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How to advertise to businesses?

jrnyfan@nc.rr.com's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 09/06/2006 - 3:36pm

So I'm trying to start up a small-time production company and I very much want to do some corporate/commercial type of stuff. I'm having a heck of a time figuring out how to advertise my production services. We have one local business to business newspaper. I'm curious how else people reach business clients (other than the usual Craigslist and word of mouth routes).


BRoach25's picture
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 05/10/2010 - 3:21am

I'm kind of in the same situation. My father-in-law owns some small businesses in the community - I am doing commercials/training videos for him for free - then the plan is to make a website using these..... then the current plan is to send out letters to businesses/corproations in the area w/ cheap intro prices and a link to the portfolio. this is about a one-to-two year plan, and just thought it about about a week ago, so I may take a different route once things start changing from dream mode to actually-happening mode


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

Identify the businesses/companies you want to target. Research via Google for addresses and key names - owner, manager, CEO, Marketing Director, etc.

If you do not have representative productions (demo reel, or clips on a website) find a way to utilize your business contact resources, work a trade if necessary, and use your lights, camera, mic and tripod, and your production skills to develop at least a couple or so video products related to what you want to propose to these people.

Develop a direct-mail marketing strategy using large-size post cards (8.5x5.5) with basic info (don't jam a lot of info on your postcards) and a couple of colorful images on the message side, another photo somewhere on the address side; a one-page marketing letter describing your services and qualifications and where they can go to see samples; and a direct-mail insert you can use in connection with your DVD demo reel that you can send out.

One REALLY effective way to get people to check out what you send them is to print the outside of your DVD solid yellow, for example, with huge words "PLAY ME!" wrapped around the surface rim-to-center. It is virtually impossible to NOT watch that DVD. You might consider, if you have a voice and can deliver, putting your marketing message on the DVD with only a simple card insert giving your basic business info. But I guarantee you that if you sent ONLY the yellow DVD with huge black "PLAY ME!" printed on the surface, and nothing else, every address you send it to will result in a view, perhaps driving eyeballs to your business website for further information.

Content is everything. Quality for value is important. If you are in the zone with area competition pricing then pricing is moot. MARKETING, however, is EVERYTHING!

If you market, you will make it! 2010, Earl Chessher, CorElAnn Video Productions

There's a host of marketing-related information to be found on my blog site at E.C. Come, E.C. Go and a HUGE book coming out this year.


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

By the way. In today's marketing environment, with rare exception, print advertising for video related production and services is a black hole sucking up your advertising bucks and giving nothing in return.

Direct-mail, social networking and web-based advertising are your primary marketing resources that can result in an effective R.O.I. (return on investment) Advertising by print publication = nada.


anapurma's picture
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 05/17/2010 - 7:27pm

Of course the best (price to effect measurement) is an online marketing. Try to send mails with links to your portfolio to potentional contrahents.


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

Sadly, a business marketing strategy that focuses on e-mail blasts or, in more appropriate terms SPAM, will earn more hard feelings than good relations or business. You cannot overlook the negative effects of using a heavy e-mail approach in your service or product marketing.

There are many ways to utilize the internet for your marketing, but less is more, generally speaking, even with Facebook, Twitter and other social marketing potentials, where folks have come to realize they're going to be bombarded with business and self-promotion posts. Like SPAM, junk mail and telemarketing, these things quickly, if not instantly, turn people off.

Online marketing works, but many have the misconception that if you put something on the internet, a website for example, people will automatically find you on Google or through some other search effort and flock to your site where they will be compelled to do business with you.

A consistent direct-mail marketing strategy will begin driving eyeballs to your site, getting you the uptick in hits and exposure you desire AND in a positive light. This, followed by testimonials from others, qualified listings on business and marketing sites, references on Digg, RTs on Twitter, etc. will get you the right kind of interest, avoiding unintended animosity or bad feelings from strangers.

