Category Archives: MediaBids

Performance Metrics: PPC vs. PPCall

metrics screenshot

For ecommerce and direct-to-consumer advertisers and marketing managers, we know there’s no shortage of metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to ponder and occupy our time.

Close or Conversion Rate

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Click Thru Rate (CTR)

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Abandonment Rate

Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

Ad Cost/Conversion (ACoS)

Lifetime Value (LTV)

Pay Per Click (PPC)

The majority of these metrics or KPIs are online or ecommerce focused, of course. As we all know, marketing dollars have increasingly gravitated toward digital media in large part due to its measurability. But at Mediabids we specialize in lead generation via print publications and platforms. In other words, we bring ecommerce-like metrics to offline commerce.

Several of the KPIs in our industry -performance-based print advertising- are just like those in digital marketing; namely LTV, CPA and conversion rate to name a few. But our ”click” is an actual customer call and our ”conversion” refers to a customer call being long enough to be a ”qualified call” – meaning the customer is normally speaking with the advertiser’s call center for one-minute or longer. We use unique phone numbers and URLs to track response to our client’s advertising. Whereas the heart of digital media is pay per click (PPC), the core of our industry is pay per call (PPCall.)
amazon ppc

Many may be surprised (or not) to know that Amazon has emerged as one of the largest pay per click platforms in digital advertising. Amazon.com adds campaigns and new consumers every day. In fact, Amazon merchants currently enjoy a 10% average conversion rate -the highest in PPC advertising, so more and more advertisers are moving budget from Google and Facebook to Amazon PPC.

This got us thinking. How does Mediabids’ pay per call advertising compare with the industry leading pay per click platform? How does PPC compare to PPCall?

The following Amazon stats come from a recent PPC Den Podcast [”Amazon PPC Advertising Stats”] done by the guys at Adbadger.com. Click the link to check it out. The Mediabids PPCall stats are directly from our platform.

 

amazon ppc vs mediabids ppcall

  • Amazon’s global reach is well over 2 billion site visitors per month. At Mediabids our affiliate publications total in the hundreds of millions of print circulation per month. It goes without saying that on any given day our advertisers are reaching far fewer potential customers than sellers on Amazon. Nevertheless, the average campaign on Amazon generates 185 clicks a day while we generate an average of 48 gross calls per day. So on a per thousand basis, Mediabids’ performance-based print advertising is far more effective at generating response than even the best digital PPC platform.
  • Conversions per day, per campaign are very similar – 18 on Amazon and 17 for Mediabids. Admittedly this isn’t a true apples-to-apples comparison but the similarity is notable.
  • As you can see our average conversion to a qualified call (42%) is 4x higher than the average conversion rate of a campaign on Amazon (10%.) Alternatively, the average cost per call ($13.60) is significantly higher than the average cost per click ($1.01.) Important to note here that this relatively low average cost per click for Amazon does mask the much higher PPC rates in the more popular categories. But pay per call rates, given the higher operating costs, simply demands higher advertiser payouts per call. Also, again, the comparison of cost per click and cost per call isn’t a pure comparison. But the purchase intent and value of a customer actually picking-up the phone to call about a product or service is very high. It demands much more of the customer than a simple click on a digital button. A phone call also gives the advertiser an enormous opportunity to leave a lasting good impression on customers in a way that just isn’t possible through a site experience.
  • The average daily spend per campaign is also not that far off – $186 on Amazon vs. $231 for PPCall. Given the disparity in the per click and per call costs one might expect the difference in the average daily spend per campaign to be greater.
  • Lastly the advertising cost of sale (ACoS) is also more competitive than one might imagine. Our $13.60 ACoS would go up some with the inclusion of sales data from our advertisers but given the benefits to the advertiser of direct interaction with customers, the marginally higher ACoS is justifiable.

So there you have it – PPC vs. PPCall. PPClick will generate a higher volume of activity (though less efficient) but the conversion and cost metrics are more similar with PPCall than not.

Contributor: Jim Jinks

2016 Holiday Gift Guides – Publishers Monetize Audiences with Affiliate Links

christmas shoppingTis the season to scour the internet’s Holiday Gift Guides for the best presents for all the friends and family on your shopping list this year.

Publications have found a new way to monetize their audiences by producing content with shopping recommendations utilizing affiliate links.

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which the advertiser rewards an “affiliate” (aka publisher – online or otherwise) for each sale driven by that affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

So in other words, when you see a Gift Guide with clickable links published by the New York Times and you end up purchasing a product they recommend, that advertiser will give the publisher a percent of the sale to reward their efforts.

