Has Your Small Business Considered TV Advertising?

Television Advertising Can Be an Affordable Option.

Shooting a commercial
••• Getty Images

Most small businesses look at television commercials as an advertising vehicle for "the other guy." The corporate giant. The big business with lots of disposable cash. TV advertising conjures up images of sets, studios, actors and actresses, craft services, lighting, sound, thousands of dollars of equipment, and, well...a very expensive proposition. 

In reality, TV can be a very affordable medium that can increase your company's profits greatly. You don't need a multi-million dollar budget, a massive set with a ton of props, a food truck, a creative director, and a hoard of actors. You just need to know how to use the medium effectively, by taking advantage of time slots and remnant advertising practices.

The Basics of TV Advertising

Before you make an investment in television advertising, there are certain key elements you need to consider. For a better idea of what makes good TV advertising, take a look at the following articles on the subjects of creativity, and strategy:

Once you understand the process of writing, creating and producing a commercial, you're ready to hit the airwaves.

Combine Audio and Video Seamlessly

Effective TV commercials merge video and audio into a powerful sales tool. But don't think one is more important than the other. Audio and video go hand-in-hand.

For example, turn down the volume on any commercial. You should be able to identify the benefits of purchasing a product just from the video.

The same holds true for audio. Close your eyes and listen to the announcer. If the audio doesn't explain the product in detail, then the commercial isn't effective. Potential customers should be able to hear your message even if they're not in the room to see it.

Always use a strong audio and video combination when creating your own commercial.

Say you're selling a handheld vacuum cleaner. Your video could actually demonstrate the product vacuuming the stairs, hard to reach places and inside a car. You'd also use video to show someone struggling with a regular, bulky vacuum cleaner—fussing with cords and heavy equipment.

Use your audio to explain the advantages of owning your product. You'd use words like "convenient, portable, lightweight."

Don't Forget the Call to Action

There are no words more important than your call to action. What do you want your viewer to do? How do you want them to react, and when? Tell them to call now. Order now. Visit their local dealer.

Your video must match your audio to drive home your selling points. For instance, you wouldn't want to see video of a woman struggling with a large vacuum cleaner while you hear audio claiming, "Our handheld vacuum cleaner is great for cleaning the inside of your car!"

Your message gets distorted. The viewer gets confused. And you lose the sale.

Think of television as an intimate medium. If you're advertising a restaurant, don't just use a shot of your building's exterior. Use a close-up of your food in your commercial. And show people eating your food. If you're producing a Public Service Announcement (PSA) about drunk driving, don't just use a shot of a crowd of people at a funeral. Show a tear streaming down a child's face. Tap into the emotions that come from both sights AND sounds.

Combining sight and sound should spark your viewers' emotions and help them identify with your product. And if they can identify with your product, you're more likely to get the sale!