connected tv advertising

This Is What You Need to Know About Connected TV Advertising

Did you know that 80% of the U.S. population, or 260 million people, have at least one connected TV device in their home? As a business owner, this can be a great way to get the word out about your company, driving leads, and sales.

But what exactly is connected TV? For many, this is a new term that's a little confusing.

Don't fret. In this post, we'll outline everything you need to know about connected TV advertising and how it can benefit your business. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Connected TV?

Let's start with the basics. What is connected TV?

Here's a good definition: connected TV (otherwise known as CTV) is television-style content that's streamed over the internet instead of a cable or satellite service.

As you probably know, cable and satellite TV subscriptions have been declining for a few years now. On the other hand, CTV usage is going up.

Say hello to an amazing advertising opportunity.

Connected TV Advertising Explained

Now let's talk through connected TV advertising: what exactly is it?

Basically, advertising on CTV means you're purchasing video ad space that displays on internet-powered streaming devices and apps.

For example, say someone is watching Hulu on their iPad. One example of a connected TV ad is the commercial that comes up during a break on the show.

The best part about CTV is that it takes traditional TV advertising and takes it to the next level. Because it's internet-based, you have access to the same precise targeting methods available on other digital channels. It's a win-win.

Here are some of the most common devices that can handle CTV content:

  • Desktop computers
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Smart TVs
  • Amazon Fire Sticks
  • Apple TVs
  • Playstations
  • X-Boxes

And that's just some of them. Each year, more and more devices are capable of streaming connected TV content, expanding your potential reach from an advertising perspective.

How Connected TV Advertising Works

At the core of CTV advertising is automated software. These programs will send out our ads to viewers as they're watching CTV, all while gathering and tracking data.

Say goodbye to the days of airing a TV commercial with no real idea of how it performed or who saw it. With connected TV, you can understand how your ad performs.

Here's a breakdown of the process.

First, you create an ad that markets your product or service. Make sure it's engaging and attention-grabbing.

You then decide on the characteristics of your preferred audience, which could include age, gender, location, interests, device type, and more. The software will then find people who fall into those categories and show your ad to them. As the ad is viewed, important metrics are captured, like reach and frequency which will help you understand performance.

It's also important to understand that your ad can run at different times during the program. Pre-roll ads come on before the main content begins streaming. Mid-roll show throughout the show.

Typically, mid-roll is seen as more popular and competitive, making it more expensive.

What are the Benefits of Connected TV Advertising?

Now let's talk about the benefits of using CTV to market your company. What are they?

It's Huge with Millennials

If you're going after millennials in your marketing, then CTV is a no-brainer. It's super popular with them.

In fact, in the U.S., millennials are 67% more likely to be in connected TV-only households. This means that you'd have an incredible opportunity to get your message in front of this age group.

You Can't Skip Them

In today's digital landscape, skippable video ads are a common thing. Youtube, for example, often allows viewers to skip through ads they aren't interested in.

One of the benefits of CTV ads is that viewers can't skip them. They must be watched all the way, which means you're able to convey your full message.

And thanks to its targeting capabilities, your message will get sent to the right people at the right time, in its entirety. What's not to like?

It's More Affordable than Traditional TV Advertising

Another great benefit is that CTV is usually more affordable than traditional TV ads. This is because you can more precisely target your ads to people who are interested.

With regular TV ads, you'd have to spend a lot more money to achieve the same impact per viewer. In other words, you have to get your commercial in front of more eyes to have the same impact with normal TV ads. And this adds up.

CTV is Growing

Last but not least, connected TV is continuing to grow. More and more entertainment is being created for connected formats and people are using it more and more as well.

For example, let's think of all of the CTV options available these days:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Amazon Prime
  • CBS on Demand
  • NBC's streaming service
  • Disney+
  • ESPN and other sport streaming packages
  • And many more!

Plus, this trend will continue to grow. So why not get in now?

Connected TV Advertising: Next Steps

There you have it: the ins and outs of connected TV advertising. We've gone over what it is, how it works, and the main benefits.

What's left is for you to make a decision. Is this advertising format a good fit for your brand?

If so, great. Let's get working. We'd love to help make your vision a reality.

Get in contact with our team today for more information. We can't wait to help!