Instagram has made many of their “influencers” rich through affiliate networks such as RStyle, LIKEtoKNOW.it, ShareASale, Impact Radius, and others. This has long been popular among bloggers and independent website publishers as well. Though there are ongoing issues with disclosure and there may be more regulations in the future, this revenue stream is likely here to stay.

Now, many publications are getting into the game. The New York Times launched a beautiful interactive Gift Guide with dozens of product recommendations divided by category. This comes as no surprise following their acquisition of The Wirecutter, an online consumer guide which publishes in-depth product reviews.

 

The NYT includes the following disclosure (if you know where to look for it). But for many readers of the NYT unfamiliar with this type of advertising, it certainly further blurs the lines between editorial and advertising.

The gifts included in this guide were chosen solely by The New York Times. Our editorial content, including that by Wirecutter, which recently became a part of the company, is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships.

Through a third party, we may receive commissions on sales made on the linked sites. When our editors and writers make selections, they do not know what products may generate a commission, or what that commission might be, and payments play no part in their decisions.

Similarly, New York Magazine has a recommendation page called The Strategist. Real Simple has many holiday gift guides available as well, and I’m sure most magazines are building these types of pages now, if they haven’t already. Wired, The Atlantic, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, the list goes on and on.

 

Buying print advertising, for years we’ve seen publications try to maintain “church and state” separation between their editorial recommendations and the revenue generated from their advertisers. But there are huge monetary opportunities from affiliate advertising revenue in providing product recommendations to loyal readers.

Sometimes we describe what we do here at Mediabids with per response advertising (or performance marketing) as affiliate advertising since many e-commerce companies are already familiar with affiliate programs and do these types of campaigns online. Supplementing their online affiliate campaigns with a print campaign is a great way for advertisers to reach a new and desirable audience. Likewise, it benefits publications by bringing revenue back to print through advertisers that wouldn’t otherwise consider the medium.

For publications looking to add an alternate revenue stream, or if you’re an advertiser interested in reaching new consumers…call Mediabids today at 860-379-9602.

6 great ads that prove print isn’t dead

Sometimes we feel like we’re on a quest to prove print advertising isn’t dead. The term “print evangelist” suggests we’re not alone. Whether your goal is branding or direct response, print still holds a powerful piece of the marketing mix. We’ve seen studies pointing to high ROI and LTV for advertisers willing to run in print. And for our per-response advertisers as well as our direct clients, we’ve seen time and time again how print makes the phone ring.

Check out these great new print ad campaigns which show that some of the most creative work in the ad business is still being done for print.

Thanks to Nikki Gillilant at Econsultancy for compiling a more in-depth roundup with even more awesome print ads. Check it out here.

Post by Darcy Mauke.

 

Join us to build your 2017 Ad Sales Plan

Advertising Sales Leaders, Ad Sales For 2017, What Is Your Plan?

Join media/advertising sales expert Ernest F. Oriente, the founder of PowerHour, LLC, and the live weekly PowerHour Advertising Sales Academy and Jedd Gould, CEO of MediaBids for a FREE MediaBids PowerHour teleseminar on Thursday, September 15th at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/New York time focused on Ad Sales For 2017, What Is Your Plan?

Details are below for our 245th free educational PowerHour, since 1995.

During this 60-minute MediaBids PowerHour we will be discussing the points below plus fielding your specific questions:

#1. Planning for 2017 ad sales, what trends are you tracking?  How are print versus digital ad sales comparing?

#2.  What is your plan for selling to ad agencies and key decision-makers during this upcoming budget season?

#3.  Your U.S.P. + your media kit + your alliances = smart business development + focused selling + media comparisons?

As prep for #2 above and to continue this discussion with ad sales leaders from around the world, please join our flagship LinkedIn group, Advertising Sales Success—with 4600+ leaders on this url:  http://tinyurl.com/kxtlmvv

Registration Information
=================

When:  Thursday, September 15th

Please note, the above MediaBids PowerHour starts at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/New York/Toronto time, which is

12:00 p.m. Central/Dallas/Winnipeg time
11:00 a.m. Mountain/Denver/Calgary time
10:00 a.m. Pacific/San Francisco/Vancouver time
9:00 a.m. Alaska time
6:00 p.m. GMT/London time

Fee:  No charge

Recording is available after the MediaBids PowerHour, but you must register below to receive it.

