Circulation and Readership

As a (soon to be) college graduate, interning at an advertising agency has been an enlightening experience. One of the bigger takeaways I’ve had is the different vernacular used by media buyers and those selling media. The two that really stood out to me were “readership” and “circulation”. They originally seemed like they could be used interchangeably, but through my internship, I learned about the differences.

Readership and Circulation help publications, such as newspaper and magazines, decide the cost of advertising. Advertisers also look at these numbers when they are looking to improve the visibility of their product or service. However, circulation and readership are not interchangeable terms and there are differences between the two.

Circulation is the number of newspaper/magazine copies distributed on average in a day. Advertisers need to be aware when deciding which publications to place ads in, because circulation includes both paid circulation, as well as newspapers that are distributed free of cost.

Readership is a calculation based upon the average number of people who read an individual copy of the publication. The number is an estimate of how many hands a copy of a newspaper goes into. The theory is that though a household subscribes to a publication, it is read by multiple people in that household. For this reason, readership is always higher than circulation.

As a media buying software, Media Link Softwareâ„¢ uses circulation in all of their calculations for Reach and Frequency. We use this number on the basis of guarantees.  For example, I can’t prove that for every publication printed, 2.3 people will read a copy. But I do know a certain number of copies will be printed and distributed on any given day.

To learn more about readership and circulation, visit http://www.ads-on-line.com/newbasiccourse/Products/  To learn more about Media Link Softwareâ„¢, call   207-212-5465 or email Courtney@medialinksoftware.com.

**This blog was written by Kelsey Erichsen a recent graduate of St. Ambrose University and a former Intern at Media Link, Inc.


Reaching an Audience via Social Media

Establishing a connection between your brand and your target audience via social media is becoming more and more challenging due to the growing quantity of platforms and respective flood of posts and information.

The goal is to create an exciting post where your target audience will want to engage and share. Determining the platform to best reach your customers is key. You can create engaging content through creating meaningful content, sharing an informative graphic or by posting an emotional video message. Listen, inform and ask questions. Every audience is different and has its own favorite communication channel and style. A mixture of certain platforms and styles can be the best solution.

In the meantime, keep your eyes open for brand advocates. Who are your most faithful and devoted customers? These customers are more likely to share your content, and by doing so, recommend your product and increase your credibility. The same applies to your employees. Let them be a part of your campaign by sharing content with them to increase your brand reach effectively and quickly.

Learn more on reaching your audience via social media from Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2014/02/23/nice-to-finally-meet-you-3-ways-to-reach-your-target-audience-on-social/


Native Advertising

According to Copy Blogger, approximately 50% of consumers do not know what native advertising is although 41% of brands are already using it. It’s about time to shed light on this topic.

Native advertising is sponsored or branded content embedded into print or online publications. In most cases, it is either a print advertorial or paid editorial spot. Branded infographics or sponsored videos are alternatives. Its main characteristic is that it looks and reads almost exactly like editorial content; yet, it is an advertisement.

Native advertising is somewhat controversial. For example, readers of a scientific publication might not be able to distinguish editorial content from native advertising content. A subtle branded article about the surprising efficiency of a specific diet pill might be mistaken for an unbiased editorial article about the same pills.

Nevertheless, native advertising provides great opportunities to reach the target audience in a manner in which they are already consuming related information; as long as it’s done the right way:

  • Successful native advertising must be transparent. Clearly brand your article, video, etc. Trying to deceive your audience can damage your reputation for good.
  • Content must fit the publication and catch the readers’ attention. Matching the tone of the publication can add additional credibility.
  • Don’t be shy to ask for native advertising, even if a media kit does not mention it. Many publishers are open to it and already have plans to implement it.

For more information about native advertising and examples, see:

http://acsmediakit.org/blog/native-advertising-what-you-need-to-know-for-success/

www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/07/07/native-advertising-examples

http://www.copyblogger.com/native-advertising-2014/


Super Bowl

The average cost of a thirty second Super Bowl commercial is around $4.5 million, calculating out to an average of $150,000 per second. According to How Stuff Works, in 2011 that same commercial cost $3 million dollars. That actually breaks down to $37.00 per viewer. This doesn’t take into account the internet and news shows where you can also find the commercials.  As these costs continue to rise what are these advertisers doing to rise above their “invested” air time competition?

http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/super-bowl-commercial1.htm

With all this money spent, you would think it would be easy to determine which commercial was truly the best.  But like everything else, everyone has their own opinion. E News believes the “Make It Happy,” Coca-Cola commercial was number one, Billboard thinks “Clash of the Titans” was the best of the best and USA Today said “Lost Dog,” Budweiser won.

http://www.superbowlcommercial2015.com/

http://youtu.be/GC2qk2X3fKA

So we are asking, what did you think was the best Super Bowl commercial of 2015?


