How to Advertise a Business on TV

TV advertising can reach a broad audience. It can be an effective way for businesses, even small companies, to increase their brand awareness and promote their products or services. However, the cost of TV advertising can multiply if a business isn’t careful. Knowing how to advertise on TV effectively can keep costs down.

Know Your Ideal Customer

Before coming up with an ad campaign or buying advertising slots, spend time identifying your ideal customer. Be as specific as you can. Identify key demographic information such as age, gender, education, income, and ethnicity. Does your ideal customer have children or pets? Do they tend to bargain shop or do they look for only the best? The more you understand your ideal customer, the more you’ll be able to target your advertising campaign to capture their attention.

Identify Your Advertising Budget

Determine your advertising budget before getting started to ensure you stay on track during the process. Know your budget. This will help you determine where and when to air the ads, how often, and how much you can spend on the ads.

Research TV Stations Viewer Demographics

Once you know your target customers demographics, you need to learn which stations and types of programming they’re most likely to watch. Knowing this information will help you target the right advertising spots on TV stations. Most TV stations post their viewer demographics online. However, you can also request advertising media kits that contain viewer demographics or talk with the station’s advertising manager.

Decide on When and Where You Want to Advertise

Many factors impact the cost of your advertising, from time slot, frequency, type of station, and more. The more you can identify how best to reach your target customer, the more likely you’ll be able to identify potential cost—saving strategies. By saving money where you can, you might be able to stretch your budget so you can run more ads more frequently. Some elements to keep in mind. Primetime TV spots are more expensive than off time slots, so if your target audience watches shows that air outside of primetime you can save money by targeting those times. You may be charged more to run an ad with a particular program. If that isn’t critical to your advertising plan, buying a run of schedule, where your ads are randomly placed throughout the day and night, may save you money.

Be sure to talk with a station’s advertising salesperson to learn all your options, including if the station is running any advertising sales.

Create a Compelling Ad

To avoid people changing the channel during your ad, create an engaging ad that highlights one of their problems that your product can solve. Make the commercial about them, not you. Identify their problem and then show them how your product or service can solve it. If you aren’t equipped to make your ad, talk with the TV station where your ad is going to run. They may offer free or low-cost commercial production for businesses that buy an advertising time with them. You can also hire a company to produce an ad for you.

Purchase Your Advertising Time and Measure Your Ad’s Effectiveness

How do you know which station or stations to use? One option is to consider buying shorter advertising time with a couple of stations to test which station produces the best return on investment. Alternatively, you could try advertising on one station at a time. To know which approach successful and if your ad is making an impact, you’ll need to track the success of your ad. One strategy is to track your sales during an ad campaign. Did sales rise as compared to a similar time frame when you didn’t run ads? You can also ask customers how they found you. If your ad asks them to call a phone number or go to a particular website, you can use that to track your ad’s success.