Most local TV marketing executives have few media advertising choices to reach news consumers to convince them to watch newscasts on their stations. A former station CSD turned media buyer shares her top recommendations for TV stations when it comes to paid media.
Lauren Ridgley is in a unique position when it comes to local TV media buying. She’s a former CSD and promotion manager for Cox, Hearst and CBS O&O stations across the country. She was an account manager and media buyer at a media buying company, handling accounts for broadcast and network TV. She’s bought media in more than 35 U.S. markets including 14 of the top 20.
In yesterday’s column, A Guide To Media Buying For Local TV CSDs, Ridgley shared the importance to local TV CSDs of knowing their broadcast on-air schedule inside and out, what paid ads on Facebook do better than free ones and how stations are shifting the traditional sweeps-only co-op dollars to build stations’ brands across the whole year.
So what does Ridgley recommend when it comes to buying media? That depends on your market and your objectives.
“Some stations are strong in the suburbs and they need to go after the city audience or vice versa,” she says. “Is it a commuter market? If so, radio and OOH are great options.”
If you are considering running anything digital, it’s the data behind the media you’re buying that has to make sense, Ridgley says.
For example, if you’re buying adults 25-54, you want to reach those who “watch both on streaming and over the air.”
And Ridgley says don’t forget your loyalists. “It’s much easier to convince a fan to watch more vs. convincing someone who doesn’t watch to make your station a destination.”
Keeping in mind that her recommendations depend on the situation in your market, what your goals are and who you’re trying to reach, here’s what Ridgley likes.
Ridgley says buy Spotify and Pandora to replace or supplement if radio is weak in your market.
Ridgely says the challenge of out of home media is keeping the message topical, which isn’t possible with vinyl bulletins.
“If you are a market with a strong bus commute or a transit commuting market, buying bus ads makes sense,” she says.
Other OOH options she considers are digital boards, vinyl bulletins, posters, street furniture in large cities and niche OOH like taxi toppers, gas pump toppers, salon posters, convenience store posters and something new: Uber if you’re trying to hit a certain ZIP code.
Ridgley says she’s strong on digital. Pre-roll ads are at the top of her list, as is connected TV.
“Those are two of the biggest areas where, if you are going to go to digital, I would put you,” she says.
Ridgley says Facebook and Instagram are the best for reach and being cost effective.
“If a station doesn’t have a lot of money, Facebook is the first spot to get affordable impressions,” she says. Others on the list are NextDoor, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Reddit, Snapchat and TikTok, but all come with advantages and disadvantages.
Although fragmented and expensive, cable is always worth pricing out, Ridgley says.
Zoned cable is really good if you have a certain zone that you want to get your audiences up in, she says.
And, she adds, “cable is the one audience you can get where they can just turn the channel.”
Whatever your market, whatever your budget, Ridgley says find a strong strategic partner who will work with you.
“Marketing directors and CSDs are pulled in so many different directions, it’s important to have someone to be an asset and an ally,” Ridgley says.
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