touch with has a website, looking through their “about us” section will give you a lot of helpful information.
  • This research will really help you target your pitch to the individual you’re reaching, making your call much more effective.
  • This process will take time, but in the end you’ll have more success making a smaller number of well-planned calls than many identical calls to people you know nothing about.

2. Relate to Their Needs

  • The best way to get people to listen to you receptively is to start out by relating to their needs.
  • Instead of beginning your call with a long description of your company and its services, start with a question.
  • If you run a recruiting business, for example, you could ask a company if they need help finding good, reliable employees.
  • If you run advertisements, you could ask a company if they would like to increase their sales.
  • Then you can introduce how your business can help to meet their needs.
  • Throughout the conversation, keep the focus on their needs and on helping them.
  • This will be easier if you’ve done your research on the company and what their goals are.

3. Don’t Give Up

  • Cold calling can be tough.
  • You’re likely to contact many people who are not interested in listening to you.
  • Stay patient, and keep trying.
  • It may take dozens of calls to find one new client, but at the end of the day you’ll still be generating new business.
  • And remember to always stay polite and friendly.
  • An upbeat tone and good manners will go a long way to keeping people on the other end engaged in the conversation.

Your Thoughts?

Have your say in the comments below.

Radio Interviews: Getting One And How To Prepare

radio-interviewRadio interviews can be a fantastic way to spread awareness of your business to a wider audience.

And perhaps best of all, they’re free!

They will, however, require some effort to organize and prepare for.

1. How to get the interview in the first place

This is the hardest part.

Remember not to approach the interview as an advertisement, but rather as something that will interest and benefit radio listeners. As a business owner, you are in a position to comment on your industry.

Think about what kind of audience will be interested in your business.

Look into local radio and whether they have any segments relevant to what you have to say.

Many radio shows will have talk sections on business or local news.

Once you have a radio show in mind, you need to get in touch with the host or producers.

Look at the station’s website for contact details. You can try calling or emailing.

Radio hosts are busy people, so you may need to politely follow up to ensure that they notice your pitch.

Whatever mode of contact you choose, include a description of yourself and your business. Then convey why talking to you will be interesting for their listeners.

What new ideas do you have to talk about?

Or how can you help their listeners find better deals or services?

You may also want to include a list of questions they can ask you, making the potential interview even easier for them.

2. How to prepare and make the most of your radio interview

Make sure to prepare for your interview.

Think of answers to the questions you provided, but don’t assume the radio host will stick to the list.

Think if there are any tricky questions the host might ask and how you might answer.

A good idea is to have a friend or family member do a practice interview with you, so you’ll have polished answers ready.

Remember that the appearance of confidence and a sense of humor will get you far.

You should also think about the key message you want to send.

What do you want listeners to remember about you and your business?

Then make sure that you refer back to this key point more than once, and your audience will certainly remember it and you.

3. Ensure you thank the radio host afterward

After your interview, make sure to send a thank-you note or email to the host.

Radio shows have a lot of time to fill, and they may ask you to come back again one day!

Your Thoughts?

Have your say in the comments below.

The Power of Posters: 3 Key Principles For Advertising Your Business Services With Posters

posters-to-advertise-businessPosters can be a great form of advertising for 4 main reasons:

  1. They are cheap to reproduce in high volumes
  2. Easy to produce (lots of printers/copy shops to choose from, or print on your own printer)
  3. Highly visible, they make an impact
  4. You choose the location, so you can target your customers

Here’s a quick guide to help you get the most out of poster advertisements:

1. Be Bold

  • To draw people’s attention, the focal point of your poster should be a large image. Think about the services you offer and what best represents those services.
  • If you run a restaurant, a picture of your signature dish would be great.
  • Alternatively, you can think of representing a need your potential customer will relate to.
  • If you are a massage therapist, you might choose a picture that shows stress or soreness, then state that your business will help with that need.
  • A bold headline can also draw attention. Keep it relatively short so that people can read it easily.
  • If you can, have the poster printed in color

2. Keep It Simple

  • A poster is not the place to list all the details of your business and services.
  • Your goal should be to attract the attention of people walking by and enable them to find your business later.
  • Keep the text limited to a simple, attention-grabbing headline, a small blurb or catchphrase, and your website and phone number.
  • Adding too much text will make your poster cluttered and difficult to read.
  • Less information in a larger font will draw the eye and be easier to remember.

