Are you ready to kick-start your third-party digital sales in 2023? According to BIA’s U.S. Local Advertising Forecast for 2023, TV and radio OTA (over-the-air) revenue will decline or stay flat (when you remove political from the 2022 to 2023 comparison). However, they forecast digital advertising revenue to grow with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 6.7% through 2027.
While OTA revenue will still be a key component of your 2023 budget, you’ll have greater opportunities to expand revenue with third-party digital.
So, what should you focus on for prospecting and pitching in the year ahead? We’ve got recommendations for media sellers!
Focus on Recruitment Advertising
Third-party digital has many tactics that can support recruitment advertising. Regardless of economic uncertainty, job creation is growing while unemployment remains low.
Many job categories are in high demand and considered recession-proof, including health care, transportation, trades, education and technology. With more money becoming available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, there is likely to be an even greater need in trades and related verticals. Additionally, many local businesses, from retailers to restaurants, are facing challenges with recruitment.
Your advertisers may solely depend on job boards to drive applications; however, these tactics only engage active job seekers, not passive ones. Further, these platforms can be expensive and rely on keyword associations to match jobs.
We’ve heard from many clients about the growth of recruitment advertising and the positive returns for their customers. You can use advanced tactics like geofencing to reach potential candidates where they might spend time, including competitor places of businesses or community colleges. You can also offer them integrated campaigns that leverage social media, OTT/CTV, display and SEM (search engine marketing).
When you deliver a complete portfolio of options to attract job applicants, your customers can hire faster and more effectively. Keep in mind that advertisers may put significant ad dollars in this budget before they spend on customer acquisition.
Create a Specific Strategy for OTT
According to BIA, OTT is one of the fastest-growing digital segments, with a projected increase of 12.3%. In 2022, OTT/CTV got a dramatic boost from political, showcasing its ability to be a great channel for local advertising.
It allows advertisers to reach cord-cutters and is flexible, with ads running on mobile devices and connected TVs. Targeting is robust, as with many forms of digital, so the message can meet the right audience.
Currently, there’s still a general overabundance of inventory here. Netflix’s rollout of ad-supported tiers inflates that further. This means there are plenty of programming options for your advertisers, and they may be the “first” among competitors to use the tactic.
You may have heard many objections, such as your clients being unsure how to develop video content. You can quickly address that in several ways:
- Partner with a local production company to support advertisers in developing the ads.
- Advise them of options to use low-cost platforms or stock video.
- Recommend that they shoot the video themselves if they have staff with experience.
If you can get them over this hump, they could realize significant returns from OTT and be ready to spend more.
Look to New Categories
In 2022, we made updates and upgrades to Marketron NXT to enable digital advertising for more categories. Other platforms often restrict these verticals, leading advertisers to spend a lot of dollars on OOH (out-of-home) ads and print. Now, our users can provide programmatic ads for these businesses eager to track and measure ad performance. They’ll be able to target desired demographics and locations.
You can now provide digital ad options for:
- Gambling (online, sports betting and casinos)
- Cannabis and CBD
Combine linear spots with digital for these advertisers to ensure both reach and targeting. You may be one of the only media sellers who can do this for these businesses. It’s critical to assess the opportunity in your area based on legality and availability. Then, it’s time to reach out with a quick elevator pitch about all you offer and your knowledge as a local media expert.
Recommend Replacing Direct Mail with Digital
The BIA forecast shows a slight uptick in direct mail growth for 2023. However, the increase is really about the rising costs of postage, paper and ink. Direct mail has been a hallmark for many local companies to canvas neighborhoods. It can be effective but expensive, and calculating ROI can be tricky.
Replacing some direct mail with digital could be a viable and smart investment for advertisers. Digital offers the ability to geotarget and much more, so they can better connect with consumers who are a good fit. You will also be able to provide them with detailed reports on results. Further, digital can be interactive and include video; it can tell a story much better than a postcard.
Talk to your clients about how direct mail will cost more in 2023 and why pivoting to digital is a solution.
Illustrate How You Can Do SEM Better
It’s no secret that local buyers use search as a first step to finding a product or service. You and your customers, however, may be avoiding it as a tactic due to concerns about high costs and competition. It can also be very complex to set up and manage. With bad experiences in their rearview, advertisers may be hesitant to try it. They risk more by not, as their competitors can gain visibility and market share.
We’ve reinvented the way our customers can sell and execute SEM. First, we facilitate the ad ops. We build industry-tailored keyword lists and ad copy. Additionally, by default, each ad includes multiple headlines and descriptions that combine dynamically to maximize performance.
Finally, we deliver conversion-based optimization. The tactic automatically allocates budget to the keywords and text ads that drive the most calls for businesses. Using the call as a metric is critical because 88% of local searches result in a call or visit. It’s a signal of conversion that you can optimize.
Upskill and Keep Learning
The final recommendation is one you can continuously engage in — learning and upskilling. The more knowledge you have about tactics, trends, markets and audiences, the better your position to prospect, pitch and win deals. Third-party digital is dynamic and constantly changing due to many different factors. Therefore, the more you know, the more value you bring to your advertisers.
We’re committed to helping you do this with monthly webinars, NXT Training Academy, the Marketron Learning Center, access to client development managers, and our Aspire blog.
If you want to make 2023 a stellar year for third-party digital sales, it starts with the right partner and technology. We deliver both and welcome you to see how we can propel your revenue in 2023.