If you’re a publisher or advertising executive new to performance print advertising – or would like a refresh on how MediaBids works – this video provides a short overview of how MediaBids will deliver ads from top brands + additional revenue to your publication.
MediaBids publications’ results come from several sources of raw data sets. On a monthly basis, we collect the reports from the various places, align the data, reformat it, clean it up, and tally the results before uploading the final monthly results to our site for publishers.
What kinds of results are there?
We have three types of campaigns, but they can be a mixture as well.
Per Call – paid on the phone calls
Per Sale- paid on verified sales
Per Lead- paid on collected customer contact information
Per call campaigns, our most popular type, base the payable result on call criteria. Typical call criteria are: call length, calls during business hours, calls within a region or zip code, and or calls that press a number to reach an operator. Most advertisers want a caller to be on the line for one to two minutes before they consider the caller legitimate. The Invoca platform allows us to disqualify calls which fall outside of the advertiser’s call center hours, but not all require that feature if they are collecting the callers’ numbers and calling them back. Calls can also be qualified by a key pressed zip code or simply by the caller’s the area code, and or their exchange. Phone numbers consist of 4 parts: the 1-digit country code, a 3-digit area code and 3-digit central office or exchange code and a 4-digit subscriber or extension number.
Per Sale campaigns are actual sales. Sales are determined by the advertiser and we receive monthly reports of sales for our publications. Some of these will be set on a percentage of the sale and others are a flat rate.
Per lead campaigns are those where a customer’s details are collected during a call or via a landing page. These are Web Leads and Post Backs. Some advertisers use URLs/QR codes in their ads which send readers to an online lead form which collects their information on behalf of an advertiser, and then that lead information is automatically sent to the advertiser as raw data. Those lead forms are part of the backend of the Mediabids.com system. We built and house many of the lead forms in the ads, while other leads are gathered and stored on the advertiser’s site, which then sends us as a post -back notification of a lead conversion.
Some campaigns use some deeper tech and robots listen to calls for key words that trigger a “sale”. These are called Signals. We use these on Omaha Steaks and on Physicians Mutual Dental. HIPPA laws prevent recording calls for some campaigns, like the dental campaign, which is why robot ears are a fitting option for counting calls where a person took the step to sign up for the insurance.
When are final reports ready/available?
Monthly reports are available on about the 3rd business day of the month. Sometimes we run into obstacles like a big advertiser running late with their reporting to us. Rather than report incomplete results, then report stragglers as they come in, we wait to send one complete report. When they are complete, an automatic email is sent to all publications with active ads.
What’s in the monthly report?
The emailed report will show you top performers and the total due to you, but if you want more information, you can hit the link in the email to the full report or log on to your account to see how much each of your active ads generated. The reports are downloadable to excel as well. Full reports show the monthly total, each active ad, how many qualifying responses it had and the total amount generated for each ad.
Why are my weekly totals not matching this monthly report?
Publications are emailed weekly automated traffic reports for their ads. The automated reports give call counts and result counts for basic pay per call campaigns. The weekly reports do not however take into account the per sale results or web-based results. They also do not take into account the hiccups that come from phone numbers being hit with the latest SPAM. Your monthly reports contain final payable total results.
How do you know what calls are for my publication?
Your ads contain unique identifiers, mostly phone numbers and in some cases URLs and they are procured just for your publication. We rent each phone number for the publications and the URLs are given unique codes from our advertisers. These are both tracked back to your publication. We rent phone numbers in bulk from the Invoca platform, which was somewhat recently bought by Salesforce. The Invoca platform is integrated via API with our own custom platform which is a continually evolving system established more than 20 years ago by our inhouse developers lead by our forever CTO John Carril. Much like Invoca, our technology grows and reacts to the ever-changing requirements of the industry as a whole. .
What is done about junk calls or SPAM, does it affect my results?
