Some Not-So-Secret Secrets When Buying Digital Advertising

When buying online advertising the approach is very different from that of purchasing traditional media. The language, the method of determining ROI, and the overall strategy have all changed.

A BOLO workshop I attended introduced several web tools to help sort through the mystery and unknowns of online ad purchases.  Remember, the internet is very transparent, researching the “audience” of an online advertising outlet is easier and cheaper than any other media.  You don’t have to pay the high fees charged by the various TV, radio and newspaper quantitative research companies to find out who is visiting a specific website or how long they are staying there.  The information you search for can be found through several free or low cost web services.

Here are some recommended online research tools to help you determine the potential audience reach of a particular website;

    • Shows demographic profiles and site profiles
    • Lists other sites visited by that website viewer
    • Provides traffic metrics, search analytics, demographics, and more for websites
    • Audience profiling
    • Qualitative information

Because it’s quick and easy to see results (or lack thereof) online, the internet is an excellent medium to test a campaign.  Take a small portion of your advertising budget and place it where you think it should go for a month or two (When have you ever heard an ad professional say you can test a campaign in just two months??) Use the tools mentioned earlier to help tweak your campaign and you will be on your way to achieving better ROI with your digital ad campaigns.

Additional take-a-ways from of the BOLO workshop:

  • There are companies emerging that have access to place advertising on a variety of top level websites.  Let them show you their recommendations based on your goals and budget.
  • Display ads typically generate fewer results today than they did 5 years ago.
    • Consider and ad with rich media
    • Add a contest element in your ad to courage click through
  • Set goals before you begin your campaign.
    • What click through rate do you expect? (current statistics put the average at 1-3% of overall impressions)
    • Is there a conversion rate you need to get? (closing rate)
    • How many sign-ups or participants do you expect through the contest?

We all must face the fact that online advertising is inevitable in reaching our target consumers.  It’s best to start doing it now and give ourselves the advantage by finding the tools that are out there to make advertising buying easier and more effective.

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