How to Buy Aviation AdvertisingHow to Buy Aviation Advertising for B2B Products & Services.

Buying aviation advertising used to be pretty simple.

The choices were fairly limited and the audience was pretty well-defined.

Selling a plane? The obvious choice was to list it in the big yellow Trade A Plane  magazine (we’re still subscribers and fans) using a cookie-cutter format.  Even the words used to describe each aircraft were remarkably similar. Now even Trade A Plane offers online marketing packages.

Selling any aviation-related product or service?   You could buy advertising in aviation magazines, or you could show your wares at a trade show. Companies with deep pockets did both.  That would pretty much cover the range of buyers of aviation products and services.

Now, there is a dizzying array of options for aviation advertising.

Many aviation professionals are confused about how to buy aviation advertising, and are tempted to commit what we like to call “random acts of marketing” –  aimless, unmeasured, potentially wasteful and reputation-harming marketing activities.

aviation advertising should include a "lead magnet" There are online and offline aviation magazines, websites, Facebook, Twitter, webinars, and more.  Magazine ads can (and should!) include QR codes or links to downloadable “lead magnets” or desirable content that people will want, even if they’re not ready to buy yet.  This could be a buyer’s guide, free demo, trial version, or free consultation.

Trade shows have become more complex as well, with exhibitors making special offers and invitations in special “apps” on the smartphones of attendees strolling the aisles.

Time for some good, basic information.

Buying aviation advertising is buying the attention of potential buyers.

Regardless of the format or medium of the advertising, the key factors used to make the purchase decision and how much to pay are these:

What kinds of viewers or subscribers  will see the ad?   Are the readers of the magazine, attendees of a trade show or webinar, subscribers to the blog, “fans” of the Facebook page,  or followers of a twitter account fit the demographics of typical buyers of your product or service?   Does the venue fit the profile of your product?   Selling shoe shine equipment for FBOs is more appropriate at NBAA than at Sun & Fun.

How many of those “somebodies” will see the ad?  Magazines provide you with a media kit that includes circulation numbers and demographics.   With trade shows, we look at attendee numbers and demographics of attendees.   With websites, we look at Alexa traffic rankings, subscribers to RSS feeds, associated social media accounts, or Google Analytics.  We also look at click through rate and participation of the online community.  Do people actually engage in discussions and participate in some way, or do they just read a quick news item or look up information they need and click away?

This table shows a few of the key statistics for a few of the advertising venues used for aviation products and services.


Alexa Traffic Rank

Indexed Pages

Linking Domains

Facebook Fans

Twitter Followers










































  • Traffic Rank is a ranking of the most popular websites on the Internet. (#1 gets the most traffic, highest number gets the least.)  This is determined by the Alexa system.
  • Indexed Pages is the number of pages that the Google search engine “credits” to your site.  Google sends more traffic to sites it sees as “bigger” and more extensive.
  • Linking Domains are a measure that Google and other Search Engines use to determine how “important” a website might be. The more links to your site from others, the better.

How credible is the medium?  Unless your company is as well-known as Cessna, it’s a great idea to “borrow” some credibility by associating your company with older, larger, or more renowned names and brands than your own.  Advertising in Aviation Week or the NBAA website ( may be more expensive than advertising on Thirty Thousand Feet,  ( but it also adds a certain cachet that can help you sell more products.

How will you measure response to the ad?  It’s very important to use a  a “call to action” that describes what you’d like potential clients to do in your ad that includes a special phone number, link or code (here we go with those QR codes again!) so that you can  measure response.  Some effective calls to action, depending on the product or service could be:

  • “Call us today for a free consultation”
  • “Download our online information package today.”
  • “Make an appointment before March 31 and receive a free gift.”
  • “information packages for aviation marketing”
  • “Watch this two-minute video to see our product in action.”

You can evaluate the effectiveness of your aviation advertising and make decisions based on how many people follow the “call to action” using your special code or number.

Buying advertising is STILL pretty simple, but there are many more choices. Many of those choices are much more affordable than the options that were available in the past. Knowing how to evaluate the choices and how to buy aviation advertising includes asking these four questions.

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