Internet advertising such as banner advertising and other online advertising methods.

Banner Advertising and Other Online Advertising Methods


Online Banner Advertising & Other Advertising Methods

While you've Surfed the Net you have no doubt noticed the large number of banner ads at the top, sides or bottoms of many commercial web sites.  The majority of these banner owners have paid for or established some kind of synergistic (banner exchange) link for their ad placement. 

Two primary categories of banner advertising:
They are: free banner exchanges and paid banner advertising.   A site providing you with a banner can only guarantee that people will see your ad.   They cannot guarantee that anyone will read it or click through to your site. Your chances of getting click-throughs increase when you develop effective banner advertising that motivates people to see your site.  This can be done by offering information or products of value if the viewer clicks on your banner, or by making the banner attractive or animated enough to encourage a person to click on it to find out what it's all about.   Among the 120 million plus people using the web, some are bound to be in the market for your product or service.   The average click through to most web sites is roughly 2 to 5 percent.  Now that's not bad if your banner advertisement is placed on a high traffic site -- say like Yahoo!, Google or Amazon.com.

Banners on Search Engines and Directories:
Let's begin by examining paid banner advertisements. You can advertise your site on search engines and directories which allow you to target specific segments of their large audiences. You can specify that your banner comes up in specific categories, such as Business, Marketing, Travel, Sports, Broadcasting, Manufacturing, Computers, etc.

Popular search engines like Yahoo! (really a directory) or Alta Vista can cost you $20 - $50 on a cost per thousand (CPM) to purchase a minimum number of impressions, usually 100,000.  But, you can get special deals through services which we'll touch on later.   That means a banner ad on Yahoo! would cost you anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000 per month.   That's pretty much comparable to the cost associated with placing an advertisement in a small circulation trade publication.

When you pay for more impressions you can expect a lower CPM of $20 to $25, and even less if you make a long-term commitment. You will pay double $40 to $100 plus CPM for highly specific (targeted) categories such as "cruises," or "television."   While certainly more expensive, getting  more targeted audiences to see your ad may well be worth the price you'll pay.

Using High Traffic Web Sites or Specific Audience Web Sites:
If you run your banner on a high traffic commercial web site like cable televisions CNN web site, you will pay $15 - $35 CPM.  With CNN, you'll get a broader, but not targeted audience.  If you advertise on sites for specific audiences, you will pay $35 - $85 CPM.  For example if you are a Travel Company you might consider advertising on www.amazon.com (a successful online book store) on their Travel Books pages.   If your site is about computers with national or regional outlets, it might be advisable to advertise on PC Week Magazine's online web site at www.zdnet.com/pcweek (belonging to Ziff-Davis publishing).

Free Link Exchanges:
When you find a site with content related to your site, you can e-mail the webmaster of the site and politely ask if he would be willing to create a reciprocal link with your site. This is a slow and ongoing process, but the time spent can prove very worthwhile.

A number of services, where membership is usually free, allow you to set up link exchanges between your site and others with similar or related content.   You should investigate: www.LinkExchange.com - one of the oldest link exchange services on the World Wide Web.  It also allows members to buy small quantity ads, like $100 for 1,000 CPM, on Yahoo!.  It has a relatively large and growing number of members and displays over 3 million banners daily.
There's also www.click.trade.com which allows you to reward other sites linking to you,   www.smartclicks.com which offers free targeted banner ads as well as click trades, and.
www.bannerswap.com a free service that gives you credits for click throughs generated on your site. That should encourage members to give better placement to the banners so they will be more effective.

There are also a number of other ways to advertise your site online. These include:

Custom Sponsored Editorial Content:
Although the lines between content and advertising kind of become a bit hazy, some sites may permit you to take sponsorship of a web site segment.  For example: www.netmechanic.com
  might allow an auto repair shop to sponsor a tutorial on tune-ups on its site.

Sponsored Chat Rooms:
A food processing manufacturer might sponsor a chat room on cooking, recipes, or restaurant site.

Newsletter Sponsorship
Newsletters are targeted at very specific and generally loyal audiences and provide one of the most inexpensive advertising buys on the web.  Rates can be as low as $15 per ad.

If you are new to the web you would be wise to align yourself with a knowledgeable independent advertising agency who is specializing in internet advertising.  Because even if you find the right spot for your ad you still need the right message presented in the right way for the audience. The agency will know what works, what doesn't, how to get the best deals and how to create the most effective ads. The fee you pay them is likely to be saved many times over.

Regardless of the combination of the methods you choose to promote your web site, whatever your budget, your site will be lost in space until you create an effective campaign to bring traffic in your direction.  Of course, traditional offline media are also an effective method for letting people know about your web site, whether you are targeting locally, regionally, nationally, or even on internationally.  A visit to our Getting Noticed - Parts I & II pages will give you a lot of information about traditional and other media. 


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