3. Location, Location, Location

  • The great thing about posters is that you can hang them anywhere.
  • Think about your target customers and what locations they might frequent.
  • If you run a dog walking business, you could hang posters at local veterinarians and pet stores.
  • If you offer tutoring services, you could try posting at schools or at cafes that draw in students.
  • If you’d like to hang your poster at another business, make sure you ask first.
  • Many small businesses will allow you to post advertisements on a bulletin board.
  • Post offices also usually have bulletin boards where you could pin your poster.
  • And look out for community bulletin boards in commercial areas.
  • Of course, you can also tape your poster around telephone poles in the neighborhood around your business.
  • As you hang more posters, more and more people will recognize your name.

What do you think?

Have your say in the comment below.

Direct Mail Tips: What To Consider Before Sending Addressed Mail

Are the following statements true for you?

  • You have a message you want to send out to 50 – 500 potential clients/customers
  • You have a contact name and postal address
  • Timeliness is not an issue. If it takes your audience a few days, or weeks or even months before they take action, that’s ok

If you answered yes to the above statements, perhaps direct mail is a good choice for you.

I just want to be clear, when I talk about “direct mail”, I’m talking about a letter (maybe just a few pages) in an envelope with the recipients name and address printed on the front.

I’m not talking about glossy/colourful items that have been commercially printed.


There are 3 reasons why sending a direct mail might be a better choice than alternatives such as a calling a meeting, making a phone call or sending an email:

  1. Scale
  2. Tangibility
  3. Attention

1. Scale

With direct mail you can communicate with a huge audience. 100 people. 1000 people. 10,000 people. It’ll only cost you about $1-$2 each. If you can make an average of $5 per letter you send out, you are making money.

2. Attention

Seeing an envelope in your in-tray with your name on it, ripping open the envelope and seeing your name at the top, and reading a message written for you, that’s personal. That gets your attention.

It has almost zero chance of not being opened. Can you say that about any other form of advertising?

3. Tangibility

You get to feel the paper in your hands. It exists. A whole lot of complicated logistics got it to you. You can throw it on your desk, and it’ll be there waiting for you later. If you delete an email, however, it’s gone. Out of sight, out of mind. Email is cheap. A letter has much more value.

3 More Direct Mail Tips:

  • Personalise the letter heavily with the receipients first name. Not just the envelope and internal address, put it in your headings and subheadings and 5 or 6 times in the body, and in the call to action at the end
  • Don’t use window envelopes. They look like bills and they don’t build up anticipation of something good. Also, they might not get opened until later in the month
  • Print your return address on the back. The letters that get returned can be removed from your database

Your thoughts?

Have your say in the comments below.

Billboard Advertising Tips: 3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Your First Billboard Ad

Billboards can be fun. Billboard can be boring. Billboards can be noticeable. Billboards can be easy to ignore. Billboards can really get your message out there. Billboards can be a waste of money.

hmmm, it really can go either way.


Here are 3 questions to ask yourself if you are considering a billboard ad for your business

1. “Is broadcasting with outdoor advertising to the general public really the best way to get my message to my target client?”

If you know the profile of your target clients pretty well, then crunch some numbers and work out how much wastage there is.

