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"I want the family farm - the backbone of our country's heritage - to thrive and survive for future generations."

Articles/Press Releases

Choosing Sponsored Links on the Internet
As An Advertising Strategy

By Jane Eckert

Agritourism speaker and consultant Jane Eckert is CEO of Eckert AgriMarketing and RuralBounty.comWe are always looking for more effective ways to spend our advertising dollars that can give us a measurable return. Last month, we talked about using Google AdWords to purchase ad space on the right hand column under the Sponsored Links. This will ensure that you have first page placement during a keyword search, even if your website does not come up on the first page of listings.   

Besides the Sponsored Link placement for online advertising, the other approach is called the “Content Network.”  This means that you place ads on other websites that share content with the public. For example, your local newspaper, city magazine, parent publication for your area, local TV station, etc. 

All of your local media sources have a website and they are now selling advertising space. You can go directly to your local newspaper or media sales representatives for these publications and buy this space directly from them. If you work with your sales rep, they will typically have their art department design your banner ad or text ad versus you doing it.  However, you can also purchase content ads via Google and the other search engines directly through their advertising programs online for both local and national media.

A recent study provides good research about why local online media might be a good option for you.  “Consumers trust advertising on local newspaper, magazine and televisions websites, and are very likely to take action after viewing ads on these sites,” according to the Local Online Media: From Advertising to Actions” study by the Online Publishers Association.

The study further says that “local newspapers rank first with 46% of consumers taking action – including making a purchase, going to a store – after viewing a local ad.” Wow – that is a significant return.  Remember people that are going to these websites are going to them because they want to read and hear about the local news.  Most online media readers do not subscribe to the local paper but are choosing to get their news online.

Some other interesting findings of this research tell us that “trust is another important factor driving advertising success, and the polled consumers express significant faith in advertising on local content sites. A common trait of local online sites is the ability to attract a high concentration of influencers.”

 In marketing terms, an influencer is defined as individuals who have the power to affect the purchase decisions of others.  It is said that 10% of consumers are influencers and they are the first person people go to for restaurant suggestions, things to do, local events, etc. If influencers can have this kind of impact, you need them talking about you.

While many of you use your local media for traditional types of advertising, it is time to realize that their online advertising opportunities might actually yield you better returns. You have many choices for your advertising dollars and we all want to spend our money wisely. Take the time to talk with your media rep’s and start asking questions about their online opportunities.  It’s time to make the content network work for you.

This is the last of my articles in this series about using the Internet to grow your business. For many of you, your season is just about over but I sure hope that you save my articles and look at them in the winter for review. If you haven’t saved them they are posted on my website.

Jane Eckert is the founder of Eckert AgriMarketing (www.eckertagrimarketing.com), a full-service marketing and public relations firm that helps farmers to sell directly to consumers, diversify operations and become tourist destinations. She is also CEO of www.RuralBounty.com, a search directory for agritourism farms and ranches in North America. Jane can be reached at 314-862-6288 or you may email her directly.