Why You Should Consider Advertising on TV

A new TV advertising program from Google could allow smaller businesses to reach their dream national audience.
April 25, 2012

In the advertising world you hear the word “reach” a lot. Wikipedia says that “reach refers to the total number of different people or households exposed, at least once, to a medium during a given period.” This doesn’t mean that the number will actually view your advertisement, but the potential to view it reflects the reach number.

Now that we know what we’re dealing with, let’s talk about the medium that has the most reach: television. On any given night, millions of people are tuned in to watch their favorite show or sporting event. In the past, advertising on TV, while a great prospect to increase reach, rarely fit into budgeting plans. Local television advertising has declined in the past few years, as more and more of us consume content via the Internet. National Television has by far the greatest reach, however its prices are astronomical, and unless you have the money, the spots available for purchase may not reach the target audience.

The good news? All that has changed. Google recently unveiled a TV ads program specifically designed for smaller businesses to be able to purchase advertising on national TV. You can target up to 45 millions households and purchase spots on such prestigious stations as ESPN, TNT and CNN, plus over 100 other networks.

As this Inc.com story shows, you can purchase ads for $2,500-$3,500 a week. Now, having a national TV strategy may well be within your budget—and a great way to hit a massive amount of your target audience. We’ve discussed having a strong social media presence, but it’s important to remember that this is only effective if you can drive eyes to your site. Couple that with your Internet presence being mainly two dimensional, and you can see the allure of having a targeted, and relatively affordable television advertising campaign. If you can combine a solid television advertising campaign with a strong online and social media presence, you’ve created a three-pronged strategy to set up your small business for success.

It’s important to remember that a bad commercial is worse than having no commercial at all. It won’t cost you an arm and a leg to produce a decent TV spot, but you want to ensure that the end product represents your company in the best light, and isn’t a liability. You can test out early drafts of videos on sites like YouTube and Vimeo and promote them on your website and social media sites. Once you gauge the impact they’re having on your audience, you can move to a bigger sand box to increase your reach. Once you start to create higher quality videos that you host on Google TV, you can continue to promote them on your sites giving you a constant video presence both on TV, and online. This will give you a steady stream on content to increase your SEO, and your standing opinion with old, and new potential customers.

TV may not be the best move for your company at the moment, but over the next couple of years as you start to increase your marketing budget, it’s no longer out of the question. Allocating resources to reach a potential of a few million potential customers sounds great, and it’s closer to a reality than you think. Once the opportunity presents it’s self, getting your ad on national television could have a massive impact on your small business.

Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen-Y research and management consulting firm. Subscribe to his updates at Facebook.com/DanSchawbel.

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