Implementing an effective banner advertising campaign
Media planning for advertising follows media popularity rankings. As the web becomes the preferred media for an increasing number of your targeted audience, web/banner ads become more important. Besides their numerous technical and creative advantages makes them a smart choice too.
Analysis of web traffic reports allows marketers to develop an accurate profile of their target audience and the keyword popularity reports enable copywriting decisions to be more focused. As the web visitor is generally spoilt for choice, banner advertisements need to follow the ’10 seconds approach’ followed in designing outdoor hoardings. You need to convey the targeted message which conveys business/offering USP linked to the prevailing needs of the target audience, in ‘less than 10 seconds’. Crisp yet compelling messaging wins here.
As banner ads give you the freedom to make reading interactive, you can add some interesting (but linked to the overall ‘theme’/’big idea’ of the ad) gimmickry which motivates people to click and go to a selected webpage on your site. On this webpage (often called ’landing page’) you can up-sell/cross-sell offerings to the ‘hooked’ web visitor.
You need to study ‘heat maps’ (or those parts of the web page which attract maximum traffic) to help in deciding the best web page location for the ad. Additionally you need to advertise in those sections/channels of the online media which attract visitors who would be interested in your offerings e.g. tutorial services ad in the Education news section of an online newspaper.
As the attention span of web visitors is pretty short, you need to provide refreshing options of your banner ads to keep them ‘hooked’ consistently (repeat viewer-ship). Ideally you should use multiple creative options to convey different messages and the track which option attracted the maximum click throughs.
Unlike offline advertisements, banner ads allow marketers to induce higher viewer-ship by offering ‘instant gifts’ in the form online contest awards or online shopping coupons for some desired action (filling up a form/ referring friends who need to subscribe to the service). Banner ads thus allow marketers to generate value and then share it with prospects and/or customers.
However as the banner ads are available globally, its copy, visuals and technology (e.g. flash) should be optimised for varied cultural sensitivities, legalities and bandwidth: sensationalism should clearly be avoided.
Unique Rich Media Banner ads
A picture is worth a thousand words and a moving picture worth a million words! No wonder movies are more popular with more people than novels. Streaming media technology enables marketers to deploy banners advertisements with television video quality. These rich media advertisements are highly popular and effective brand positioning vehicles. Unlike the TV, these ‘movie ads’ on the web can be replayed at will and saved to your hard disk for future use too. For example a tourism advertisement using rich media can play stunning wildlife footage as part of advertisements which you can ‘re-use’ to teach school students on natural habitat of animals. Internet rich media ads can be smartly ‘pre-programmed’ to play different move ads for different sets of web visitors. So the same tourism ad can show details of airline connectivity to international viewers while it can focus on natural beauty to local/national visitors. The web is a hip and happy medium that people enjoy to visit. Rich media ads ride on this ‘web-enthusiasm’ and also make it user friendly for viewers (replay/skip functions). This makes rich media banner advertising campaigns not only ‘adorable’ but adaptive and smart too as people can click on available links to go to your website for additional information/interaction.
Boosting Click Through Rates
Banner advertisements’ copy and its images should merge with the styling of the chosen web media. Because of the multiplicity of content, smart banner ads with copy that merges with surrounding web page copy improve click through rates. If your banner ads can provide solutions connected with the main theme of the web page, you will consistently boost click throughs. For example if you are a wealth management firm, you could place investment plan ads on stock advice or even tax planning web pages. Providing a web chat icon on banner ads is a smart way of pulling in more clicks as people like the facility of instant answers to their queries. Plus web chat makes banner ads an interactive provider of value rather than simply displaying static information. Media selection for banner advertisements should also take into account the brand positioning of the chosen media e.g. business web-publications have formal styling so your banner advertisements should not have informal images and copy.
Customer friendly options
Web technology has the power to make advertisements go beyond mere informing. They can be powerful comparative decision enablers too. For example automobile advertisements or even cosmetic banner advertisements can be made more useful by giving readers the ability to check out the different color options. Innovative alternatives to web advertisements are worth exploring for enhancing their overall customer appeal. Powerful offline media also have popular web media properties too. Innovative alternatives to purely web advertisements could include a unique combination of offline – online media advertisements to effectively leverage their synergies. This helps the media as well as prospective customers too. For example advertisements in the popular offline media could be used as appetisers for the main banner advertisements in the online publication or vice versa.