To register, please go to:  http://marketing.mediabids.com/seminar/TeleSeminarReg.html

For additional registration information, please contact MediaBids.com at 800-989-0406 or E-mail jpeterson@mediabids.com

We look forward to having you join us

Come follow us on Twitter, https://twitter.com/Mediabids and LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/company/mediabids-com 
 

Labor Day Weekend Sales

Happy Labor Day Weekend!  Chances are, if you’re still in the office reading this, you’re dreaming of taking off for a long weekend of beach, barbecue, and…shopping of course.

According to a recent CBS MoneyWatch article, LDW is the best time to get great deals on seasonal summer items retailers are trying to unload to make room for fall and winter goods.  Stock up on summer clothes for next season, a new grill, or if your mattress needs to be replaced, holiday weekends often tend to offer good deals.  Skip fall clothing, toys, and consumer electronics like Apple products – these types of items will be more heavily discounted in the Black Friday/holiday shopping timeframe.

Check your local newspaper for inserts with coupons and local promotions.  According to a research study for the NAA (Newspaper Association of America), 39% of US adult internet users favored newspapers for receiving ad inserts and fliers, compared with just 21% who preferred the web and 27% who wanted them sent via mail.  In fact 70% of US newspaper consumers said they checked the inserts to find out about sales and savings.

Post by Darcy Mauke

Advertisers are Leaving Money on the Table

AdobeStock_75951060.jpeg

By skipping print, advertisers are leaving money on the table.  While brands need to adjust to changing demographics and media consumption preferences, research shows under-spending in traditional media decreases incremental revenue.

Utilizing multiple media sources is important according to the Advertising Research Foundation.  Their neuroscience research shows “advertising is more likely to be encoded in long-term memory if people encounter it in multiple media,” according to Manuel Garcia-Garcia, senior VP for research and innovation in global ad effectiveness at the ARF.

An article originally published in AdAge outlines Nielsen Catalina Solutions research with KraftHeinz’s Crystal Light and Time Inc. which showed that adding print and digital to a TV campaign had a major impact on improving ROI.

Nielsen_Catalina_Print

Credit: Neilsen Catalina Solutions

By adding $3M spend in print through Time Inc., Crystal Light was able to add $16M in sales.

We can help you add print to the mix and make your cash register ring – contact Mediabids at 860-379-9602 or email dmauke@mediabids.com.

Top Marketers to Follow @Twitter

I started using Twitter, somewhat, back in 2011. It wasn’t until 2014 that I began to be more of a daily user and started to publish tweets on a regular basis. Twitter launched in 2006 so I was a relatively late adopter -perhaps I should have little to say- but it’s 2016 and especially if you’re a salesperson for a digital and/or print publisher, you really need to be using Twitter by now.

Twitter

It really is an invaluable tool for keeping up with the news of the day, especially in both the publishing and marketing industries. For one thing, your publication’s editorial department is using Twitter. Second, many of your clients are likely using Twitter and the advertising agency buyers you call on are for sure using Twitter. Why aren’t you?

In a less than scientific survey of media reps, these are the three most frequent reasons for not using Twitter:

  1. Why would I use it if I don’t know who to follow?
  2. I don’t think anyone would care what I tweet so why bother?
  3. I already get plenty of industry email newsletters…I don’t have time for Twitter!

Let’s start with #3.

Are you reading those industry email newsletters? If you’re following the knowledgeable people that actually aim to offer their audience valuable insights and support, then it’s relatively easy to glance at Twitter -here and there throughout the day- without it taking too much time or being disruptive to your workflow.

Regarding the second objection to Twitter (”I don’t think anyone would care what I tweet.”), you may be surprised at your own value to others in your industry so don’t hesitate to tweet out if you have an original thought or something to say. But also, no one is forcing you to tweet. You can use Twitter, and it is still valuable to you, even if you never ever respond or share anything on Twitter.

Now #1 is indeed a valid objection and I can relate. Twitter is a little intimidating at first, because after all, we don’t know what we don’t know. But for those of you ready to try something new and you’d appreciate a little help in taking the leap, here’s a few leading voices in marketing to consider following, be inspired by and perhaps learn from on Twitter:

@jeffbullas

@kimgarst

@jaybaer

@dharmesh

@JoePulizzi

Of course, there are at least forty other thought leaders one could follow. But once you get started you’ll learn quickly how to curate your own list.

Be well and good luck!

Post by Jim Jinks (@JimJinksCT and @Mediabids)

 

 

5 Print Industry Videos (In Additon to the #tronc Video) That Are Worth A Watch

The video tronc (formerly Tribune publishing) recently released has received a lot of attention within the publishing industry. Here’s a link ICYMI – https://youtu.be/oeo1V-47BBw

While it is definitely noteworthy, (and many other blogs have covered it quite thoroughly) we wanted to bring to attention a few more videos about the industry that are important in their own ways.

