Last week I wrote a post about the value of Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, but this isn’t the only way to get traffic to your website in a fast and affordable manner. One of the methods that I found to be extremely efficient is media buying, which in terms of internet marketing is a fancy way of saying banner ads. This isn’t simply a matter of loading banner ads in random website through Google, but also buying up specific space on specific sites for a limited time, which is the more cost efficient approach for newbie marketers. This means that you find popular sites in your niche and contact them about putting a banner up on their site. This can be a great way to maximize your advertising dollars, and isn’t terribly expensive, but there are some potential pitfalls to this method of advertising, so it is important to weigh the pros and cons be investing any money.
Cost Efficient: I am a big fan of PPC, especially for somebody who is just starting out and only has twenty bucks a month to invest in advertising, but if you have more to spend, media buying can be even more cost efficient. That isn’t to suggest that media buying is too much more, but you might need around a $100 to buy a decent media space. The reason that this method can outperform PPC is because when you post a banner, you have that banner there all day. If 30 people click on your ad, you pay $100; if 300 people click on your ad, you pay $100. With PPC, if you pay $100, you get charged per click, and you only have a set number of clicks that you can get with that money. On the flip side, you could post the ad and potentially get no visitors. If that happens with PPC, you pay nothing; if it happens with media buying, you still get stuck with the bill, though this isn’t typical. It’s best to do a little digging and see the success rates of various site. Given that my niche is internet marketing, I’ve bought space on Warrior Forum in the past and have found it very effective, but each niche is different.
Targeted: When it comes to targeted traffic, there are few ways that are more efficient than media buying. PPC is effective in this way as well, as it allows you to post ads that reach people who are looking up keywords related to your niche, but when you have a specific niche, like Home and Garden, or Wine and Food, and you buy space on a site that gets tens or hundreds of thousands of viewers every day, you are get exposure to a significant number of people who have been targeted with laser precision. You PPC click ads will reach people who have been targeted with the same kind of accuracy, but they won’t reach that many people unless you spend a significant amount of money. Because you choose the site, and their audience is interested in your niche, you get access to any number of people from different geographical regions, from different age groups, all of whom are interested in your niche.
Efficiency: As with the PPC advertising, media buying can get you same-day traffic. If you need traffic right away, media buying is one of the best ways to get that traffic. This is especially helpful if you are testing the conversion rate of a couple of different landing page. I remember a few years back, I wanted to test out three different landing pages I had designed, so for three consecutive days I bought media space from the same website. I got about the same amount of traffic each day, but my conversion rates were much higher on one of the three days, so I knew which landing page I was going to use. Media buying allowed me to get the sample traffic I needed, and got it for me that day. As a result, I was able to do the kind of testing in three days that would have taken weeks ten or fifteen years. Getting traffic this quickly is hard to do, but media buying is one of the ways that you can accomplish this.
Cost: I don’t want to list cost as a negative, but for some folks starting out, it can be tricky. I know that when I first got into online marketing, I simply did not have the funds to invest in a week’s worth of media space on the site I wanted to advertise on. Buying three days of space would have meant a week’s pay for me, so I opted for PPC, which required a smaller investment. But if you have a couple of hundred dollars to spend on advertising in a month, media buying can be a great option. Due to the fact that the initial cost is a bit higher, it does discourage some, but in some instances, media buying can be even more effective than PPC.
Effective ads: With PPC, you often only have text ads, and while writing copy requires skill, creating a banner ad requires an even more specialized skill set. If you aren’t a graphic designer, it could cost you a little bit of money to get a decent banner ad made up. You can post your ad requirements with your rate of pay on a site like Freelancer.com, and then let graphic designers compete for your cash with proposed banners, which would make it affordable as this can be done for as little at $50. Though it is an added cost, it is potentially only a one-time fee as you can use the same banner repeatedly. You also want effective ads, and it is hard to determine which ads are most effective without testing. I wouldn't let this discourage you, but this traffic option is best for somebody who has a few hundred dollars to spend each month, though you can pull it off for a couple hundred.
I know some newbie marketers will be discouraged by the cost of this method, but realistically, if you only buy two or three days’ worth of space at the beginning of the month, and you’ve get a banner add, you won’t have to put in more than a couple of hundred dollars. The beauty is that you get the traffic at the beginning of the month, so whatever revenue you do generate, you can put back into more advertising. Find popular sites in your niche, contact the webmasters, and see if you can negotiate a deal. If you don’t have the funds to invest a $200 in a given month, stick with the PPC until the revenue from your business is generating enough to cover the costs of banner ads. As with PPC, I suggest that you have an autoresponder in place before sending traffic to your site, or at least an RSS Feed option, so that the people visiting your site will be able to return.
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