ALBANY TIMES UNION BLOG

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Summer in Review

The Summer of 2020 was one for the ages.  Businesses had to weather many a storm thrown their way. And while we won’t go so far as to say 2020 was a banner year, it certainly was a year of growth and opportunity. Opportunities for organizations to become more creative in meeting consumer demands in times of crisis.  Opportunities for organizations to rethink their readiness when it comes to major disruptions. And opportunities for organizations to transform in order to better connect with the community, their customers and their prospects.

For many organizations, the road to a complete recovery in light of all disruptions faced this year will certainly be a challenging one. However, through the adoption of new strategies and the transformation of pre-existing businesses practices, organizations can capture market share that is up for grabs and meet consumer demands along the way.

One such way in which to restyle an organization, make new connections and grow,  includes developing or remodeling a marketing campaign. Research Google conducted in partnership with Deloitte found that Fortune 1000 board members believe marketing, in particular, can be an engine for business growth. We surely believe this to be true.

Below, we’ve highlighted a mix of print and digital advertising mediums that will diversify your marketing mix to attract new and returning customers.

 

Digital Marketing Solutions

 

Native Advertising

Native advertising  – aka branded content, aka advertorials, aka sponsored content. Whatever you choose to refer to sponsored content as, this tool is a powerful and efficient one.

Native advertising is the use of paid ads that match the look, feel and function of the media format in which they appear. The appeal of sponsored content and the key to its success is that it looks like part of the editorial flow of the page and are non-disruptive. The ads also run on desktops, mobile devices, tablets and are largely found within social media feeds – specifically Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

In 2018, advertisers spent $35.4B on sponsored content. Why? Because the ads lead the viewer to interact with the product or brand being advertised. When utilizing sponsored content as part of your company’s marketing strategy, it is crucial that you create engaging content that resonates with your ideal customer. Content is still king in the world of marketing and working to produce and distribute content that is high-quality that in-turn builds trust and establishes value in a brand is a long-term marketing play that will pay dividends.

Advertising such content in the form of sponsored content is a highly effective method of marketing in order for companies to build overall brand awareness, increase engagement with a specific audience based on targeted demographics and interests and allow consumers to learn more about your company.

 

Display Advertising

Research has shown that consumers generally do not contact a business the first time they see their ad. In fact, it takes roughly 6-8 touches to generate a sales lead. That’s a significant amount of activity to say the least. Through display advertising, we can ensure that your campaign is on display (no pun intended!) to millions of consumers in your local area. How? We serve your ads on the top local news site in the Capital Region – timesunion.com. What’s more? We also serve your organization’s ads on locally targeted national brands within Hearst’s portfolio like Esquire.com, GoodHousekeeping.com and CarandDriver.com.

Through our industry-leading targeting technology, we are able to view an individual’s location and their interests (based on sites they have previously visited) in order to determine whether they are in fact your company’s ideal target. Using this data, we are able to serve your ads to precisely the right audience – reducing costs and improving campaign results.

Furthermore, we optimize your campaign based on clicks and other ad activity (such as calls). That way, the performance of the ads running becomes even more effective over time. While generating leads is crucial, better understanding your audience is also enormously helpful – especially when beginning marketing campaigns on additional mediums.

 

Pre-Roll Video Advertising

In an environment where people are surfing the web, watching television and checking out their social media page on three different devices at the same time, creating a marketing campaign that can efficiently insert itself into this overstimulation is more important than ever.

What content format has the ability to be on all three of a consumer’s active screens? Video. Video has become the format to educate, entertain, engage, share news and drive sales. Oftentimes, these five elements appear in a single 10 or 15-second video (or in Facebook’s case, a mere 6 seconds).

Admittedly, getting started with video marketing can be overwhelming. However, if you want a video advertisement that is great for brand awareness, ad recall and product or service consideration, pre-roll videos advertisements should be your top choice.

By definition, a pre-roll ad is a video advertisement that automatically plays directly before a featured video. Pre-roll videos have the ability to play on both desktop and mobile devices, which is important as 75% of all video plays are on mobile devices. With pre-roll ads, your organization has the ability to target consumers based on interests, topics, online behaviors, other videos viewed and much more. Running an ad directly before a viewer’s desired content automatically creates an engaged audience for your organization’s promotional piece.

