When people think of TV advertising, they usually think of multinational brands like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Television branding seems outside the reach of most small businesses. The reality is, however, that ever since the advent of cable television, advertising for the little guy is very much a reality.
In the past, to advertise on TV you had to book nationally. Your ad had to be spliced into commercial spots, which were then aired through the airwaves.
Since TV went digital and cable, however, TV networks are now able to splice in commercials on the fly. That means that if you own a marketing firm catering to Boston, you can have your commercial spliced just into the programming of viewers in the Boston area, rather than nationwide.
With this kind of targeted ad buying, even small and medium sized businesses can advertise on TV. Here’s how to do it.
==> Producing the Commercial
Producing a commercial can cost quite a bit of money. The amount you spend really depends on how high you want the quality to be.
The average large brand spends $350,000 to produce a commercial. By contrast, a small business can produce a commercial for as little as $2,000.
You’ll probably want to either buy a decent HD camera, or rent professional grade cameras for a few hundred dollars a day. Video editors, especially film students, can be hired for between $25 to $40 an hour.
For a small to medium sized business, $10,000 total for production should be enough to get you from start to finish.
Try to shoot both a longer and shorter version of the commercial. You can buy in 10, 15 and 30 second increments.
==> Making the Ad Buy
You can make the ad buy one of several ways.
The easiest way is to go through an ad agency. Agencies already have contacts with TV stations and can have you up and running in no time. Some agencies charge, some don’t, as they make money by charging you full price while receiving discounts from TV stations.
There are a lot of ways to bring the cost of ads down. You can buy remnant ad space, which can cut the costs of ads by as much as 65%. You can buy spots in several shows at once, which can drastically lower the price per ad spot. You can also buy several weeks or months of ads at once, which also lowers the price.
Remember that building a brand on TV is all about repeat exposure. If you have a $50,000 TV budget, don’t spend it all at once. Stretch it out over a few months and see how it impacts your business.