Real Media Riffs - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007

THE BLIND GENERATING LEADS FOR THE BLIND -- Recently - this afternoon, in fact - we showed one of the smartest media guys we know how to make a media buy. Weirder still, until a few hours ago, we had never actually made a media buy. What led to this bizarre case of the blind leading a buy? The buyer, a friend who has bought plenty of traditional media in his time, confessed that he'd never actually bought any of the online kind. Specifically, he wanted to know how to buy search ads.

"Relax, that's easy," we told him, flattered that he'd assume anyone associated MediaPost would be expert in such matters. "Why don't you swing on by and we'll show you how to buy. Bye-bye."

No sooner did we hear the phone click than we realized we'd never bought a single click. So we nonchalantly sashayed over to the cubicle next to ours and asked Nick Friese, MediaPost's stoic head of sales and marketing, for some advice. Actually, we bleated something like, "Help! We told some guy we'd show him how to buy online search ads. He's coming up here in a little while and we don't know what the heck we're doing."



"Relax," said Friese, "that's easy." Urp!

Unlike us, Friese actually knew what he was doing. It seems that when he's not busy selling ads for MediaPost, Friese places them online for Guitar Jam , a spunky little blog he self-publishes in his spare time. To help generate traffic to his site, and register subscribers to Guitar Jam Daily, Friese buys search ads via Google's AdWords system.

Friese was right, and as it turns out, so were we. It is unbelievably easy. So easy in fact, that after a few minutes instruction, we were able to sit down with our friend, a guy who works for an agency handling billions of dollars in media buys for some of the world's biggest advertisers, and show him how to make an online search buy. Actually, in the span of a few minutes, we created an AdWords account, inputted the Web page we wanted to generate traffic for, profiled and optimized our target audience, wrote the search copy, selected the keyword terms we wanted Google to index with our paid search results, set the budget and placed an order.

Okay, so our search advertising budget of $1 per month isn't about to rock the online world, but it just as easily could have been a million dollar budget. And from what we understand, the process isn't all that different. Sure, the big search optimization shops have years of experience, proprietary research and state-of-the-art systems that give them an edge. And for the big marketers they work for those margins can be significant. But when you come right down to it, the process is essentially the same. The Riff's search campaign will generate the same efficiencies that the biggest online advertisers will, because both of us pay only for the results generated by what we spend.

The real art, of course, is in understanding what words and terms are apt to generate the best results, and in crafting copy that entices those search users to actually click through to us. So we're not exactly the same, but close enough to feel a little giddy after showing a media big shot how to do it.

Next up? We're planning to make a Super Bowl buy. Anyone got JoAnne Ross' number and a spare couple of million to lend us?

Next story loading loading..