If you’ve looked at advertising your business online, it’s very likely that you’ve come across Google Adwords. It’s the largest online advertising platform in the world. Google also make it really easy for businesses to get started and start driving highly targeted traffic to their website.
But is it the most cost effective option?
Pay Per Click Models
Most online advertising works on a ‘pay per click’ model. This means that for every visitor who clicks on an ad linking to your website or sales page, you pay a certain amount based on demand, and the perceived value of the ‘click’. Businesses can pay anything from £0.30 – £100 per click.
The reason the PPC model has worked so well is that it makes it easy for advertisers to measure the cost effectiveness of their advertising. However, the main reason is that it benefits the advertising networks (Google, Bing, Facebook etc). After all, they are in it for the money!
The PPC model puts all advertisers at the mercy of the advertising networks. Though most PPc campaigns do prove profitable for businesses, the ‘Cost Per Click’ (CPC) is determined by the advertising network, and advertisers frequently pay over the odds.
Direct advertising works very differently.
It’s called ‘Direct’ Advertising because it relies on an advertiser having a direct relationship with the website that features its ad. In fact, it has more in common with newspaper advertising that it does with digital trading desks and PPC advertising.
In this case, rather than you choosing which keywords, geolocation and demographics you want your ads to target, you choose an appropriate website to feature your ads. This website should attract large numbers of your target demographic and have a large volume of monthly visitors. The website should also be of the highest possible quality.
Let’s say you run an Auto Dealership and you’re looking to drive more people towards your showroom floor. Your target demographic is young affluent men based in your local area. Based on your experience, this is the group that’s most likely to buy a car from you. In this case, you might look at targeting a popular website that focuses on a local football or rugby team. This way, you will guarantee a large number of your target demographic seeing your ads each day.
In most cases, direct advertising relationships start by you just getting in touch with the website owner. It’s likely that they will already have a media pack that they can send you. This will detail all available advertising opportunities, and give you prices.
What Does it Cost?
Direct advertising prices are controlled by the website owner. You can pay up to £1000 for 50,000 impressions (person viewing your ad) with a big national publisher. However, you can pay as little as £100 for the same exposure with smaller, privately owned publishers. If you can find a small, well targeted website at these price points, direct advertising can work out very well for the advertiser.
Which is Best?
Unfortunately, the honest answer is ‘both’.
PPC and direct advertising campaigns do two very different jobs. Direct advertising campaigns are an extremely cost effective way to build awareness and initial enquiries. After all, the general pricing of direct campaigns can be 3 or 4 times cheaper than Adwords or Bing. However, they need to be backed up with highly targeted Adwords campaigns to make sure you are reaching people right at the point of purchase.
Direct advertising should be thought of in a similar way to TV advertising. You might see an ad for some toothpaste every day for weeks. At the time, you hardly pay any attention to it, and you certainly don’t run straight out to the shops to buy it. However, next time you’re in the supermarket, those positive impressions are extremely likely to result in you buying that brand of toothpaste.
Very few businesses take advantage of the direct advertising opportunities that are currently out there. Just £200 could see your ad seen by 100,000+ people. When local newspapers are charging £1000+ to reach a readership of less than 15,000, online direct advertising represents great value.
Are you interested in building direct advertising into your advertising mix? Not sure where to start? We work with a number of small publishers that have lots of great direct advertising opportunities in a wide range of locations and demographics. If you’d like us to send you some media packs for the sites most relevant to your business, please get in touch.