There is no one way to sell. The most important message is that online sponsorship inventory should be quantified and sold, not given away for free as part of a broadcast buy, AKA “value add.” As digital consumption of content grows, giving it away for free now will be problematic when you want to, or need to, charge for it later.
If your website and corresponding online assets are generating less than 20,000 monthly page views, your web presence is probably not yet a content destination that would attract sponsors interested in online-only opportunities. More than likely, your online sponsorship prospects are by-and-large your broadcast sponsors. A good rule of thumb then is to find a way to incorporate an online component into every pitch you make—and charge for it. Allow the prospect to opt out of the online opportunity, but include it in every proposal with a value attached. The idea here is that every client you’re speaking with wants to reach your audience, regardless of platform. Your audience is accessing your station in more than one way: they visit your web site, they listen to and view your programs, they download podcasts, they engage with your social media sites and they sign up for newsletters. Allow your client to touch your audience, wherever that may be consuming your content. ^top
If your website and online assets are generating over 20,000 monthly page views, chances are sponsors will have interest in your online presence in and of itself. You are in a position to sell multi-platform or online-only opportunities, as they make sense for your clients. Here are a few tactics to consider:
- Use your website as a lower-cost introduction to your station for a new client. This positions you to upsell the client later to broadcast and other more lucrative opportunities.
- Build online and mobile opportunities into renewal packages for on-air clients, to introduce them to the value of your online consumers, and renew at a higher dollar level.
- Focus on selling those areas or features of your web presence where you can generate higher CPMs -- specialty content, streaming media – and outsource a % of your “regular” inventory to NPM’s PMI Network
You should put together simple one-sheets that lay out the opportunity, as well as integrate your online sponsorship opportunities into your overall media kit and make this available as an online resource. Check out turnkey templates for your use, as well as examples from your station colleagues on myPBS. ^top
Don’t underestimate the power and emotion you can generate by using technology to demonstrate your online content and corresponding sponsorship opportunities. Tablets, smartphones and software like Prezi and SlideShare allow you to easily put together and demonstrate sleek, professional and interactive presentations that not only present your station’s online sponsorship opportunities in compelling ways, but position your station as a savvy new media marketing consultant in the eyes of your prospective clients. Harness the power of social media platforms such as Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram and YouTube to demonstrate engagement with your users and leverage that into your selling proposition. ^top