Thursday, February 19, 2015
Media Spike #35 - It Costs HOW MUCH?
Thank you for coming back.

Maybe this year you’re considering some advertising to boost your image and stimulate sales. How fabulous. We certainly wish you every success.  If any tips we’ve shared so far have been of assistance, we’re glad to have been of help.
If we can do more, we’ll be glad for that too.

Starting with a new slate is wonderfully exciting and intimidating all at once. You can’t wait to ‘Get Out There’ until you learn how much is out there, AND How Much It Costs!!

NO KIDDING. Staggering isn’t it? The cost of media space, in nearly all media can be very crippling and more than one company has rolled the dice and not recouped the investment. That hurts.

Others, like one client of mine several years back, dropped $100K ( yes one hundred thousand dollars) on a Special 2 page Newspaper ad in a major market paper with a circulation of ¾ million copies. A reasonably efficient $133 cost per thousand (CPM) for a National hit.

I can remember a time when that kind of money would have bought you several baseball players, for more than one season, not just one ad.

Regardless of the generation, advertising is not an inexpensive proposition. If it is done well, smart, creative, thoughtful, relevant ads, with a useable message which resonates with your target group, then you can enjoy a wonderful return on investment.

How do we get there?

Well if you’ve been noticing, we’ve dropped a few hints along the way about Testing. When you see empirically what’s been working, then you know you can refine and confine your spending to just those media which are consistently producing results for you.

The costs of media are always going to be a going concern for small, medium and large businesses. As your universe grows, you tend to want to attract more customers. Meaning casting the net wider and further afield.

To do that well, often means incorporating more extensive and more expensive media options which tell your sales story to more listeners, viewers, readers.

Price does not tell the whole story. EVER. It is certainly a factor, but if you buy exclusively on price, you certainly cheat yourself out of reaching some very worthy candidates for your products or services. Contrary to a wide held belief, many customers do NOT buy based just on price. If that were true, there would only be one style of car, one style of boot etc.

For the next few Media Spikes, we will speak to the costs associated with several media players. As an opening effort, we will look to social media which has the grandest bandwagon ever.

Certainly the Internet has opened many new doors for advertisers of all sizes to communicate a message one to one, and is often substantially less expensive. Although I wonder sometimes just how much is saved.

The savings derived by more modest space cost for social media options are somewhat mitigated by the necessity to have personnel constantly monitoring and responding to your customers.  The cost is now in staff (yours or your agency’s) and customer service follow-up expenditures and less in purchase of an ad unit.

Is social media truly the advertising saviour many are touting it to be?

Well, like everything else in marketing – IT DEPENDS.
    On what you want to do?
    Who you want to reach?
    What sort of message do you want to share with them?
    Are you prepared to devote the time to develop a relationship?

The proliferation of social media is global. A hugely daunting double edge sword for the enormity of reach potential, tempered by the obligation of sustaining a dialogue –multiple times per day, to create a relationship with them, to encourage them to try and buy your product or service.

Happily for this e-mailer, some Testing has already been done.

Done on a modest scale and time compressed, it can’t be construed as truly scientific. Nevertheless it serves as a barometer, a microcosm, of the options and challenges within all social media channels to date.

In March 2013, Mr. Christopher Null conducted this specific test. It was entitled Do Social Media Ads Really Work? We Put Them To The Test. This was reported on in Mr. Null conducted a campaign which was mimicked in five (5) social media channels: Google Adwords, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and StumbleUpon.

Varying formats, and price points preclude an exact match, but as near an equal measure as possible was used and the results are worth noting. The following italicized type is verbatim from Mr. Null’s article.
  • Facebook ads appear particularly ineffective at getting clicks, possibly because users have already become accustomed to ignoring these ad placements due to their location. Experiment with low CPC bids on Facebook when getting your feet wet.
  • LinkedIn is easily the most expensive service on which to advertise, and clickthrough rates are low.
  • Twitter's almost 1 percent clickthrough rate is double the rate of AdWords, and far and away the best I encountered. Ads are surprisingly cheap. It's difficult to target your ads on Twitter, but they still appear effective despite this limitation. Perhaps that's because promoted tweets are virtually impossible for users to ignore.
  • StumbleUpon is a great option for extremely inexpensive ads, and if you are targeting a broad swath of consumers, it's definitely worth a look.
If you're sold on social media advertising, consider these tips before you begin.
  • Start small. Set a very low budget for a CPC (not CPM) ad, and let it run for as long as you can to get a sense of how it's performing. Tweak the ad frequently and track your results. Some services let you run multiple versions of the same ad, so you can compare results among them.
  • Clicks aren't everything. Despite getting hundreds of clicks over hundreds of thousands of impressions, my business didn't net any new clients from these ads. Understand what value your clicks actually bring to you, and make sure your ROI is positive after you have sufficient history to examine.
  • Think about your target market. It's an old adage that "Twitter is for business" and "Facebook is for fun." My experimental results bore this out, so think carefully about what social networks your potential customers are likely to be using before charging ahead
See Mr. Null’s entire article and testing, here.

Does this mean social media isn’t working? No. Does it mean you should not try social media in your communications? No. What it does mean is that like all its predecessors and traditional counterparts, your advertising should be tested to see what’s working.

Perhaps you’ll have a staggeringly successful campaign with a mix of one social media platform coupled with radio and outdoor media.

Maybe the breakthrough comes with social media ads on mobile devices while the target group is in the mall seeing a mall poster ad and a store flyer. I would suggest no more a reliance on any one media than a reliance on any one golf club to play the entire round.

What I would suggest is that you use all the social media platforms as leverage and drive traffic to your website where customers are on your turf and you can educate, inform and sell them better.

Your ads are a bit like employees. “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” –Sir James Goldsmith. Don’t always opt for the ‘cheapest’ option, because you know what type of respondent you’ll attract.

Stay tuned.

"Like to learn more? Nine Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising and How To Actually Make Your Ads Outperform Your Competition  is not for everyone.  It’s for smart marketers who want proven tips to make their ads work harder and smarter.

Is that YOU?
If it is, click here for your copy of, "9 Secrets To Improve Your Advertising"

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- Dennis Kelly
About Me
Dennis Kelly
A professional to his fingertips, Dennis Kelly of First Impressions Media brings a deft touch as your media magician. Extracting incremental media value for you from suppliers is second nature for Dennis. His versatility in all media is bred of 3 decades of hands-on media planning & buying experience in the media trenches. As a steward of your media budget, Dennis excels in delivering smart, efficient, creative and targeted campaigns to showcase your creative to the right audience.

Dennis is the author of “ 9 Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising” and is available to Masthead Reader for $197 through a special offer at this link
Most Recent Blog Comment
Dennis Kelly says:
Thank you Gloria. What a perfectly apropos link. Thank you for sharing that. You are quite correct. ...
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