I started my career in print advertising selling ad space to national accounts like Stouffer’s, General Motors and Lands’ End. In those days, the pendulum swung every few years from media buying plans demanding reach to client’s wanting to promote to niche markets exclusively. Any independent rep who wanted to stay in business made sure she had a mix of high circulation and niche publications in her stable of magazines.
We’ve seeing similar decision making with online advertising and promotion. Media buyers today can choose from Google’s Content Network and the BBC for global reach to placing ads on niche blogs working with reps who can handcraft a proposal from over 3500 properties.
Unfortunately, traditional “media think” still populates much of the Internet ad buy mindset. People are fixated on total unique visitors (traffic) and page views. For a mass market brand approach, this makes sense. In isolation, these two numbers do not tell an advertiser enough about the site to make a well-informed decision. But, Web traffic certifications do exist.
You might also argue that bounce rates, time on site, page views per visit and frequency of visits will point to an engaged audience. But they don’t. Since bounce rates are calculated merely on whether a visitor hit the back button, there’s no way to discern if a person landed on the wrong page and quickly exited or landed on the right page and spent eight minutes reading the page.
To measure true engagement, it’s important to lay out a Web page with the benefit of in-page Web analytics.
For the B2B marketer, “dwell time” is the critical component:
The time between when a user clicks on our [Bing] search result and when they come back from your website tells a potential story … while that’s not the only factor we review when helping to determine quality, it’s a signal we watch.
Since big budgets have gone the way of the three-martini lunch, these days advertisers must choose. If you’re a B2B company, the Internet has made it possible to identify and target your prime customers and reach each niche audience on a micro level.
Key Take-aways for B2B Advertisers*
- Don’t base your media buying decisions around traffic volumes alone.
- Think about who is your niche target audience and how best to reach them.
- Think about where your audience would likely be. This will drive your content creation and determine which digital publications make sense for the greatest ROI.
- Be sure to ask where any traffic figures come from and exactly what they mean.
- Before you think about a media campaign, make sure you have relevant content or landing pages and/or a way to capture traffic and conversions. Without that email address, you’ll never be able to continue the conversation with your B2B stakeholders.
*Source: Econsultancy Blog
Photo credit: Maggie Smith