Looking to capture a home buyers/sellers audience?

If you are looking to capture people in the market for a home or those thinking of selling their home you may want to consider Metroland’s home buyers audience highlighted by This site get’s over 600,000 unique monthly visitors (at last check) across the network. This gives us a massive audience which we use to reach those in the market for a home through content marketing, audience extension, hot listings and takeovers. To sum it up if this audience appeals to you we can get your message in front of these qualified potential customers. We can target your message to the market of your choice across the Metroland network. Take a look  at the video overlay ad above by Kingston realtors Susan Henry and Janet Grace their ad appears front and center while users are looking at real estate listings in the Kingston market. So if you are a realtor or mortgage broker we have your audience who is in the market for a home. Isn’t it time you start speaking to it?

Follow me on Twitter @geoffjosey

Why Every Realtor Needs A Metroland Audience Extension Platform

If you are a realtor or mortgage specialist in my region and haven’t reached out to discuss an audience extension campaign it’s time you do. If someone was to tell you that you could target potential buyers currently in the market for a home I am sure you would say yes 100 per cent sign me up. Then if they told you you could do this for $200-$350 per month I know you’d be in. But for some reason you aren’t none of you and it baffles me. I am going to take this time for a bit of a sales pitch so you can get back to me as to why you are not marketing yourself in this way. To make it easy lets use the market I live in Kingston as the example. When a user looking for a home in the Kingston market comes on to to look at listings (which many people do) we take a cookie from that user. This allows us to follow that user as they surf the web. So as they leave Homefinder and go to sites such as the weather network, CBC, Kijjiji, the Toronto Star etc we follow them with your ad. What makes this so powerful is we know they are looking for a home in Kingston so why not introduce them to your inventory? You could have 20,000 monthly impressions on your ad for $340. To me that is a very low cost with a very high ROI given that we know the user is currently in the market. If you do not fully understand what an impression is get in touch with me and I will bring you up to speed. So now you have it and hopefully I hear from you soon so I can introduce you to this amazing online marketing strategy.


Audience Extension – Retargeting 101

I have spent the first 20 plus years of my career selling print media and more specifically flyer distribution and direct mail campaigns so introducing my clients to audience extension or re-targeting has been a natural for me and something that even the online virgins have no trouble grasping when properly explained.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this type of advertising this is how it works at least in my world; When users come on to Metroland sites such as,, any of our news sites, automobile sites etc we pull cookies from users so we can track their browsing history. By doing this we are pulling a demographic profile which we will use to serve up targeted online ads paid for by our advertisers.  We pull data such as event goers, bargain hunters, automobile shoppers and the list goes on and on. In the online marketing world this is referred to as re-targeting.

Now that we know what is being searched for online the hard part is done and it gets pretty easy from here. We simply follow users as they leave the Metroland website and venture on to the World Wide Web. This is what we call audience extension. Because we know what is being searched for online we follow users with ads pertaining to their interests. An example would be if someone from Kingston comes on to Homefinder (our national real estate site) and is looking at homes we know this user is in the market. Once they leave Homefinder and venture on to the internet we will follow that user onto the web with a local real estate ad driving that user to a local agent’s inventory. So the next time you are online and are wondering how does my travel agent know I am thinking about booking a trip to Vegas (Yes this happens to me) , In a nutshell you are being stalked by advertisers who want your business.

You should now understand the basics of audience extension / retargeting. There are many different ways to do this such as running a campaign pulling cookies from users that visit your own website and follow them on the web in an attempt to close a customer who is already looking at your product or service but what I like about our platform is we are bringing new customers to you much like a direct mail campaign. Because we are targeting a customer who is looking for a product or service we know you provide, means that the click thru rates are going to be higher than that of a general impression campaign and the clicks you do receive are all high quality and the likelihood of turning these clicks into sales are very high. Simply put it is a more valuable click.

If you are looking at adding audience extension to your online footprint and you are a local business you can have a solid program for $300 – $400 per month. This shouldn’t be the only thing you do but I highly recommend that this type of marketing should be part of your marketing mix that includes print, content marketing and even mobile marketing.

Follow me on twitter @geoffjosey

Previous Blogs                   


Does Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising live up to the hype?

By now whether you sell online advertising or you are an advertiser we have all at some point come across pay per click (PPC) advertising most commonly Google pay per click or ad words. Just in case you require a definition I am talking about those ads at the top of Google that no one ever clicks on. Well maybe you do but I definitely don’t.

As recently as last week I was meeting with a client who works with a SEO/website optimization agency and I was told that the agency was recommending that they cancel the online advertising with me and increase their Google AdWords/PPC budget. My response was “so to them it’s only about clicks when people are searching through Google”? I then went to explain that from talking to the agency myself I had learned that the advertisers click through rate with my platform is equal to the PPC program and I didn’t even let him in on my secret now that we have added audience extension/retargeting to their campaign we are now at least doubling the PPC click through rate which I will share the next time we go over stats. I am not trying to say that online marketers should not have this presence or it is not valuable because it is especially since these are high quality clicks. What I am saying is if this is where an online strategy stops you will be left out in the cold.

