Top 6 Tips for Maximizing Advertising Returns in 2012

Every money goddess sometimes needs a little help from a friend. That was true for me this week. Enter Gary James (http://www.jamesgangcreative.com).

My colleague Gary and I enjoy the occasional witty exchange. This week, when I had writer’s block, I called Gary, also known as the Ad-PR genius behind James Gang Creative, and asked him for his opinion on a topic close to my clients’ hearts: spending money on advertising. A national award-winning advertising executive, Gary’s EXCLUSIVE advice is news everyone in need of a little money magic can use as they plan for the transformative year 2012.

Here are six ways you can consciously stretch every dollar to make sure it really works for you and your holistic business.

6. Make certain everything looks the same across platforms.

Whether you’re using social media, print, radio, or another tactic, make certain your tag line and messaging looks and feels uniquely yours. That’s good branding. “In a quality campaign, we know immediately what we’re looking at,” Gary says.

5. Limited money means you use a consistent approach.

Though many entrepreneurs try to “spread it around” with a shotgun approach to marketing messaging, a consistent approach with the right placements is much better as a rule. Instead of advertising in spurts, coordinating efforts across platforms in an integrated blitz gets better results. “You want to appear to be everywhere,” he recommends, suggesting you have a guiding strategy before choosing tactics.

4. Repetition is a key to performance.

In reproducible media, such as print publications, there’s a breaking point, Gary explains. “If you go smaller than one-eighth page, you’re going to need to really do as much frequency as possible. In some scenarios, that could mean multiple insertions in the same publication, for example.” You may also see increased returns by placing a larger ad slightly less frequently, say monthly instead of weekly.

3. Work with your media representatives.

Generally speaking, the persons who publish advertising on a more frequent basis receive better placement over time. If you choose to run smaller ads more often, ask if the layout designer can move yours around for special placement. Then, create your advertising message based on the section’s appeal. “The goal is to coordinate messaging with placement and your branding,” says Gary. “To more effectively stretch your budget, ask yourself why you’re advertising, then build your message around that.”

2. Take advantage of FREE.

Social media is only one tactic available to entrepreneurs making it possible to integrate their marketing message across platforms: blogs, Face Book, You Tube, Twitter, and Linked In are a good start. “There are various tactics to be used in different places across the web,” Gary says, referencing press release placements and content marketing. “You can combine push techniques (such as advertising) with pull techniques (such as clickable links).” Integration of your message across platforms remains the key to maximum returns.

1. Recognize natural collaborations.

Work with a professional, such as a marketing mentor or advertising-public relations consultant, to help you recognize ways to reach new audiences in different ways. A florist, for example, may collaborate with a photographer if they both service wedding parties. For online collaborations, consider creating an affiliate or joint venture relationship with a partner whose business complements your own.

Sherri Moneta’s friend and colleague Gary James is headquartered  on the internet. His company, Jamesgang creative+communications llc,  offers branding strategy and marketing consultation, business writing and communications,  advertising and public relations services from Asheville, NC.

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2 thoughts on “Top 6 Tips for Maximizing Advertising Returns in 2012

  1. Virginia Carnahan, APR, CPRC says:

    Mr. James is spot-on with his advice. With understanding of media, reach, targets, branding, public relations and other aspects of the current advertising spectrum, a modest budget can accomplish as much as the wealthiest entities that sometimes lose focus by throwing money at every avenue.

    Like

  2. Tim Shumbera says:

    It’s interesting that in the face of these “new” social media outlets, the fundamentals of good practice are still key to your success. I speak with quite a few people who don’t know what their “brand” is or what their social face should look like to potential customers.

    Like

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