Friday, September 28, 2007

Google Radio Ads- poor results so far



I've been trying to follow advertisers' use of Google Radio Ads (the result of their DMarc acquisition), and haven't yet heard of anyone having other than poor to ambiguous results. There are two good, thorough reviews on DigitalPoint Forums from people who've run Google Radio Ad campaigns in the last months. Exceprts:


Goramba says:
"The first test was done on a budget of about $1,000 for 30 days. I selected 4 major cities, requested it NOT play after 12am, but had no other restrictions. The effect: WORTHLESS! After playing for about a week Google claimed 293 plays to 201,000 listeners. Watching my Analytics keenly I saw absolutely no effect at all. Nothing. That was rather upsetting but I stopped it before it took all my cash.

Test #2: This test was in two stages. I requested a new audio ad and created two new campaigns. One had a budget of $300 for a week and I removed as many chances for it landing on AM stations as possible (removed talk radio, etc.). The second campaign was another budget of $700 for 3 weeks, also removed AM type stations, and requested it play on fewer stations to maximize my bid. Both overlapped for the first week.

The effect: Nearly worthless! There was an effect, but minimal. I had roughly 30 direct visitors a day increase for the one week the campaigns overlapped. After that, nothing. It pretty much dropped to before-ad levels. That's the "good" thing about Audio, you know they're almost always the direct ones.

Totals for these two campaigns before I stopped the second one was 123 ad plays to 418,000 listeners. Out of that, over the week plus, I got about 230 new visitors at a rather sizable cost. The total comes to right around $3 per visitor not including the cost of creating the ads. The only good thing I can really say about my experience is that you get the best of the best visiting your site. They heard your ad and went out of their way to find out more, instead of just impulsively clicking on a link. That turned into some conversions ($1,000 in sales, but cost that to get them!) and good time-on-site."


and Afmusan says:
"RESULTS: Radio ads are not trackable for me. My site is established and already gets 10k people a day. Radio is more about branding. Hit peoples ears over time and maybe they remember your site when they see it online or it comes to mind when they think of my service. I'm looking at the addresses of my customers and trying to find spikes in those markets where the ads are run. About three days into ad plays in two markets, I did notice a few more customers that are from those markets. I don't know for sure, but they could be from radio. I do think that a customer may need to hear your ads a few times to 1) remember it or 2) start to trust it to check it out. I don't think it would do any good to play one ad one time in 100 markets. I think each target market needs to be blanketed over several weeks.

My site uses Adsense at bottom of pages for those leaving the site. From the first weekday run of ads, I did notice an upturn in page views on the site. Not necessarily customers. Is it from radio or just a coincidence? Is it from a search engine adjustment? Is it from added content? I don't know for sure. I'm not seeing ranking changes or new sections adding up to the increase. I'm seeing more direct entries. But maybe something else happened that I can't detect. My site has sections to it with worldwide subsections and I do notice that the increase is in the USA section in the area of the ad focus. I'm not seeing the same increase in other world areas or topics outside the ad focus. The increase in ad revenue from that day forward is more than I'm spending on the radio ads so I can't complain yet."


There are a few endorsement quotes on Google's radio ad site, but those must be taken with a grain of salt, so I think the jury's still out on this one, unless some of you have more positive data?

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