Online Advertising - Throwing a Banner into the Works

But Why Banner Advertising?

In previous chapters we went on and on about the value of marketing tools that focus on giving consumers what they want when they're looking for it. Now, all of a sudden we're changing course and suggesting a method of interruption marketing? What's that about then?

Horses for courses - and some campaigns are just better suited to visual means.

  • You're promoting travel packages. What stirs more emotion - an image of a tropical paradise? Or the words "tropical paradise?"
  • Want to build your brand within a specific sphere? Why not brand, through banner advertising, the websites of every major player in that niche?
  • Running a competition? Keep your target market's eye on the prize
  • Launching an exciting new sports car? Images with a call to action - "test drive it now" - or interactive rich media that highlight all the exciting new features as you mouse-over that part of the car on the image

Interactivity

Since banners can contain rich media, they offer levels of interactivity that other forms of advertising can't reach. Get your target market to not only see your banner, get them to play with it too. Interaction builds a bond and improves the chances of the consumer remembering your brand tomorrow.

Animations, games, video, flash - and you thought banner ads were just hyperlinked pictures. Modern Online Advertising is able to bring together a number of other online marketing tactics:

  • A few years ago, flash micro sites were all the rage - now the same functionality can exist right within the ad
  • Viral Marketing: clever viral marketing games or "send to a friend" functionality - again from right within the ad
  • Video - check out video previews from within the ad

Targeting

Online ads can further directly target your intended market by various means:

  • Geo-Targeting - Online Advertising has the ability to target by country, province or city, and can even drill down to IP address
  • Network / Browser Type - Markets can further be targeted via networks / browser types such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, MAC etc
  • Connection Type - Users can be segmented on broadband or dial up connections
  • Day and Time - Chose any time of day, any day of the week. This usually depends on the client objective of the campaign or the product itself
  • Capping - Limiting the amount of times a user sees a particular ad

Measurability

Banner ads, like all eMarketing tactics, are measurable. Track click-through rates and you get an idea of exactly how many people are responding to your call to action. Some publishers even have the ability to do post-click tracking i.e. you can track the user all the way to a sale if that is the purpose of the advert.

Similarity with Traditional Media

eMarketers regularly bemoan the fact that it's sometimes difficult to educate the market on the value of Internet marketing techniques. Traditional buyers of advertising have been conditioned in a certain fashion and have come to understand advertising in a certain way.

Banner advertising goes a long way towards bridging the advertising divide. Ads have a set size, they can look very similar to print ads and they occupy a particular bit of real estate in a publication with a particular number of eyeballs looking at it. It's easy to understand and it does the things buyers are expecting advertising to do.

Bottom line - if done correctly, online advertising also builds your brand, and increases your sales!

Coming Soon: Chapter 14. What should you expect?

Traffic is generally the benchmark by which we judge a website's success. However, traffic to your site counts for very little if the visitors you're getting don't end up converting into paying customers.

Conversion Optimisation tackles this with the two part procedure of analysing the behaviour of the target market on the site and then optimising the site in order to streamline the process of converting visitors into customers.

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