The Benefits of Site Direct Media for B2B Campaigns
What is site direct media?
As technology has grown more sophisticated, so has advertising. Specifically, the ways in which advertisers can purchase inventory have expanded, with programmatic buying taking center stage. While programmatic buying is efficient, allows for fast and frequent optimizations, and has the benefit of customizable targeting, a strong media mix incorporates multiple tactics aimed at reaching the audience wherever they may be. One of those tactics should be contextually relevant site direct buys.
Site direct buys (often referred to as endemic buys) have been a staple in the advertising world for years — long before programmatic was an option. Placing media this way requires working directly with a website to purchase specific ad units, meaning site direct placements reap the benefits of being high quality and highly contextually relevant. While contextually relevant sites can be targeted with programmatic media, site direct buys offer more control, guaranteed placement when ad inventory is limited, and lower-funnel ad placements made to generate last-touch leads.
Why site direct for B2B?
Many B2B campaigns are focused on reaching an extremely targeted professional audience. Site direct buys allow advertisers to do just that: Run ads on trade publication sites, places that the target audience already frequents and trusts as a source of industry news or education. For example, if you’re a B2B company selling medical equipment to hospitals, marketers can ensure that ads are placed on the sites that hospital administrators turn to for industry information through a site direct buy.
Available ad units
There are many types of ad units available via site direct buys, some of which aren’t accessible programmatically. And because different publications offer different placement options, it’s important to (1) understand what’s available in the marketplace and (2) use that information to determine the best fit for a given campaign. That’s why, as a best practice, the first step of any direct site buy should be gathering multiple proposals from a variety of trade publications. The following placements are common, although many publications offer additional options:
- Banner ads on the site
- Banner ads in e-newsletters
- Custom emails
- Sponsored webinars
- Lead generation programs
- Print ads
For example, B2B campaigns with a focus on driving qualified leads might turn first to lead generation programs. A publication will often guarantee a set number of leads, which are acquired by driving consumers to a piece of advertiser-provided content and having the consumer provide some information (name, email, etc.) before downloading that gated content. Those leads are then sent back to the advertiser.
Another option is custom emails. Custom emails allow advertisers to send educational branded content directly to a publication’s subscriber list — another good choice for B2B campaigns looking to share information about a product or service with industry-specific professionals. Custom emails give the advertiser 100% share of voice with that audience, meaning their message doesn’t have to compete with other advertisers.
What about B2C?
Site direct buys aren’t limited to B2B campaigns. B2C campaigns can also benefit from strategic ad placement on specific websites, because the upside of direct site buys is the same across industries — they allow advertisers to target consumers in places they know and trust. If a B2C advertiser wants to secure placement on a premium website or execute a site takeover for a day, for example, site direct is the route to go.
Site direct’s place in the media mix
When planning any campaign, advertisers always need to consider the same things: campaign goals, target audience, and the actions they are encouraging that audience to take. The wide variety of site direct ad units available means that there are options for almost every campaign goal — awareness, engagement, lead generation, etc. Site direct buys can be a great avenue for reaching and engaging priority audience segments, especially for B2B advertisers looking to reach niche industries.
Using site direct in conjunction with higher-funnel awareness efforts (such as programmatic) allows advertisers to reach and engage with highly specific audiences at multiple points throughout the consumer journey, and ultimately build a better B2B campaign.