How to Budget :: What’s a good PPC cost benchmark :: Top Trends in Buying Digital Media
ETS: How should a small-to-medium DMO marketer approach their budgeting?
JC: It’s a difficult question to answer as it really varies based on the circumstances and goals of the destination. At large we recommend around 15-20% of the budget go to search, 8-10% go to social including FBX, 5% email/enews, 3-5% video which can include rich media, 12% content/native ads, 45% display and 5-7% mobile/tablet.
ETS: Besides Google, Facebook, Twitter, in which platforms should a DMO invest their energies?
JC: We want to be clear there is a difference in paid advertising opportunities and building content via social platforms. Beyond what you mentioned, we believe there is a value in Pinterest, Google + and YouTube in terms of building content for destinations.
ETS: With the recent algorithm changes and competitiveness of keyword searches/phrases, what would you benchmark as a “good” PPC cost for paid search, paid social and native advertising?
JC: I assume you mean bid price? Or perhaps cpm vs cpc? I would hate to put a price tag on any specific buy as again the varies based on execution and strategy. The cost of native advertising varies as it really depends on what you are looking to do, but I would urge you to look at reporting capabilities and paying based on engagement or views where possible. In terms of search, it also depends on if you’re buying branded vs non-branded terms. For social, you have to look at if you are buying direct from Facebook and twitter or through a third party. For example, it used to be you could strictly buy ads to generate Facebook fans but now there are so many more opportunities that change the pricing.
ETS: There’s a lot of buzz around Native Advertising. Can you tell us how it is different from what we used to call Advertorial?
JC: The definition of native advertising is still being developed as it encompasses a broad range of categories. However at a basic level, it’s a method in which an advertiser attempts to gain attention by providing content within the user experience. Native Advertising is really just a natural evolution of the traditional advertorial. The idea behind an advertorial is that it was traditionally written in the form of an article in the voice of the publication. Whereas native advertising also helps provide more content and engagement for the consumer, allowing for more creativity beyond articles and traditional banners.
In an age where banner blindness is prevalent and destinations are competing for website traffic with the evolution of search, it’s important to continue to find new ways to reach an engaged audience and start thinking more about pushing that rich content.
ETS: What are the top two or three trends for 2015 in digital advertising by destination and attractions? And the top challenges?
JC: The top trends for 2015 include viewability, cross-platform media, native advertising and programmatic buying. The interesting thing is that many of these digital trends are also the top challenges we face, a typical problem in an industry where change happens so rapidly.
While we continue to say it’s the year of mobile, we really feel this is the year many destinations and attractions are taking the next step to find ways to reach that consumer in a “mobile environment”. A typical consumer uses multiple devices (desktop, mobile, tablet) when making travel planning decisions so it our responsibility as an advertiser to find them at the right time on each device with the right message. The challenge is how do we track this cross channel attribution, find that same consumer across those devices and analyze the data available in a meaningful way.
Viewability is also a hot topic as more information is released every week in regards to fraudulent ads and bots. It’s also a movement towards buying better quality media. While digital media continues to be one of the most efficient ways to reach your customer, the industry is starting to adjust its metrics to closer align with other traditional forms of media.
It’s important to ask questions regarding viewability and validation up front when buying your media to educate yourself as much as possible to understand where your ads are going to run. There is no perfect answer, but it’s great to know the industry is continuing to push to increase standards for brands and which will lead to a richer ad environment for the future.
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