When done well, digital advertising offers limitless opportunities to reach and engage audiences. The key it using high-quality ads on reputable platforms.
When you combine digital marketing with motion and sound on a powerful platform, your marketing messages leap off the screen. High impact ad units grab consumer attention, engaging them fully, encouraging interaction, and driving conversion.
Combine mobile, video, and more
In recent posts, we’ve looked at the power of mobileand videoto increase reach and engagement. When you combine those formats with high impact ad units, you increase interaction rates, driving ROI and making a lasting impression on your target audience.
Consider the Gravity high impact ad unit, an exclusive immersive ad experience from the USA TODAY Network. As the homepage loads, Gravity takes over to the screen, offering a cinematic experience. This format requires interaction and allows viewers to decide whether or not they want to view or skip the content. The completion rates for Gravity ads are 80% for ads under 20 seconds and 46% for one-minute ads.  This is dramatically higher than the 40% average completion rate for skippable pre-roll video. 
Capture the right kind of attention
High impact ads are conceived and designed to work seamlessly on an advertising platform while standing out from the surrounding content. It’s a delicate balance, but one that pays off when done well. Quality is key, both for the ad unit and the ad itself. Because just attracting attention isn’t enough.
In a recent online survey, 84% of respondents stated that obnoxious ads negatively impact their opinion of the website and the brand advertised. Additionally, consumers said that “most online ads today don’t look professional and are insulting to their intelligence (63% and 56%, respectively).” 
Leverage a quality platform and its audience
Don’t let those stats discourage you. Understanding the way consumers think is always a good thing. And there is hope. When your ads are high-quality and appear on trusted websites, audiences are more receptive.
When advertising is relevant to the content that surrounds it and appears on credible websites, consumers react much differently. When looking at native advertising specifically, research showed that 90% of people say relevancy is a top concern, and 63% said it needs to be contextually relevant to editorial. And, notably, there was a 33% lift in perceived credibility on well-regarded news sites. 
Ready to become the experience?
When done well, high impact ads don’t interrupt the user experience, they become the experience. And when they appear on creditable sites like tnmedia.com, audiences are more likely to sit up and take notice.
As consumers, we’re inundated with advertising. And as advertisers, we’re challenged to break through. But reaching consumers isn’t always about standing out—sometimes it means blending in.
Have you ever noticed content from a company that didn’t quite feel like an advertisement? Perhaps you were browsing Facebook or Instagram and saw an image that you thought was just a regular part of your feed. Or maybe you searched for something on Google and clicked on the top result without realizing it was an ad. Advertising content like this has become immensely popular with modern marketers because it allows you to connect with and engage target audiences without being intrusive. As a local business owner, you need to consider adding branded content to your media mix.
Also known as native advertising, branded contentis a form of paid online advertising that closely follows the natural form and function of the platform on which it appears. Visually, native ads match the design of the content platform they live on, making it look and feel more like natural content. Better still, they also function like natural content, adding value for viewers beyond pure advertising.
Some examples of branded content include in-feed branded ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. These ads resemble natural visual and written content rather than in-your-face advertisements. Another example would be content recommendation widgets, which often appear at the end of a piece of content to entice readers to click on a related post. Additionally, there are search and promoted listings, which are relevant ad links placed at the top of the search engine results page.
Branded content offers unlimited opportunities to reach your target audiences. Whether it’s appearing on their mobile devices or in their favorite publications, branded content is everywhere they are. And it’s only limited by your imagination. Just as branded advertising is a chameleon that blends in with the content surrounding it, it can also be as versatile as the platforms on which is appears, especially when it comes to digital. Branded content can include:
Captivating stories: Show consumers you’re more than a company; you’re a trusted resource and a subject matter expert they can count on.
Engaging videos: Give existing and potential customers in-depth information and provide instruction that helps draw lines between your offerings and what they hope to accomplish.
Interactive media: Let them click and play, all while learning more about your industry and how it impacts their lives.
Don’t let the thought of creating compelling content intimidate you. The good news is you needn’t have a team of writers or a production studio in house. Media partners will work with you to produce quality content using the same team that tells their stories.