The leads are the easiest place to spot spammers. It’s unclear what they get out of it, but you can always count on some bot or person submitting a bunch of leads with details like:rcvbe7632rwihngdvm. Our technology inspects incoming leads requests for a variety of indicators and filters most SPAM/BOT generated leads before they even enter our system. However, the few that manage to slip by our defenses are then hand removed. The calls that are spam are blocked by a few methods. Some have an IVR which requires callers to press a random number to reach an operator, another asks for a zip code, and many spam calls only last 21 seconds so they never reach the qualifying call length. There are from time to time, publications that attempt to rack up results illegitimately too. We don’t want to give anyone ideas, but we’ve seen and delt with some sketchy people. They are quickly delt with and removed from our system. For all the legitimate calls, the tech built into Invoca automatically tags a call as payable if it meets the criteria as a result. Criteria like: call length, did they press1, are they calling within the region, did they call during business hours, have they called in the past 30 days and already qualified as payable. When the automatic spam blockers are breached, we look closer and may listen to the recorded calls.
What details about a call are collected by the call platform?
Call Start Time
Time stamp for the time of call EST
Call Record ID
Unique call id
The phone number in the ad
Promo Number Description
Your Ad number in our system
Original Publisher ID (From Network)
Your publication’s ID in our system
Call Segment Path
Advertiser’s preferred end point for your call, can be by region or by type of ad (classified vs display
What numbers did the person press during the IVR process
Destination Phone Number
Where the call is connecting to
How long the person was on the line total
Total Connected Duration
How long the person was on the line and connected to the system
Total IVR Duration
How long a person waits in an IVR to get to an operator
Amount you get paid for the call
This tells us which qualifiers were not hit to make a call payable
This is how we know if the caller has called in the past
The caller’s number
Cell or landline
This is where custom signal can be added to automatically tag a call based on what robots hear on the call
End of Call Reason
Sometimes a caller hangs up, sometimes the call center does
A recording of the call, if applicable.
What kind of information can MediaBids derive from the data?
We have a great deal of information at our fingertips. Advertisers have access to all their call data. Publications can see how many calls they have had and how many converted to a payable result. But if you look at that long list of attributes we have for phone calls, and then add to that the list of attributes we have about publications, there really is quite a bit of data we work with. Publication attributes include things like: circulation, location, distribution, format and frequency. But there are also attributes for the individual ads you request like: size, color, start date, ad type (classified, display). On the advertiser side, attributes are things like: category or audience and industry.
Most publications have multiple versions of an ad and run what works for their space. Because we do not stipulate when or how often a publication should run an ad, some statistics can become best guesses. For instance we can guess that a publication ran an ad on a day where their phone number had call activity. But depending on the ad and the publication, running an ad doesn’t necessarily mean calls are generated. We also do not know which size/color ad a publication ended up running.
We all depend on publications having a strong presence in their communities. We depend on readers being compelled to take action by calling an ad they are interested in. MediaBids constantly works to ensure that advertisers are doing their part to hook readers and pay top rates for the business brought their way.
Not already registered with MediaBids? We’d love to work with you! Reach us at Mediabids.com, email@example.com or call 860-379-9602.
If you are considering which per-response ads to run and are only looking at the payout, you are missing the bigger picture. Considering price and demand are equally important factors when picking ads and will yield more revenue for your publication.
Factors to consider:
Is the product being advertised right for your audience?
How many of your readers are likely to need and afford the product or service being offered in the ad? Is the product universal? Is it useful only for homeowners? Is it something for a specific age group? We have several categories of advertising campaigns, but our most lucrative are: Senior Home Improvement, Food, Senior Health, Telecom and Employment etc. Travel has been on again off again. Who is reading your publication and what do they want/need? What can they afford?
Is the payout made on a sale or on a call?