For example if you’re selling insurance, then you could guess that:

  • 20% don’t care
  • 30% have enough cover and are not interested
  • 30% are loyal to their current provider
  • but the timing is right for 1%

Then you can estimate the size of the audience:

  • If the traffic is 20,000 cars per day
  • Your audience is 200 people per day (1%)
  • But only 25% of them might notice and read your billboard
  • So that leaves you with 50 people

Now let’s estimate the cost:

  • Your cost is $100/day for the billboard ($3k/month is about right)
  • So you are paying $2 per impression ($100/50 people)
  • 1% of those might take action and give you a call (industry average)
  • Bringing your cost-per-enquiry to $200 ($2/1%)
  • Your conversion from enquiry to sale is 20% (industry average)
  • Giving you a cost-per-sale of $1000

So, is the lifetime value of your customer more than $1000?

If so, congratulations, give billboard advertising a try!

If not, try something else.

2. “What state of mind is my audience in?”

Here’s what we know about public on the move in cars/trucks/bikes:

  • They are on the way to somewhere
  • They are busy, stressed in traffic, not in the mood to be sold to
  • They don’t have a pen or a free hand to write down a phone number or website address
  • They aren’t allowed to make a phone call whilst driving

Wow, this is seriously an unreceptive auidence. Can you see how the odds are stacked against you here?

One small positive is that we are creatures of habit. Those same people will probably be past your billboard tomorrow, and the day after and the day after that.

So at least you’ve got frequency on your side. A chance for your message to sink in a bit.

So, how can you get them to take action in this situation?

3. “What are the essential elements that my billboard must have?”

Your billboard should have these 4 components and these 4 components only:

  1. Headline
    • A huge headline (5 to 9 words) that asks a question, or
    • States the primary benefit of what you’re selling
    • (No crazy fonts. Make it super easy to read)
  2. Photo
    • One huge photo that has impact
    • Human faces are good
    • Something a bit unusual is good
    • Avoid stock photography if you can
  3. Your business name/logo
    • Small
    • Don’t take up room that the headline and photo might need to increase their impact
  4. State the action you want them to take
    • Either a phone number and/or website address

Your thoughts?

Have your say in the comments below.

Could An Infomercial Make You Serious Money? How To Create One For Your Business

The king of infomercials: Billy Mays

Billy Mays: Has sold millions of dollars of product via infomercial

Infomercials can be hilariously bad and can make you cringe but don’t forget about how they have the ability to turn people into millionaires.

If you didn’t know already, the world “infomercial” is a combination of the words “information” and “commercial”. Pretty clever huh? 🙂

In the industry they are also called “television direct response advertising”. I think “infomercial” is much better though, don’t you?

Imagine for a moment that you had an infomercial to sell your product or service…

You’ve got an overly-enthusiastic man with a beard and/or an equally enthusiastic middle-aged woman speaking straight into the camera and highlighting exactly why the people watching from home will change their lives with your product in your hands.

Examples of the best performing infomercials in the world

Billy Mays was the king of infomercials, here’s a compilation video of his best comercials:

What do you need to do to make your own infomercial?

To make that happen you need to know that infomercials are very expensive to produce in the first place. We are talking tens of thousands of dollars (even hundreds of thousands of dollars).

On your to-do list to make your infomercial happen you need to:

  • Hire a studio
  • Hire actors
  • Hire a director and script writer
  • Build a set
  • Hire videographers, editors and special effects masters
  • Buy a toll-free number
  • Hire logistics people to distribute

Or, just hire a specialist infomercial company to put this project together for you. They will take upfront fees plus a commission on every item they sell for you.

But once that’s all done and your infomercial video is created, non-prime time TV advertising is pretty cheap, and people with money to burn are up at all those strange hours of the night watching.

If your product solves a problem they have (or better yet, a problem they didn’t know they have until they see your product), then you could be laughing all the way to the bank!

Are Infomercials Better For Products or Services?

Definitely products. Products scale better (you can fill a warehouse), and they are non-perishable (if you don’t sell it today, you can sell it tomorrow).

What do you think?

Have your say in the comments below

In-Movie Product Placement: Could Your Brand Be Used Popular Movie Characters?