Here are just a few of the benefits that branded advertising offers:
Less interruptive: Since branded content looks and feels like natural content, it is less likely to be disruptive or feel intrusive to the consumer.
Helps beat ad blindness: The modern consumer sees so many ads on a regular basis that they have learned to block them out. Branded content appears in line with the content they’re enjoying, making them more likely to engage.
Creates brand affinity: Branded content doesn’t explicitly sell a product or service, so many consumers are more likely to be attracted to this type of advertising and build a connection with your brand.
Offers more than just a sales pitch: Though branded content is at its heart a form of advertising, it provides more than just a sales pitch. Branded ads tell your brand’s story and reveal its value, which provides more value to the viewer.
In an age where consumers have become so over-exposed to advertising, it is important to find less intrusive ways to promote your business online. Creating and publishing branded content on the channels your target audience is most likely to visits provides visibility for your business and helps build brand affinity with both new and old customers.
We can help!
Are you ready to let your brand do the talking? Hattiesburg American Media Group offers an unparalleled platform for you to give audiences an in-depth view of your business. To learn more about branded content and the latest in digital advertising, download our Digital Trends whitepaper. You can also contact us online or call 888.573.4773.
Video isn’t the future—it’s the right now. You customers are consuming hours of video every day. Is your marketing keeping up with the times?
Though some businesses are hesitant to invest in digital video marketing, it is quickly becoming the norm. If you ignore this significant opportunity to connect with consumers, you may very well be left behind in the fast-paced, competitive digital marketplace.
The new gold standard
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. But how much is a video is worth?
According to the latest marketing statistics—quite a bit! Consumers love watching video content, and businesses big and small are starting to take notice. In fact, one study predicts that digital video ad spend will reach $28.8 billion in 2020 , which will make video the fastest growing format on both desktop and mobile devices.
Video marketing is an effective way to attract, inform, and engage more consumers. As digital video continues to gain popularity as a marketing device, more and more business owners are investing in short digital videos. In this post, we’ll discuss types of digital video marketing and how this visual tactic can quickly and effectively expand your audience reach.
Move them with motion
Your consumers’ attention is pulled in multiple directions at once. Video content helps catch their eye and keeps them engaged longer. There are many ways to use video to reach, inform, and delight your target audience.
Here are just a few types of digital video marketing:
Video advertising on your website or social media pages
In-stream digital ads that appear before, during, or after viewer-selected content
Informative content about your products, services, or other relevant topics
Brand-sponsored content that appeals to the target market
Videos like these keep audiences interested across devices. Most successful video content incorporates audio, captions, animated elements, or interactive live links that drive traffic back to your website.
Give them what they want
Naturally, you’re always looking for ways to stay competitive in the digital marketplace. This means investing in strategic marketing tactics that will maximize your budget. The most significant benefit of digital video marketing is that the medium is continually expanding its reach and popularity. Currently, over half of U.S. residents watch videos every day, and 78% of Internet users in the U.S. watch online videos each week . This presents a tremendous opportunity for tapping into a growing audience.
Consumers are also more likely to engage with short digital videos on your website or across social media, especially with features like captioned auto-play on Facebook, which allows users to watch video content silently in public places, even while they are on-the-go. Not only does video content attract the attention of an often busy and distracted modern audience, but it can also help with influencing purchasing decisions. By incorporating your content into one of the most engaging digital marketing formats, you can encourage customers to act.
Just advertising online isn’t enough anymore. If you want to reach your customers, your marketing messages need to move with them.
As of 2015, 64% of American adults own a smartphone , and it’s safe to say that percentage has only grown. For many, mobile devices are the primary way they access the Internet. In fact, one study showed that the average individual checks their phone about 46 times a day . These statistics strongly suggest that mobile devices have now become an integral part of the modern consumer’s lifestyle.
The rise of mobile presents limitless marketing opportunities. The Internet is no longer tethered to the desktop—consumers can get online anytime, anywhere. Can you say the same for your brand?
Mobile marketing is a must-have
Mobile marketing is vital for any business that wants to take advantage of the opportunity to reach more consumers. Four out of five consumers use their smartphones to shop, and 40% of shoppers will consult three or more channels before making a purchase . These numbers show just how powerful mobile devices can be in the purchasing process. Mobile marketing helps ensure that your brand is present when consumers are ready to buy.
