Traditional media are scrambling to stop-gap their revenue stream and are looking to “package-in” their online properties to do so. Unfortunately when you run an online program exclusively with a traditional media properties’ online real estate, your program becomes very narrowly focused within a particular media channel.
We know, even from our own personal experiences, that people do not use online media the way they use traditional media. To assume that an audience migrates to a media entities’ online site in the same way it consumes traditional media is a false assumption.
Here are a few thoughts on how to construct an online advertising program that is measurable, quantifiable, and cost effective. These should be applied to all online programs regardless of the media property that is being considered:
- Study the online habits of your customer first. We recommend that our clients insert a code in the footer of their website (such as Quantcast) to see where potential customers may also be visiting. You should also be collecting demographic data such as age, gender, race, income, education.
- When you have established the target customer’s profile, lay out your online program. Running across several media properties that are targeted to your customer behaviorally & geographically will yield a properly targeted program which will result in increased engagement with the customer. Or to say it in “non-media speak” – you will get more eyeballs that want your stuff when they are most likely to take an action that will result in a sale!
- With any media property, look closely at the web traffic that is generated; look especially
• Unique visitor counts
• Time of day people are using the site
• Which pages they are using
• Time spent on the site
4. When you construct your schedule, utilize the following:
• Purchase a schedule that runs evenly across several pages; a preferred Share of Voice of 30% will generate optimum reach. (Note: If you are purchasing pre-roll gateway ads it can be difficult to achieve 30% as the inventory is generally not available.)
• Run a variety of sizes – leader boards, tower ads, rectangles.
• Animation is great for consumer sites but not necessarily for B2B. High tech professionals, especially engineers, prefer static & text ads over animation.
• Run A-B tests – different colors, different headlines and different graphics. Then monitor & test which ads generate the most activity; refine your program based on this data.
5. At Capstone, we track every program we run and analyze the program throughout its flight. We monitor to see if the program is accomplishing the results we are seeking. There are several ways of tracking a program through tools such as Google Analytics, Omniture or Urchin. Advanced tracking, which yields more profitable data, is best done by embedding some type of pixel code within each ad unit. These are monitored for
• Number of impressions
• Actions taken (clicks on which page at what time)
• Bounce rate (tells you when someone comes to your website if they are spending time there or just leaving like rats deserting a sinking ship)
• Return rate (someone who is exposed to your ad may not click on it but will instead return later to the website)
• Conversions (shopping cart, contact us, or any other sort of interactive connection within the website)
Keep in mind that all of this refers to an ad campaign, not an Adwords program through Google, YAHOO!, Bing OR a Social Media program. That is another treatise altogether!
Capstone Media8227 Brecksville Road, Suite 203 Brecksville, OH 44141