1.) When Journalism Meets Technology

A super interesting video about how media companies are using artificial intelligence to create news stories. One example is how an article about an earthquake in the LA Times was created automatically in four minutes by a “Quakebot”.

2.) Print’s Not Dead for Comic Books
Sales of hard copy comic books are on the rise, which flies in the face of the common narrative about the death of print.

 

3.) Innovation in Newspaper Ads – Some interesting samples from Newspapers Canada about how advertisers are using print in clever ways.

4.) The Wall Street Journal – Newspaper Readership Now, Then and in the Future A concise look at the evolution of the newspaper.

5.) MediaBids – Newspaper Advertising is Alive

Here at MediaBids, we see print ads driving phone calls, leads and sales to advertisers all across the US. In this video, we talk a little bit about how performance ads can generate a new revenue stream for newspapers.

Post by Jess Greiner

Top 10 US Daily Newspapers

Stack of newspapers, eyeglasses on table

Here are MediaBids we work with a wide variety of newspaper publishers – our network includes dailies as well as weeklies, alternatives and shoppers.  Here is a list of the Top 10 US Daily Newspapers ranked by circulation:

  1. USA Today– 2,301,917 (Gannett)
  2. The New York Times– 2,101,611 (New York Times Co)
  3. The Wall Street Journal– 1,337,376 (Dow Jones & Co Inc)
  4. Los Angeles Times– 467,309 (Tribune)
  5. New York Post– 424,721 (News Corp)
  6. Chicago Tribune– 384,962 (Tribune)
  7. The Washington Post– 356,768 (Nash Holdings LLC)
  8. Newsday– 321,296 (Newsday LLC)
  9. New York Daily News– 299,538 (Daily News LP)
  10. am New York– 298,759 (Newsday LLC)

Source: Cision

An article that came out in the Atlantic a couple weeks ago outlines the number of stories published by newspaper per day and not surprisingly, those with the largest circulation are among the biggest content producers as well.  The Washington Post staff publishes 500 stories per day online, 230 for the New York Times, and 240 for the Wall Street Journal.  The total space in the print edition devoted to news though, has largely remained unchanged.

For help buying advertising in these papers and others, contact us at Mediabids at 860-379-9602.  To register your newspaper or magazine, click here.

The Future of Hyperlocal News

aol patch
(Photo: Patch)

Earlier this week we posted on the strength of community newspapers, despite the current struggles of their national and regional counterparts.  Part of the reason for their success is the lack of availability of hyper-local news online. Where do you go to find out about local events, local politics, and local businesses?  Chances are, you turn to your weekly community newspaper.  And chances are, you can only find them in print, as very few have complementary websites.

Though some people turn to local pages on Facebook for “news,” these groups contain posts that are not vetted, edited, nor are discussions monitored or moderated.

AOL made a pass at this with Patch, their “hyperlocal news network,” launched originally in 2007 and acquired in 2009.  Patch struggled to achieve profitability and monetize their traffic, and according to a TechCrunch article from December 2013, the network lost AOL millions of dollars in their attempt to keep it alive.

According to the corporate website, AOL spun out Patch to Hale Global in January 2014.  It seems the site now relies heavily on community member posting directly to the site, and the local staff writers and journalists in each location appear to be more regionally-based where one reporter may oversee a dozen or so sites.  They operate 900+ local news sites in 23 states and as of when it was last reported on in 2014, had a staff of about 65.  The “LocalStream” pulls social content from Facebook and Twitter, while the bottom of the page features popular national news stories.

The new management was able to turn the company profitable by May 2014, according to the New York Times.  The biggest change, not surprisingly, was on the advertiser side.  While the site used to rely heavily on local advertisers, and employed sales people to sell display ads to local businesses, it now has a $5k minimum spend.  This almost certainly prices them out of reach for local advertisers.  From what we observed on the sites, most ad space appears to be retargeted programmatic ads.

What does all this mean for the future of local news?  NiemanLab reported last fall that after many local journalists were laid off by Patch when they were sold off by AOL and the company pivoted to become a leaner organization, many of those writers have gone on to launch their own local news sites.

Whether online or in print, “local” represents a huge opportunity for advertisers and allows brands to meet consumers where their heart is, at home.

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For advertisers looking for help reaching consumers at the local level, contact us at MediaBids.  Likewise, if you’re looking for national advertisers for your newspaper or magazine, we can help!

Post by Darcy Mauke