Additionally, many consumers are beginning to leave the desktop behind. One study shows that mobile now represents 65% of time spent on digital media , and desktops are becoming more of a secondary touch point for many digital users. Because of this, neglecting mobile marketing can mean missing out on connecting with a considerable portion of your target market.
Strategize to stay with them
When it comes to mobile, there is more than one way to attract and engage customers. Here are just a few mobile marketing strategies that you can use to grow your audience:
Develop creative, informative, and relevant mobile video that engages and delights your local audience.
Create mobile display banner ads to promote brand recognition and target consumers in the area.
To increase visibility with your customer base, display ads in apps that are popular with your target market.
Use mobile web ads to attract consumers who are browsing the web from their mobile devices.
Place mobile ads on social media sites like Facebook to show your content to consumers who are visiting the channel from their mobile device.
Mobile-friendly is not an option
While you work to create dynamic and effective mobile marketing campaigns, it’s also important to ensure that your website is optimized for your mobile audience. Since ads often drive consumers back to your brand’s website, you need to make sure your website is easy to navigate and read from a mobile device.
Need help mobilizing your campaigns?
Are you ready to reach consumers wherever there are? We’ve got the insight, strategy, and mobile solutions to reach your consumers at home and on the go. Download our Digital Trends whitepaperto learn more about adding mobile to your advertising mix. You can also contact us online or call 888.573.4773..
1. “U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015,” Pew Research Center, 4/1/15
2. “Americans Check Their Phones 8 Billion Times a Day,” by Lisa Eadicicco; Time, 12/15/15
3. “7 Mobile Marketing Stats That Will Blow Your Mind,” by Chris Warden; Carnival.io
4. “All digital growth now coming from mobile usage — comScore,” by Greg Sterling; Marketing Land, 4/3/16
The bigger they are, the harder they fall, but don’t get crushed in the melee. When it comes to taking on the competition, it’s important to keep your eye on the prize.
If they’re not nipping at your heels, they’re eating your lunch. When it comes to the competition, you probably know all the clichés and the stories behind them. And while the clichés may be true, it’s important to remember the moral of their stories. Because if your focus is on battling your competitors, you may just lose the war.
It’s not about beating the competition, it’s about winning more business.
Take down even Goliath
Don’t let the deep pockets of the big-box stores, franchises, national brands, and more-established local businesses intimidate you. Whatever your budget, you can use it effectively to take down even the biggest giant. It’s how you spend your marketing budget, not how much you spend.
Win the arms race
If they’re running a half-page ad, you should run a full page. If their commercials run once an hour, yours should run twice. Right? If you’re looking to win the biggest ad spend award, that’s the path to victory.
But being bigger doesn’t necessarily mean being better. When it comes to advertising, the most effective weapon in your arsenal is strategy. It’s not about running the most ads or using the most tactics—it’s about reaching the right audience. That’s the key to winning more business (and yes, beating the competition in the process). Everything from how you advertise to the content of your ads should be driven by who your audience is and where they are.
Stay ahead of the pack
To throw another cliché your way, you need to stand out from the crowd to reach your target audience. Once you understand your target demographics and their behavior, you can start thinking about how to capture their attention. From up-and-coming Millennials to ready-for-retirement Boomers, there is no magic bullet when it comes to selecting advertising tactics. It takes an integrated marketing strategy, with a variety of messaging and ad formats to reach consumers at every stage of the buying cycle. Finding the right media mix is how you keep your brand top-of-mind with current and prospective customers (and how you edge out the competition).
Consistently raise the bar
Despite death knell that’s been tolling for close to a decade now on traditional media, vehicles like print are still thriving. The death was more of an evolution. Traditional media is moving into a support role as digital tactics move to the forefront.
The rise of digital marketing is giving advertisers more opportunities to reach consumers than ever before. From banner ads to pop-ups, digital advertising is everywhere. But if you want to connect with consumers and inspire action, you have to raise the bar with innovative, interactive ad formats. Whether it’s the unlimited reach of mobile, the captivating pace of video, or the in-depth coverage of branded content, premier digital ad formats perform better and make a lasting impression.
