We have a application portal which has a high number of student hits everyday. We would like to start having selected advertising on this portal, probably have very relevant advertisers who would like to target the youth( eg. Levis, cafe coffe day, etc ),especially if they have some promotions. I am looking for media companies who can broker and help us sell this media space to such promoters. Any names of such companies would be useful.
I have a friend who has a similar site - growing number of student hits. He has been successful with advertising by approaching advertisers directly, in this case universities.
You could probably use both approaches - the direct approach and using brokers. As with selling anything you need to prove why you are giving your customers (the advertisers) value.
Step 1: Create an advertising program.
This includes determining the specific ad unit sizes, numbers and locations on your site. Will you have a 160x600 and 728x90 and 250x250 on your home page, for example. The ad server technology you'll use to serve up advertiser ad units and manage, etc. You may have already done this.
step 2: Estimate potential revenue.
step 3: Determine how you will sell.
* Your site map - how many pages on your site.
* How many ad units on each page and what type (300x250, 160x600...)
* How many visitors and average page views they'll generate. (This includes how you'll drive that traffic to the site.)
* How many page views do you estimate for each of the pages.
* Total ad impressions then that generates for each size ad.
* Going CPM rates for each size ad in your industry. (This will vary based on whether you sell direct, use an ad network, broker, etc. But do a best guess.)
* Do the math and you'll come out with a number. Do a "best case", "worst case", "expected case" scenario. The key variables are what percentage of your inventory you will sell and what CPM you'll get for it.
* Note that other variables will affect these rates. They include whether an ad is above the fold or not, context of the pages, etc. But this will give you a ballpark for planning purposes.
This is to a great extent determined by the amount of revenue you can generate. You can sell direct to advertisers. But do you hire a full time employee to do that? Part time employee? Pay someone on commission? Do you use an ad broker (getting much lower CPM typically)? Use an ad network? Pull the cost of selling out of the revenue you'll generate to really know how much you will get.
step 4: Create a media kit.
No matter how you sell, you'll need a media kit for prospective advertisers. It talks about the demographics of your audience, the type of ad units and placements available, a rate card, why they should advertise on your site, etc.
step 5: Do it!
Make it happen. Best of luck.
From my experience dealing with an intermediary always yields numerous problems. I don't remember when a media company sold my advertisements without any problems (or even sold at all).
Advertising agencies or media companies are not enthusiastic on selling your advertising spaces for the following reasons:
There is a certain probability that you'll spend much time and effort trying to contact those brokers and even in case of success they will not sell a tiny ad pixel from your site.
So, I'm still persuaded that it's better to contact advertisers directly.