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Beat the Banner Woes
by Brian Chmielewski
Today's reality of banner advertising is this - for many, they are
becoming less powerful as effective tools to communicate messages. And it
is advertisers without household brand names and publishers with remnant inventory that bear the
brunt of this trend.
So, why do Web users simply tune out banner ads that appear on web sites?
Perhaps publishers are serving up less enticing areas for their
content is improving. Perhaps users have become bored with the 468 by 60
figments that are appended to the forehead of web pages, forcing them to
subconsciously block ads out. Whatever the motivation for this
click-through remission, one thing is certain: advertisers are starting to
take a hard look at the
effectiveness of banners in reaching their Internet audience since they
must now buy double the ad space to draw the same number of potential
customers to their
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
According to a recent ZDNet report, many interactive ad agencies are
advising clients not to buy space based on a publisher's asking price or
even on click-through
rates. Rather, they are counseling clients to bargain for deals in which
they pay the publisher only for the actual customers who get shuttled to
Until recently, banners have won the user's attention and their
click-through with a rigidly static, or at best, multi-framed chassis.
Some say it is a natural tendency for
static banners to have lackluster appeal with users, likening this effect
to a child with a television remote control. Once she learns how to
operate the remote control,
she will surf the channels until more interesting content is found. This
same conscious disregard can be applied to banner ads. There are
noteworthy exceptions. In
the U.S., talk around the office water cooler the day after the Superbowl
involves the game play, final score and television commercials. The score
mentioned in passing and is forgotten after a few week's, but the names of
advertisers who created an appealing advertising masterpiece and their
remains in consumer's memories.
Banners have the ability to capitalize on impulsiveness. Since banners
offer their messages in a very crowded space and compete against other
banners on the Web,
it's tough for your message to break through solely in the banner. Impulse
requires a call to action, and when there is a lot of competition for that
impulse, you need
to differentiate yourself and become involved in banner distribution
arrangements that benefit you most.
For every report of toppling click-through rates, publishers can point to
online marketing successes. Online advertisers such as
Lind-Waldock consistently earn above average click-through rates for their targeted efforts.
They use keyword-triggered banner delivery to target their audience for click-through. By researching
and focusing the delivery of your banners on the most targeted locations for your audience you can
increase its effectiveness.
Another method for leaping the hurdle of the diminishing click-through
rests on the development of more eye-catching banner ads. According to ASI
developer of software for the interactive entertainment market,
interactivity and larger ad sizes increase click-throughs and memory
recall dramatically. Based on the
principle that seeing, hearing and doing increases a user's recall and
level of awareness with your company, highly interactive or rich media
banners have proven
capable in drawing eyeballs to banners and web sites. Placing rich media
ads can be an erratic proposal, since only a minor fraction of sites have
the capability to
carry truly rich multimedia ads and most of them require browser
Place the onus of the banner's targeting and delivery on the publisher.
CPC advertising is the best way to serve banners on
quality networks and get guaranteed visitors to your site. Eliminating the problems associated with
banner burn-out, paying per impression and confirming click-through rates, per-visitor performance
marketing allows you to choose the number of visitors that you want to your site and delivers
Other alternatives include broader site sponsorship tools that integrate
an advertiser's message throughout a site's content or advertising in the
email newsletters of
First published in WebPromote's newsletter.