ask the expert | how to set up a media kit & sell online advertising

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today we have an awesome guest post from our expert partner Nicole Leedham from Black Coffee Communication. she is helping us with media kits and selling advertising on your site. this information is so helpful, thank you nicole!

When you make the decision to accept advertising on your website, it can be a bit daunting to work out how to attract the right advertisers (at the right price).

And, there often seems to be approximately 16 kabillion websites competing for that same marketing dollar.

Selling advertising really isn’t much different to selling your thing – it still involves finding your USP (Unique Selling Point), identifying target audience and talking about benefits, not features - so if you start with that mindset, developing your media kit shouldn’t be too hard.

The first step is to develop a media kit to attract potential advertisers.

This needs to be easily downloadable on your web site and you should also do some research to ensure it gets in the hands of your ideal advertisers.

But what should it include? The following four items are a must – the rest is window dressing.

1. Benefits

Start with the benefits to the advertiser - this is THE most important bit of this document. Why should they advertise with you and not one of your gazillion competitors? So perhaps a heading "What you get”.  Then go into what's in it for them - maybe start with something like "We are the largest online distributor of our thing in Australia and more than XXXX of your clients/customer visit our site every week. That means XXX will be exposed to your ad every day, or XXX every hour."

This is infinitely better than saying “We believe in our products because they are the best on the market and we love what we do. We know you’ll like them.” (No offence, but most advertisers don't care about your motivations, and care even less what you think of them. They want to know that their prospects read your site.).

Put simply – features are what your product has or does, benefits are what your customers get from it.

2.  Background

Next, put in a bit of background on your company, but don’t go overboard. And, unless you’ve decided being a micro-business is your USP, try to avoid making your business sound too small – this might scare potential advertisers into thinking you won’t be around for long. Instead, tell them what your thing is, maybe a little bit about why you love your thing.

3. Stats

Now is the time for the facts and figures – a lot of the raw kits I see have this information first, but putting it down a bit will draw a potential advertiser in – then you can hit them with the details. How many hits you get and where from, unique visits or returns etc. Be upfront with this – if it’s not impressively huge, you can let them know how much it is growing each month, and make sure your rates are reflective of your audience numbers. Don’t try and sell a Corolla at a Rolls Royce price.

4. Rates

Finally, put in your rates. Give plenty of options, and list the benefits (not features) of each, so the advertiser can decide on their return on investment.  For instance, offer display click-through advertisements of different sizes, landing page or inside pages, directory listings, newsletter sponsorship, product reviews – whatever suits your niche. And also provide 1, 3, 6 and 12 month options – on a sliding scale. Research what other sites are offering.

Good luck with attracting advertising to your site. If anyone wants me to look over their media kit and make suggested edits, I always love to help small (and micro) businesses. Mention this post and get your kit proofread and edited at 20 per cent off – that’s a saving of $15!