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Small Business Resources > Marketing > Banner Ads

Banner Ads

Banner Advertising has become a very popular means of marketing on the Internet over the last few years and that popularity doesn’t seem to be waning (although prices have reduced significantly over recent years). In fact, you can rarely visit a Web site on the Internet which doesn’t have some kind of banner on several of it’s pages.

If you are unsure what a banner advert looks like, take a quick look at any search engine, say alta vista and you will come across one or two banner ads. They are usually about 6" x 1" in size and incorporate moving text, or display an intriguing message the purpose of which is to interest you enough to stop whatever it is you’re doing, and visit the advertised site by clicking on the banner.

Banner advertising can be extremely effective, though as you would expect very expensive if you want to advertise on a search engine’s home page. However, saying that, to put together an effective banner advertising campaign, one doesn’t need to spend a fortune.

So what makes for an effective banner campaign? Well you need to consider two key factors:
  • Strategic placement
  • Banner copy
Obviously strategic placement is dependent upon one component ... just who are you trying to reach? What’s your target market? Once you know this, you should spend a little time searching the Web for related sites. Search for all those Web sites which cover the same, or connected, subject-matter to that of your businesses products/services.

You could also try checking out the following site which helps to target your banner placements:

You’ll find that most established sites carry at least a handful of banner ads throughout their pages and are actively seeking more (it’s a good source of advertising revenue after all). What you really want to know from the site owners however is the amount of traffic they receive (i.e. how many visitors they attract daily/weekly to their site) and if they charge a basic fee to host your banner for a set period. Or if they operate what’s termed as a click-thru system. This is where you are charged so much for every user that clicks on your banner and thus takes them through to your site.

Once you’ve located a suitable number of Web sites and are happy with the advertising charge, the next most important step is to make sure your banner copy is good. Remember, users browsing the Web will only see your banner as they scan through the Web site looking for the information they accessed that page for. So your banner has to grab their attention as they browse and be captivating enough to make them click through to your Web site.

You need to sit down and ask yourself what your Web site is all about. Why should an Internet user visit your site? What’s the benefit to them? What are you offering them? How can you motivate them to take immediate action (i.e. stop their surfing and visit your Web site)?

But above all remember that a Banner is basically just another type of advert, so the fundamental advertising copy rules should be applied. For instance, the most powerful word you can use on a banner, as with most advertising copy, is Free. That said, there are a couple of rules which only apply to banner advertising, viz:

Banners which incorporate some form of animation will gain more attention than those that don’t. Obviously, if you’ve got something flashing, rotating or jumping up and down in the banner, it’s going to get noticed.

Your banner should be no bigger than 10-15 K

Always incorporate the words Click Here, or Click Here Now. In fact, you could make these words your animation. You do this because sometimes it’s not always immediately obvious to a person browsing through a Web page that they should click on that banner. If you don’t tell them to, you will lose a lot of potential prospects.

Once you have gained experience marketing online and have a sufficient flow of traffic, you may want to consider creating your own banners, or to accept banners on your own Web site as a means of generating advertising revenue. Here’s a couple of useful links to check out when the time comes:

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