Advertising Campaigns: Understanding Online Media Buying Terms Part1

In Lake Tahoe, September and October is a time when marketing departments at the ski resorts, lodging properties, casinos and rental companies start buying advertising media in preparation for their winter tourism advertising campaigns.  At the bigger companies around Tahoe, its likely that the people buying advertising media have a strong background in media buying so they are well equipped to make informed decisions about planning and buying media for their campaigns.

Unfortunately, for smaller companies and local small business owners, many people don’t have an education or any background experience in advertising media buying. This leaves these business owners at a disadvantage when meeting with advertising sales reps and discussing their advertising needs .

We thought this would be a good time to write a series of blogs providing an overview and description of common advertising media terminology and key strategies for buying various types of advertising media in Lake Tahoe. We’ll start with defining the most common terms used by sales reps selling online advertising media buying.

This list covers the more basic terms one must understand when engaging in an online media buying discussion:

Display Ads – Display ads are the same as banner ads. The common box shaped ads seen on websites. Display ad is the official term used in the online media world. Display (banner) ads are usually sold in standardized sizes regardless of what website you are advertising on. This includes: skyscrapers, leader boards, large boxes, etc.

Pop Up Ads — These ads are more intrusive online ads that appear to “pop up” in a new browser window. Flash based “floating ads” and “slide-in ads” are also considered other forms of pop-up ads.

Pre Roll Video Ads – Short form online video advertising targeted to relevant website content & audiences via a website video player or video websites like YouTube. An advertiser’s short video ad will play prior to, during or after the featured video ­content.

Video Ad Overlay – A video ad overlay is displayed on a video player on a given website. The ad overlay is seen as a semi-transparent banner, typically across the bottom of the video screen. The banners appear during the course of a video’s broadcast, displaying an ad unit to the viewer of the video content.

Above The Fold — This is in reference to the part of a computer screen visible to user before the user has to scroll down to see more of the screen on their monitor.

Landing Page — The designated web page on an advertisers website as the final destination of a click through from a banner ad in the advertisers online campaign. A unique landing page is usually designed for a specific promotion and directly correlate with the creative being served in the banner ads, typically with the intent of compelling the visitor to make a desired action.

Geo Targeting — Refers to serving up online ads to users based on their geographical location.

Behavioral Targeting — Is the practice of targeting users and serving up ads based on the user’s unique online web browsing activity, such as the pages they’ve already visited or their keyword search histories. Behaviorally targeting allows for the serving up of ads that are more relevant to the interests of a person viewing a particular web page.

Contextual Targeting — Ads that are served based on the actual content of the particular webpage a viewer is visiting. Contextual ads scan the text of a Web site for keywords and then serves up ads to the Web page based on what the user is viewing,

IP targeting — Is the ability to serve online ads based on a user’s IP address.

Impressions — The number of times an online advertisement is served by the website publisher. Most online publishers sell ad space according to the number of impressions served.  Impression is a measure of the number of times an ad is displayed, whether it is clicked on or not. (Impressions are simply “ad views” by audience on a particular website.)

Conversions — A conversion is a pre-defined action on the advertisers website that will determine the success rate of a given online campaign. This predefined action could be a newsletter signup, completed sale, a click thru or a simple lead form.

CPC – CPC stands or Cost Per Click. This is pay rate based on the number of times clicks a display ad gets click on. The advertiser pays the web publisher the pre-negotiated CPC rate for al clicks generated over the course of the display campaign.

PPC – PPC stands for Pay Per Click –This is the same as CPC, the preferred terminology is CPC.

CPM – CPM stands for cost-per-thousand (mille) impressions. A pay rate based on CPM, means that the advertiser pays the web publisher a pre-negotiated rate every time the web publisher serves up a 1,000 impressions for the advertisers ad.

CTR – CTR stands for Click through Rate.  The CTR is determined by taking the number of clicks a display ad receives and dividing that by the number of times the display ad was served (ie, # of total of impressions for that display ad.)

Marketers use the CTR as a metric for gauging and measuring the ability of an ad to generate interest and get people to learn more about the featured product or brand. *Note, many factors can effect CTRs. There is much more to measuring your online ad than simply measuring click though rates in a vacuum. We will discuss online measurement in another blog.

CPL (Cost Per Lead) — The rate paid per lead generated within a campaign.

Call To Action/CTA — The portion of an online ad’s copy that directly appeals to the target audience and compels them to make an action.

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