When preparing for a media buy, you want to maximize your return on investment and minimize potential losses as much as possible. That’s where sound research comes in. To help in the process, here are five useful resources that will provide you with much needed data for your next major media buy.

  • Google AdWords – Google has integrated media buys within their content network into their AdWords product allowing you to easily research and compare prices on available media slots. If you want to place a banner ad on a site that matches with a keyword like “cross trainer shoes” you can do so fairly easily using the AdWords content network research tools.
  • Quantcast – Demographic data is vital in matching your media buy with the right site. That’s where Quantcast comes in. With millions of websites in its database and detailed demographic data outlining the current economic, gender and geographic outlay of a site’s visitors you can get a very good idea of who will see your ad before you post it.
  • Compete and Alexa – To better research total page views and traffic rank for a specific website, you can use services like Compete and Alexa. It’s never a good idea to rely solely on the description a site owner provides. Do your own research to determine if their traffic matches up with their claims.
  • Traffic Travis – Traffic Travis 4.0 is a paid tool, but it provides an easy to use interface to search Google’s content network for available media buys, matching them to your keywords, size needs and budget. Combined with its keyword research capabilities and SEO tools, it is a good buy.
  • BuySellAds – Buy Sell Ads is one of many media buy networks where site owners can list available ad space on their websites. While you may not necessarily purchase ad space through this website, it is a useful tool to analyze the current market for ad space and decide what you are willing to pay for.

Before you spend any money on a banner ad, video placement or other media buy on the Internet, do your research. The potential gain is huge, but so too is the loss if you don’t match the needs of your customers to the demographics of the site on which you plan to advertise. With these tools, you should have a much greater chance of success.