How to Promote Your Blog on TV for
Way Less Than You Think

image of television

The idea of advertising a blog on TV is just plain crazy. Right?

Well, it used to be. But with the introduction of Google TV, that crazy idea isn’t so crazy anymore.

Google TV is part of Google AdWords, and it works much the same way. It’s an auction-based system where you choose the price you want to pay. Obviously, the more you pay, the more people you’re likely to reach. But it’s possible to run an ad on network television for as little as $20.

In the old days (back when I worked as an NBC TV producer), placing TV ads was a big deal. You had to go through individual television stations or hire ad buyers who had special relationships with the networks.

But now with Google TV, just about anyone can create and run TV ads that will air on national TV shows. You can search to find TV programs that match your keywords, target people who are likely to want what your blog offers, and you can even see what ad placements deliver the best results and make adjustments to optimize your strategy.

Why would you even consider advertising your blog on TV?

The average American watches anywhere from 3 to 5 hours of television every day. That means people spend around 13 years of their life in front of the tube.

That sounds a bit sad, but one thing the statistics don’t mention is that more and more people, especially bloggers, spend a lot of that time multitasking. They’re sitting on a couch with the TV on and a laptop open.

You’ve probably noticed that more and more TV ads show web addresses. That’s because advertisers are finding that television is driving people to websites to buy products or find out more about items of interest.

Despite some of the junk, TV is a highly respected medium. It reaches a wide audience. And with more and more cable channels, many shows are now targeted to specific audiences. No matter what your interest, there’s a show about it out there somewhere.

Plus, ads on TV are visual and easy to digest. TV ads work for the same reason that video works online. It’s an effortless way for people to take in information.

So why wouldn’t you at least experiment with TV ads? If you can target the right audience and get the ad fairly cheap, you might find a great payoff. Then again, like anything else, it might flop. You never know until you try it for yourself.

This is a pretty good time to try. Since TV ad buying is down right now, there’s always the chance that your little ad could fill an otherwise empty commercial slot on a major TV show and reach more people than you ever could with the typical promotional tools.

How Google TV works

There’s a lot more to Google TV than I can explain here, but the process is pretty simple.

  1. Log into your Google AdWords account and create your campaign. You select the audience size, set your bid, choose your budget, and select a start and end date.
  2. Choose the programs, networks, or times of day you want. If you have a blog about pets, maybe you want to run your ad on Animal Planet. If your blog is about the arts, perhaps you want A&E.
  3. Upload your TV commercial just like you would upload any other video. There are specifications to follow, but it’s not rocket science.
  4. Track your ads and adjust as needed. You can see where your ads run, the estimated number of people seeing it (called impressions), and other statistics.

If all this sounds familiar, it should. It’s almost identical to running a Google AdWords campaign.

How to create effective TV ads

Okay, you’re a blogger, not a TV producer. So you probably don’t know much about advertising.

But let me clue you in on something. A lot of people who create TV ads don’t know squat. So you really can’t go too far wrong if you just follow some simple advice.

If you’re going to promote your blog, and you don’t want to spend a fortune, you need to keep your ad simple and direct. No fancy stuff. Your goal is to get people curious enough to go to your blog. So follow this simple formula . . .

  1. Get attention.
  2. Present a problem.
  3. Offer a solution.
  4. Direct people to your blog.

Let’s say you have a blog on amateur photography. Here’s how you might write a script for a TV ad to get people to your blog. You’d have both visuals and audio, but here’s just the audio portion.

Are you an amateur photographer? Are you fed up with blurry photos and poor lighting? Frustrated with those great shots you missed? Now CoolPixBlog.com has released a free report that reveals 101 tricks professional photographers use to snap perfect pictures every time. How to get crisp photos with a cell phone camera. The secret of clear nighttime shots without a tripod. How to be ready and never miss a great picture again. Go to CoolPixBlog.com and download your free report now. That’s CoolPixBlog.com.

Pretty simple, huh? Notice how this script follows the formula to get attention (Are you an amateur photographer . . .), present a problem (Are you fed up with blurry photos . . . ), offer a solution (Now CoolPixBlog.com has release a free report . . .) , and direct people to your blog (Go to CoolPixBlog.com . . .).

Google TV offers a tool called SpotMixer, where you can use a library of images, audio, and video, or you can upload your own materials. There’s also an Ad Creation Marketplace where you can find producers, actors, voice over professionals, and other resources who can help create your ad, depending on your budget.

Frankly, I’d suggest mixing something on your own just for a test. As long as you target your ads and follow that formula I gave you, you don’t need anything fancy to work.

If this all still sounds a little crazy, I don’t blame you. But just to show what’s possible, watch this video on Google TV ads to see how a guy who works for Slate.com created a simple ad and ran it on network TV for about $100. And he did it all from his laptop.

If you like, you can also visit my copywriting blog for more details on writing TV commercials, specifically direct response commercials. The formula is a little more detailed here, but the idea is similar.

If anyone has the guts and initiative to try Google TV, please let me know. I’d love to hear your story.