We can help!
Are you ready to win? We’ve got the insight, strategy, and tactics you need to reach your target customers in meaningful ways (and eliminate the competition). Download our Digital Trends whitepaper to learn more about inspiring consumers to take action. You can also contact us online or call 888.573.4773.
From clearly defining your target audience to inspiring them to take action, learn more about how to find and engage consumers.
In order to make the most of a limited budget, you need to be strategic. If you want to create successful digital marketing campaigns that drive traffic to your site and increase sales, you need to identify and understand your target audience. Though you may have an idea of the type of customer you would like to attract, without formally defining your target market, there is a good chance that many of your marketing efforts will fall flat.
Before you can begin to develop effective digital marketing campaigns, you need to define your target audience and identify the best tactics for reaching it. Below, we’ll discuss tips that for finding and engaging your target audience.
How to Define and Identify the Target Audience
Clearly defining who you are trying to reach is an important first step in developing a successful content marketing plan that is both strategic and efficient. Here are a few ways to define your audience.
1. Get insight from your current customers.
One of the best ways to better understand your ideal customer is to take a close look at your current customers. Review customer data that you have collected over time to better understand demographic information like age, gender, and marital status. Then, go one step further by surveying your customers to find out more about their likes, dislikes, habits, fears, and challenges. This will give you more insight into what you find most important, which will help to tailor your message to this audience.
2. Develop detailed, data-driven buyer personas.
Once you’ve gathered some insight from your current customer base, it’s time to create buyer personas. These are profiles of your ideal customers, which contain demographic information as well as a more in-depth description of what these consumers need and what you care about. Buyer personas will help drive strategy for your digital marketing campaigns.
How to Reach Your Audience
After you’ve worked to identify the target audience, what your biggest challenges are, and what value you can provide them, it’s time to learn more about where they are and how to reach them. Here are a few ways to engage your audience.
3. Utilize search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is a must-have for any business that wants to compete in the digital marketplace. By producing content that emphasizes keywords, phrases, and topics relevant to your industry, you can work to rank higher in organic search results, making it easier for your target market to find your business.
4. Be active on social media.
Social media is an excellent platform for reaching local and global audiences. With sophisticated targeting features on social media platforms like Facebook, you can ensure your content is seen by your target audience.
Click here to learn more about social media marketing?
More and more consumers are engaging with and searching for brands on their mobile devices. Not only is it vital for you to have a mobile-friendly website, but these companies can also take advantage of mobile marketing opportunities that use geo-targeting and other features to reach mobile customers.
We can help!
Are you ready to discover your target audience and connect with them in innovative, engaging ways? We’ve got the insight, strategy, and tactics you need to reach them in meaningful ways. Download our Digital Trends whitepaper to learn more about inspiring consumers to take action. You can also contact us online or call 888.573.4773.
Don’t let digital marketing overwhelm you. We’ve got the inside scoop on the latest trends and most engaging ad formats.
Digital marketing isn’t new, and some of it is so last century. It’s not that banner ads don’t have their place (think building brand awareness), but if you’re looking to turn advertising spend into sales revenue, you need to focus on innovative, engaging ad formats.
Digital is here to stay, and the technical enhancements are growing exponentially—along with the opportunities to connect with target audiences. What was once never dreamed of is now commonplace. Don’t get intimidated by the sheer depth and breadth of the options available. We’ve put together a Digital Trends whitepaper that will help you choose the right formats for your business.
Visit our Premier Digital Solutions page to get the whitepaper. You’ll learn the basics behind mobile, video, and branded content, as well as the latest stats on how these tactics are reaching audiences and changing consumer behavior.
With so many marketing channels available to local businesses, it can often be difficult to decide which to invest in. You want your marketing budget to stretch as far as possible, and traditional marketing channels like newspaper ads, billboards, television commercials, and radio spots are an excellent way to bring in local customers. But are they enough?
Often marketers who rely exclusively on offline channels are hesitant to invest in online and digital marketing, which isn’t as uncommon as you might think. Let’s be honest, digital is overwhelming because it is always changing.
However, local digital marketing and traditional marketing don’t have to be at odds with one another. In fact, online tactics like SEO, social media, and mobile help improve the success of offline investments by expanding your reach and attracting new leads.
