Placing advertising has
become such a complex endeavor that hiring a professional media buyer is often
the smartest and most cost-effective choice. It takes quite a bit of thought
and time to make the right media placement decisions, and an expert will know
how to spend your valuable advertising dollars judiciously. Buying ad space in
the print media can be a challenge as well as a gamble if not done properly.
Buying Space in Newspapers:
Advertising in the
newspaper is still a highly effective way to get message in front of target
demographic. In fact, in an online survey conducted by Nielsen, on behalf of
the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), it was revealed that American
adults rate newspapers both the print and online versions as the most effective
Daily papers are the
costliest choices and are best handled with annual contracts, since these
publications make committing to one ad at a prohibitive rate plunge
dramatically even for the smallest contract, compared to the one-time rate.
are essentially two ways to buy newspaper ad space:
Company can either commit to spending a
specified dollar amount over a period of time (typically one year).
Pay according to how frequently your ad
appears in the paper.
The first option allows
to set a yearly advertising budget and use it. The more when commit to, the second
option ad space will cost more. The savings may turn out to be only $0.25 per
ad, but that can really add up over a year’s time.
Newspaper ads are divided
into columns and are sized according to a very set formula: a certain number of
columns wide and a certain number of inches long. Multiplying the two numbers
together will give the number of “column inches” for the ad, which
determines the ad’s cost.
Let’s say the newspapers
basic cost for a display ad is $7.25 per column inch. So, an ad 12p (12 picas
wide or two inches) by three inches tall would run $43.50. 2 columns (12p) x 3
inches = 6 column inches x $7.25 per column inch = $43.50.
If a company commit to
running an ad every week for 52 weeks then per column cost might go down to
$5.75 per column inch.
In this case the first
option is the best choice. It has a lot of advantages over the other. First, it
allows to set a yearly advertising budget and use it.
The more when a company
commit to the second option “column inch” or ad space will cost for
example $5,000.00 per year ($417 per month) so company would pay $5.50 per
column inch. It’s a saving of only $0.25 per column inch but it ads up over a
Buying Space in Magazines:
Like all forms of
advertising, magazine ad costs will depend on a lot of things: the size of ads,
the publications use, what sections of the papers a company want in their ads,
the frequency which run the ads, and whether colors used in ads. When it comes
to working with the publication, a company have different sales representative
from each magazine publisher who will not only quote prices and deadlines but
will also help to design ad.
Ask the following
questions before purchasing any ad space:
What’s the magazine’s circulation?
What are the demographics of the readers?
How often is the magazine published?
How is it distributed?
What are the special sections or themes
planned for the year?
Also note that companies
have the opportunity with all magazines to save money on each ad by agreeing to
run an ad in more than one issue. In fact, before buying space in any magazine,
it’s a good idea to see which businesses that are targeting the same audience in
each magazine on a consistent basis.
Online magazines are
magazines that are not printed on paper, but are magazines distributed by PDF
format or some other online print format. These magazines also offer to place
ads on their website, sometimes at a very reasonable rate even for free. If a
company can swing it and interested in selling worldwide or reaching a wider
audience in their own hometown, this is a great idea.
Small Magazines and Newsletters:
There are some markets
where a company will only have small magazines or newsletters with a small
circulation base and of late, most of these have become online only
publications. If the market offers these small publications, then a company
will have no choice but to run ads with them. Small magazines or newsletters
never produced enough sales to cover the cost of the ad. However, if the small magazine or newsletter
is an online only publication, the ad rates shouldn’t be too bad.
Broadcast vs. Cable TV Advertising:
When deciding where to
run your TV advertisements, you will need to decide whether you want to run on
broadcast or cable. Broadcast refers to TV stations that traditionally were
aired over public airwaves, and includes local affiliates such as WABC (New
York’s ABC affiliate). Cable includes the stations that viewers have to pay
extra for such as MTV and USA.
The distinction between
the two is important when it comes to advertising on TV. This is because you
will be able to reach a different audience with broadcast versus cable. The
reason for this is: Not everyone has cable therefore your ad will show to a
wider audience if you choose to go with broadcast.
Cable shows tend to be
more niche TV shows that air on cable can attract a very specific audience,
while shows on broadcast TV usually have a mass appeal (think of the target
audience of the History Channel vs. ABC). Therefore, if only a specific group
of people will be interested in your product or service, you will probably want
to go with a cable show. Conversely, if your business targets a wide audience,
broadcast is your best bet.
How to Buy Television Ads Spots:
There are two main
options when it comes to purchasing TV ads:
Purchase directly from local broadcast
station or local cable provider
Use an advertising agency to purchase
spots on company’s behalf
Company can find local TV
stations here and find which cable providers serve
Local broadcast affiliates are stations like WNBC (the New York City NBC
affiliate), and local cable providers are companies like Time Warner or Comcast
The major differences in
how media is sold between local broadcast and local cable are:
Broadcast television is sold by DMA
(designated market area) while cable can be purchased by zone (cluster of
towns). Therefore, with cable company can more specifically target their
Cable stations generally focus on selling
“rotator” spots in which company don’t know exactly when commercial will air.
For example, a prime-time spot may air anytime between 5-10 PM. Broadcast tends
to focus on selling commercials on specific shows at specific times.
Deciding which option to
choose for your business depends on your specific advertising goals. If you
have a small budget and are looking to promote to a specific location, it suggests
going with cable advertising. Once decided on where a company want to
advertise, they can contact local TV station or local cable provider directly.
They will assign an account executive that will help through the process of the
Consider Using an Advertising Agency:
If a company do not want
to contact with local TV station or cable provider directly, they can choose to
work through a third-party advertising agency. Unlike local tv station or cable
provider, an experienced agency will work with company in every aspect of ad
from conceptualization and production to strategy and buying media. If company
is interested in this option, consider a few different agencies that have
expertise either with local businesses or with this type of industry.
Advertising on radio is a
cost-effective solution for small businesses. Slots are more economical than
television, and radio commercials cost less to produce. Choosing the correct
station is vital. The station’s estimated listeners is only one factor to
analyze. Determine which station most likely appeals to your customer base and
potential customers. Determine the times your customers listen to the radio.
For example, if your business is farm-related, the best time to run a
commercial is during the morning farm report. Drive-time slots are the most
expensive and popular on radio. Drive time is the period when workers travel to
or from work: 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Buying Time on Radio:
Most mistakes in radio
advertising is buying too few spots and/or playing them at the wrong times. To
some business people it comes down to a matter of cost. How can I get the MOST
spots for the LEAST amount of money? This is flawed thinking. Cost shouldn’t
even be a consideration. Why? Because we expect our advertising to PAY for
itself. Remember, it’s an investment not an expense.
Radio should not be
purchased in spots. Instead buy blocks of time. Your commercial played several
times over a short period of time is better than your commercial played fewer
times over a long period of time.
Following factors are important
while advertising on radio:
Research radio stations
Contact radio stations
Decide on a length
Compare the media kits for various
Define payment terms
Track the results of the campaign