Multi Media Developer at SportNetwork.net
17 September 2004 15:22pm
Long time no post...but anyway.
I run a busy sports site and we hare having difficulty getting "through the door" for site specific campaigns. In the two years we have been represented by a London based selling agency we have had 1 or maybe 2 campaigns booked on the site directly, not for a staggering amount either. We have just been left with the scraps that are network deals (ok some higher deals too but they were book across lots of sites)
We have good traffic: 6 million page impressions a month (not including spiders etc thats from the advertising logs) and 300,000 unique users a month.
We have great demographic survey data:
I have a huge norvatis survey with lots of other "interesting" stuff in it too...
Our agency gives us feedback that the buyers have never heard of us etc, and we get described like rivals/footymad but as they are 100% football fans based sites and ours is a mixture with about 50% from Rugby Union its not really correct but I am told that agencies are stupid and they need comparisions to sites they know.
We are scratching our heads to come up with the best way of getting our point accross and explaining that we are flexable etc, as I am the guy that builds the site and deals with the advertising/revenue generation I can be hughly flexable etc over and above banners/skys etc but again "agencies are stupid" is all i get told.
The two rubbish ideas we have come up with so far are:
1) Corporate day out to and England rugby match
2) "Highly original" branded gadget to send to people.
But there are huge problems with those ideas.
1) We are only reasonably going to be able to get 10 people maximum to attend a match on a Saturday and will they be the right people, will all the information about the site and its users we spout on to them get lost when they go back to their larger decision making chain.
2) Its a rubbish idea anyway, if its a good gadget it will be played with for and hour and either binned or given to the kids to break. No way of getting accross any information about the site other than the domain name.
What we need to do is this:
1) Get accross our uniqueness as a website. Think Rivals.net/footymad but for rugby fans but also chuck in Football, cricket and F1.
2) Get accross our flexibility as a marketing tool.
3) To the most amount of people, and the right people.Its probably impossible to do all those things with "one thing" but it must be possible to do it with a few combined things.
Our agency has also said get some press releases out to the industry press, but about what? We are fan driven, we are not a corporate machine with ties in the industry we are a small focused team with a huge user base providing us content and page impressions.
I have suggested freebie campaigns (knowing that to me that sounds desperate) and the agency said those don't help in boosting our profile as a good brand...which is fair enough.
Ideas greatly received!
Director of Product Development at Econsultancy
17 September 2004 17:20pm
For added exposure you could speak to Aurasports, a London-based third party sales agent... www.aurasports.com.
18 September 2004 13:27pm
We were with them originally and felt lost within the noise of Official sites and the other sites represented by them. We seemed 2nd or 3rd in line for any discussions about campaigns.
18 September 2004 13:36pm
Also as far as our current agency have told us they feel like they are starting from scratch as none of the people who should have heard of us have.
Still looking for ideas and suggestions.
Commercial Director at Adprecision.net
20 September 2004 15:50pm
I' don't know how much you're paying the third party agency to sell space on your site, but it would appear as though they're not really giving you the attentian you deserve. Have you considered taking a sales person on to sell the space or asking one of your staff to spend a couple of mornings a week making sales calls?
On 13:36:35 18 September 2004 John Wards wrote:
>Also as far as our current agency have told us they feel
>like they are starting from scratch as none of the people
>who should have heard of us have.
>Still looking for ideas and suggestions.
20 September 2004 16:17pm
Selling ourself is pretty much a no go being County Durham based.
We would need to employ someone who has all the contacts with the agencies in London and has the experince to go it alone as I would not have the time to handhold someone, nor the experience myself.
Someone like that would command a large salary and have overheads we would have to pay, its bit to much of a gamble really.
Also we have a rather large notice period with the agency we are with currently and we have only been with them 6 months so I have to give them a chance.
Its all about awareness this thread...trying to drag it back on topic ;-)
22 September 2004 15:52pm
There must be some one from an agency that can suggest something.
What makes you sit up and take notice of a site?
We have the traffic.
We have the loyalty of our users.
We have the demographics.
We have the flexablity.
Who to I get that accross to the right people?
Executive Vice President EMEA & Asia at Econsultancy
22 September 2004 23:13pm
If I've understood you correctly it sounds like the deals are eluding you. Here's my two pennies if it helps...
Get your agency or another third party to make the most of affiliate networks - linking out to Gambling sites could be a good way of getting you noticed and earning you money - speak to the likes of Betfair and Blue Square and see what they would be prepared to offer, it may even increase your search rankings and page views. Speak to the clubs and their sponsors to see if there are deals you can do there. Speak to other sport related websites, sport e-commerce sites or affiliate networks that would see you as a good cross-sell/upsell ooportuinty - a source of linked traffic.
PR may actually help - if it's positioned correctly and says the right things to the right people, this can also help boost your search engine rankings.
Think about what you could say locally about your site - maybe you could do an article or ad in a batch of local papers - speak to the Trinity Mirror Group - who publish National, Local and Sport papers and get some PR or hopefully do some deals that way.
Look at what other data you have on your user base and what's relevant - maybe there is more you can do locally, with the content and affiliate links on pages deeper in your site.
Freebie campaigns won't help you at all, they just lower the perception...there's no such thing as a free lunch, remember!
You have the traffic but are you analysing and presenting it correctly?
Are you looking at where your traffic is coming from.
Are you looking at what pages users are accessing most and what they link out to? Where do they go afterwards?
Are you making the most of Search - your search rankings appear low in some searches, but higher in others - better when you search for local sport news (I searched Leeds Tykes news and you scored high, but low when I searched Bristol Rugby News) . Compared to the competition if yo're not high then you're unlikely to get the deals you want - it's always about ROI.
Once you start climbing the search ladder people will notice you and with good data will prove your argument.
So lastly, I would focus on:
1. Look at potential of Affiliate networks
2. Getting your search rankings up across the board.
3. PR - local and national
4. Lastly consider print based hand outs at clubs or something similar - Guerrilla Mktg maybe.
On 15:52:11 22 September 2004 John Wards wrote:
>There must be some one from an agency that can suggest
>What makes you sit up and take notice of a site?
>We have the traffic.
>We have the loyalty of our users.
>We have the demographics.
>We have the flexablity.
>Who to I get that accross to the right people?
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