Introduction to Banner Advertising

CatThe internet’s most popular form of marketing is currently banner advertising, which promotes products, services and even other websites. Below is an introduction to what banner advertising is all about and how it can best benefit your online marketing campaign.

Banner Advertising

What Is Banner Advertising?
A banner is a graphic image that is designed to catch the attention of a targeted audience. Banner advertisements are embedded into a web page and ideally displayed on a high traffic website. When an internet user (a targeted audience) visits a particular website, this form of advertising is present virtually instantaneously as a web page loads.

Banner Advertising Terms

  • Audience – internet users or visitors to a web page that view a displayed banner advertisement.
  • Impression – a single banner viewed by an audience on a particular website.
  • Click – through – the result of a user clicking on a displayed banner advertisement.
  • CTR (click through ratio) – measurement of a banner advertisement’s effectiveness (number of banner views versus the amount of clicks placed on it).
  • Page hits – the number of times a web page (not including images) is accessed by an internet user.
  • Raw hits – the number of times a web page (including images) is accessed by an internet user.
  • Traffic – the number of visitors to a particular website usually determined by the amount of page hits or impressions.

Banner Advertising Uses

  1. Increase website traffic
  2. Increase sales of products and or services
  3. Notify a targeted audience of new products and or services, special deals and discounts
  4. Circulate ideas regarding a specific topic
  5. Create brand awareness (i.e.: get the public to remember your company’s name and products or services)

Banner Advertisement Basics

  • Static banners – these banners remain the same for every internet user and load on each page that is selected. A single banner is displayed by just one advertiser per web page.
  • Rotated banners – these banners change for each and every internet user visiting a website. A different banner is thus advertised to internet users. Here multiple banners can be advertised for every one or a variety of advertisers.
  • .cgi Banner rotation – once an internet user loads a web page, a .cgi script programme can be used for a banner designed for rotation. This programme will determine that a banner has been displayed on a web page and also log the amount of times that it is clicked on by a user. The programme is also set up to allow an internet user to be automatically redirected to a new website (i.e.: the advertising company’s home page).
  • CTR – a CTR is determined by dividing the number of times a banner advertisement is displayed by the amount of clicks it receives by a user.

Banner Advertisement Sizes & Types

Common vs. Medallion Banner Advertisements
Common banner advertisements refer to, currently, the most popular type of online marketing. These banner advertisements are the one’s that can be viewed near the very top of any given webpage. Medallion banner advertisements are a somewhat newer addition in how these marketing tools are displayed on a page. Medallion banner advertisements refer to a column of multiple, smaller banners displayed on the side of a particular website. Medallion banner advertisements are commonly used on web pages that display written articles such as webzines.

Banner advertisements are designed in a variety of different sizes and types. The following are some of the most commonly used:

  • Skyscrapers – the most common size is 120 x 600 pixels. These banner advertisements are usually displayed on the right hand side of a website.
  • Small rectangles – the most common size is 120 x 60 pixels. Display locations vary and these banner advertisements can be placed anywhere on a web page. Placement, however, is crucial and should be carefully selected as these advertisement sizes are very small.
  • Squares – this banner is usually 125 x 125 pixels in size. This size is cost effective and has been noted to provide just enough information to generate click through’s.
  • Large Squares – this banner is usually 250 x 250 pixels in size and is normally displayed underneath a header or amongst the content of a web page.
  • Anchor – this banner size is usually 468 x 60 pixels in size and normally displayed at the very top of a web page. Good quality graphics and content information can be utilised with fantastic results using this type of banner advertisement.
  • Leader board – this banner is one of the largest sizes available (728 x 90 pixels) and is usually displayed above the header of a web page.

How Can Banner Advertising Benefit You?

  • Cost effective – design and implementation costs of a banner advertisement are considerably lower than those of conventional print media or other forms of direct advertising (radio and television)
  • Brand awareness and company image – banner advertising strategically exposes a company’s website or name exactly where it is wanted or intended to receive a desired result or effect. By using a similar look and feel to banner advertisements, companies have the opportunity to reinforce their image to prospective customers. Even without actual sales being made, the public is made aware of a company’s logo, particular announcement (specials, new products or services etc) and image. Reinforcing a company brand and image tends to remain in the minds of a targeted audience with the potential to generate sales at some point or another.
  • Generation of highly qualified sales leads – with every click on a banner advertisement, a company has a strong chance that these internet users are interested in their company, products or services.
  • Tracking – the results of banner advertisements can be tracked (traced) and measured for more effective analysis. The performance of an advertisement can be tracked so as to determine a more precise idea of how successful or not it is with a targeted audience. Tracking thus enables a company to only “put their best foot forward” and advertise banners that generate effective results (i.e.: sales etc), placing the one’s that are not on the scrap heap.

Banner advertisements are a fantastic marketing tool and have great potential to generate rewarding and effective results. Banner advertisements are a colourful way to “interact” and “engage” a particular audience with an advertising company. Using design (colour, graphics and keyword text), as well as clever and well researched display placements, banner advertisements directly involve a targeted audience and entice them to want a product or service. A broader audience is virtually at your fingertips and what better way to achieve rewarding results than with this cost effective means of online marketing.

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