Using some kind of statistical reporting regarding visits and hits to your website will prove out the reality of direct-mail marketing strategy effectiveness.

With online marketing you STILL have to drive eyeballs to your site. Left up to only website you have to figure out HOW to get people to find you. They HAVE to want to find you and use keywords and more in an effort to do so.

The proper and consistent use of direct-mail marketing WILL drive eyeballs to your site. You ARE reaching potential clients and they KNOW how to find you, making your website a go to place for the services and/or products you offer.


oc6088's picture
Last seen: 6 years 4 months ago
Joined: 05/05/2008 - 11:30pm

One of the most effective ways I have gotten b2b is belonging to business groups. I belong to two woman's groups that meet once a month, a weekly group and a monthly local business group. After 1 year of this and putting out my information it's now starting to pay off. It takes a while for people to trust you. Most of these groups cost me less than $20/year (the most expensive is $70/year) plus my time and lunch costs.

I always pass out a postcard or some other type of marketing material.

However, I put an ad in the local paper last weekend and it cost me $220! I also enjoy getting out and talking to people since I don't have any employees..it's nice to have the interaction.


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

Developing relationships among other related businesses in a chosen area - business groups, chambers of commerce, etc. - has always been a good strategy and can develop solid business "friends" over a period of time. The proof of the pudding, and all that.

Anyone who really wants to assess PRINT advertising as a method for promoting video product or services will find that it is as simple as thinking about how they look for product or services in which they are interested. Print advertising is usually a bit more effective when it focuses on pushing product, considerably less effective when seeking clients for service.

Of course there are exceptions - driveway refinishers, roofers, landscape design, car washing, etc. I suppose.

Select direct-mail campaigns with general or specific video-related products and/or services in mind, when used in a targeted demographic situation does not require the major execution (thousands of pieces) that was once considered the only way to be effective.

For example: You want to gain business from private or other dance schools, academies, etc. Identify all those existing in your immediate service area and send a postcard or direct-mail piece specifically focused on provision of video production services for THAT area of interest. They're into dancing and a postcard that not only offers something special, unique or whatever, but has some relative DANCE art/graphics included WILL get eyeballs, visits to your websites and actually calls or inquiries.

This principle can be applied to virtually ANY area of interest, from churches, youth sports, corporate holiday events and more. Try a consistent direct-mail strategy. Set up a monthly budget for, say, one year, where you commit to spending less than a dollar a day (two pieces - postcards sent first class - a day) to a specific interest area over a one-year period. Do it consistently and without folding or losing resolve.

That isn't much. What, eighty-something cents a day (you LOSE that much a day through pockets with holes in them, or ripped purse linings) less than $365 a year. ONE, that's right, only one single gig from that one-year campaign will repay your efforts, but you have also established visibility and linkage, website traffic and potential for other business because nearly 800 people (at minimum) have seen your logo, your name, or become aware of what you do.

Small, but still a significant number of eyeballs that are now aware of who you are, your company name and business. ONLY thing is the results go beyond that 800, perhaps even doubling before you "rinse and repeat" by cycling your ongoing mailing list every 90 days or so. I don't quit sending postcard direct mail pieces to an established good address and viable demographic until or unless I get a call that say ENOUGH! Back off and don't send me anything ever again. OK, so I'll wait six months and try again with something else :-)


AaronThomas's picture
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 04/14/2011 - 5:23pm

For me, if I had to ONLY do one, it would most definitely be online marketing through your website and using SEO to get visitors to your site. I've made hundreds of thousands of dollars doing exactly that.

I think it's best to integrate an online and offline marketing campaign. I could have made more by integrating my online marketing with offline marketing.

Great tips with the postcards and the DVD mailings Earl!


grinner's picture
Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/29/2007 - 2:56am

For me, meeting witht he powers that be and explaining how I can increase their profits is key. As cheap as a lunch. Answer the "what's in it for me?" question in your opening line. It's why they'll have lunch with you.