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One size does not fit allOne size does not fit all

With media channels growing at a staggering rate, it can be difficult to know where to focus your marketing efforts. Once you figure out where to market, the hard part is figuring out how to market to each.

About the only similarity between different media channels is the fact that people interact with them. Who interacts with each channel, how they interact, how long they interact, where they interact, and how long the information stays with them varies greatly between print, Web, social media, and so on. Your challenge is to get your school’s message out there in the most effective way possible, which means altering that message for each media segment.

Here’s an example. Traditional print advertising is a great place for brand awareness. Large imagery, basic inspirational messaging, and a strong brand presence are all important here. A regional magazine or local newspaper is not the place to include your price list or describe in detail what it takes to fly. On the opposite side of the spectrum is your website. People come to your website for information. They want to know what you do, where you do it, how much it will cost them, and why they should train with you. It’s important to have brand awareness throughout, but it has to go deeper than that.

Despite the differences with each channel, your prospects need to know they are dealing with the same company in each channel. Car advertising is a great example of this. The feelings you get with a certain car company’s ad is the same in both a magazine and in a TV commercial, but the type of message, the length, and even the target audience is slightly different. What hold the two together is the brand awareness and tone of each. That’s what your school needs to replicate in each channel.

To do this, you need to first identify who you are. Is your school about fun? Safety? Is it traditional? Or maybe progressive? Whatever you are, identify it and carry that feeling throughout.

Once you’ve done that, look at each channel and identify who interacts with it and how. For help, turn to your ad representative or look at successful examples. Ad reps are great resources on how to improve and target advertising because they want your ad to be as successful as you do, and they know the readers and watchers well.

You can learn more by searching for successful campaigns in the channels and markets you’re trying to reach. Blogs, in particular, often have good case studies.

Ian J. Twombly

Ian J. Twombly

"Flight Training" Editor
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.

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