The payout on an ad, is a term we use to describe the amount that an advertiser is willing to pay for a measurable event. For many per-response campaigns, a payable event is a phone call that lasts longer than a defined minimum time-period. Other campaigns are per-sale, which means that a payment to a publication happens when a consumer makes a purchase using one of the tracking items in an ad.
Why are payouts so different?
There is an enormous difference in the payouts that are offered in per-response campaigns, they can range in price difference from single digits to hundreds of dollars per response. Usually, what determines how much is being paid is the cost of the thing that is being sold. If a product is very expensive, the anticipation would be that the product would have a higher payout. However, the same factors that allow an advertiser to offer a higher payout also inhibit overall response. In other words, very expensive items or services are less likely to receive a high volume of response than lower price offerings, this is just economics and not unique to newspaper advertising.
How much is the payout per qualified response?
Response programs pay a per response rate, but the more response you receive, the more money is earned. If a very high payout item receives no response, it doesn’t matter how much it pays because no money will be earned. Therefore, it will generate more revenue to pick a campaign that is going to get solid response at a lower rate, than a campaign that is going to pay get little response at a higher rate.
Understandably, the first thing that many publications look at is the payout. Naturally, it would be nice if there were campaigns that were both very high price and very high volume and, occasionally, we do find these. However, when considering which campaigns to run, don’t just look at the price.
If you would like to discuss how to choose which campaigns to run, please call us at 860-379-9602 or visit www.MediaBids.com.
So, you are running ads from Mediabids in your publication but your response is not what you had hoped? This is a frustrating problem, but there are some steps we can take to try to correct things.
First, ask yourself if the product or service being advertised is really a good fit for your readership. Sometimes publications choose ads from Mediabids because they like the payout, or like how the ad looks but are not paying attention to the single most important thing, which is do your readers want what is being advertised? There are several things to consider – is the price something that they can afford? Is the product or service being advertised relevant to your area and your readership’s needs? Generac Home Generators is a great campaign, but if your publication is in an area where the power never goes out, it probably won’t do very well.
Second, are there other parts of your publication where you can use the ad? Different people seek different types of content and it might be worthwhile to try the ad in a place where a different group of people, who are more likely to respond, might be looking. Classified sections, a TMC product, or on your website are all examples of sections within your publication that attract distinct audiences.
If you feel confident that the ad is right for your audience and it still is not getting results, then we have a different type of problem and the answer might be trying a different campaign. It is ok to switch campaigns and not every ad works in every publication, sometimes for reasons that are very hard to identify. By changing the ads you are running and observing the results that they generate, you can better identify what resonates with your audience. So to do this effectively – watch the weekly reports of your results that Mediabids sends and then at the end of the month, review your results carefully. If you are running an ad and it isn’t working, let’s try something different. The goal of Mediabids’ program is to make your publication money.
If you would like suggestions or to review the ads you are currently running, please contact us at www.MediaBids.com or 860-379-9602.
Happy (Belated) First Amendment Day to our publishing partners! Thank you for the essential work that you do. “The five freedoms we celebrate on First Amendment Day protect the fundamental ways we participate in society and in democracy:
1.) Praying and worship — or not — in accordance with our own beliefs; 2.) Speaking our minds, even — and especially — when we disagree; 3.) ******Publishing news, opinions, ideas and information, including to hold those in power accountable******** 4.) Gathering peacefully together to amplify our voices; 5.) Bringing problems to government representatives and suggesting solutions.”
Local newspapers not only offer citizens of the communities they cover unique insights into important issues and events in the area, but some go above and beyond to add a smile to their readers faces.
The Winston County Journal does just that, especially during the holidays. In their annual Christmas sections, they not only feature the classic “Letters to Santa”, but they also publish “Letters of Gratitude”, where local children share stories about the people and things they’re grateful for in life. This feature may be appreciated more than ever this year.
Here’s a brief snapshot of this community newspaper:
History: The Winston County Journal was founded in 1892 by William C. Hight and covers Winston County, Mississippi community. The newspaper is presently owned by Emmerich Newspapers, a third-generation newspaper company.
