If you have spent the last few years managing your community, receiving checks from Google's adsense program and thinking you have monetized your forum completely, you may be missing out.
If you have received inquiries about advertising on your forums and have neglected to respond because you are lacking a proper media kit, there is no time like the present to create one.
What is a media kit?
"A resource created by a publisher to help prospective ad buyers evaluate advertising opportunities."
By definition, there is no "right way" to create a media kit. But a media kit is your opportunity to provide a snapshot of your website/forum to an advertising buyer, highlighting the opportunities available and showing off your forum in the best way possible.
What goes into a media kit?
Most media kits contain:
1. Site Demographics
This includes gender, country of visitors, education level, income level. Basically, anything you know about your visitors based on surveys given to your traffic occasionally.
There are some networks (including Burst) that offer this survey. It may be tedious but the information can be beneficial to understanding your traffic and being able to highlight your visitors to the potential advertising buyers.
2. Traffic Stats
This includes unique visitors, daily sessions, page views and the assorted oodles and gobs of information you can find in your Google Analytics account. This is the place to show off those big-board stats! Wow the reader with the page views, member numbers and post counts.
A chart or multiple pie charts can be helpful to display these stats. Including the stats in a paragraph form provides the details but for a quick glance, the reader may miss them. Keep the stats easy to read and find without digging through lengthy text.
3. Ad placements and rates
This includes screenshots of your pages with ad sizes available. Include targeting opportunities if you can segment your advertising placements to match a speciality niche within your niche. The main thing is that the interested advertiser can see at a glance the ad placements and the sizes available. Be sure and include ad rates.
Finding your site's ad rate can be tricky. If you underbid your niche/traffic, you will have far too many inquiries and purchases and not enough traffic to go around, even for a big board. If you overbid your niche, you will have plenty of unsold inventory. The key is finding the balance in pricing.
4. Case Studies
This includes other companies who have advertised with you for a lengthy campaign with successful results. If the advertisers had custom placements or segmented advertising placements, note this in the case study.
Provide screenshots of the case studies ad placements. Include click-through-rates if they were favorable. Include testimonies of the advertiser. Do not hesitate to ask an advertiser for a quote to share in your media kit. And of course, if you don't have any case studies, just leave this section out. In a year or two, you will have plenty of case studies to add to your media kit.
5. Contact Information
Make sure the advertiser knows how to contact you. If you are verbally articulate, do not hesitate to provide a phone number. If you prefer email, provide that. Be prepared, however, for large agencies to want to talk to you over the phone or possibly meet you face to face for large campaigns.
Finalize Your Media Kit
Double check your grammar, spelling and layout of your media kit. Creating it in "WORD" as a document is an easy way to move text around, add images, resize them as needed. Select a professional looking font that is easy to read in 12pt. Use margins. Paragraphs. Punctuation. Make sure your site logo is on the top of every page. Include a footer with your name. When you are sure your document is free of all spelling errors, punctuation and grammar errors, save the document as a PDF and make it available for download or upon request from your "Advertising" linked page.
Find someone with a flare for writing to get some added help with the writing. Ask them to use their "red pen" to make changes that help provide the final tweaks to your professional media kit. Remember that your Media Kit should reflect your website's tone and traffic.
Reap the Benefits
Creating your Media Kit may take some time but the tools are available and the stats are within your reach. Put it together, finalize it and make it available to the potential advertisers.
There are no static rules for its creation but make sure your kit gives prospective advertising buyers every reason and opportunity to make contact with you...to sign an advertising-buy contract.