First off I am going to explain what this client (a local car dealer) is doing with Metroland. They have a content marketing strategy with monthly content, online business profiles on our local news site and, IP targeted video overlay impressions and a lot of them, audience extension/retargeting targeting those in the market for a new or used vehicle. Overall the program is performing very well with about 250,000 impressions being served up over the course of the year (yes that’s 250,000 sets of eyeballs) with a click thru rate between .2 and .7 percent depending on the month and promotion that we are running. The click thru rate is 2-7 times the national average so performing exceptionally well and of course there is the content on a high traffic local news site all searchable through Google which separates them from the competition and increases the brand awareness. I could add in the social media benefit but that is another blog. The early stats are showing hundreds of reads, the articles showing up on page one of Google and yes even more click thru’s to their site. You can’t get a more engaged click than one that comes from an article that was just read on a product or service their company provides. We also have profile views and yet again there have been hundreds of them and YouTube views on the video we produced and yep in the hundreds at this point.

I am not picking on Google I am actually a huge fan but if your online strategy is 100 per cent pay per click advertising you are missing out on online marketing platforms with many benefits such as the ones illustrated above. You are missing out on sales and valuable loyal customers that your competition who does have a strong platform is getting. Online advertising is about more than just clicks (read my previous blog “it’s about more than just the click”). Potential customers go online to find out information so they can become a more educated buyer, go to sites looking for online Flyers/Deals/Coupons, are reading news stories and this is just the tip of the iceberg. You need to have a platform where you become part of this experience and that includes platforms such as content marketing, video marketing, audience extension, retargeting, deal sites, mobile marketing, impressions the list goes on and on and yes Pay Per Click.

If PPC is all you are doing all you have is a deal so in other words you are looking for price shoppers selling based on price. Google‘s biggest strength after all is the content it provides so focus on becoming part of that experience more so than the paid ads. Isn’t it more likely that potential customers are typing in key words looking for more information so that they become a more informed buyer than to see who simply has the best price? I will end on this note as a business owner looking to attract customers who are surfing the web you will obtain loyal customers by getting them engaged in your product or service and the internet is the perfect place to do that. What you need to do is plan a well thought out online marketing strategy.

Follow me on twitter @geoffjosey

Previous Blogs


Online Advertising Click Thru Expectations

It is no secret that digital advertising is on the rise and traditional print is not. It hasn’t happened yet but slowly but surely my digital sales are gaining ground on my print sales such as newspaper display and the direct mail product I manage FlyerMail. Out of the 80 to 100 advertisers whom I manage their digital platforms 100 per cent of those were exclusive print clients in the past. This is good news in the sense that I am keeping these dollars away from digital competitors or at least getting my share. This becomes more important as print budgets get cut and businesses  allocate that revenue to online advertising. The challenge I have is virtually all of my clients had never spent a dollar online before I converted them.

There are many digital platforms at Metroland Media but one of the most popular for new advertisers wanting to get their feet wet in the digital world are online display ads. The most popular online ads for first timers are the big box, double skyscraper and leaderboard. Your digital advertising rep can show you examples on their tablet. At Metroland we sell impressions. These aren’t expensive  a local customer can purchase 20,000 impressions per month for as low as $240. Being so inexpensive makes this type of advertising very easy to sell as it fits most advertising budgets. One of my greatest challenges is managing click thru expectations due to platforms such as google ad words and other pay per click services. Impression advertising is much more than this but this all too often seems to be forgotten. (Read my blog “It’s about more than just the click).

So what click thru rate should you expect? From everything I have read the average click thru rate in Canada is .09 per cent.  So this means if you run a campaign at 20,000 impressions per month you would receive 216 clicks on 240,000 annual impressions. Not bad if you consider the campaign just brought 216 people to your store which in the digital world we call a website. My clients running campaigns on the Metroland network generally receive a click thru rate between .2-.5 per cent. This is 2-6 times the industry average pretty amazing right? It is but for first timers I spend a lot of my time educating  that their campaign is performing very well. The initial client reaction is usually the same “240,000 impressions and only 500 clicks?”  I then explain that their ad appeared on webpages 240,000 times and 500 people clicked. Where else can you track an ad campaign like that? Maybe coupons but no other traditional media can.

Whether you are a first timer or already advertising online please be realistic with your expectations. Remember every impression counts in the advertising world and if your program is performing at or above the national click thru average stick with it. Be consistent, change the call to action from time to time and this type of advertising will become an important part of your marketing strategy. Give it a year and you will see results with a decent ROI.

Follow me on twitter @geoffjosey

Previous blogs