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January 16, 2018

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 the marketing communications plan for small, medium and large companies to gain sales, increase their market visibility, branding and to stay competitive. Author Jeffrey I. Richards once said that "creative with strategy, is called 'advertising'."

Companies which advertise are the ones who let buyers know they are open for business and want to earn their business.

In addition that advertising allows companies to gain new customers, advertising also helps to bring back former customers and remind current customers to place their orders. Geographically, when advertising online, it helps your company to be visible to buyers who are based locally to you, regionally, nationally or internationally.

There are many ways to advertise today in the helicopter industry: There are trade shows, industry magazines, mailers, flyers, email blasts, company websites, social media, business cards, word-of-mouth, direct sales, press releases, articles about your company, blog articles, custom printed business apparel & products and online directories, like Helicopter Links, to name a few.

Trade Shows

Trade shows are valuable because potential customers and current customers can see products close up and/or talk to company employees and discuss the products and services. The detraction of trade shows is the expensive price tag for both attendees and exhibitors, and in addition, the majority of attendees of a trade shows are typically only from a regional or national audience. In fact, there are many people who can't attend trade shows due to the cost, bad timing (due to business or personal commitments) or lack of interest in the trade show.

Magazines

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

1) Magazines talk about readership numbers. That's because people are picking up the magazine to read the articles! Believe it or not, not all people, at the time they are reading a magazine, are ready to buy and are not looking at the advertising. The horror!

2) When a buyer does need to buy, do you think they look in their stack of helicopter magazines and start flipping through the pages to find an advertisement? If a reader sort-of remembers an advertisement, what's the chance a reader will remember which issue the ad was in? Which magazine did I see the ad? What page was that ad?

3) Magazine advertising is typically an expensive proposition for the seller.

My proposition is that a lot of branding (name recognition) 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 (and lest we not forget, it's very expensive) . What I find surprising with some the the multi-billion dollar company's display ads, is there is usually very little helpful contact information in the ad. (This either means that some large companies are advertising in magazines for the sole purpose of branding their company name or it means the company doesn't realize that listing company phone numbers in an advertisement could actually be useful to increase sales and is an essential part of advertising! Who knows?)

Email Blasts

Email blasts are useful when people open them. The industry standard for a good open rate on email blasts averages around a 20%. 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. Therefore, sending an email without the user opening it, 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. Who wants to join yet another email list? Legally, professionally and ethically, a company should only email to people who have opted into their 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.

Press Releases, Articles, Blogs

Companies with a big enough bank account can hire professional writers for their press releases, articles and blog articles. Sending a press release is not as easy as jotting down some notes about your company. A good press release follows a strict AP Standards format and is written by a professional writer. If you can get a writer from a helicopter magazine or from Helicopter Links to write an article about your company, then this is a great way to get some good exposure in the helicopter industry.

If you have a blog for your company, this is great way to write about your products, services, customer service, your employees and anything else you want to write about your company.

Direct Mail, Flyers, Business Cards

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 national or international addresses. Flyers and business cards that have the best look, are typically created by a graphic designer. A graphic designer also is responsible for designing the business cards for your company.

Websites, Custom Printed Business Apparel, Social Media

Websites today are somewhat different than they were 10 years ago. Today, more people are using mobile devices to look at websites. Websites which change their size based on the size of the device the user is using (for example, a desktop has large screens, a tablet has a smaller screen and mobile phones have smaller screens), is called responsive web design. Having a good web designer and a graphic designer is a key to having a good and up-to-date website. A word of caution, there are many new websites which are lacking key information about things such as the purpose of a company, product information, history of the company, key employees of the company, it's full email address, phone numbers and full mailing address.

While there are probably many different types of technology you can use to track web statistics on a company website, I would always recommend to have Google Analytics on your site. Google Analytics, sometime called the gold standard of web statistics, if free to use by medium to smaller companies and is one of the best web statistics programs available. Larger corporations with lots of traffic will need to pay for Google Analytics.

If you are selling custom business apparel with your company name and logo on it (such as t-shirts, jackets, hats, coffee mugs, key chains), this is yet another way to make some money and have your employees and customers pay for and do the advertising for you!

Social media is a good way to keep your name in front 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 labor hours and a strategy, to make good use of your social posts), for your company.

Remember to post all your press releases, articles and blog articles on your social media. What I recommend, is that the social media people keep a master list of all your press releases, articles and blog articles and every time you post an article, make a note in your master list of the day, month and year you posted the article. Then you can plan to repost all the articles and press releases which you like the best, every year (or every other year) or whenever you feel it's appropriate.

Remember to take lots of pictures of your products, office, plant, helicopter(s), employees, etc., and keep a master file organized by type of photo. Then every time you post something on social media, you can post a photo which is related to your post. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. By having a good filing system in your computer for company photos, you can easily find it. Each time you post a photo or graphic, remember to rename file by adding the month and year to the end of the file name. That way, two (2) months or two (2) years later, when you post the same photo again, you know the last time you posted that photo or graphic on social media.

TV, Radio, Newspapers, Billboards, Transit

There is also TV, radio, local, national and international newspapers, aviation magazines (non-helicopter), billboards and transit advertising. I've never seen any advertising for helicopter with these media outlets.

Creative Advertising

Specific types of advertising.Creative Advertising is where the seller is searching for the buyer. Most of the above advertising I've talked about is called Creative Advertising. Anything that is not Directory Advertising is Creative Advertising.

Some examples: The buyer is reading a magazine and then glances over to see advertising. Or a buyer attends a trade show and that potential buyer visits a seller's trade show booth. The buyer is in their own office and they receive direct mail from a seller. This is called: Creative Advertising.

Directional Advertising (Or Directory Advertising)

Directory Advertising is where the buyer is searching for a seller. How does a company advertise to buyers who are searching for sellers? They purchase advertising in a directory. Directories can be in a printed format such as the yellow pages or can be a website, such as Helicopter Links.

Helicopter Links is an international online directory for the helicopter industry, listing thousands of companies around the world. Helicopter Links has no printed book because our directory is online only. (And having a printed book and mailing it to every helicopter company in the world would a logistical nightmare and massive drain on revenue.)

Companies can advertise anytime throughout the year on Helicopter Links website and potential buyers can view your ads, when they are in the buying process, at their convenience from their office, home, in the field or anywhere — year-round and worldwide.

According to Google Analytics, about 80% of our visitors find Helicopter Links by using two (2) or more search terms in a search engine. That means that most of our visitors do not know Helicopter Links by memory. We are actually glad about this because this means that Helicopter Links website is search engine optimized, meaning Helicopter Links is easy to find when buyers are searching for a seller in the helicopter industry and that buyer can easily find Helicopter Links website.

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

Helicopter Links' website has also been built for ease of use for the visitor. All companies listed on our site have "text" listings which translate by our Google Translate button in the upper-right corner of every one of our web pages. We recognize there are about 196 countries in the world, and many people might not speak English as their first language. 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 visiting Helicopter Links website are doing the same. They are on a mission looking for businesses who want to earn their business. We offer one free listing to every helicopter related website around the world. And any business in the helicopter industry has the option to purchase advertising with us, which allows our clients to typically get many more click-throughs on their ads than those companies with just one free listing. Placing advertising with us gives your company more visibility to the helicopter industry and makes it easier for people to understand what products and services you offer. Which ultimately translates into higher sales.

I hope this article helps you have a better understanding of advertising in general and advertising on Helicopter Links website. And for those people who purchase advertising, we hope you call us and find out more about our advertising options and pricing. Please feel free to 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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