The Big Agency Campaign Model 2.0: Anyone Can Do It

October 13, 2015

Big Agency

In the traditional media landscape, to win big with an ad campaign you have to spend big. When Frito-Lay or Procter & Gamble want to push a new product, they spend millions on TV ads, radio spots, billboards, etc. There may be a bit of targeting involved, but in general the goal is to maximize impressions. Show your message to millions of people, and you can reach people who are interested in your product, along with many who aren’t.

Most brands don’t have the bottomless pockets to pull off a “spray and pray” campaign. But as social media marketing gets more sophisticated, you can get big results without spending big bucks. Instead of marketing to the masses, you can focus your attention on the audience most likely to respond to your message. Instead of buying time on traditional media, you can host your own new media assets.

Here’s how you can use the same tactics the big brands use, without a big brand budget.

Billboards = Display Ads

It’s hard to imagine a stretch of highway without billboards. But it’s also hard to remember what was on the last one you saw, or the one before that. It used to be that billboards would at least build up impressions in a commuter’s mind over time, but digital billboards have lessened that impact.

Online display ads can be versatile and adaptive, dynamically serving content to specific audience segments. If you are after increased brand awareness, engagement, email subscriptions, or driving traffic to your website, these ads can fill the bill.

Get Started: Learn how to develop dynamic display ads with expert advice from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

TV Commercials = Online Video

The 30-second commercial is quickly becoming a relic of a bygone era. Fewer people watch broadcast television these days. And even if they do, many take advantage of their DVR’s ability to fast-forward through commercials. Unless you are buying a multi-million dollar Super Bowl ad, it’s hard to be heard—and even then, did you watch the Super Bowl ads live this year, or did you catch them on YouTube?

Online video can deliver your message to a more relevant audience with a fraction of the budget. You can deliver a better experience for your audience with online video as well. Break free from the 30-second format and do something substantial, entertaining, and informative.

Video can fit any budget, from how-to videos shot from a smartphone camera to multi-camera professional productions. Videos are easy to share across platforms and sites, from YouTube to SlideShare to excerpts on Vine and Twitter.

Get Started: This post from HubSpot’s marketing blog gives a good overview of how to create video and incorporate it into your overall strategy.

Radio Spots = Podcasts

Radio spots have the same problems television commercials have. They are expensive to play, the format is limiting, and your audience can easily tune them out. For an audio-only experience people can enjoy anywhere, podcasts—episodic audio recordings listeners subscribe to and download—are rising in popularity as a content marketing tactic that is especially effective at building community.

Everyone from President Obama to LinkedIn’s own Jason Miller is getting in on the podcast action, and it’s not hard to see why. These recordings range in length from five minutes to over an hour. In a short-attention-span world, their ability to engage is impressive.

So instead of buying 30 seconds of airtime to reach a broad audience, you can give your most relevant audience something truly valuable that invites and rewards their attention. You can get a professional-sounding podcast up and running with a minimal investment in equipment and production.

Get Started: This list of podcasting resources covers everything from planning to equipment to promotion.

The Secret Weapon: Thought Leadership

It’s easier than ever to produce content and amplify it to a highly specific audience. But with the enormous amount of content available online, it can be hard to rise above the noise. For individuals and brands alike, thought leadership has been the secret weapon for improving reach while also building brand affinity.

Thought leadership content differentiates your brand from the rest, helping you establish a reputation as a trusted source. As Douglas Karr, CEO of DK New Media puts it, “If you are just repeating what everyone else is saying, you’re not building authority. To instill confidence and trust to drive someone through to a conversion, you must provide thought leadership in addition to your other content.”

Get Started: Learn more about the three kinds of thought leadership and how they can bolster your content marketing strategy.

With new media, it’s easier than ever to reach an audience without breaking your budget. Instead of taking a big-money, wide-angle approach, you can focus your efforts on the people most likely to need what you are offering. Capture attention with segmented, dynamic display ads. Then entertain and engage with online videos and go deeper with podcasts. Finally, add thought leadership content to the mix to build your brand’s reputation and earn trust.

In the new media landscape, it’s possible for any brand to get ahead. Work hard, work smart, bring great content to the mix, and your brand can make a big impact.

Learn more about establishing thought leadership from some of marketing’s most influential leaders. Download The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership.

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