Paper with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on a table

A Business Owner's Guide to ADA Compliance

At least 54% of online users live with a disability. Not every single users' disability relates to web compliance. You still need ADA compliance for your business website.

But what does an ADA compliant website look like? And how can you ensure you meet every standard for your website?

Read the guide below to learn all about implementing accessibility compliance into your website.

A Guide to ADA Website Compliance

Web accessibility is one of the more modern accommodations established by the ADA. The ADA itself only formed in 1990. Making sure policies are updated to accommodate disabilities in every type of user experience is difficult. This makes it a challenge to uphold ADA requirements for websites.

What Is ADA Compliance?

As of 2018, the Department of Justice mandated ADA compliance for accommodation on public websites. Historically, accommodations only applied to physical public locations.

ADA compliance for websites mostly comes from the DOJ's interpretation of Title III. It requires that "the goods, services, privileges, or activities provided by places of public accommodation be equally accessible to people with disabilities." Specifically, it protects from discrimination relative to:

  • Public accommodations
  • Commercial facilities
  • Transportation
  • State and local government
  • Telecommunications
  • Employment

The use of online space is progressively increasing. This makes it important to include persons of all abilities for more than legal reasons.

This process is not something you want to rush. It is an involved process you should invest time and resources into as a caring business owner.

Why Do I Care as a Business Owner?

As a business owner, there are several benefits to including accessibility compliance in your website's design. Unfortunately, many sites are noncompliant. Beyond ease of use for the disabled community, ADA compliance benefits all end-users. 

  • You'll get exposure to new demographics, which means more clients!
  • Your SEO strategy will be optimized on an ADA compliant website.
  • You significantly decrease your risk of a lawsuit from noncompliance.
  • Corporate diversity naturally increases in unexpected ways.

These benefits are not even the main reason to implement web accessibility on your website. They are certainly good incentives. Your primary reason for compliance should be about doing the moral and ethical thing for your clients.

What Is the Difference Between ADA vs. 508 Compliance vs. WCAG?

ADA compliance is based on civil rights law that prohibits discrimination. This includes public spaces of online interaction. 508 compliance is a federal law for the use of information and communications technology by governmental bodies to include persons with disabilities. WCAG is a set of guidelines set by the ISO.

ADA Compliance

ADA compliance requires general terms of accessibility. Its policies directly affect state and local governments, nonprofit agencies, and businesses. Some critical items to address:

  • Your website needs to have complete keyboard functionality.
  • Any form fields need coded labels that a screen reader will voice aloud.
  • Your alt text for anchors and external links has to be descriptive.
  • Content headings should be adequately nested. This prevents interrupting user experience (e.g., taking users to the wrong landing page or section.)

The terms of ADA compliance have set financial consequences for the private and public sectors. Fines increase for repeat offenses, and federally funded projects can even be revoked. WCAG guidelines can help you build an ADA compliant website, as well as a plugin or web design service.

508 Compliance

508 compliance is a section of the Rehabilitation Act. It focuses on the use of information and communications technology between federal agencies and departments.

It applies to these federal bodies. It also applies to people who use resources provided by federal entities (e.g., citizens or employees).  Examples of such technologies include:

  • Call centers (e.g., telephones)
  • Websites
  • Software

Its consequences entail formal complaints or civil lawsuits. Following 508 compliance can be done by turning to WCAG for guidelines. You can also consult a web design agency that specializes in this form of accessibility compliance.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Focusing on web accessibility for any device, WCAG works as a guideline for web developers to concentrate on accessible content. WCAG is a reference point for ADA compliance and 508 compliance. It uses four principles to set accessibility compliance standards.

  1. Perception: alt-text, captions, multiformat content with assistive tech, visual and audible content 
  2. Operation: keyboard functionality, navigation aid, reasonable caption timing
  3. Understanding: legible text, predictable content, mistake correction and aid
  4. Robust: compatibility with current and future tools

These principles are measured with success criteria on three levels, A, AA, and AAA. The success criteria determine how accessible a website is under WCAG.

Why Do I Need to Hire a Web Design Agency for ADA Compliance?

You might be asking why you need to hire a web design agency for accessibility compliance for when you can just reference WCAG. Although an excellent reference for general accessibility compliance, with so many regulations, it's easy to overlook a single detail. It is also an overwhelming, technical process that requires a certain level of expertise.