Coverage: The Journal serves Winston County with news, upcoming events, sports and all community happenings, each Wednesday.
Readership & Advertising Opportunities The Winston County Journal has a paid circulation of 3,000+ print subscribers. With every print ad purchase, The Winston County Journal will also place ads on its website and promote the advertiser on its social media channels. For additional advertising opportunities in surrounding areas, ads may be purchased in conjunction with its sister newspapers – the Choctaw Plaindealer (1,700 print subscribers) and Webster Progress Times (2,300 print subscribers).
MediaBids is working on a series of short posts spotlighting notable community publications across the U.S. If you’d like to submit your publication for consideration, please email Jessica Greiner – firstname.lastname@example.org
In an interesting post on The Monday Note the author Frederic Filloux outlined the tough spot news publishers have found themselves in when it comes to distributing their content on Facebook.
On the one hand, content producers need all the article distribution and eyeballs they can get, and Facebook provides them, en masse. According to Filloux, “Today, Facebook drives about 40% of all referrals and Google drives about 35%.” That’s an insane amount of referral traffic, and much the reason why newspapers and magazines started using Facebook’s “Instant Articles” platform to publish content directly to users. That, and the fact that Instant Articles purported to provide the reader with a better, faster article loading experience to aid in ease of reading. Ideally, this would provide a huge amount of traffic to the articles, and eventually provide ad revenue either via the publisher’s site direct or through Facebook Ads itself.
Alas, it seems things may not be working out as planned on the publisher side, as Facebook recently changed their News Feed algorithm to display news from friends and family first, while lowering the priority of Instant Articles. Essentially, publishers can post articles all day long, but Facebook ultimately controls how many people, and exactly who, the content will be display to.
How publishers will react to this remains to be seen. Have they become so dependent on the Facebook traffic that they will pay the increasingly high ad prices to maintain and grow the audience they’ve been working to engage? Facebook hopes so. Will they pull back on Instant Articles and refocus on different distribution methods? A definite possibility.
Local PI (per inquiry) is a program for community-based publications that are looking to meet the changing needs of advertisers in their local market. Every community has local market advertisers that want to buy newspaper ads but will only buy the ads on a performance basis (meaning pay-per-call.) In other words, local PI is a way for local publications to generate revenue from local advertisers that are otherwise more likely to continue spending their entire budget on search marketing and social media. Local PI offers community publications a way to stay relevant to the majority of local market advertisers.
At Mediabids, we have local PI already figured out for you. We handle all the paperwork, rate negotiations, ad traffic, call tracking/reporting and accounts work. Your publication runs the advertising and is paid a fixed amount per call generated. It’s that simple!
Whether or not you’re struggling to replace lost print revenue with digital or alternative sources, here’s the top FIVE reasons to be considering local PI.
Under any circumstances, it’s tough enough to sell advertising space. But now you’re also battling against several damaging mis-perceptions -namely, print is dying and too expensive. Local PI is entirely response-based (e.g. phone calls) so it’s easily more measurable and cost-effective for advertisers than most other local advertising options.
Also, Mediabids handles everything so local PI doesn’t cost you or your sales staff time or money. Your ad reps continue to focus on selling ROP and digital to their book of business.
New Print Revenue
Local PI is an alternative revenue source but it’s also new print revenues. To put it another way, it’s a new opportunity for you and for select advertisers in your market. The ideal local PI advertisers:
a) May have tried print before but didn’t stick with it.
b) Were consistent customers for many years but are now reluctant to return your calls.
c) New businesses or advertisers that have always avoided print for one reason or another.
Phones Are Driving Everything
Local PI provides local advertisers a way to tap into the increasing use of smartphones and tablets by consumers. It just makes good business sense.