About the Author: Dean Rieck is a recovering NBC TV producer who now writes copy for direct marketing clients coast-to-coast. He shares copywriting tips for smart copywriters like you at Pro Copy Tips.

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Comments

  1. Andraya Skiles :

    Hi Dean,

    Interesting idea! Truthfully, TV advertising for blogs never really occurred to me, mostly because it seems like there are so many degrees of separation between the ad and any actual revenue. Plus, my gut reaction is that the advertising cost per qualified (or even mildly interested) prospect would be very high, given the broad reach of TV vs. the micro-vertical niches of most blogs. I’d love to see an actual example — do you know of any specific success stories where this model plays an integral role?

  2. Great, now please tell us how to get a GoogleTV invite.

  3. Another great example of the power shift to the individual and away from the big corp’s and ad agencies. Very interesting to see who’ll be out in front with this one. Great post, thanks.
    Michael Van Osch

  4. Hey Dean,

    This does sound crazy! However, at the same time it opens another avenue for us to communicate with a targeted audience. I’m still amazed on how simple Google has made it possible. Thanks for informing us!

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

  5. You have some really good information here. Back in “the old days” when I too was a TV Producer things were completely different as you say. However, I should mention I wasn’t one of the ” people who create TV ads who don’t know squat”. I spent a lot of time creating ads for people who wanted to advertise on TV but had no money or creative. The bottom line is there is no better time to advertise on TV – the rates are at an all time low and for some reason people don’t get it that these times are when you should advertise more not less so there are a lot of available slots open. I think this google ad on TV will be the way of the future. I would certainly give it a shot if my blog was not the type that it is. It will be interesting to hear some of the results people get. I hope you will share the info you get. Thanks,
    M

  6. On the opposite side of this coin, I now want to get Google TV on my blog presuming you get money from it in the same way as having an adsense account?

  7. Now that’s a fresh idea! I definitely have to give this one a try when I’m ready to promote my eBook. Thanks for the tips.

  8. Dean, what’s your opinion on the “Ugly Duckling” Video Salesletter technique? Just curious.

  9. This is such a cool technique, I would never in a million years have thought about TV, but it makes perfect sense.

  10. Very cool and out of the ordinary idea.

    Writing copy for web sites, blogs and other things are all common for us that aren’t big TV studios. Having a commercial about our blog or web site on TV right from our laptop is out of the norm and a genius idea.

    Now I just need to get a Google TV invite to test it for myself!

  11. For the sake of my day job I hope those prices go up quickly!

    For the sake of my online business I hope the prices are still low by the time I have an offer that fits the TV audience!

  12. Hi Dean, great article. I like that not only did you explain what it is, but that you also gave a brief guide as to how to do it.

    I always enjoy your articles. Thanks.

  13. Really interesting – has anyone yet made an ad for their blog? If not, who’s going to be the first? The World is our oyster!

  14. This is a very “meaty” article — thanks for the research.

    I first heard about this tactic from Frank Kern.

    With “pocket” digital video cameras such as the Kodak zi8 now recording in the highest quality video — this will catch on very fast.

    Your post goes right along with my “Video Marketing” post–showing how to set up a home studio for under $300.

  15. Great idea for blog promotion. You made the whole process very simple! Thank you for a great post.

  16. This kind of advertising works! I’ve experienced it produce massive traffic on a friends website. Good article.

  17. Hey Dean,
    This is really awesome and fresh idea. Going to give it a try.
    Now I just need to get a Google TV invite ! :D.
    Thanks for sharing this great technique. Keep it up.

    Thanks,
    Dev

  18. SOO COOL!! Would love to try this out.

  19. Dean,

    Glad to see you back on copyblogger. I had no idea that you could run a Google TV ad for that little. Now I know that I need to get my video mojo moving. There is no more avoiding it.

    I can just picture all of the “19.95” e-books ads up next to the Slapchop and the Snuggie ads! It’s glorious!

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  20. Maybe they have changed this ,but the last time I looked it was only national TV ads not local tv ads .Has that changed ?

  21. From Dean’s post, I notice that he only mentioned national networks, not local stations.

  22. Hi guys,

    I heard about promoting blogs on TV for a real cheap price. But I couldn’t believe if it was true or not. So thanks for sharing the video.

    Kind regards,

    Sam
    X

  23. The idea sure is tempting. Next to get my ten-year-old kid as spokesgirl and I have a commercial.

  24. I have to be a devils advocate and point out the one big problem I have with this concept:

    Pay-per-click works because I can click the link, then and there. Offer a solution to my problem and boom! You get my click. You have my attention. Hell, I just google searched to LOOK for the solution you’ve got!

    When was the last time you got up from TV, instantly, to go type in a URL and solve a problem.

    When I’m watching TV, I’m not looking to solve problems. When I’m googling, I am.

    Couple that with the statistics around people’s ability to remember television commercials even MINUTES after they’ve screened….

    … and don’t expect an amazing direct response.

    TV advertising works for brand awareness only. Even thats debatable.

    Oh, and shamwow!

