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Media Zone: 9 Success Tips for First-Time Infomercial Marketers

1 Sep, 2012 By: Timothy R. Hawthorne Response

Here’s how to get your long-form commercial right the first — and every — time out.

If you’ve been thinking about adding 30-minute DRTV commercials to your marketing portfolio, but if you’re not quite sure how to jumpstart your   campaign, you’ve come to the right place. With the economy slowly improving, and with both corporate and consumer wallets loosening up a bit, now is a great time to dip your toe in the infomercial waters. Media rates remain affordable, and there are plenty of avails to select from across multiple networks and cable channels.

As a new infomercial marketer, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed and bombarded from all angles. You’re not sure where to start. The good news is that there are some tried-and-true methods for planning, producing, testing and running long-form DRTV. The better news is that these strategies still work today, 30 years after the first infomercial aired.

Here are nine simple success tips that you’ll want to weave into your long-form DRTV marketing strategy:

1.  Tell more and sell more. The most successful infomercials embody the basic premise of “the more you tell, the more you sell.” The buying public always values more information about the products and services it purchases. Character and sophistication may differ with the product and the audience, but buyers always want to know more.

2.  Solve a problem. The bigger the problem your product can solve, the better return you’ll get on your DRTV investment. This is why weight-loss and skincare products do so well on television: they solve real problems, both personal and visual, that people grapple with on a daily basis.

3.  Make the product king. Put the product in the spotlight and give it a critical look. If it doesn’t stand up well on its own, then no amount of advertising is going to help sell it. Before you even begin to think about your first infomercial, you need to determine whether your product or service is right for long-form.

4.  Demonstrate and describe in detail. Thirty minutes gives you a lot of time to describe and demonstrate multiple product uses and benefits. Use this luxuriously long timeframe to educate, excite, earn trust and entice.

5.  Create a story around your product. Long-form commercials are effective because they tell a product’s story in a way that awakens consumer interest, powerfully positions a product, develops a strong emotional tie with viewers, and produces an immediate stream of sales and leads.

6.  Create a sense of urgency to buy. Sure you have 30 minutes to tell your product’s story, but you have only seconds to attract viewers at any point during the infomercial. Tried-and-true “order now” motivators include: “If you call within the next hour, you’ll receive a special bonus!”; “Two for one!”; and “Free gift with purchase!”

7.  Pump up your campaign with upsells and cross-sells. Upsells and back-end marketing can generate 30 to 50 percent of your long-form campaign revenues. The more related products you have available for upsell/back-end campaigns, the better.

8.  Close with emotion. Use emotional, evocative language and visual images. Be enthusiastic and passionate. Inspire excitement. Be entertaining and humorous (but don’t overdo it). Create the emotions consumers will feel when using your product.

9.  Emphasize benefits and answer objections. When crafting your infomercial script, try to anticipate the viewer’s every response to the ongoing monologue. Anticipate and answer the objections that will typically arise. Tell them why they need your product now, why the price is a great value, and why they should buy it from you today.

The most successful infomercials have at least one thing in common: they sell products like crazy via TV, the Web, mobile, retail and other outlets. They also respond to the needs, demands and tastes of their audiences, and provide important, necessary product information in an interesting way. Adopt this mentality and even your first infomercial results may surprise you. ■

About the Author: Timothy R. Hawthorne

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