It's also quite challenging to alter the coding settings, which impact your compliance. For example, see this video in adjusting the contrast on one single header. There are several website features to include in for an ADA compliant website. 

Where to Turn for Accessibility Testing Design

Now that you know the ins and outs of ADA compliance, it's time to consider your options. There are several web design agencies for you to find. You need a full service marketing agency experienced in accessible web design services.

Optic Marketing Group can audit your current site or build you an entirely new website to support ADA compliance guidelines. After we have completed a site audit for accessibility, we'll walk you through the necessary steps. Contact us today so we can discuss optimizing your business to the best possible standards for accessible user experience.

 


red phone

Customer Service - Call Handling Tips

Customer Service - Call Handling Tips

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Alexander Graham Bell

Do you want to know how to handle and run client calls efficiently and effectively? Here are 5 tips and best practices our Client Service Team follows in order to exceed client expectations and customer service.

  1. Schedule the Call.

Connect and schedule the meeting ahead of time. Ensure the meeting invite is accepted and the proper people are on the call. Scheduling a call with the wrong business contact or scheduling a different date that the client agreed upon can cause havoc and be a huge waste of time. At Optic Marketing Group, we love to schedule client meetings at least once a month to see how business is going, what is happening internally in the client’s business, and talk about what’s happening in their industry.

  1. Be Prepared.

Prepare, prepare, and prepare!! Take the time to create your agenda, outline the items you want to discuss on the call. Review reporting, internal questions your team may need you to verify ahead of time will make you be a lot more comfortable and calm on your call. We practice and preach being 100% being transparent with our clients, if you have any negative feedback or results, you’re able to collect your thoughts ahead of time to deliver the information efficiently, concisely and with a solution. Review the client’s contract, ensure you have a clear understanding of what the client’s goals are and what your team has done to get closer to that goal.

  1. Read the “Room”.

If you are able to have an in-person meeting with your client, read everyone’s body language. Body language speaks volumes and will enable you to anticipate any uncomfortable nuances that your client may not express. If you cannot have an in-person meeting and are just doing an online meeting, pick up on the tone and hesitations in answers. Understanding the small “silences” allows you to be able to maneuver the conversation to ensure everyone is comfortable with the conversation and the solutions presented.

  1. If You Don’t Know, Do Not Fake It.

You don’t know what you don’t know, be okay with saying, “I need to check with the team on that for you, I am not sure.” You would rather confirm the answer with your team rather than putting your foot in your mouth and giving empty promises!

 

  1. Use Your Time Wisely.

Your client does not have all day to speak to you, so make sure you’re asking the proper questions. Prioritize the items you need to review and be flexible to adapt in case your client comes in with a left-field question or concern.

Regularly scheduled conversations with your clients provide much-needed updates on both sides. As a full-service marketing agency, we want to ensure our campaigns are aligned with the client’s goals and objectives. We understand that sometimes those client goals and objectives shift, so we adapt and have that open dialogue.


hand holding a phone showing social media apps

The Best Social Media Platforms For Business

Social marketing solutions took everyone by surprise when the internet started; no one imagined that it would be this big and relevant in the way we communicate and use the information around the world. Soon afterward, social media merged and became a pivotal moment in the way people made use of the internet. Social media for business is a thing no one imagined at the beginning of these social media platforms. At first, it was all about hooking up and meeting new people, but now it has become the hub of digital marketing.

Social media is a widely used platform on the internet and comes in many types that serve different purposes, making it very challenging for businesses to choose which social media to market their products. Social media can come as business networks, forums, photo sharing platforms, blogs, chat apps, social gaming, and social networks. Statistica said, "The influence of social media is ever growing; out of 4.021 billion internet users worldwide, 3.196 billion of them are active social media users, and this number grows by an average of 13% every year”.

The following is a list of social media websites that present-day businesses can utilize for their business and how relevant they are to different business concerns.

Facebook: This is the most popular social media on the internet, and according to Statistica, has more than 1.5 billion daily users and 2billion active accounts. Whether you want to create awareness for your brand, advertise your brand, generate website traffic or improve lead generation, Optic Marketing Group has professionals that can utilize the tools available on Facebook to give your business and jump start. We can help you target your audience by Age, Employment, Gender, Purchasing behaviors, and Users’ interests.

