How to get your local business on TV (without breaking the bank)

In this 5-minute read:

  • Benefits for businesses of being on TV
  • Earned media
  • Local TV stations
  • Streaming services
  • Advertising agencies

Have you ever thought about TV advertising for your business? Are there even enough people watching TV to justify the cost? 

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Getting your local business on TV is still a worthwhile way to create brand awareness and generate new customers, and it doesn’t have to empty out your small business marketing budget

We’ll walk you through the benefits of getting your local business on TV and some of the different options available to achieve that goal. 

Benefits of having your small business on TV

TV is still a widely used medium across the United States. In fact, adults in the U.S. spend an average of 4.5 hours watching TV every day. 

Infographic: The Generation Gap in TV Consumption | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

While it may seem that younger people aren’t watching traditional TV outlets as much, there is still plenty of opportunity to reach new customers by getting your business on TV–both with traditional and non-traditional outlets like streaming services. 

Beyond the amount of time that people spend consuming video content, both on TV and streaming services, there are some obvious benefits that getting on TV can provide your business:

  • Gains attention
  • Reaches a wide, targeted audience
  • Combines sight and sound (making it more memorable)
  • Fosters emotion and empathy
  • Gives your business more credibility
  • Reaches viewers when they are most attentive

Now let’s get into some of the ways that your business can reap the benefits of being on TV. 

Earned media

Earned media refers to anything you are doing with people/organizations that can give you a public face (but not necessarily paying for). This can be news channels/journalists, social media influencers, chambers of commerce, YouTubers/reviewers, and similar. 

You can earn media from these types of sources by getting their attention through community involvement, reaching out about your products, or showing that your business has something newsworthy to offer. 

female reporter on site for local business

When you reach out to local news channels with relevant content or story “pitches” and they cover your business on local TV, you have the potential to reach more people in your community, and you don’t have to pay for this coverage.

Check this out: 11 free ways you can use PR to grow your small business

Reach out to local TV stations/paid media

Beyond local news, you can reach out to local TV stations with proposals to show your commercials. Unlike earned media, this option will require payment to get your ads shown on different channels. 

Most TV stations run commercials on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis, meaning that you’ll pay a set price for every thousand viewers that your commercial reaches. Depending on the channel, the cost can vary greatly. The average cost for local TV could be anywhere from $5-$34 CPM. 

Talk to the stations that you want to work with to see what their viewership numbers look like and how much they charge to get an idea of the exact price. 

Reach out to a streaming service

Similar to local TV stations, most streaming services (those that show ads anyway) have ad packages for local businesses. The main benefit of showing ads on a streaming service is the enhanced targeting capabilities that you get. 

This non-traditional TV outlet is becoming the norm, especially for younger generations, making it a viable option for ad placements. 

You can reach out to services like Hulu, YouTube, Sling TV, Quibi, and others to show your ads to a specific local audience. Of course this starts with knowing your customers.

The pricing for ads on streaming services generally follows the CPM guidelines and can run anywhere from $30 to thousands of dollars per ad, depending on your audience. 

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Use an advertising company

If you’re unsure about the logistics of reaching out to different stations and services to show your commercials, find an advertising company that specializes in TV commercials and helping small businesses like yours get on local TV. A local company in your community is going to be much more cost-effective than a national chain. 

One way you can save costs here is to produce your commercial yourself. Bring a video that is ready to share for your advertising company to distribute to different TV outlets. If you will be making your own video, get the specific criteria that you’ll need for it from your advertising company. This might include things like length requirements, clearly incorporating your brand and other best practices. 

Best practices for creating your own commercial

If you do plan on creating your own commercial for a local TV station, streaming service, or advertising agency, keep these best practices in mind to make your video interesting and compelling to your audience. 

Create a storyline. Even a 15-second video should have a story to tell. 

Represent your brand well. Don’t get so distracted by the story that you forget about your brand in the process. This is the entire purpose of your commercial. 

Simplicity speaks volumes. Keep it simple and create an ad that will be memorable. 

Target emotions. Determine an emotion that makes sense for your ad and don’t be afraid to pull at your audience’s heartstrings. It can be humorous, sad, hopeful—whatever is going to resonate best with your audience. 

camera filming local commercial

Maximize the benefits of new customers with reputation management software

As you start to see the growth from your TV time, set a plan in place to maximize the growth potential your new customers are giving you. 

Invite new customers to leave your business an online review so as your commercials reach even more people and they research your business, you have some good feedback that draws them further in. 

Womply’s reputation management software makes the process of  leaving, replying to, and managing reviews simple for all parties. You can easily send out an invitation to your customers via text or email, and then they just follow the prompts from the link they receive and are guided to a review platform to share their experience. 

Also, click here to check out our small business loans resources. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!


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