Mobile phones use has exploded over the past 4-5 years and people love to pick up the phone and call, rather than fill out an online form or email. In fact, roughly two-thirds of customers prefer to call versus other ways to contact a business. BIA/Kelsey recently reported that by 2019 businesses will get 162 billion more customer calls than they received in 2014. (Invoca, Call Intelligence Index 2016) Clearly, consumers are increasingly wired to call.
Bridge the Digital-Print Divide
Mobile phones are the proving to be the missing link between advertising and the customer. Seventy-nine percent of people ”switch devices during a single activity” – meaning consumers today move from one media channel to another and move from online to offline media channels quickly and with ease. (Invoca, Call Intelligence Index 2016) Local PI drives calls from print ads to local advertisers and print calls are by far the highest quality calls. The average call from a newspaper ad is over 3 minutes longer than an average call from TV and 2 minutes longer than an average call from an online display ad.
Local Advertisers Get Results
According to the Invoca’s Call Intelligence Index 2016, the industries with the highest increases in call volumes are those with high value purchases or services where customers generally need a lot of personal service. The kinds of local businesses in these categories include home repair, financial services, insurance, health and wellness and travel. What does this mean? It means you likely already have a long list of potential local PI advertisers in your backyard.
Rolling all this up – you have advertisers that want measurable response and customers that are increasingly prone to respond to advertising via their phones. As a print publication, you want more print revenue but you need a way to overcome the usual objections to print – ”high” cost and a less competitive ROI. Local PI by Mediabids checks all the boxes.
At Mediabids we recently became aware of a somewhat unique insert program at the San Francisco Chronicle. They call it the ”slim jim.” It’s essentially a multi-page, double-sided pamphlet (full-color, 6 wide x 10.5 tall.) In fact, you may have seen a similar ”insert” from American Express or another lux brand in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. Anyway, this got us thinking about inserts and newspapers in a slightly different way.
One unique aspect of the slim jim product is the personalization feature; the inserts are going to San Francisco Chronicle subscribers only. As such, the advertiser prints ”Exclusively For San Francisco Chronicle Subscribers” on the front and back cover. This tactic isn’t necessarily cutting-edge but it is more often used in direct mail than newspaper inserts. Furthermore, the advertiser is using a unique phone number specifically assigned for the slim jim. The calls (both inquiries and sales/reservations) are then tracked back to the paper’s subscriber list. The tracking/reporting allows the advertiser to precisely measure ROI.
A top travel brand has been running the slim jim consistently for the past year. By all accounts it has been a very successful effort. Relative to a simple newspaper display ad, the slim jim really plays to the strengths of the advertiser and newspapers. Indeed, for advertisers and publications, there’s a lot to like about this type of insert product because it is essentially ”content marketing via newspapers.”
There are several reasons why newspapers are ideal content marketing distributors – targeting and context to name two. Affluent households are readers and print is a proven, high-conversion media channel. Insert products, like the slim jim in particular, allow for engaging graphics and copy -qualities that tend to be more appreciated by affluent, print media consumers. Perhaps most important though, good content can further the duo marketing goals of brand and sales. Print display ads, on the other hand, tend to struggle to further more than one objective at a time at a time.
Don’t get me wrong, the idea of newspapers as content marketing distributors is not new. Advertorials have been a part of print publishing for generations and we are only a couple of years removed from the ”native ad” craze of the early 2010s.
We are well into the era of digital publishers being content marketers themselves and offering content marketing services to clients. Content is ”king” and print publishers are beginning to catch-up to the idea. Nevertheless, beyond the largest metro dailies, the idea that newspapers (and inserts) are a great way to distribute marketing content may not be top-of-mind in print ad sales departments around the country.
Increasingly, advertisers want marketing campaigns that are cost-effective, measureable, ideally allow for the right amount of personalization and reach qualified consumers or purchasers efficiently. The San Francisco Chronicle’s slim jim (and similar insert products) check off many of these ”must haves” of smart marketers in 2016.