DIY Goes Online to Promote Itself

Oct 10, 2005  •  Post A Comment

DIY-Do It Yourself Network is looking online for new viewers.

With a limited marketing budget and mostly digital distribution, DIY aims to take advantage of the fact that millions of people go online to find instructions for the kinds of projects in which the network specializes.

The Scripps-owned network has bought banner ads on sites and blogs as well as search ads for November and December that will drive viewers to Web pages touting DIY as “Your Network for Do-It-Yourself Projects.”

The ads offer video that introduces users to the network’s cable programming and offers them choices of three specific areas of interest: home improvement, woodworking and crafts. By clicking on those areas, users will get video samples of shows from the network.

DIY can’t afford to buy promotional spots on other networks, but it receives cross-promotion from other Scripps networks, such as HGTV and Food Network. Last year it launched its first national paid marketing effort in print. This year it’s doubling its marketing efforts by going online, where it hopes to generate 39 million impressions.

The network’s research found that project enthusiasts frequently go online to get information. “The placements that we’re doing this fall are on sites specific to categories of interest,” said Michelle Borja, director of marketing at DIY. “So these are project enthusiasts that are in their genre of interest and we’re catching them right in the act and we’re driving them over to the site, thus letting them know about the network.”

The object of the campaign is to increase awareness of DIY as the network gears up to subscribe to the Nielsen Media Research ratings service next year. DIY’s Web site attracts about 2 million users a month. “We’re letting them know that, ‘Hey, we’re a resource not only online for you, but we have a TV product which you may or may not be aware of, and by the way, tune in,'” Ms. Borja said. “It’s a one-two punch for us. We feel like we’re able to expose them to both on-air and the diynetwork.com product.”

The DIY Web site already features a place where users can key in their ZIP code to find out who their cable provider is. The network is planning to upgrade that feature to provide DIY’s channel number in the market.

Shows being highlighted online are “Barkitechture,” which helps home improvement enthusiasts adopt puppies and then build them interesting doghouses, “Wood Works,” which showcases woodworking projects, and “Knitty Gritty” for crafters. The site will also give users “DIY FYIs,” which are 20-second tips on subjects such as how to stop slugs from getting into your garden.

If the campaign is as successful as Ms. Borja expects, the network plans to maintain a year-round presence on the Web. DIY also plans to continue its national print effort.