By , on January 17th, 2013

How Effective are MBA Ads?

Last year (2012), your MBA implemented selective advertising on the MBA web site. In a way, it was sort of an experiment. We were not sure if there would be any interest in this service; not only from potential beekeepers placing the ads, but more importantly from the general public looking at the ads.

The results from 2012 are in and we thought we would share them with you.

First, a bit of background
Advertising on the MBA web site takes one of three forms: classifieds, interactive locator maps and display ads. The classifieds are basically listings like you see in the back of newspapers and journals. These are short blurbs advertising goods and services that would be generally focussed on the beekeeping community, but with some general public orientation (eg., honey for sale). All classified ads are previewed for relevancy.

The interactive maps are focused on the general public looking for honey and swarm removal services which beekeepers can provide. On these maps, visitors can zoom in on their area and find local beekeepers. The honey locator map is restricted to MBA members who want to sell their honey to the public. The honey locator map connects beekeepers and the public who are interested in finding a source of locally produced honey.

The swarm removal maps are presented in two flavors: one for swarm removal and the other for building cutouts. The reason for this two-map approach is that removing swarms from buildings (cutouts) is typically a specialized service often with significant associated fees. Many beekeepers will remove a swarm from a tree limb or bush; a much smaller number are willing to tackle a cutout.

The display ads are generally oriented to companies that provide goods and services to the beekeeping community. Like in a magazine, the display ads are prominently displayed on the web site’s pages.

In the calendar year 2012, MBA revenues from advertising was $1,535.

How did the ads themselves perform? Here are the stats from 2012. We’ll first give you the raw numbers and then give you our spin on the numbers.

Display Ads
90,313: the number of web site pages that were visited in 2012.
247: the average number of daily page loads in 2012

On each page of the web site, space is reserved to show one of the display ads in a random rotation fashion. This means that the ads have an equal opportunity for viewing. In 2012, we had five display ads: four were paid and one was a display ad by MBA promoting the service. Given that, each display ad had a bit over 18,000 “views” in 2012, or around 49 displays per day. We might point out that the visitors to the MBA web site are, by a vast majority, beekeepers. So these display ads were viewed by a highly “targeted” audience.

Classified Ads
12,065: the number of page requests for the “For Sale – Show Ad” page.
8,794: the numer of page requests for the “For Sale – Browse Categories” page.

1,112: the number of page requests for the top performing classified ad (Don Lam advertising packaged bees)
719: the number of page reqquest for the second best perfoming classified ad (Tim Bennet advertising packaged bees)

We were really quite surprised by the number of “page requestes” (the number of times web site visitors click on a link to a specific page) for the classified ads. On average, about 1000 visitors per month, or 33 per day, looked at the classified ads. When visitors “browse the classified ad categories”, they can select the group of ads for a specific topic (for example, bees for sale). Around 732 visitors per month browsed the ad categories.

Interactive Maps
3,865: the number of page requests for the Honey Locator map
74: the weekly average number of page requests for the Honey Locator map

3,241: the number of page requests for the Swarm Removal maps (both)
62: the weekly average number of page requests for the Swarm Removal maps (both)

Of the three interactive maps, the “honey locator” map was the most popular, though not by much. This map was viewed over 3,800 times in 2012, or 322 per month or around 10 times per day. The number of comments received by the MBA web site administrator backs this up; we received more comments from the public looking for sources of local honey and hive products than any other single topic.

Over 3,200 people looked at the swarm removal maps, or 270 per month or just under 9 per day on average. Comments from beekeepers received by the MBA were very positive; many were amazed at how many calls they received as a direct result of their map marker. Interestingly, the majority of comments and inquiries received by the MBA from the public (non-beekeepers) were for building cutouts. We conclude that there is significant opportunity in this area for enterprising beekeepers.

So there you have it. Impressive numbers, we think. If you want to get on board, go to the respective pages on the MBA web site, read the policies statement and place your ad.

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