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Thread: Direct Advertising to Local Companies

  1. #1
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    Smile Direct Advertising to Local Companies

    Hi Everyone,

    I run a niche blog that focuses on my local city for a year or two. I have had a few people directly e-mail about advertising on my site, but only one has advertised in the past. I'm getting about 1,000-1,500 visitors a day with about 70% of traffic from my state. Right now my sidebar ads (and advertising in general) is mostly affiliate partners and google adsense.

    I was thinking of sending local restaurants and companies a media kit for my blog and seeing if they want to directly advertise with me. Do you think my numbers can warrant advertising from local companies? I don't want to be embarrassed or waste my time reaching out to local companies if it's a bad idea; however, where I am more of a local blog, it may be a better money making opportunity for me.

    Does anyone have any experience or insight? Should I sign up to a platform like blogads to help manage this or is it better to manage ads directly? Is sidebar advertising dead? Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by KateOB View Post
    I run a niche blog that focuses on my local city for a year or two. I have had a few people directly e-mail about advertising on my site, but only one has advertised in the past.
    What kind of results did the advertiser see? What was the CTR and what were the conversions like? Do you have those figures? If you approach advertisers they will ask for statistics pertaining to your site first and then consider whether to advertise or not. If they find the figures favorable they may advertise, but not otherwise. Traffic is only part of the equation, what counts is how targeted the traffic is and at what rate it converts.

    First and foremost your site must have "relevant" sections that will attract traffic that converts for them. For example do you have a section on food that will attract visitors who will click on an ad of a restaurant? Better still, in case you don't have one, create a section where you review some of the best restaurants in the city, then optimize those pages and drive traffic to them. Then approach restaurants for offering ad space to them after testing some ads on those pages and recording the results.

    Does anyone have any experience or insight? Should I sign up to a platform like blogads to help manage this or is it better to manage ads directly? Is sidebar advertising dead? Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!
    Going direct to an advertiser is always better than going through a broker, especially if your traffic is local. Besides I am not sure whether 1500 visitors per day will meet their minimum requirements. If ads are proven to convert any advertiser would be interested in paying for ads on your site.

  3. #3
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    Emvy's got great advice as usual. Also consider setting up a media kit so you can present them to advertisers.

    Here's a great article.
    http://www.theblogmaven.com/make-a-m...it-that-rocks/

  4. #4
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    I do this in local towns near to where I live. The key is to target small towns rather than districts or counties. It is easier to manage smaller, more targeted websites. Do not aim to have too many adverts either - I have found it is better to impose a limit and charge each of the advertisers a higher price. Less is more. Less adverts mean less competition for the advertisers, and more money for them.

    I have put together media kits but mostly I just approach people face to face and start talking. I have had a lot or rejection and in some cases have faced anger and suspicion. It's not for everyone, and as long as your parting words in the face of rejection are something like "It's ok, it's not for everyone" you will stay in control of the situation and will actually be leaving the door open for previously sceptical prospects to come to you in the future.

    Your traffic sounds great, but I measure my website my the amount of time spent on the site and the bounce rate. I also use Google Analytics tracking campaigns together with the "Goals" which is usually measuring if a restuarant menu has been downloaded.

    I have also customised a Twitter widget with a third party app Future Tweets and use this system to publish regular voucher codes.

    There is a lot you can do with local businesses in this manner because there are few other marketers who bother to focus on tiny niches like this. The good news is if you are the only one doing it you can dominate that niche.

    Finally, create a YouTube video and upload and embed it to a password protected landing page. I use this landing page as a place where I also process payments as well as providing a list of voucher codes for the next 12 months.

  5. #5
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    For those who are serious about local marketing, these are a few ways that you could do it very effectively:

    YouTube - If you're targeting restaurants, find out relevant keywords like for example, San Diego restaurants, best San Diego Restaurant, best Chinese restaurant in San Diego(San Diego is just an example!) and so on. Take the keywords that have the highest search volume and make a video. You could talk about the restaurants in San Diego for 3-5 minutes while showing some pictures or it could be just pictures collated into slides and made into a video with a free software called Animoto(3 minutes for free version).

