Last week I launched into a series about creating an advertising program on a small web site. Let's address a major question: What will you offer advertisers?
One disclaimer: Any advice I give after this point assumes you've aggregated an audience advertisers want to reach. Specifically, your site is focused on a niche, it has at least 30,000 visitors a month, and you have the email addresses of at least 5,000 of those visitors. If you have these things, I'd say you have something worthy of an advertiser's attention.
I've seen two successful ways small sites tackle the issue of what to offer: a paid directory and content sponsorship.
The Paid Directory Model
The paid directory model works just way it sounds -- advertisers pay to have a link. The link usually leads either to a single web page about the advertisers or directly to the advertisers themselves.
The first trick with a paid directory model is figuring out how to make the directory the most viewed page on the site so that you are selling the same impression over and over again. (We'll talk about how to do that in a future installment.)
The second trick is to give the advertisers exposure across the site's multiple ad vehicles, including everything in the price. Give them plugs in your email mailings. Give them banner ads on the site. Give them the ability to insert their messages into any communication you have with your audience.
So the offer goes something like this:
The pros of the paid directory model are:
The cons of the paid directory model are:
The Sponsorship Model
The sponsorship model consists of selling an advertiser the exclusive right to advertise on one or more particular pieces of content. The tricks in this case are creating the content and getting the advertiser to leverage every opportunity within the pages of the content.
First, the content has to change with some frequency to keep the audience interested. And second, someone has to work with the advertiser to make sure its brand image is properly represented throughout the content area.
In the sponsorship of content model, then, your offer would be something like this:
The pros of the sponsorship model are:
The cons of the sponsorship model are:
So mull over these ideas until next week, when we'll talk about how to build a site to accommodate each model.
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After five years of telling others about how to spend their marketing budget online, Richard Hoy recently left the employ of this influential publication to see if what he's been blabbing with his big fat mouth all these years really works. He is President and Co-founder of Booklocker.com Inc., an alternative to traditional publishing that helps authors realize profits of up to 70 percent of sales by combining electronic publishing with Internet marketing.
March 19, 2014