One of my favourites movies comes to mind when I think about in-movie product placement: iRobot with Will Smith.

You’ll see him personally use:

  • Converse’s Chuck Taylor All-Stars
  • Audi RSQ
  • FedEx
  • Tecate
  • JVC


For me, the product placements didn’t detract from the movie at all. Some of the zoom-ins were a bit cheesy I spose, but not too bad.

The challenge for you would be coming up with millions of dollars to make this happen for your product or service.

Some directors take a hard line and won’t compromise the art of their movie at all, others might be a bit more willing to have you decrease their budget.

You could try with TV dramas that are made near you, or documentaries or reality TV shows too.

8 Tips To Get Better Results From Your Trade Show or Expo Stand

1. All the best Trade Show booths gone? Only a few right at the back to choose from? Fine!

Don’t worry too much about your location.

You instinctively think that a high traffic area would be better, but don’t make that assumption.

Most visitors will walk around the entire trade show/expo. You’ll get a chance at making a connection wherever you are. So don’t stress about it. (And if you wait until the last minute you can get some really good discounts from the organisers!)

2. Say hi to everyone who walks past. Everyone. (And every time they walk past)

There’s a fine line between looking desperate, and being friendly and approachable.

But the simple act of saying hi has a profound psychological effect.

It taps in to a basic human need – the need for connection.   In response, most will turn and give your posters and branding a chance to speak to them.

3. Bring your hottest employees

Everyone likes a bit of eye candy at trade shows and expos. If they know your product inside out, all the better.

4. Minimise your branding, maximise the benefits you are offering

This may be hard to hear, but no-one really cares about your brand.  They only care about themselves and if you can help them.

So don’t make the classic mistake of branding the background of your booth with huge logos. The trick is to write benefit driven headlines and bullet points.

The purpose is to give walkers-by a snapshot of what you do so they can decide if they need your services.  This way, you get  the visitors who want the benefits you state in your headline and bullet points, to stop and talk to you, and everyone else walks away.

Good! That’s what you want!

5. Write notes on business cards as you collect them

Write a few notes on the back of prospects business cards to remind you who they are later.

You could record your impressions about how likely they are to become clients.

And for bonus points, write a note about what they told you about their business to jog your memory later, so you can personalise your follow up email to them.

6. Don’t just require a business card for the prize draw, have an entry form

This is a common mistake.

You think that just asking people to pop a business card into the fish bowl or entry box is easy right?

Yes, it’s easy for them, but it’s hard for you.

It’s hard for you to determine if those prospects are real candidates for new business.

It’s hard for you to avoid wasting time on those that aren’t.

So on your entry form (A6 size, in pads bound with plastic coils work really well) have space to staple their business card to the form (and provide a stapler), and ask them filtering questions about their needs.

For example “what brand of accounting software are you currently using?” (if you sell accounting software), “how many employees to you have” (if you are selling HR services), “what’s the #1 annoying thing about xyz?”

There is nothing worse than drawing the winner to find someone completely unsuited to being a client of yours.  What a waste!

In fact, I suggest you go through the entries and throw the unsuitable entries in the bin before you do the draw.

7. What should the prize for the prize draw be?

You could go with a voucher for discounts on your services, or you could go with something with a much wider appeal like an iphone.

I say cast the net wide by offering the later, and let your entry form do the filtering for you.

8. Follow up super-fast

Of all these tips, this one is the most important.

Have a follow-up plan in place before you go.

For example if it’s a 3 day trade show or expo, that night from your hotel, email the new contacts you made, just to say hi (you can sell to them later, this time you just want to stand out from the hundreds of people they met that day).  Or you might email the contact details to a staff member for sending out the next morning (using your email address).

One time I got a text message from an business banking rep just to say he enjoyed meeting me – within 5 minutes of leaving his booth! That made a huge impression.

What tips do you have to add?

Have you been to trade shows and expo’s? As an exhibitor? As a visitor? What have you seen or done that worked?  Write your thoughts in the comments below.

