Let's say you are a brand new website that is blogging in the financial services industry. You enter an already crowded field with goals of changing the way the industry disseminates information to the average investor. Of course you have plans of gaining huge market share of the financial services industry's online media business because you've seen the list of top advertising and guess what, financial services makes up a large % of the top buyers. On the day you launch with much fanfare, you announce on your site that you've generated 40K uniques which looks like a good number, but is it really?
40K Unique Impressions for a Blog
If I had 40,000 unique impressions on my blog, I'd be the happiest person around because 40K for a blog is really a big number. At 40K a day, assuming a .1% CTR and a CPC of $5, I'd generate $200 per day in advertising revenue or $6,000 per month. Not bad numbers but enough room to grow and perhaps I'd quit my multiple jobs and boost the traffic and revenue (not really because I like my political advertising career as well as working with my financial services clients). Of course, the numbers used above are generous, especially 30 days in a month for forecasting. As anyone who markets in the financial category knows, the traffic and activity on the weekends goes to almost zero. So, if you had a blog with 40K per day, that would be an impressive number.
40K Unique Impressions for a Financial Services Site
As someone who managed the online advertising for the 17th largest US internet advertiser (see Harrisdirect's rank for the month of September 2005 which is the last month of activity before the acquisition), 40K number is really, really low. To even make an impact, you would need to generate at least 1 million uniques per day and then at that level, you'd be almost an after thought on a media buy. Why is that? A couple of reasons:
- There is huge overlap in viewers in this category with duplication rates of small sites with the big financial publishers approaching 70% and sometimes higher. That means, you can find your audience elsewhere and probably for much lower cost. I've personally canceled deals with publishers, because their rates were too high and their audience duplication rates were nearing 90%.
- Even though a lot of financial advertisers will buy big branding units like CBS MarketWatch's Intro. Message (coincidentally TD Ameritrade today), the bulk of their advertising is geared toward hitting strict cost per account numbers.
- If I had to be generous with advertising metrics, I'd say a 0.1% CTR with a 2% conversion rate of those clicks into new accounts.
So, using those numbers based on 40K uniques per day, you are looking at 0.8 new accounts per day or 24 per month. Layer on top of that the $5 CPC which again is very generous and you are looking at a Cost Per Account of $250. Neither the number of accounts or the CPA will make the cut and this assumes that there are no other advertisers rotating in. In order to make an impact, you need to at least increase those numbers by a factor of 25 and if you wanted to rotate in multiple advertisers, that would have to be by a factor of 100. That translates into true-believers 4 million uniques per day.
If bloggingstocks.com wants to make an impact in this category, that's the type of numbers you would need in order to have marketers sit up and take notice. These are generous because I didn't even investigate the true end goals of trade volume, assets under management, etc that financial advertisers are looking for in their media buys.
Differentiating bloggingstocks.com from the rest of the already crowded industry is an uphill battle. Not only are you fighting already established publishers, you need volume to have big marketers pay any attention. These are the realities of being a player in the financial services industry.