Perhaps one big misconception marketers have about TV media buying is that it is expensive. This is particularly true during Super Bowl time when we’re flooded with stories about the commercials hovering around $4 million for one 30-second ad. Those kinds of costs are often way too costly for a small and medium-sized business. Fortunately, this is only partially true.
The Super Bowl is an extreme example of TV media buying costs. The game is an annual one-time event that often ends up being the most watched program of the year. As a result, it commands a large ticket price because advertisers know there will be a lot of eyeballs on the ads. There are, however, considerably more ways to advertise on TV that are not only effective in reaching your company’s marketing goals, but also considerably less expensive.
Even with all the digital options out there, TV continues to be a large draw for consumers. A study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that at 2.8 hours a day, TV watching is the leisure activity that occupies the most of our time.
These numbers are often higher in ethnic communities where they reach as much as five hours per day. As we get older, our television watching increases and these numbers reach about seven hours per day. As a result, 60% of marketing ad spend still goes to TV.
Saving Money on TV Media Buying
As media buyers and strategists our job is to find the best places for our clients to advertise to reach their ideal customer affordably. Before you begin your media buying research and planning there are a few things you need to know:
- A snapshot of your client base: Who is your ideal customer? Where do they live? What media do they consume?
- Budget numbers: What you can afford to spend on your TV advertising?
- Campaign goals: This will help you measure the success of your campaign once it’s finished.
- An open mind: You may not end up be in the timeslots and during shows you expected, but you can still reaching your target.
Here are some of the strategies we use to save on cost:
- Buying Early: First and second quarters are usually the best times of the year to start planning and buying your media.
- Going Regional: Depending on your type of business it may not be necessary to do a national campaign when you can be just as effective in a few, select markets.
- Cable over Broadcast: Advertising on cable offers two benefits: (1) the costs are typically about 10-20% that of broadcast advertising. In certain markets this can be a saving of thousands of dollars. (2) The variety of programming allows for marketers to better target their ads to the audience they’d like to reach.
- Different Dayparts: Ads during primetime are going to be the most expensive. Consider advertising during off-peak hours or in the timeslots leading up to or right behind primetime because they are often less expensive with a large portion of the same primetime audience.
- Buying in Bulk: Most TV stations, networks, and vendors will offer volume discounts for large advertising orders and for placing multi-month or year buys.
Another way to save money and time on your TV media buying is to enlist the services of a professional media buying agency like Capitol Media Solutions. The experience of negotiating media buys provides them with a network of resources that include research databases, software, and technology. Additionally, they have built relationships with the vendors and sales teams at networks and television stations.
Television remains a popular place for advertising because it has proven to be effective at reaching all different types of audience. Take advantage of this reach and the many affordable advertising options to grow your business no matter what size it is. It doesn’t have to take a lot of money as long as you have a good strategy.