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January 18, 2016

Types of advertising and why advertising is important.

By Mike Hampson, owner, Helicopter Links

Why is advertising important? To keep your company in front of buyers, former buyers and current customers.San Diego, California, USA: Advertising is a vital part of a marketing communications plan for small, medium and large companies to gain sales, increase market visibility, brand purposes and stay competitive. Author Jeffrey I. Richards once said that "creative with strategy, is called 'advertising'." The companies who advertise are the ones who let their buyers know they want to earn their business and stay a step ahead of the competition.

Advertising allows companies to not only gain new customers, but to also helps to bring back old customers and remind current customers to seek inquires or to place their orders. When advertising online, it can help your company to be visible by buyers who are based locally, nationally or internationally.

There are many ways to advertise today in the helicopter industry. There are trade shows, industry magazines, mailers, email blasts, company websites, word-of-mouth, direct sales, social media and directories to name a few.

Trade shows are valuable because they potential customers and current customers can see products close up and/or talk to company employees and discuss the products. The detraction of trade shows is the expensive price tag for both attendess and exhibitors, and in addition, the majority of attendees of a trade shows are typically only from a regional or national audience.

Industry magazines are a useful to tool to advertise to buyers because of their usually large audience but the detractions include:

1) Not all people, at the time they are reading the magazine, are ready to buy and are not researching before buying while they are reading the magazine

2) When the buyer does need to buy - it's difficult to find the exact magazine and page where the ad was located. Which issue did I see that ad? What page was that ad? What article did I read about that article? Which magazine did I see the ad?

3) Magazine advertising is typically an expensive proposition.

My proposition is that a lot of branding (name recogniztion) is taking place in magazine advertising instead of advertising to the buyer at the exact time the buyer is searching for a seller. However, because magazines have a high readership, advertising can be effective due it being a numbers game. What I find surprising with some the the multi-billion dollar company's ads, is there is usually very little helpful contact information in the ad. (This either means that some large companies advertise in magazines for the sole purpose of branding or it means the company as lost its way and doesn't realize that contact information is an important part of advertising!)

Email blasts are useful when people open them. The industry standard for a good open rate on email blasts averages around a 20% open rate. But we also know that even if a person does not open your email blast, and if your company name is in the "From Field" for your outgoing email, it does keep your company name in front of your customers. Even sending an email, helps to keep your company name in front of the customer. One of the detractions of email blasts is trying to gain a legal email list. Legally, professionally and ethically, a company should only email to those on their email list to people who have opted into the email list. If a company purchases an email list or adds people to their company's email list without their permission, this is quite illegal in the United States per the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

Direct mail is a good way to keep your company's name in front of new and current customers. However, there is the cost of graphic design, printing, the stuffing and labeling envelopes, the cost of keeping a data base and the cost of the postage! And not every company can afford direct mail to international addresses.

Social media is a good way to keep your name infront of customers because it's a free service (unless you decide to advertise with the social media company). The only drawback with social media is you need to have enough followers to see results and you must have a staff which takes the time to post items on a regular basis, for your company.

There is also TV, radio, local, national and international newspapers, aviation magazines (non-helicopter), billboards and transit advertising. I find that I've seen very little of this type of advertising for rotory-wing because the majority of their audiences are not in the helicopter industry.

Specific types of advertising.Most of the above advertising is called Creative Advertising. The seller is searching for the buyer. The buyer is reading a magazine and then glances over to see advertising. Or a buyer attends a trade show and a seller has a trade show booth. The buyer is a their own office and they receive direct mail from a seller. This is called: Creative Advertising.

How does a company advertise to buyers who are searching for sellers? This is called Directional Advertising or Directory Advertising. Commonly known as the yellow pages and with the internet, it's called an online directory.

Helicopter Links is an international online directory listing thousands of companies around the world. Helicopter Links has no printed book because our directory is online only. So companies can advertise anytime throughout the year and potential buyers can view their ads year-round and worldwide.

According to Google Analytics (The Gold Standard of web statistics) about 80% of our visitors find Helicopter Links by using two or more search terms in a search engine. That means that most of our visitors do not know Helicopter Links by memory. We are very much okay with this because this means that Helicopter Links website is search engine optimized (meaning it's easy to find when people are using two or more search terms to find a helicopter supplier or service.)

Our visitors use Helicopter Links is the same reason that people use Amazon or Ebay. People using Amazon or Ebay are researching before buying or they are ready to buy. With Helicopter Links, our visitors are doing the same, researching before buying or ready to buy.

Helicopter Links' website has also been built for ease of use for the visitor. All companies have "text" listings which are translated easily with our Google Translate button in the upper-right corner of every webpage. We recognize there are about 196 countries in the world which is why we use the Google Translate free service. We also have an easy-to-use Site Map (just like the index pages of a printed yellow page book) to help our visitors find companies they are looking for.

When people are searching online for products and services, they are on a mission. People on Helicopter Links are doing the same. They are looking for businesses ready to help them. We have many listings of companies on our website. The banner ads stand out from the listings which is why companies with banner ads get more clicks than the listings. Businesses with banner ads are saying to our visitors, "We want to earn your business."

I hope this article has helped you get a better understanding of advertising. And for those business owners or advertising buyers who would like more information about Helicopter Links advertising options and rates, please call or email us in the United States at +1 (858) 413-7074 or staff@helicopterlinks.com. Helicopter Links is located in San Diego, California, USA.

-End article.

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