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Lies Your Local TV Station Is Telling You About Their Digital Advertising Packages
If your business has recently been contacted by your local broadcast station or cable company representative, chances are this article applies to you. Digital advertising packages come in all shapes, sizes, and most importantly, prices. Given all of these options, it’s crucial to understand where your marketing dollars are going and what you will be getting out of your investment.
Lie #1: Your campaigns are managed in-house.
Most broadcast stations operate under huge media conglomerates such as Viacom, TEGNA, or Raycom Media. Cable companies are structured in a similar way—think about Comcast, Charter Communications, and Cox Communications. What benefit comes with being a large, super-powerful media company? Buying power.
Generally, broadcast stations and cable companies use third-party vendors to purchase and re-sell digital advertising packages. These packages are sold on an impression basis. What this means is that if a local advertiser purchases 100,000 impressions at a $10 CPM (cost-per-thousand) the advertiser will pay $1,000 for that campaign. Keep in mind that an impression occurs each time your ad is displayed on the screen.
The parent companies of these broadcast stations and cable companies have the ability to purchase large quantities of impressions at a discounted rate (i.e. buying power) through third-party vendors such as AdRoll. Later, these packages are sold to local businesses at a (you guessed it) marked-up price.
Once a package has been sold, the campaigns are managed under the third-party vendor in which they were purchased, not in-house. Campaign reports are generated monthly and sent to the representative at the broadcast station or cable company to be shared with you, the local advertiser. Unfortunately, there is little transparency for the local advertiser to determine how their campaigns are performing, or if they’re being optimized, because there is no interaction between the local advertiser and the third-party vendor. Why pay a retail price for a middle-man?
How Blue Corona’s Campaigns Are Different
All digital campaigns are managed in-house by a designated Paid Search Specialist. Our Pay Per Click (PPC) Specialists have extensive knowledge in managing, optimizing, and tweaking paid search campaigns to generate the most cost-efficient results. Our PPC Specialists are certified in many platforms including Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Bing Ads. When working with Blue Corona, you have the immense benefit of directly communicating with the designated PPC Specialist that is managing your campaign. This open line communication allows local advertisers to quickly pivot their strategy, tweak, and optimize their campaigns at their discretion. We aim to provide our clients with the utmost transparency to get better results based purely on performance and feedback.
Lie #2: It is more cost-effective to buy your digital advertising campaigns on an impression-basis than a pay per click basis.
When you purchase a digital advertising campaign on an impression-basis, you are guaranteed a specific number of impressions over a specified period of time. For example, your package will be worded somewhat like this: you will receive 200,000 monthly impressions over the course of three months at a cost of $2,000 per month. Essentially, you are guaranteed the delivery of 600,000 impressions which will cost you $6,000.
While you are guaranteed 200,000 impressions, or views, are you guaranteed that the user will actually see your ad? Not exactly. According to Google, an impression is defined as “how often your ad is shown” and therefore you don’t actually know if the ad was seen. If your ad is displayed once on a web page, this is counted as one impression. If your ad is shown three times to the same user, three impressions will be counted.
Back to our example above. Let’s say that you are a local bicycle shop that recently purchased 200,000 monthly impressions for three months at the cost of $2,000 per month. While it sounds great that your ad will be shown 600,000 times, there is a big issue with this. What if there aren’t 200,000 people per month looking to purchase a new bicycle? This is where relevancy becomes very important. You don’t want your ads to be shown to those that do not intend to purchase a new bicycle. These are wasted impressions. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to determine exactly how many of these impressions are “wasted.”
How Blue Corona’s Campaigns Are Different
At Blue Corona, our digital advertising campaigns are sold on a pay-per-click basis. When you pay-per-click, this dramatically increases the ad’s relevancy to the user. Would you click on something that wasn’t of interest to you?
Lie #3: We are tracking your digital campaigns.
A standard report for a digital advertising campaign will include your campaign’s impressions, clicks, CTR (click-through rate), and conversion rate. While all of this sounds great, this isn’t exactly considered tracking. Monitoring campaign performance and tracking campaign performance are not one in the same.
When digital advertising campaigns are accurately tracked, you not only know the standard reporting measures of your campaign, but also how many leads you receive. You might ask, how do you define a lead? A lead is an individual or organization that expresses an interest in your goods or services. Leads can be generated by prospective customers filling out a contact form on your website or by picking up the phone and calling your business. It is crucial to your business (and marketing budget) that you’re tracking your leads. Through proper tracking, you know exactly which of your marketing campaigns are performing the best, as well as their ROAS (return on ad spend). By tracking each inbound customer lead and identifying which campaign helped you acquire that lead, you can easily attribute revenue to that specific lead. In turn, you can determine which campaign generated the most qualified leads and revenue! At the end of the day, leads are the most important because leads convert to sales, and sales drive your business.
How Blue Corona’s Tracking Is Different
At Blue Corona, our mission is to help business owners and marketing executives use technology and the Internet to measurably improve their marketing performance and ROI. This starts by tracking every single advertising strategy. Everything on the web can—and should—be tracked.
Work with a Company with Proven Lead-Generating Results, Not Promises
At Blue Corona, we recommend our clients track everything. How else can you intelligently invest in any marketing strategy if you don’t have baseline data for where you are today, and tools in place to accurately quantity the return of these strategies? Possibly the biggest barriers that prevents business owners from accurately tracking their marketing strategies is time. Blue Corona has developed a turn-key method to accurately tracked advertising in a “do-it-for-me” fashion. No time? Give us a call. Finally, you might ask “how do you know all of this about media companies?”—well—I used to work for one.
About The Author: Jenna is an Account Manager at Blue Corona. When she's not helping clients grow their sales from the web, she cheers on any and all Cleveland sports teams and drinks wine (sometimes at the same time).
View more blogs by Jenna Spackman