Advertising on Web

Advertising on the Web

by Doubleclick,

The following are some basic dos and don’ts for banner ads on the web that have been developed by Doubleclick, a leading Internet Web ad vendor / agency.

Lesson 1: Target, Target, Target

In traditional advertising, you want your message to be seen by your target audience. You try to select the medium which attracts the audience most similar to the one you are trying to reach. But, you don’t know for sure exactly who is viewing your ad. The Web however, offers the ultimate in accountability. By utilizing the Web’s ability to target, you can recognize and reach only your target audience. You can deliver your message to specific industries, include or exclude specific geographic regions or cities, target by user interest and even control frequency. This eliminates waste and makes your campaign more effective. Taking advantage of the Web’s ability to deliver highly targeted audiences will create the one-to one relationships which will extend and build your brand.

Lesson 2: Pose Questions

Don’t just make statements or show pretty pictures. Use questions (“Looking for free software?”, “Have you seen?”). They initiate an interaction with the banner by acting as a teaser. They entice people to click on your banner. More importantly, they can raise click-through by 16% over average.

Lesson 3: Bright Colors

Colors effect the eye differently. Using bright colors can help attract a user’s eye, contributing to higher response rates. Research has shown that blue, green and yellow work best, while white, red, and black are less effective.

Lesson 4: Home is Not Always Sweet

All Web pages are not created equal when it comes to eliciting consumer responsiveness. While the home page often performs very well, a site may have other pages which outperform it. This can vary by advertiser. Certain pages can deliver a more targeted audience than others. By carefully analyzing these pages, you can increase your response by placing your banner on a page which better attracts your target audience.

Lesson 5: Location, Location, Location

According to research, banners that appear when a page first loads are more likely to be clicked on. Negotiate ad placement on the top of page when buying space. The best possible scenario is having banners placed both on the top and on the bonom of a page.

Lesson 6: Use Animation

Animation can help you catch a user’s eye. Strategic use of movement grabs attention more effectively than static banners. Using simple Java or gif animation can increase response rates by 25%.

Lesson 7: Use Cryptic Messages

What did that ad say? What did that mean? Cryptic ad banners can help involve a user in the message. Because the “sponsor” of the message is not revealed, cryptic messages can be very intriguing. But there is a downside. Branding is forfeited on the ad. This may not be an issue if branding is not your main objective. Cryptic messages typically increase click-through 18%.

Lesson 8: Call to Action

As in traditional direct response, telling consumers what to do helps raise response rates. Simple phrases such as “Click Here”, “Visit Now” and “Enter Here” tend to improve response rates by 15%. These phrases should be strategically placed in the ad, preferably on the right side. This is where the eye will be drawn.”

Lesson 9: Avoid Banner Burnout

After what number of targeted impressions does click-through rate sign)ficantly drop off? After how many impressions do people start ignoring your banner? Our study concluded that there indeed is a “sweet spot” for user response. After the fourth impression, average response rates dropped to under 1%. We call this banner burnout, the point at which a banner stops delivering a good Return on Investment. These findings are incredibly significant. Controlling your frequency extends your reach and maximizes your ad dollar.

Lesson 10: Measure Beyond the Click

Click-through is not always the best measurement of campaign effectiveness. It depends on your objectives. If you are simply trying to drive traffic, the click-through is great. If you are trying to gather leads, the best measurement is the number of people who clicked through and filled out a lead form. 3% click through and 80% lead furfillment is better than 10% click-through and 20% furfillment.

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