Why Local Digital Marketing and Traditional Marketing are the Perfect Pair
Using digital and traditional marketing tactics together is the easiest way to diversify your marketing strategies and ensure adequate coverage across your target segment. While traditional or offline marketing helps you gain a broader reach and make a splash, digital marketing tactics aim to zero in on consumers in a more personal and targeted way that engages them. If you are only using offline marketing, then you are missing out on the opportunity to develop relationships with your customers and build brand advocates.
With a diverse marketing strategy that includes both traditional and online tactics, you can also maximize gains while minimizing losses. Digital is in and of itself an effective channel, but it can highlight efficiencies in your offline media if you connect the two. For example, using different landing pages or tracking search volume along with your media schedule can reveal insights about your target audience and how they are responding. This combination is the best way to achieve long-term growth and ensure that you are using every tool at your disposal to drive traffic to your business and influence conversions.
How Local Business Online Marketing and Offline Channels Work Together
Simply recognizing the benefit of utilizing offline and online channels isn’t enough: you want them to work together, in a complimentary and strategic way. This is where the art and science of marketing come together, and it’s where it can get tricky (but don’t fret! we can help!). To get started, here are just a few examples of how both approaches can be effective when used together:
Get the word out with traditional offline methods, and use digital methods to make the experience more personal. Newspaper and television ads are great for getting the attention of a large audience, but by the nature of these mass media, they are not very personal. It may sound simple enough, but it’s easy to forget: use these offline marketing materials to direct customers to your website and social media channels where you can engage them better and offer deeper, more personal content.
Utilize the channel that most appeals to your audience.If you have multiple target markets, it is important to differentiate your marketing strategy. Choose offline or online tactics depending on where your audience frequents most. No one channels is a “one-size-fits-all” (except maybe for SEO and PPC, but even then you need to be strategic!). The key to understanding your audience.
Both online and offline marketing help to generate brand awareness. Offline marketing helps you gain visibility in a broad market, which can be a great way to introduce individuals to your brand. Digital marketing tactics like SEO and mobile targeting help introduce your brand to customers right at their moment of need.
Though many marketers talk about local digital marketing and traditional marketing as two entirely different things, the truth is that they are both trying to accomplish the same thing: increase visibility in the local marketplace and bring more traffic to your business. When used together, online and offline marketing tactics can help you accomplish your goals faster and more effectively. We are experts at developing integrated marketing strategies, grounded in insights and data from thousands of local campaigns, and we’re here to help you navigate. Contact us so we can help shape your world and grow your business.
Though social media may have once seemed like just a fad, the sheer number of people participating in these online social platforms indicates otherwise. Out of just over 3 billion active internet users, nearly 2.1 billion have social media accounts … that’s a whopping 70%!
The increasing popularity of social media has become a game-changer for businesses who want to build a stronger connection with leads and customers. In fact, according to an AdWeek study, 88% of companies are now using social media for marketing purposes.
Oftentimes, local businesses delay putting together a social media marketing strategy because they do not understand how it works or realize its impact (because simply creating a Facebook page is not enough). This digital marketing channel has quickly become a must-have for local businesses who want to remain competitive: it can help increase leads, boost website visits and foot traffic, and enhance customer retention efforts.
Why Social Media for Local Business is Important
Local businesses often find it difficult to compete with bigger, national brands because large companies typically have larger marketing budgets, which allow them to reach more customers. However, social media marketing is changing the way that local businesses compete by allowing them to attract and maintain new local customers effectively and affordably. Local businesses can work to target local customers with social media advertising while also listening to, learning from, and connecting with their current customers.
Top Social Media Strategies for Local Businesses
The same social media strategies that work for bigger businesses may not have the same effect for small businesses who are trying to reach smaller, more defined local audiences. Here are some effective strategies that local businesses can use to attract and nurture new customers:
Deliver targeted ad content such as coupons, discounts, sales or other promotions to local consumers.With sophisticated targeting features, Facebook can help you narrow down your audience by location as well as other features like interests, industry, or job title. This helps you maximize your ad dollars by ensuring that those who are seeing your ad are those who will most likely find your product helpful.
