Fact: every ad campaign has a budget. While it can be daunting and stressful to try and decide the best way to spend your limited advertising dollars, there are some tips and tricks of the industry that can help you get great deals for the money you spend. Here are a few tips that we have put together, based on our years of ad experience, so that you can be better equipped with the knowledge of how to spend your ad dollars wisely:
Remember that Everything is Negotiable!
Buying ad space is similar to buying a car. Ad prices are usually padded, or you are at least able to negotiate the amount of space you’re getting for the price. Advertising vendors know that they must sell all their ad space every time, or else it will go to waste. They are almost always willing to negotiate and offer incentives, or discounts.
Be Ready to Walk Away
If you really want to negotiate, you have to be ready to walk away from a vendor if they aren’t willing to give you a fair (if not GREAT) deal. Don’t be discouraged. There are many forms of advertising that will most likely work just as well for your product. Don’t become too set on one media outlet, unless you are willing to pay the price they dictate.
There are tons of ways to advertise, and many ways to reach the same audience – media outlets know this, and will compete for your business. For example, if you are interested in radio time, be sure to get quotes from multiple stations, for different time slots during the day. Knowing what the competition is charging (and alerting the vendors that you are shopping around) will give you more confidence in negotiating. If you show vendors that you have done your research, they will be less likely to expect you to pay astronomical prices for their space or time.
Ask for Extras
If the sales representative won’t budge on pricing, ask for extras to be included in your contract. For example, free radio ads during non-drive time (drive time is the morning and afternoon hours during which the listeners are commuting) can be an easy way to reach a wider audience with your message. Sales reps are also often willing to offer discounts for buying two or more of their services together.
Look into Online Ads
If you’re purchasing ads from a vendor that also has a high traffic website, always ask your sales representative for complimentary online ads to run for the duration of your campaign. This can work with many outlets, including print publications and radio.
Take Advantage of Nonprofit Benefits
Nonprofits qualify for Public Service Announcement (PSA) space and remnant space. PSA’s are published or broadcast in unsold advertising space and must follow the same guidelines as paid advertising. They are usually part of a public awareness campaign to inform or educate the public about an issue. Media vendors such as TV and radio stations are required by law to allot a certain amount of time for PSA’s each year.
In addition, nonprofits also quality for remnant space. Remnant space is advertising space that a media company has been unable to sell. Depending on the medium, it could be ad space or time, which are both perishable commodities. If the space is not sold, it is often given over to non-profits for free.
Remember your Goal
Lastly, don’t get too bogged down with the details. At the end of the day, remember what the goal of your ad campaign. Remember that as long as you succeed in raising awareness about your product or cause, you are successful! Every experience with the media can be a learning experience to help you become a better negotiator for your next campaign!
If you have any questions about advertising negotiations, give us a tweet @pawspr!