Ad inventory is the total amount of space that any publisher of content has available for advertisements at any given time. If you operate a radio station, surely your sales manager maintains a list like this showing all available commercials in each daypart as well as sponsorships and other on-air features that might be open for clients to purchase.
Smart online publishers have maintained a digital inventory list for years, most starting with an Excel spreadsheet or Word document. Many early adopters have migrated to online reports that integrate with their banner management system so that lists are always current to the minute.
If you don’t have a digital inventory list of available positions for your station website, then salespeople will not know the opportunities that are available to sell. Task your digital content manager/point person to create a list of pages and all positions/possibilities that your website has available. From there, move to other online assets that are available for client sponsorships.
Start with an Excel spreadsheet. Here’s what your list should include…
Regular Banner Ad Positions
This list will include all banner ad positions on the homepage as well as all subpages where the ad block may be different. For example, the top 728×90 may be the same for all pages on your website. Or, the homepage may be one ad block while all subpages is a different ad block. Here is a typical “Bigtown” homepage and weather page with ad locations highlighted.
Be sure to note every position on your website and set a maximum number of available ad spots that can be sold for each one. You don’t want to rotate very many ads in one position because the client will not be given adequate exposure.
Post/Page Feature Sponsorships
Some clients may not wish to be in the regular rotation of ads on each page, so include in your digital inventory list every page/feature sponsorship opportunity that’s available.
These might be ad blocks that typically run on all pages but will only display the sponsor on a specific page or pages. For example, the top 728×90 leaderboard ad block in the example shown above has four available spots with clients rotating. “Storm Shelters” wishes to sponsor that position on the weather page only. You should be able to keep those four advertisers running in that position on all pages except the weather page where only “Storm Shelters” will rotate 100%. Ideally, the sponsorship rate should be more than the regular run of site rate.
Other examples of what to include here would be sports team page sponsors, poll sponsors, contest sponsors and your “Listen Live” Sponsor. This might be a simple text link but include a custom “Listen Live” image and/or banner ad within the stream player.
Premium sponsorships can be “out of the box” ways to give your clients exposure outside the typical banner ad space/sponsorship. Or, it could be combining multiple ads and theme edits to make their promotion big website events.
A “page takeover” would be a good example of a premium sponsorship. In a page takeover, one client rules every position on the page. You can choose or even upsell changing the background image for them on this page to match their message.
The image above shows a premium takeover where the client gets every ad position on the weather page as well as the background image takeover.
If your station provides Facebook mentions for a fee, then your digital inventory list should also include the pricing and availability of these as well. Social media platforms do not allow direct advertising but they do allow mentions like, “Thanks to Joe’s Pizza on Main Street for the fantastic lunch today! Have you tried the ‘Joe’s Favorite’ yet?” An upsell might be including a video with the post, live stream, etc.
The list should also include podcast sponsors and anything else your station does online that could possibly have a client name attached to.
To get you started, we’ve created a sample Excel Spreadsheet that shows the avails a typical Skyrocket Radio website might have on any given day. The clients are fake and the monthly rate values are a suggested starting point. Your market may demand more or less depending on the content and amount of visitors you receive each month. More visitors should demand higher pricing.
Need help expanding your radio station website inventory? Reach out to us.