Making my own tv spot.
I have a small production studio and want to increase my client base. I am producing a local tv spot for myself to hopefully bring in new local business from smaller businesses. The spot will be about how a tv commercial can help your business. The commercials I have done for local businesses have worked great for them. Have any of you done this before? Any stories or tips on this matter would be helpful before a spend the cash to do it. Thanks yall
What market are you in?
I've done local cable spots and have often thought about doing one for my business. I think many small businesses don't know where to go for spot production. They often go straight to the cable company. In my conversations with the cable companies, production is often a money loser for them. The time buy has to be large enough to make the production costs worthwhile. These leaves smaller businesses with no place to go to for production when they want to start with a limited media buy.
I think what your doing is a good idea. Curious what your approach will be. Will you simply "laundy list" how TV/Cable advertising will help them? Testimonials? Wiz bang fx and quality on a budget?
I going for the wiz bang effects approach. My thought is if I can grab there attention and entertain them with eyecandy then give them a list of services I offer as well as my web site address at the end. I want to lead them to my site and measure how many hits I get. I havent launched my site yet and plan to in tandum with the tv spot. I figure if i get a potential client that likes my spot then checks my work online and then calls they will be a pretty well on there way to getting my services.
Another thought is to do 5 different spots for myself and create a buzz locally. Have some off the wall stuff in it and have all of them relate in some way. I figure if i pay x amount on airtime and can make my own spots for cheap mine as well do it! Any thoughts on this?
I think what I would do instead is put them all on a DVD, go to the local Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, etc. meetings and introduce yourself and leave the DVD's as a free hand-out.
Rreturn to the organization meetings the next time they are scheduled, some of the businessmen will approach you in person with questions.
The DVD in this case can cover a lot more information and show your skills off more cot-effectively than a shotgun approach of running spots your target market may never see. A sub-section of it can steer them to your web page for updates, and other section can be a short documentary about how you put spots together for a client, how to budget the production, etc.
The business owners thus self-direct and pre-qualify themselves for spot work *for you*.
I agree with Mark. While television can be a powerful medium to reach potential clients, it's only effective if the demographic you're trying to reach is large enough to justify the expense and provide a profitable return. Unfortunately, while all business owners likely watch TV, there a many more people who don't own businesses watching as well. So while you may be reaching a high number of people, most of them aren't your target. Going to the Chamber of Commerce, however, will grant you a much better ratio of business owners (potential clients)to non-business owners (not potential clients). You can reach more of the people you need to reach for the same amount of money, or much much less. Besides, television is already incredibly cluttered. Leave it to your clients! :-)
Every market is different. Sometimes there's lots of "politics" trying to get presentation time at the local business association. One trick was to go out and start shooting store fronts. Owners/managers came out and asked what I was doing (with much suspicion). I explained I was shooting "tests" for a presentation for cable advertising for local businesses. Some asked for demos and others told me how to get on the schedule for a presentation at the local association. Keys to the presentation is that they "relate" to what you show. Seeing their store fronts in the demo can add to the excitement. Seeing that you've done work for similar businesses helps too. The local hardware store, restaurant, auto dealer, plumber all want to see you can handle their specific product/need.
In my market, the cable companies have their own ads pitching how advertising on cable can help your business. I don't think it's unreasonable for you to do it. You may even benefit from the cable company ad but I'll go into that later. You'd really have to think about your target and what they're watching and how to appeal to their needs. In some markets the cost may be very inexpensive, in others the cost of running the spot a few times might equal what you'd get from one client. You'd have to be able to afford repeat ads. It may be a money loser at first but landing the first couple of clients is important.
Once you get the first couple of clients your likely to make great friends with the sales department at the local cable company. You're bringing them revenue! Many cable companies lose money on the production side in order to gain time buys. This is why THEIR ads they run can bring you money. They give you the production work and they make money on the time buy. You may even find a case where they'll ask you to do an ad for them or a "test/spec" spot for a target they have in mind. You won't get paid for the spot but you're also not paying for the spot time either. All this really depends on your market though. If the local cable company thinks you can be profitable to them you'll make great friends.