If you are a person who surfs the internet with any regularity, you are likely to be well accustomed to seeing banner advertisements of all sorts and sizes across many websites on the web. The fact they are such a common sight serves to prove that they must surely be an effective form of advertising, or else it is a relatively safe bet they would have disappeared from our screens many years ago, as advertisers flocked towards more effective advertising mediums that delivered a better return on investment.Indeed, banner advertising always has been and remains to be a very core part of most companies online advertising strategies. It is not the only online advertising format however – and the number of which is growing every day – so how are we to know whether banner advertising is right for us or should have a place within our advertising strategy? We must obviously look at the different merits of banners relative to other advertising formats.These days, pay per click (PPC) advertising is one of the most popular online advertising methods, since it generally delivers a very predictable return on investment and is immensely trackable. Advertisers are charged based on the performance of their advertisements, rather than just by how long they are run for or the amount of exposure they receive. Most PPC advertisements are text-based, however, and that means whilst they may be good for advertising product deals and offers and bringing in direct leads, they are less effective by nature at such things as increasing brand awareness.In contrast, banner advertising – being image based – is much more suitable for companies who wish to present their logo with their offer, or in cases where manufacturers may wish to increase brand or product awareness without directly selling a product or service to a customer.Since banners have the ability to leave a more lasting visual imprint of a product, service or brand in the potential customers mind, many advertisers who choose banner advertising for brand awareness rather than direct sales or leads may seek to pay a flat rate for their advertising exposure on certain websites. The price in such cases may be based either on the number of clicks or number of impressions (usually by the thousand). Either way, the cost of advertising in such a way is often much lower than if they were to go the more predictable modern route of choosing text-based pay per click advertising.Banners are often site-wide advertisements as oppose to page-specific. That is to say when an advertiser looks for websites on which to place their advertisements, they will often choose sites on which the overall theme or topic is relevant to their product, service or customer demographic. They will choose to advertise throughout the whole website, allowing them to gain more exposure than if they were to simply have their advertisements display on a single page of a website, as is often the case with text-based pay per click advertisements, which are usually automatically targeted towards keywords within the content of any given page.The fact that banners can be (and often are) very eye-catching and dynamic by nature and usually cheaper than pay per click advertising makes them an ideal advertising format for companies seeking wider and increased exposure, particularly for brand awareness rather than prompting a direct and immediate action from the customer. It is by far the most effective advertising form in terms of delivering results whilst keeping down costs when big advertising campaigns are concerned, or when one is trying to establish brand awareness and credibility over direct, immediate leads.
If you’re writing advertisements for your business follow these 23 principles to ensure you get maximum return for your advertising dollar.These 23 advertising ‘rules’ are based on direct response advertising principles from books like ‘Tested Advertising Methods’ by John Caples and ‘Scientific Advertising’ by Claude Hopkins.1. Have you clearly researched and defined your ideal target market?2. Have you written your advertisement directed solely to your ‘ideal target market’?3. Is the marketing piece being placed/sent/posted where your ideal target market will easily see it?4. Have you calculated how many sales you need to make to make a profit on this advertisement?5. Have you considered any other ways that you can reach your target market that may be more cost effective for you?6. Have you made an offer that’s easy for your reader to understand, and irrisistable for them to refuse?7. Does your headline ‘sing out’ your ‘ideal target market’ so that they know, that your advertisement is written especially for them?8. Does your headline ‘grab’ your ideal target market’s attention and excite them?9. Does your headline offer or describe to your target market a major benefit that’s important to them?10. Have you written your advertisement so that your headline is approximately 5 sizes larger than the body copy font size?11. Does the body copy of your advertisement naturally continue on from what the headline suggests/says?12. Through out the body copy, have you continued on with the benefits suggested in your headline, and described more benefits to your target market of using/owning your product/service?13. Have you focused your writing on what your product/service will do for your target market, rather than just mentioning how good your business is?14. Have you used ‘sub-headings’ above some paragraphs to allow ‘skim readers’ to get the main thrust of your advertisement, just by reading the sub-headings?15. If you have included a picture of a person, is the person (or people) positioned so that their shoulders are facing into the body of the advertisement?16. Have you included a picture that shows the reader what the benefit(s) of buying and using your product/service will be?17. Have you taken the ‘buying risk’ away from your ideal target market by letting people know that they are safe to buy from you by either including a guarantee and/or using testimonials?18. Have you used specifics like 5, 7 and 11 in your copy, rather than using generalizations like large, limited or top quality?19. Have specifically asked your ideal target market to call, buy, or in some way take action to contact you in a hurry?20. Have you included your contact details on your advertisement so it’s clear and easy for readers to contact you, or take action effortlessly?21. Have you communicated with your staff so that they know when, why and how the advertisement is being published?22. Have you trained your staff so that they know how to handle incoming calls, e-mails and shoppers when they contact/visit your business?23. Have you communicated with your staff on how they are to record the results of the advertisement so you can track whether it’s profitable or not?The above 23 points are pretty comprehensive, and will help you make your advertisements comply with sound direct response advertising principles.By following them, you can ensure you’ll be closer to creating profitable advertisements for your small business growth.