  25. I have not tried this kind of advertising yet but I’m sure to give it a go in the next few days. I will keep you posted on my results. Good Blog!

  26. This is a great article! I would have never thought about promoting my blog on TV. I didn’t even knew it was possible, but I guess these days there’s nothing you can’t do:)

  27. Peter, you’re ignoring the billions of dollars direct response TV commercials generate. Not just infomercials, but any ad smart enough to have a call to action (call this number, visit this website, etc).

    The reason why so much advertising is so bad is that would-be marketers think the rest of the world thinks like they do. And I’m afraid that’s exactly what you’re doing in your comment.

    Check personal opinions at the door, and check the data instead. That’s the way to make smart decisions.

  28. Hey Brian,

    I’m more than ready to be 100% wrong on this… and yeah, its a personal opinion. But I appreciate the discussion :)

    Direct response TV works, sure…. but its not quite as simple as PPC nor as instant or measurable and I think thats what this article (and some of google’s info on the subject) implies.

  29. Peter, I agree with that, and for some businesses (like ours) you not only prefer a web-based lead process, it’s a requirement. A TV audience might not work for us unless we dressed things up as “The Internet Push-Button Cash Machine!” ;)

    But for other niches, ranging from health to personal finance to gardening, it might just work. Especially if they follow Dean’s advice about solving a problem and asking for action.

  30. Yup, I think you’re right on.

    I’d say a lot of the 3rd tribe blogging businesses would struggle to get leverage with TV … without adopting that “Push button” image ;)

    For (small) businesses in general – this is huge. For community marketing bloggers…

    … am I still allowed to be skeptical? ;)

  31. Thank you for the tip on Google TV ads. I’m doing my first TV ad in June on a local cable channel. I will keep this in mind for the future.

  32. I saw something about this a few weeks ago, crazy how Google is reaching so far and wide.

    What’s even better is if you can create a great video and after the run, place it on Youtube for even more exposure. Plus, you could go to the extent of saying you’ve been on TV :)

  33. Wow! What a resource this post is! I felt overwhelmed when I first heard of Google TV- but this breaks it doen simply! Thanks- I think I’ll give it a whirl!

  34. Super interesting. I think the better point is that just like book publishing, the information and resources to do TV advertising is not just in the hands of networks and big companies. The small business owner or the one man/woman shop can get exposure in ALL mediums. Fantastic!

  35. Interesting info, but so far most people just think of the web page more interactive than TV. Will this work? Or just make the popularity?

  36. Great information i have been wanting to use TV advertising for months but didn’t quite know where to start.

  37. Very interesting content. I’ve heard of Google TV, but I never knew that they provided the opportunity to advertise blogs. Although, I’m not surprised by this incorporation of television and social media. Companies know that blogging can be targeted and that it can be extremely influential. Therefore, many companies are or have begun to use blogging to show transparency as well as share news and broaden their audience base. Television has noticed this trend. They are adapting to the the way social media is changing communication and marketing effectiveness. With that said, I really like the way Google is combining TV with blogging, but I think many people, especially those highly involved in the blogosphere, knew that blogs would one day be promoted via TV ads. I bet that blogging advertisements will begin to show up more on radio, print, and the Internet, too.

  38. This is a great article and I’m surprised Google TV still hasn’t gotten the same notoriety as Adwords considering it has been around for awhile now. Its seems like the most common deterrent for this service is an internet business owner coming up with a quality commercial for their website. The last thing most website owners want to do is have a “cheesy” commercial airing on national TV that looks like it was created in powerpoint.

    As an internet business broker, I often deal with bloggers who are interested in selling a website, but there has been very few that have explored advertising on TV. I think Google makes it affordable and feasible for any entrepreneur who has a website business to get their message out on a platform that was once riddled with large barriers to entry. I feel like the real ROI with any type of TV advertising will be heavily dependent on the quality of the actual commercial… I guess the key with this would be to find a professional who can create a creative commercial(s) that can be reused.

  39. Thanks for sharing your tips on creating effective ads. Just for your information, It doesn’t all sound that too far fetched. Thanks for sharing.

  40. This a good set of tips related to promoting one’s blog on TV. I appreciate you posting this.

  41. Great info about a new way to get on TV. I appreciate the update.

  42. Hi,
    Nice information.First time i am hearing about this Google Tv concept.thanks a lot for sharing with us….

  43. I have been hearing good things about Google TV, and I guess it is about time that I start advertising my marketing consulting business online. It seems like a really good deal (advertising for less than $100).

    Thanks for the information.

  44. The introduction of Google TV seems to have really changed the ways things are done. It will be interesting to see if this can catch on.

  45. We have done some TV advertising in the past for our dental practice, but lately we have been focusing almost exclusively on internet marketing strategies to generate leads… looks like it may be time to take a look at television advertising again thanks to Google TV!

  46. LOL…this was so innovative. I never thought of using TV to promote my blog. I usually just stick to traffic exchanges but this seems like an excellent idea

  47. It was helpful reading your tips on writing a good script to market your brand or small business on various media outlets. Good post.