Forbes

We wanted to see what companies have been considered the top five best marketed companies in the world. In an article in Forbes Magazine they went beyond the traditional top five, and dug deeper into five newer and more innovative players. Forbes listed Dell Computer, Sony, Harley Davidson, Virgin, and Southwest Airlines. So what makes these companies stand tall? Well they are not afraid of staying consistent, being creative, and plainly ““ they just had fun. Find out just how they did it right here: http://www.forbes.com/2002/08/01/0801marketers.html


Thank You

With 2014 coming to a close, and 2015 fast approaching; all of us within our Media Link family would like to say thank you for visiting our blog. We have enjoyed sharing pieces our experience and pieces of advice with you throughout this past year. We would like round out this year with a special quote:

“This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!”     – D.M. Dellinger


The Plan

As business owners; it isn’t anything new to have a “plan”. You plan what you will need to order next for inventory and/or supplies to create your product. You plan out your employee schedule in advance to ensure your productivity is covered. You even plan pricing, as well as sales events. The questions is; how far out do you plan your marketing? Yes, this needs to be planned in advance. Just as you take a close look at your budget and determine at what price you should set your product, and at what time would be best to have that sale to boost business, you also need to compline this plan with your marketing.

When you have a solid plan in place the process of getting the word out is easier, and in fact more cost effective. Most media outlets have specified times each year they offer special rates, as well as offering fantastic discounts for placing your campaigns in advance as annuals.

Utilizing an agency can also be a budget booster, as they can negotiate additional discounts and terms for you. Your agency can monitor the progress of your campaign, and ensure you are getting exactly what you placed, when you placed it, as well as what you have contracted to pay. Therefore ensuring you remain within that budget you had planned in advance. With the New Year approaching, now is a great time to start making those plans!


Keeping up with Social Media Marketing

One of the first things to remember is just as with any form of marketing; timing can play a big role in success.  Try to share your social media posts at the best times possible.
Recent studies have not confirmed exact times that are optimal for posting, but there is data gathered by the data analytics firm SumAll that give a guideline for Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and more. Google+ tends to lead off the day with optimal posting time between 9 a.m.  to 11 a.m. Twitter and Facebook are at their best when you post mid-day from 1p.m. to 4 p.m. followed by Instagram closing out the business day between  5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Lastly Pinterest and Tumbler are best suited to post between 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Keep in mind each social media platform has their own definitive audience. We may all utilize more than one platform, however we tend to be more loyal to the platform that best suits our personality and interests. For example; those who use Facebook tend to prefer pictures and short messages, and loyal Google+ users are passionate about brands, as well as keeping up to date with industry trends.
Don’t discount E-Blasts just yet. Continue to grow your email list, because it is still a viable communication tool. 
Email is still a preferred form of communication within all types of business and is still a major asset for your marketing strategy. You can grow your email list easily by simply providing a sign-up form on your website and Facebook. Creating these are easy with many app options available.  You can also boost subscribers by offering incentives such as contesting or exclusive offers to those who join your email list.
Learn more on social media strategy from Entrepreneur: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/235906

Second Impressions

Picture this:

John has just landed his first introductory meeting with a potential client he has been prospecting for nearly six months now. This client could potentially tip the revenue scales to a significant level, as well as bring to the table a generous amount of future prospective relationships. John hands the prospect his business card with this year’s new logo design. But when he shares his profile kit, it is composed of documents with the old logo, various fonts and layouts, as well as documents with an old color scheme and a font used from materials prior to 2010.

Does this sound familiar? If so; now is the time to consider a collateral makeover.

If a company is using materials with different versions of their logo and has a wide array of design schemes without a specific purpose; This can communicate to a prospective customer “this business doesn’t really have their act together”. Or “they don’t have a clear sense of what their business actually does or offers”. Potential clients / customers want to know they can count on your company to provide them with consistent service and support. Your collateral is a visual presentation of your sense of consistency.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression” – Will Rogers

Take a step back and take a quick inventory of what you are currently presenting on a daily basis. This not only includes your company profile kit, but it also includes; business cards, letterhead, envelopes, website, social media sites, signage, and yes even that really cool company vehicle wrap. These are your “First Impressions” and with all things, first impressions do count. Then take the next step and ensure your consistency moves forward into your sales presentation, board presentation, investor presentation and any other area your business presents itself and portrays the image you wish to portray.

“The customer’s perception is your reality” – Kate Zabriskie (Author)

Of course we strongly suggest utilizing creative professionals to assist you in ensuring the high quality visuals and materials your business truly deserves. And of course; enlisting the help of a marketing firm can help guide you towards the strong business image you desire.


5 Deadliest Sins of Marketing

We all want to make our mark in business, and to make sure our business gets noticed. But what makes a successful message, and what is really “too much”? One very notable publication addresses these issues; and here is our highlight of that article. INC. Magazine tells us there are 5 important “sins” that businesses can commit when attempting to get their message out there:

  • Vanity; don’t make the message all about you all the time. Engage your potential customers with issues that they may feel will directly affect them.
  • Authority; avoid just presenting your business as the authority on a subject or service. Make sure that your reach out to your potential customers on a more personal level. They need to feel a connection with your business, rather than just the facts.
  • Insincerity; Stray from making promises your business cannot keep at this time. Never “cry wolf”, or your respect and trust from your customers are quickly lost, and harder to regain.
  • Puffery; Is your message based on reality? Or is it just a bunch of fluff and hype to make your business look cool? Again, if you do not honestly present your business you will lose the trust and respect necessary to grow your business.
  • Finally Gimmickery; everyone enjoys a good laugh. Just remember that trying too hard to be funny could backfire. Try to avoid making every message contain a “gag” of some kind.

These are just a few highlights of a great message at: http://www.inc.com/minds-zetlin/5-deadliest-marketing-sins.html  we invite you to read more.