Share your blog posts, news, and any other company information with your followers across channels.Whenever you publish new content or have something to share with your followers, post it to your social media channels. This helps you stay top-of-mind for customers who engage with you online.
Start a conversation with your customers to learn more about their greatest likes, dislikes, and challenges. Rather than just posting ads to your social media pages, make sure that you are engaging with your customers to learn more about what drives them. Social media is a great channel for gaining new insights and providing quality customer service.
With all the ways that social media can help local businesses build better connections with customers within their community, it’s clear this digital tactic has become more than just a nice-to-have element of your marketing plan, where you can check off a box for having it done. Those who do not work to build a social media presence could very well be losing out on important opportunities to start a conversation with new customers and nurture relationships with existing customers. Let us help you get started with or refine your social media.
In today’s global online marketplace, businesses need to invest in digital marketing in order to remain competitive in their industry. It’s easy to see why some local businesses rely on tried-and-true traditional marketing methods—such as newspaper ads, television spots, and billboards—they have proven their value and reliably deliver customers. But, in today’s ever-changing and always-connected digital world, traditional methods simply are not enough to keep local businesses competitive. Digital puts your brand in front of customers wherever they are, whenever they are ready to engage. Simply put, digital marketing is a must for any local brand that wants to maximize its marketing budget, increase visibility, and drive more sales.
Here are just five of the many reasons why you need to invest in digital marketing now:
Digital targeting capabilities help you zero in on your target market.
Digital marketing channels have excellent targeting capabilities that allow you to reach your best customers through targeting across a range of specific qualities and demographics, such as age, income, location, and even personal interests. This is especially important when trying to attract customers in a precise geographic area. According to WordStream, 72% of consumers who did a local search ended up visiting a store within five miles – you simply can’t afford to be absent from their queries! Utilizing local SEO and investing in PPC can help you put your brand in front of people who are searching for your products and services locally.
Digital marketing can provide valuable data and analytics.
Digital marketing also provides you with real-time data and analytics, which provides you with a better understanding of the effectiveness of your marketing tactics. This feedback loop is critical for identifying areas for improvement and new opportunities that may otherwise unknown. With access to this information in real time, you can optimize your marketing budget by investing in the marketing campaigns that perform well and adjusting those that are not performing as well as you would like.
Local digital marketing is cost-efficient.
Online marketing tactics are cost-effective, allowing local businesses to get the most out of their marketing budget. In fact, one HubSpot study showed that companies that focus on online marketing tactics have a 61% lower cost-per-lead than traditional marketing methods. Combining digital marketing and traditional marketing tactics as part of a diversified strategy can help you cut costs in the long-run by being more strategic.
Digital marketing allows you to interact with your customers.
Digital marketing tactics, like blogging and social media, allow businesses to communicate with their audience, gain valuable feedback and insight, and build relationships with their consumers. Unlike other types of advertising, digital marketing allows you to have a two-way conversation with customers and leads. Whether you are answering questions on your blog’s comment section or providing customer service through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, you can provide a more interactive and personalized experience with digital marketing.
Digital marketing helps smaller brands compete with big companies.
Local digital marketing helps local businesses compete with larger companies because it offers affordable and effective marketing tactics for every company from a small local vendor to a large industry powerhouse. Small brands can drive traffic both locally and across the country by reaching out to their target consumers through digital marketing tactics like search, social media, and mobile targeting.
If digital marketing sounds as foreign as binary code to you, we can help. We have teams of digital experts who can coach you through making the best investments in digital, whether you’re just starting out in digital or if you’re a seasoned pro. Connect with us to learn how digital can enhance your marketing mix.
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The USA TODAY NETWORK TENNESSEE provides businesses a way to connect with an engaged and growing audience across the state of Tennessee. May, 1 2017 | 15:29 PM Have you rsvp'd yet to our FREE Digital Discovery Day? Don't miss your chance to learn from local marketing experts… https://t.co/vpUuvHOPg7 October, 14 2016 | 15:11 PM FREE EVENT: Explore digital marketing options with local experts. Plus, meet members of @Tennessean newsroom.… https://t.co/3ZqkOwdJIj October, 12 2016 | 14:51 PM