More posts about Infomercials and Small Businesses

One of the tough but necessary things to do in this economy is to keep marketing. You need to keep putting your messages in front of consumers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, infomercials have become cheaper to put on the air. The economy has put TV stations in a bind.

“Typically, DRTV (direct-response television)comes in two forms: Two- to three-minute spots and 20- to 30-minute infomercials that explain how a product is used, and why the customer needs it, through demonstrations and testimonials.

These spots offer small businesses a way to advertise inexpensively and get quick, measurable results. The cost of television ad time has fallen as much as 50% from years past, largely because so many Fortune 500 companies slashed their advertising budgets, particularly in the auto and financial-services industries. Suddenly, DRTV advertisers had access to cheaper ad spots on more popular networks, which meant that infomercials could air at better time slots with more viewers.”

This amounts to a fire sale on air time. And the effectiveness is easy to measure because the ads inspire viewers to call special phone numbers that only appear on the ad. The benchmark for success is to make a dollar of profit for every dollar spent on advertising. But the production costs can be high. And it is estimated that only one out of 10 infomercial is successful. This still can be a huge barrier for small businesses.

What if you had some cash and a desire to create a demonstration video. That can make a short infomercial do-able. If you find professional video production, you can make a video that goes on YouTube and other social networks. It won’t have the reach of a TV slot. If you make it entertaining – which may mean getting good, professional help – and useful, it might just be enough to create the boost you want.

If this is still out of your price range, then scrap the video camera and check out these 10 cheap ways to advertise. These are small, guerrilla tactics that could help bring in some new customers.

No matter what you do to attract new business, make sure you can handle it. If you’re going to go the infomercial route, you will need the capacity to handle increased orders. That means staffing phone lines and/or having a scalable e-commerce site. No matter how small your expectations, you will need the time and infrastructure to handle the increased business. Have that capability before you advertise.

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  • Jim Warren

    Jim Warren began his professional career in the television and production industry working in Southern California where he discovered that he had a natural sales talent. Combining this talent with his love of film and video production, he built (and eventually sold) the largest infomercial production company of its day. Jim learned how the direct-response industry is an effective training ground for an analytical thinker who loves measured marketing and business metrics. With today’s focus on accountable marketing and online media, those lessons provided him with the advanced insight and skills needed for today’s online metric-driven business model. Connect with Jim Warren on LinkedIn Warren Jim