Banner Advertising

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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One of the great truths to emerge after the dot-com collapse of 2000 is that banner advertising can be a huge waste of money. The operative word here is "can," as there are some banners that somehow manage to convert users into sales. So what are some advertisers doing properly that others aren't to achieve their impressive sales numbers?

Successful banner advertising campaigns have a few distinguishing traits. For one, they're deployed on high-traffic sites such as portals, directories, and leading destinations. The problem is, there are only so many such destinations on the Web. Even the most well-integrated campaign doesn't stand a chance of returning value if it's set up on an unknown site.

Requirements for Good Banner Advertising

What exactly does "well integrated" mean? For any marketing campaign to work, it must reach the eyeballs of qualified leads, not just passersby on the information superhighway. A flashing banner ad for Viagra, as one example, will likely do little business on a site dedicated to imported home furnishings. Substitute an ad for custom lighting fixtures at discount prices, and you're bound to see an improvement.

Great banner advertising results are also a matter of aesthetics. Banners are, by their very definition, prominent, which is good for grabbing attention, but of little use if that attention isn't held for very long. Every study on internet users' behavior shows that buyers are turned off by obnoxious, aggressive, and deceptive banners that advertise one thing and deliver another. Thus, you want to make sure your banner advertising is subtle, modest, and accurate if you hope to retain your prospects once they've clicked.

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