BANNER AD STRATEGY


Compelling Design + Smart Placement = Successful Banner Ad Strategy


Banner ads have been getting a bad rap for quite a while now, as online marketers turn to pay per click strategies and other more appealing, higher return methods of boosting website traffic and sales. Marketers and viewers complain that they are annoying to the point where frustrated users ignore them deliberately. But technological advances have made problems with loading and viewing ads disappear, and new targeting technology offers some of the flexibility of PPC programs along with the brand recognition building power of an attention grabbing visual display.


Here are some strategic pointers for creating and placing banner ads that will help you save time and money while building your brand and growing your business:


• Design customized banners for each website. If they are TOO identical, they will blend in and not grab the necessary attention from users. If the design is too discordant, however, it conveys a lack of consideration to the website owner and a careless attitude to the potential customer. Colors, images and fonts need to complement the site instead of cloying with its design.


• Use compelling images and copy. Banner copywriting is a skill and more time consuming than you may think. It involves distilling a message that is normally conveyed by a paragraph into a few short words or one very short sentence aimed at compelling viewers to click. Choose images carefully – find the most relevant and logical match to the copy possible. Research shows that banners that communicate the benefits of your product/service clearly are most effective at their purpose – getting users to click on them.


• Use new technology wisely. Shifting, blinking and dancing banners are easier to create and view with widespread technological upgrades, but don’t abuse the technology and annoy users. Use them to enhance the impact of your message, not to obliterate it. If you want really useful technological help, take advantage of targeting programs that use ISP tracking to display your ads to users with a high likelihood of interest in your products and services.


• Test for functionality. Be sure that your banner ad operates properly and that it links to the correct landing page. Nothing defeats brand building efforts on the Internet like substandard quality, dead links and non functioning website applications.


Once you’ve created your banner ads, follow these hints for placement.


• Spend time locating the websites where your banner ads will stand out and be most relevant. Smaller sites, with fewer ads but frequented by visitors with a strong interest in a related product or service are good choices. These placements usually cost less, saving you money.


• Don’t avoid websites where text ads dominate – use them to make your banner stand out even more.


• Be sure that your ads are placed on the correct page within a website – the wrong placement risks losing relevance.


• If you don’t have the time to research websites to find the best placement, hire someone, if you can. If you are a small business with a limited budget, focus your cash allotment on placement. A clear, simple and professional design will suffice, for branding purposes you logo can suffice – it is more important initially to be strategically placed and get noticed. You can add flash as your business grows.


• Lower costs by arranging for banner exchanges with complementary online businesses. Other placement options include banner networks that will handle placement for you or affiliate networks that charge on the basis of a completed user action that is specified in the network policy. You can earn extra cash to cover marketing expenses by selling ad space on your website or creating an affiliate network of your own.


Follow this formula and your business will benefit from a powerful brand building strategy using cost effective banner ads.


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