Need a Better Radio Ad? 4 Tips To Improve Your Radio Advertising

In a moment I will share with you 4 tips on how to write a radio ad that actually works. But first, I want you to think about radio advertising from your point of view as a member of the audience.

Q: Why do you listen to the radio?

  • Music?
  • Witty Commentary?
  • Advertising?
  • Because you like hearing the same weather report and news headlines every 15 minutes?

Q: Where are you when you listen to the radio?

  • In the car?
  • On your morning run or bike ride?
  • In the office?
  • On the toilet?

Q: What do you do when the ads come on?

  • Change the radio station?
  • “Zone out” while you wait for the music or chat to start again?
  • Listen carefully for the latest sales and bargains?

You can see that there are a million potential distractions that can prevent your advertising message getting through to your radio audience.

And radio is a mass-media form of advertising after-all, so there is a huge amount of wastage (I hate wastage!).

Your potential audience could be 10,000 people, but how many of those people are:

  1. Listening attentively…
  2. at that precise moment in time…
  3. that need what you are selling…
  4. and are motivated enough to take action?

Probably none.

If you ask a radio advertising sales person what it takes to generate business for you using radio advertising, they will tell you there are 2 things you need:

  1. High repetition/frequency
  2. Say your brand name heaps

That is complete bullocks!

They say “repetition” because they want you to buy more ads.

They say “brand name” because that’s what your boss is more likely to approve the ad because he loves to hear his brand name again and again.

As you can probably tell by now, I am not a fan of radio advertising and haven’t recommended it to any of my clients for years.  I’ve tried it several times, but it didn’t generate any results.

And if you’re not getting results from your advertising (or you don’t know how to measure them), then what’s the point? You might as well flush your advertising dollars down the toilet!

But this morning, whilst running, I heard a radio ad that had all the elements of success going for it.

I heard this radio ad once and I remembered these 4 important facts:

  1. The name of the business owner
  2. What he is offering
  3. How he distinguishes himself from the competition
  4. What should you do next if you want to contact him or find out more

Do you realise how amazing that is?  After a single exposure?

So what can we learn from this?

What do you have to do to write a radio ad like this that at least has a chance at generating results for you?

Here is your lesson for the day:

4 Essential Components of a Radio Ad

1. Target your audience with your opening sentence

The opening sentence is exactly like a headline in a newspaper. If you don’t like the headline you don’t read the article.  It’s the same with radio ads.  If the opening sentence doesn’t speak to you, you “zone out” and don’t listen to the rest of the ad.  At first, you might think that’s bad, but that’s great!  It means you speaking to your target audience directly, and people who aren’t interested are being filtered out.

2. Use the word “you” through-out your ad

This is just like speed dating.  You only have 30 seconds, so do you talk about yourself or do you talk about them?

You talk about them of course!

Don’t make the mistake of talking about you and your business “we do this, and we do that”. Borrrr-ring!

What do people care about more: themselves or what you are trying to sell them?


So talk about the listener, what they want, what they need, and use “you” and “your” constantly.

3. Distinguish yourself with a single fact

You’ve only got time to state 1 fact.

The amazing thing about this is that is the fact doesn’t have to be overly impressive, it just has to be distinctive.

In this example, Aaron said he was “one of NZ’s youngest celebrants”.  Amazing? No. Distinctive? Yes!

4. Make the call to action a website address

The #1 most common mistake in radio ads is stating a phone number as the call-to-action.

Phone numbers are too hard to remember! (Even word numbers eg 0800 CALL ME NOW). They might rattle around in your brain for a few seconds, but you know that by the time you find a piece of paper and a pen (or your cellphone), they will be gone. So you don’t bother.

A website address works because is probably uses the same brand name that was mentioned in the ad with a “.com” on the end of it. Easy to remember. Easy for your audience to type in when they next get to a computer (or remember days or weeks later!)

What do you think?

Have your say in the comments below.