3 Steps to Take the Mystery Out of Media Buying

Media Buying

Media buying simply refers to procuring ad space, no matter the medium. You can choose from countless options online or in print. Google AdWords, banner ads, newspapers, magazines…how do you know what’s right for your marketing needs? What’s the most effective option that fits in your budget? Let’s break it down into basic steps that give you starter tools for making good decisions.

1. Learn the jargon: CPM and CPC

If you’re researching advertising costs, you may have heard a few unfamiliar terms. One is CPM, or cost per thousand—basically, the cost of reaching one thousand people. For example, to calculate CPM for a print ad in a magazine or newspaper, take its cost and divide it by the total circulation the ad reaches in thousands. This can give you a useful way to see what exactly you’re getting for your dollar when you’re considering buying ad space.

Another useful term to know is CPC, or cost per click, for online advertising. This applies to Google AdWords campaigns, banner ads that appear on other web sites, and sponsored pages that come up in search results.

2. Make your print ad count: Think about your target audience

You’ve learned about the CPM; now you need to consider if those are the people you want to reach. Here’s where strategy comes into play. A local business reaching consumers will have a vastly different target audience than a specialty B2B software company. A low CPM for a specific ad might be great, but you need to calculate the targeted CPM. That software company might want to reach decision makers in small businesses in a Northern Virginia, so clearly a printed ad in a Northern Virginia parenting magazine might not be the best fit. A regional business publication would mean that your CPM isn’t wasted on the wrong audience.

3. Pay-per-click: Driving traffic to your site

A pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign involves advertising on search results pages. Google AdWords is the biggest game in town. You only spend when your ad is clicked through to reach your page, hence CPC. This means that you can get a great return on your marketing dollar investment: you’re targeting users who are searching for your service, on the exact keywords that you specify. You can even target by geography, aiming for potential customers in a five-, 10-, or even 50-mile radius of your business. This feature makes PPC advertising especially effective for local businesses. And, unlike print advertising, you can immediately see your campaign’s results and fine tune accordingly.

These are some basic ideas to get you thinking about media buying in a more scientific way. Print and online advertising achieve results when you do your homework and choose your target wisely. Intimidated by the process? A professional marketing agency can help you develop a strategy, create effective content, and negotiate for better rates.

Contact BlueTreeDigital to learn about our expertise and services when it comes to media buying. Let us help you get more out of your advertising budget both in print and online.