It pays to focus on providing value to your ideal consumer. Rather than listing off facts about your product, service or company, dig deep and discover what your ideal consumer is truly looking for.

Moral of the story – Endearing + Engaging + Valuable + (Humor) = A Successful Pre-Roll Ad

 

Email Marketing

Email marketing has withstood the test of time in the world of marketing and doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon. This is largely due to the fact that email marketing can be utilized within any vertical and benefits any company that needs to boost brand awareness and traffic (in-person and digitally).

According to a study conducted by MarketingSherpa, roughly 72% of US adults prefer companies to communicate with them via email. This number is a direct reflection of the sheer volume of current email users worldwide – 3.9 BILLION! In addition, email’s predicted user growth rate for the next four years is 3% (about 100M new users each year).

Reaching people via email is critical as today’s consumers are always on the go and constantly connected with their digital devices (mobile, tablet, laptop, etc.). Email marketing is a cost effective, highly targeted, measurable advertising medium to reach ideal audiences locally, nationally or globally. Such a marketing strategy increases brand visibility, adds another touch point in the consumer buying journey (remember, 6-8 touches before a sale is made), drives quality prospects to your company’s website and perhaps above all, is an invaluable communication tool to announce new deals, new services or new locations.

We proudly offer one of the largest and most comprehensive databases in the marketplace today, containing hundreds of available selects and approximately 120+ million(!!!) emails with matching postal records. We go through a rigorous hygiene process to ensure our data is compliant, deliverable, and bot-free. We use two third party bot detection companies, in addition to our own proprietary methods to identify and filter bots in real time. We will identify and block most bots so they are blocked before they reach your website.

We work with our clients to create email marketing campaigns that adhere to industry best-practices. Crafted emails are not only engaging and visually appealing, but are consistently delivered at optimal times and compliment other active marketing channels. Plus, our in-depth, real-time reporting allows for total transparency when it comes to campaign success.

 

Print Marketing Solutions

 

Print is still relevant.

In the turbulent world we are a part of, citizens have been turning to print media sources for their latest news. This is largely due to the fact that there is a great deal of trust in newspapers.

 

A Trusted Medium

Recently, Forbes highlighted a number of brands who have published what they called “Corporate Social Responsibility statements” for organizations who wish to further communicate their stance on social issues and corporate betterment via traditional long form print ads in newspapers, among other print mediums.

As Forbes noted, brands have a lot to say and consumers are listening. People are constantly seeking out news surrounding the pandemic, economic affairs, social affairs and political affairs. While the plethora of short-form digital content that is available at our fingertips plays into the fact that adult attention spans have dwindled to a mere eight seconds, the deep reflection and conversations that are necessary to better our country, community and workplace, must be rooted in informative, trustworthy communication sources. As the mailable state of the world becomes increasingly complex, long-form newspaper content informs, educates and entertains citizens in a manner unlike any other medium.

People are hypervigilant now and largely driven by emotions. Positioning a brand as a leader who positively impacts the community and its members is invaluable. Treating people with empathy and advertising on appropriate mediums with powerful messaging is a winning combination.

 

Print Advertising Campaigns

The Times Union has the ability to build comprehensive print advertising campaigns to amplify brand exposure to its 230K+ daily readers across the Capital Region. Such a campaign includes ad design showcasing inviting visuals and a wholesome tone to connect with local audiences, a multitude of ad formats ranging from quarter pages to wraps around the TU newspaper (which can be used to promote diverse inventories!), and ad placements within several specialty publications. Such specialty publications can reach not only target audiences, but also reach consumers during critical times of the year for a business, such as the holiday shopping season.

 

In Conclusion

 

As we transition out of the summer season and into the holiday shopping season and the final quarter of 2020, now is the time to create a well-thought out comprehensive marketing campaign.

The Times Union Media Group is here to help you leverage all media types to grow the reach of your business. Contact us today for more information!

 

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