There are tons of ways you can build a media kit to get advertisers. The trick is to know how to pitch them and what to show potential advertisers that will make them want to work with you instead of someone else, show them value and get your message across. If you pitch that you add branding value instead of sales, and that is where the value of your site is, here is what you may want to focus on with your media kit. These metrics can help you stand out and leave the “bigger” or “better” blogs behind.
The difference between a general media kit and one for branding is that media buyers who need to generate sales need a return on investment so a regular media kit should have sales numbers, stats, etc… If you tell your advertisers your blog is about branding, you need to show other metrics that aren’t as important for sales but are very important for branding. Branding is about exposure and getting a brand out there while media buying is about turning a positive return on your investment. Sales kits are about click through rates, impressions and conversions, branding is about exposure, impressions, social activity, engagement and interactions. Here are the different metrics I would use if my sites were about branding instead of sales and I wanted to help increase my chances of getting giveaways and even get some that the larger sites cannot.
Both media kits should show unique visitors. If you are selling space for sales, and running a banner across your site, this is fine. If you are pitching branding instead of sales as the value point for your blog, instead of showing just total unique visitors, show unique visitors to each new post within a 1 day, 1 week and 1 month period on average instead of your entire site. This is very easy to track in Google Analytics. If you have the time, you may want to break it out by niche for the advertisers so they know what to expect.
By showing the amount of unique visitors across new posts instead of your entire site, you can help to show that they will gain exposure for their brands and actually get their money’s worth. If your site has 60K unique visitors, but they are based on a few posts instead of 20K on a unique post and 40K coming each week to catch up and visiting your new posts, you need to specify this. If your new posts get 2 visitors each because your traffic is all off of one or two keywords, pins, etc… your site is not adding any branding value and you will lose in the long run.
Comments per post
If there are no real comments but just spam comments, or no comments in general, your audience may not be engaged with your blog or site. One easy thing to do is divide total posts by total comments and then you can get an average comments per post number to add to your media kit. (If your site is one that only has a few posts that get all of the traffic, exclude those posts from the numbers because that will skew your results and create very unhappy advertisers when they start to measure your real value.) These comments show people pay attention, go to your site, and actually read and enjoy it. Make sure the comments are from real people, add real value to the post and aren’t based off of keywords or phrases. Not all of them should have links either.
Shares per post
The next thing to think about including are the shares per post in the first month. Again, we are assuming your traffic is coming back and visiting your site when you post, and not just coming through the search engines or a social media site to specific posts. Take the total tweets, pins, likes, etc… by post and by niche and find the average. By showing that people share your content when you post it you can make a stronger case for branding and why and advertiser should work with you.
Followers and Fans
One thing you need to keep track of is how many people click through your links, share and retweet your links. You can use free services like Bit.ly to track these. By showing you have a following that is active on Twitter, you can easily make the case that you can provide branding and exposure for a brand.
If you include Facebook, share the average views per post, impressions, likes, comments and shares for each post to your FanPage and also one for your newsfeed. You can use the same tools like Bit.ly to do this and the stats that Facebook provides you with. If you have a ton of fans or followers but no one is liking, commenting or sharing, you are not providing branding because nobody is actually seeing it, reading it, liking it or clicking through which means nobody is engaging with you. If the brand isn’t getting exposure you are not providing them with any branding.
This one gets tricky. Some bloggers that pitch branding will incentivize their traffic with a giveaway. This may not be real branding. The reason people are sharing, commenting, etc… is because they want something free. This might not be the target audience of the brand and these people, from past experience, tend to not be customers or shoppers. The thing to think about is how many leave real comments on other posts where they aren’t asked to, follow accounts when they aren’t asked to and share things that aren’t part of a giveaway. You also need to track how long they continue to follow, remain a fan of, use a real account for, with your advertisers. If the drop off rate is high or there is no increase on the advertisers accounts, they will eventually pull you.
If the only reason people are on your site is because of a giveaway, the brand isn’t getting branding from you because the people are just doing what is required for the giveaway. If they were actually interested they wouldn’t need the giveaway and they would be sharing anyways because they looked at the advertiser and actually liked them, were interested in their brand but might not be ready to shop. Incentivizing people to share isn’t branding, it is getting people to do something so they possibly get something for free and not keeping them engaged on the brand can cause damage to your site’s reputation and advertisers in the long run. At the same time, if the brand tracks these people who sign up, sees them commenting on the brand’s site, FanPage, etc… after the contest is over, then you did provide branding and you should ask if you can get a case study with actual numbers. It is important to talk to your advertisers, give them unique urls to track your traffic if you incentivize it and then see how long they stay active for and if they remain active at all. If you can drive sales for them, even better.
One of the most important things to know is who your audience is. You want their age, gender, income range, married/single/dating, kids or no kids, pets or no pets and what kind, geographic location at a minimum. If you can break it out into employed, unemployed, partner who works so they don’t have to, gay, straight, bi, lesbian, transgendered, average visits per day/week/month by person or group, etc… this gives you an even stronger position to talk to brands. If their customer profile or the group they want to reach matches it, you can more easily show why they should work with you instead of someone else who doesn’t have this. You can find some of this with Google Analytics and Facebook, the rest you can get by using the census bureau’s website, surveying companies and other tools. Most of them are free so you just have to put the time into it.
Branding is about real exposure and reaching an audience that is a target customer. It can be new customers or reminding past customers that the brand exists. The person doesn’t have to shop right away, but they do have to engage with the advertiser. If your site doesn’t get impressions across every post, real comments and shares on every post without incentivizing them, and your social media following isn’t active and reacting to your posts, you probably aren’t providing any branding or value to your advertisers. By monitoring and measuring these metrics, and adding them to your media kit, you can not only show an advertiser why they should work with you instead of someone else, but you may also get referrals from other interested advertisers who want exposure to your audience. That is the main difference between a media kit for branding vs. a media kit for sales.