We have a client that has wrestled with doing a media buy for some time now.  One month we had some “change” left over in their budget, so we decided to do a little experiment for 30 days.

The niche was fairly obscure.  It was difficult to do blogger outreach, and really hard to find #RCS ideas for the most part.

That said, we finally found a fairly active forum that appeared to have had some good traffic.

So we approached the owner of the forum and negotiated a media buy with a reasonable CPM.  We created some really nice banner ads and off we went.

Like clockwork, the visits started coming in.  We saw an almost 30% increase in overall traffic for the next 4 weeks.  It felt really good to do right by our client, and was really happy with the results.

media buy ranking

Visitors weren’t the only thing we saw an increase in.

Note: we ended up keeping the media buy being that it worked out so well.

Side Effects: Ranking

About a month later, we started to see an increase in search referrers.  That week we saw a 10% increase in organic traffic!

How could this be?  Was this paid traffic sending some sort of quality signal to Google?

We wish.

What actually happened was we started getting some links from fellow industry folk.

In total we received:

  • 3 RSS Feed links
  • 1 sidebar/sitewide link from a blogger
  • 1 directory link from a site with a personal directory
  • 2 mentions from blogs
  • and a bunch of spammy/aggregated links from various web crawlers

This was great news!  The media buy did our work for us.

Some Lessons

This is definitely a model that can be repeated, but not with just any old site.  Since we invested so much effort in building quality content for the blog, we made it really attractive to link to.  It almost became an authority within the niche and something that people wanted to link to.

We also got really lucky.  The first media buy we tried worked and the first creative we used worked. We didn’t see any need to do any split testing since our CTR was so great.

This might not always be an option financially.  Media buys can get pricey, and depending on your site or client, it just might not work out.

We will definitely be keeping our eye out for opportunities like these in the future.