Twitter: This is the king of news, this social media defines the proverb that news spreads like wildfire, according to HootSuite, of all Twitter users, 74% follow small businesses to receive product updates. With this type of clue, it will be a significant error to overlook this social media when it comes to Social media marketing Solutions. Twitter is known for providing real-time updates, utilizing hashtags perfectly well, and using the retweet feature to spread news and updates.

Instagram: This can be called a department of Facebook because it is owned by Facebooks and takes care of 1 aspect of what Facebook does, Pictures, and video clips. People tend to remember what they see easier than what they've read. Optic Marketing Group can help you to organically grow your followers on Instagram to increase your client base, and the other sweet thing about Instagram is that you can link your products to your website.

Snapchat: This platform targets and hits Millennials, almost everybody on SnapChat is below 35yrs old making it an excellent place to reach teenagers, SnapChat makes use of typically short videos that are only visible for 24 hours, a lot of videos are viewed here, and it is a strong force to reckon with.

Let's Get Started

Here at Optic Marketing Group, we understand your social media needs, and we have mastered the tools used in these social media platforms to generate huge conversions for your business. Book an appointment with us and tell us about your business. We will help you set up a strong social media presence that will cater to your social media marketing solutions.


video lights in a white room

Top 10 Video Marketing Best Practices For Small Businesses

Video marketing is an effective way to promote a product or service, it is not something that needs to be done occasionally to raise brands, and instead, it should be something that is done regularly at every stage of your journey through making and retaining your customers and clients. According to HubSpot research, consumers prefer lower-quality realistic videos to quality video adverts that looks all made and deceptive. Consumers and potential clients prefer raw authenticity to over slick production quality. This means that you don't need to break the bank in order to start your video marketing.

Best Practices In Video Marketing

  1. Upload native videos

Videos that are uploaded directly from your smartphone to Facebook or Instagram gain 10 times more views than when you drop a YouTube link on your timeline. Generally, people prefer watching the video on Facebook instead of being redirected to YouTube and coming back again to Facebook after seeing the video.

  1. Focus on Branding

The good thing about social media video marketing is that they don't force viewers to see the video, unlike TV commercials, do, social media videos are viewed at "Me" times when the attention of the viewer can be caught. Facebook and YouTube videos are ideal for connecting and building brand awareness first before generating direct response.

  1. Make sure the information is communicated even without sound.

Most times, users on social media scroll through their timelines while their device sound is mute, so it is important to make sure that your video fully sends the information without sound, including text in the video can also help communicate the message in the absence of sound so that people can be engaged while viewing the video.

  1. Grab attention in 3 seconds

You know your target audience, it is ideal that you use graphics that will captivate their interest in less than 4 seconds, use stunning imagery and footage to hold them down, avoid starting your video with a composition of words that needs to be read for 5 seconds before the video starts. That can come at the end of the video.

  1. Keep it Square

Recently, 1:1 video started to be more relevant than videos in the landscape in terms of average engagement, views, and reach, especially on mobile. These days screen orientation has an impact on viewers, square videos have a way of making viewers think it is going to be short and detailed so they are likely to watch to the end.

  1. Emotional. Informative.

Ensure that your video is entertaining and informative such that viewers will instantly hit the share button if any exists. Find ways to relate your videos to trending topics. The most captivating are entertainment and heartwarming stories.

  1. Include a CTA (Call-To-Action)

Including a call-to-action button will ensure that you convert viewers to buyers instantly. There is a need for you to include a strong and compelling call to action button as a still image in the background or as a pop up to tell the people what you expect them to do.

  1. 30 – 60 seconds

The norm these days are videos having a maximum of 1-minute playtime, this is ideal for Instagram and Facebook. It consumes less time of the viewer and if done well, sends across the message in the shortest possible time when compared with 10 seconds videos that have less info or 2 minutes videos that can be boring.

  1. Unfold yourself

Going live on your handles can spark up a connection and relationship between you and your clients, it is important in marketing because it serves as a medium through which your customers can interact with you in real time.

  1. YouTube

YouTube is synonymous with Video, yes Facebook videos have a higher engagement potential, YouTube videos, on the other hand, can be shared on any platform, that makes it able to reach more people in different places.

