TV has been around for about 100 years, and it remains one of the most popular forms of entertainment and information media to this day. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that nearly 80% of Americans watch TV on any given day and that television viewing accounts for more than half of all the time Americans spend in leisure and sports. In addition, a Nielsen study in 2018 found that the average adult in the United States still consumes a large amount of traditional television on a daily basis: anywhere from 1 hour and 51 minutes to 6 hours and 51 minutes!
The point is that a large number of consumers watch TV every day—and TV commercials are still a great means of advertising. Of course, there are certain steps to creating a commercial that advertisers must take if they want optimal results. The following blog post will discuss six steps, and show how you can create an effective commercial that lines up with your business objectives.
1. Identify Your Target Audience
One of the most fundamental steps you can take before developing a TV commercial is to identify your target audience, the people you want to reach with your ad. There are several reasons why this is an important first step. For instance:
- Your target audience will influence the overall tone, verbiage, and messaging of the commercial.
- Different demographics watch TV at different times and in different places. If you're targeting an older, retired demographic, then you may want to advertise during daytime hours. If you're aiming for a working demographic, then evenings and weekends may be more effective.
- You'll also want to consider whether to feature people and places to which your target audience can relate to.
2. Define Your Subject
This is the "why?" part of the equation. Why are you publishing this commercial? What is its ultimate objective?
While publicity for publicity's sake may occasionally be an effective advertising strategy, in most cases you'll want to have a specific subject for your commercial. For example, are you announcing a new product or service? Is your business opening a new location? Are you announcing a new promotion? Whatever the case may be, make sure that the commercial stays focused on the subject so that your viewers don't wind up confused.
3. Decide on Your Call-to-Action
Call-to-actions (CTA) have been part of TV advertising for decades. Maybe the first thing that pops into your head is the "golden age" of infomercials when each infomercial would end with a voice urging viewers to "Call Now!" as a phone number in large print flashed across the screen.
While you may not want to develop an over-the-top commercial like that, it's still important that you give your audience some actionable direction in your commercial. After all, if a commercial whets a prospect's appetite but leaves them without a clue as to the next step they need to take, what are the odds that they’ll actually become a paying customer?
4. Define Your Desired Results
Along with developing your commercial's CTA, you want to define the ideal results that your commercial will (hopefully) bring. Do you want an increase in traffic to your website? More foot traffic in your brick and mortar store? More sales? Greater brand awareness? It's important to know what you want, because only then can you measure the success of your commercial after the fact, and make future adjustments as needed.
5. Pick the Channels on Which to Advertise
Deciding which channels to target for your advertising is important for several reasons. Two big factors to consider are:
- Do a lot of my target consumers regularly watch this channel, and if so, when and which programs?
- Does the commercial's content align with the programs featured on this channel? If it doesn't, then viewers may not engage with your ad — or even worse, it may backfire on you!
6. Develop a Plan to Manage an Influx of Customers
Ideally, your commercial will lead to increased interest in your business, and ultimately more customers. With that in mind, make sure that you have a plan in place to handle any influx of business that results from your commercial. The last thing you want to deal with is a large number of dissatisfied customers—customers that could potentially spread negative publicity about your brand's inadequate service.
Working with a Media Partner to Create Your TV Commercial
If you follow the six steps outlined above before publishing your TV commercial, then you'll be in a good position to reap the benefits of your advertising efforts. As with many things in life, preparation is key. By carefully laying the groundwork for your commercial, you'll be able to drive business and grow your brand more effectively.
Of course, creating TV commercials may not be one of your business' core competencies. For that reason, many companies have decided to work with an experienced media partner to help them develop exceptional TV ads. Your media partner can help you to gather some of the key information discussed above, lead you in the right direction as far as tone, verbiage, and messaging, and help in the production and ad creation process. The bottom line is, don't hesitate to reach out to a reputable media partner when developing your next commercial—you'll likely be glad you did so.