    Make sure that you say the keywords out loud at the beginning of the video(YouTube checks keywords in all videos with its own voice-to-text software, unknown to many). Then upload the video and optimize it with a keyword rich title; write a brief article containing the main and related keywords and put it in the description. That is enough and your videos will start ranking especially if there no other videos that have been made for the keywords or the town that you are targeting. You can also give it a boost of backlinks through social bookmarks - there are services at a site called Fiverr that will do it for you for $5.

    If you use Google Hangouts to do your videos your videos are guaranteed to rank on the first page in Google.

    In the annotations put down something like "click the link below for detailed reviews" or even better "click the link below to get a discount coupon". The description should contain a link to a relevant page on your site so that people watching the video click through to your site.

    Those who do video marketing on a larger scale may use an exclusive domain like sandiegorestaurants.com in the description and wait until the video starts getting a good amount of traffic. Then they go to local restaurants and rent out the video on a monthly basis to a local restaurant that takes up their offer. Once the video is given out on hire they simply redirect the domain to the restaurant's website and keep collecting their monthly fee(usually ranges from $200 to $500 per video).

    You can do video marketing in a similar manner as described above for all types of local services including dry cleaners, carpenters, painters etc...there are dozens of them. (There are video marketers who make a living off of doing local video marketing for various towns and cities).

    Facebook - Make a fanpage and title it San Diego Restaurants(or any keyword that you are targeting, the lesser the competition the better). You will find several tutorials on how to make good fanpages on the net. Social bookmark the fanpage and wait for traffic - if there is little competition the fanpage should rank well in a few days. You can either put a link to your website, or like YouTube videos sell or rent out the fanpage itself to local businesses.

    PS - I have taken the example of San Diego restaurants but it is actually a highly competitive keyword as you will observe if you type it in and do a search. I have presumed that the name of city/ town that you are in is not as competitive. If it is look for a longer keyword phrase that may have lesser traffic but is still targeted (like "Best Italian restaurant in XYZ" etc.). Also, most of the videos put up by local marketers are not properly optimized, so you can still rank for competitive keywords if you want to, by thoroughly optimizing the video and giving it a lot of backlinks.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by emvy548; 03-04-2014 at 09:44 PM.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for your thoughts. Sorry if this question sounds silly but If I do direct advertising myself, how do I find the CTR and other reports for that? Is this something I set up in analytics?

    My audience is very interesting... there's some things that I promote and share and it is very, very popular and convert a lot, and other things... nothing. Usually it is the hip new things that go over well and things like Groupon type deals don't because they already know and use those services.

    Thanks Lisa for the link! I actually created a media kit awhile back using that info, but I think I will revisit it. I included my rates in my first media kit so I think I will add a little more other info that is missing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KateOB View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts. Sorry if this question sounds silly but If I do direct advertising myself, how do I find the CTR and other reports for that? Is this something I set up in analytics?
    No question is silly - one question from you could provide an answer to hundreds of people having the same question.

    You can use Google Event Analytics for tracking . This video explains how you can do it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEhZfefxn0E

    You can also track with the Pretty Link plugin - it's free, available here. You will find plenty of tutorials showing how to use it on YouTube.

    For making ads, you can use a banner creator - lots of free online creators available if you search on Google. Fiverr has some good designers who will do it for a fiver. Or use the job section in this forum.

    My audience is very interesting... there's some things that I promote and share and it is very, very popular and convert a lot, and other things... nothing. Usually it is the hip new things that go over well and things like Groupon type deals don't because they already know and use those services.
    There are various ways of monetizing traffic especially if it is converting traffic. You can even sell your own products if you want, things that the locals may be interested in, through an online store on your site, or by linking it to your eBay store for example.

    Good luck to you and keep us posted!

  8. #8
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    If you don't mind giving away 15% of your advertising revenue you can also use the Google AdSense platform to do direct advertising with Google AdSense Direct. They handle all the heavy lifting for you, including payment and reporting. Some advertisers may partners with you because of the brand trust Google has. It makes a lot of sense if you use Google AdSense already, because once the campaign ends it switches automatically right back to standard AdSense ads.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by emvy548 View Post
    You can use Google Event Analytics for tracking . This video explains how you can do it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEhZfefxn0E
    Thanks for that link. I'll be sharing that with people. Great find.

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