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DRTV Advertising: Tips, Tricks, & Best Practices

Posted by Katie Scheetz on 11/17/16 12:30 PM

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There are many moving parts when it comes to a direct response tv advertising campaign (DRTV). First, there’s the campaign itself. Does it have the right messaging? Does it have quality graphics? Is there an attention-grabbing call-to-action? In short, after watching the ad, will the viewer know what is being asked of them and what to do?

We have the answers to these questions and more. We know in order for any campaign to be successful, there must be a strong return on investment. For DRTV advertising, you have to say a lot in a little amount of time and make sure the viewer takes action. So, how is this done? Here are a few tips to execute a profitable campaign.

Direct Response TV Advertising Tips

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Tip #1: Don’t think like a (digital) marketer.

The online landscape is fragmented, cluttered, and largely oversaturated. Attention must often be earned and can vanish within a fraction of a second.  Display advertising, once considered the digital darling of direct response, now garners historically low click-through rates. Email remains powerful, yes. But it’s easy to become an unopened item floating in a sea of noise.

Digital agencies and their teams have different goals, many of which focus on building brand image and interest for the long-term, not simply generating leads and driving sales. DRTV ads are created to drive immediate, measurable responses. Digital marketers may want you to increase web traffic, grow your social presence, or build your brand. Some goals are tangible, some are not.  While these are valuable efforts, with direct response there is only one unmistakable goal: make the intended consumer take your requested action.

Tip #2: Draw the line between direct and pushy.

We want consumers to get all the information they need in a 30-, 60- or even 120-second spot. After that final second passes, they should be able to make the buying decision. Make it clear. Make it easy. But don’t force it. This comes down to the tone, nonverbal communication, and dialogue of your tv ad.

Tip #3: Test your campaigns.

All advertisers can agree: Marketing dollars are precious and not to be wasted. This means if you have run a campaign that didn’t perform as well as expected, analyze the data and uncover areas that can be tweaked. Run the campaign again without making the same mistake twice. Test. Analyze. Repeat. Get your campaign to a place that feels good and then fine tune it.

Tip #4: Scale it.

Once you’ve tested your campaign and have found the sweet spot that seems to be working best, scale. Since our advertisers get the creme de la creme of network inventory and subprime rates, take advantage of the benefits to make the most of your campaigns.

Tip #5: Don’t miss out.

Consumers may look at digital marketing as the bright, shiny object to pay attention to, but on average, American adults are watching five hours and and four minutes of television PER DAY. That’s quite a bit of network time to make a significant mark on your audience base. DRTV advertising has been used for decades. But rather than being seen as outdated, we’ve innovated the process for the modern age.

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First, you must understand the audience. Do the research ahead of time so you know exactly who you are targeting. Direct response television advertising is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Would you send a letter without putting an address on it? Sure, it may have great content. You may even have included money in the envelope. But no one will get the message, much less respond to it, unless you know your target and know how to drive them to take action. Be sure to seek out a trustworthy agency who understands your audience and knows how to reach them as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Second, make your product or service shine, and in a sincere way. You have a limited amount of time to grab the viewer’s attention and make them intrigued enough to take action. Often, this must be achieved within 30 seconds. That’s why you want to work with the best in the industry who will preserve the highest standards for the commercials you deliver. With perfection comes money. The good news is, when it comes to tv production, we take on those costs on your behalf. We know how important it is to make every second count.

Third, make your request simple and clear. Don’t try to make things subliminal or overtly clever. Create a call-to-action where there is no room for misinterpretation. In 30 seconds, your tv ad should tell viewers what you’re selling and how they can get it.

Lastly, test it and optimize. There are a number of factors that lead to the success (or lack thereof) of a campaign. Even if you have the most creative, well-constructed ad, but release it at an off-time or to an audience that doesn’t resonate with your message, then it may never connect with the right audience. Test these factors as you release your campaign and make minor tweaks where necessary. In short, keep what works and leave the rest.

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The beauty of direct response television advertising is that it all comes down to simplicity. What customer problem are you solving? What demand are you supplying? What makes your company/brand/product stand apart from your competition? If you can sum this up in a succinct, convincing way, then the rest will come through the magic of television and a conversion-worthy call-to-action.

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