 

If you have any questions or need assistance in your social marketing strategy, give us a call! We would love to audit your current strategy and provide you recommendations, no obligation!


a desk with magazines and pens and pencils

How To Start Using Sensory Marketing Strategy & Branding Guidelines

Sensory Marketing, What is that?

Sensory marketing and sensory branding is a form of a marketing strategy focused around appealing to each of the five senses we have to influence an emotional response. By focusing on all of our senses; smell, touch, sight, taste, and sound, not only make your brand stand out, but also guide you in creating a long-lasting impression on your audience. The goal is to seduce the audience to feel such an emotion that engages them to turn their newly found emotion or feeling into a desire to take a form of action. This approach is a multi-sensory experience utilizing what we know about neurobiology and social psychology.

According to Martin Lindstrom, author of Brand Sense – Build Powerful Brands through Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight, and Sound, here are the top industry leaders back in 2005:

Top Leaders of Sensory Branding

  • Singapore Airlines
  • Apple
  • Disney
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Marlboro

These are pretty established brands that are very strict and consistent in their marketing.  As a consumer, you know you are getting an experience, not just a product.

What about me?

Most small business owners not only lack the knowledge and experience, but they also require the budget and time needed to invest in mastering such a complicated and resource heavy strategy. Traditional marketing is an easier solution and has been favored because it’s easier and more comfortable to execute. Ask yourself, that last radio spot you created about a “factory blow-out deal,” did it appeal to the taste and smell senses? Sure, if I was searching for a car or a new air conditioner, and I hear there is a sale going on, I might pay attention. What makes me as a consumer remember you versus the other “factory blow-out deal” I just heard on the radio? I mean by now, as a consumer, every holiday there will be “the best deal ever” so I wait and make my purchases around a holiday. Knowing that business owners have to advertise heavy during peak times to compete against all their competitors doing the exact same strategy and media companies raise the rates knowing YOU are doing to do this again and again. Who is winning here? Now as a business owner you are struggling to get those sales in-between these cycles and be pulling out all your creative tricks to be heard out of all the other noise of the exact same offers your competitors are presenting. Are you really saving money at the end of the day?

 

Okay, now I am listening.

Let’s go back to my “factory blow-out deal” scenario above and talk about the smell and taste senses that are hard to accomplish for car dealerships or stand-alone products. How do I make someone “smell” that new car? How do I make them taste that smell of the new car in the back of their throat? Well, really amazing videos and graphics can do this. Think about Mercedes Benz for a moment. When you think about their cars, you can smell the leather, feel the leather, almost taste the luxury feeling. The images used may seem simple, but the lighting, backdrops, the angle all play a huge role in your psyche. The simple fact that we as consumers expect every dollar spent on this vehicle is just fine, because of the way it will make us feel about owning one. This was not done overnight, this was done by design with actual scientific data, creativity, and planning.

Where do I begin to change my marketing process?

First, you need to have a concept that you can carry out that is timeless that can be repurposed in multiple ways through multiple channels.

Second, you have to have a strategy around the timing of your messaging. You don’t want to be sitting through your sales season and find yourself looking for new concepts, this needs to be well throughout and planned in advance.

Last, you need to have all your designs, videos, content, and voice completed in advance to avoid wasting your time and resources scrambling for assets that don’t fall within your overall marketing strategy.

Where should I include this in my marketing and branding efforts?

Simple, everywhere. Yes, be aware of the sensory marketing next time you start planning. Think to yourself, what sense are we capturing here? How can we make it better? Most of society use their mobile devices these days more than their laptop or desktop. When you are on your cell phone, what are YOU doing and what social channels are YOU using? If you are using those, most likely your customers are too! What messages can you appeal through that social platform to entice a user? Think about what people search for on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google My Business, etc. What are people doing while they are on apps? What are people searching for on Google or Bing? Know what your audience is doing on each platform and customize your message for each accordingly, mastering as many senses as you can on each.

What is the easiest way to get started?

First, audit what you are currently doing and poke holes in it for improvement. See what you can reuse and make adjustments to drive better performance. Are you getting in front of your audience at the right time of day or day of the week? Get more research and compare that to the new GAP analysis you created during your audit. Test, measure, optimize, and test again. Need further help getting started? Contact us today and ask about our video services. We offer a variety of videos we can create to get your sensory message across to use on your website and social media platforms.