Planning a Banner Ad Campaign

Banner advertisements can be rather powerful “branding” tools, offering a wonderfully creative means of company marketing. Below is an overview of what it takes to plan a successful banner advertisement campaign, as well as some things to remember whilst putting it together.

1. Planning A Banner Ad Campaign
Banner advertisement campaigns are a fantastic means of branding and generating sales for your business, with incredible potential for a good return on investment (ROI). Planning ahead is thus of utmost importance. Success is the goal in mind and requires much time, patience and effort. Planning is essentially half the work and has the potential to offer exceptional rewards. Below are some factors to consider and steps to take when planning your banner ad campaign.

2. Identifying Your Target Audience & Advertising Objectives
The very first thing to think about is your target audience. Who are they? What message are you intending on conveying to them? What result do you have in mind? What is the demographic, socio economic classification browsing and buying habits of your target audience? By doing this, you are now better able to determine how your business will grow.

Some questions to ask when determining your banner ad campaign objectives include:

  1. Do you intend for your banner ad campaign to be a short or long term marketing effort?
  2. Are you looking to generate leads?
  3. Would you like your banner ad campaign to be the tool that builds long term client relationships?
  4. Are you looking to generate once off sales?

3. Research
Once the picture is clear and you are able to visualise who your target audience is, finding the correct medium to display your banner advertisement will become somewhat easier. Options that are available to you include search engines (Google, MSN and Yahoo etc), directories (Yahoo, Google etc) as well as industry specific websites that suit and cater for your target audience. Doing your homework (research) will enable you to find major portals etc. that match and compliment the nature of your banner ad campaign, and in so doing, locate the perfect place to display your new branding and sales tool.

Things to look out for as you research and browse include:

  1. Do the websites you are browsing already display banners?
  2. Do the banners already on display appear to be generating traffic to that specific website?

4. Choosing A Website
Once research has been exhausted and you are ready to choose the type of website that will best serve your banner ad campaign needs, honing in on your target audience becomes somewhat easier. The options available to you measured up against your specific banner ad will give you the opportunity to choose between a large portal or industry specific website that best suits the needs and requirements of your campaign. The goal is to choose advertising space that ensures you receive the highest possible number of click throughs (CTR).

Things to take into account when making the choice between the two include:

  1. Industry specific websites have the benefit of lower banner purchasing space rates. Industry specific websites may indeed better reach your specific target audience. More research done here will better determine if this type of display area will best accomplish your goals and desired results.
  2. Portal websites have the benefit of a large number of people visiting their site.

5. Banner Representatives (Online Agencies & Effective Professionals)
Once a choice has been made, the next step is to make contact with a banner representative who will be able to provide you with information about the websites that you are interested in purchasing ad space on, as well as expert staff who are qualified to handle your banner ad campaign and design needs, and a rate card (list of prices and placement choices). Your next step is to make contact, set up a meeting and discuss your proposed banner ad campaign, needs and interests.

6. Banner Submissions
Now that the ball is rolling, the very next step is to hone in on the specific details. Most representatives will present you with very detailed banner submission guidelines and regulations regarding what can be featured in your advertisement on their website. Banner ad submission guidelines will cover the following topics:

  • Maximum file size (in K)
  • File formats that are allowed (GIF, animated GIF, HTML, javascript, Flash, Shockwave, applets etc)
  • Design restrictions
  • Dimensions of the banner (in pixels)
  • Banner ad submission deadlines
  • The amount of banners that may be submitted at any one given time for rotation
  • How often banners can be rotated
  • Lead times needed before a banner can be displayed on a specific website
  • The exact layout and placement where the banner will be displayed on a particular website page

7. Rates
Your banner ad campaign needs will determine the type of function your banner needs to serve in order to reach your target audience. Rates and their specific terms can then be analysed and discussed. Questions to ask include:

  • Does your banner ad campaign best reach your target audience with CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CTR (click through rate)?
  • Can a better rate be had if banner ad space is purchased as part of a search function on the website? This may prove better at directly reaching your target audience.
  • Is it perhaps better to purchase banner ad space on a general page?
  • Can banner ad space be bought in bulk for a specific time period at a discounted rate?
  • Can a better rate be had by purchasing a percentage of available impressions on a single page?
  • Are your banner ad campaign needs better met by purchasing an exclusive impression contract?

8. Banner Contracts
It is advisable to ensure that the details of your banner ad campaign are expressed in writing so as to avoid any potential differences or problems. Contracts may offer you a password protected area on the website where your banner is to be displayed, allowing access to a variety of statistics. Alternatively a banner ad campaign representative may offer you the opportunity to receive these statistics via email on a regular basis or through an Ad Manager.

Contracts between yourself and your banner ad campaign representative should expressly state the following:

  • When your banner ads will begin and end their run
  • Whether the ad will be exclusively run (your banner will be the sole advertisement that appears on or part of the page) or rotated with other banner ads
  • Will your banner ad share space with other banners?

9. Banner Statistics & Measuring Results
Part of your banner ad campaign planning involves the effectiveness of your advertisement. The advertisement is ultimately about receiving results and reaping satisfactory results for your business. Most already have in place site statistics software that allows the banner’s effectiveness to be tested. Statistics can be viewed on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. If statistics are being provided, they should be received with a quick turnaround time.

10. Other Things To Remember When Planning A Banner Ad Campaign

  1. The advertisement graphic – this must not only be attractive but draw a customer in. The graphic must suit the overall design tone of the campaign.
  2. Banner ad placement – choose a site that best serves and appeals to your target audience. Traffic flow should also be taken into consideration when choosing where your banner ad will be displayed. Banner ad networks are a reasonably affordable means of displaying your advertisement. Individual website owners usually contract with a single company, handling the sales of an ad. A company’s websites are divided into categories and sub categories allowing for an ad to be advertised where it is best suited and most highly targeted by an audience. Tracking tools are used to provide valuable information regarding the targeted audience and exactly who is viewing the site with the displayed ad. Options include cost per impression (CPM) “pay per click” (CPC) advertising and “pay per sale” or cost per acquisition (CPA).
  3. Professional services – where large budgets are available. It is hugely beneficial to make use of the services of expert advertising agencies or web companies, such as Veritas Prime, who have the benefit of giving you the very best value for your money as well as share their expert experience and knowledge.
  4. Size matters – the size of the banner ad is very important in terms of the type of impact that you would like to make. Veritas Prime offers a comprehensive team of web developers, multimedia designers and marketers with expert skills to create a banner advisement that suits your desires down to a T, as well as assist with sizes and layout.
  5. Banner design – this plays a massive role in determining the appeal of your ad campaign. Copy is as important as imagery and should be carefully arranged. Sometimes designing a separate banner for each product or consumer category best meets your goals offering different graphics, copy and website placement.
  6. Links – linking to the relevant page is vital. Encourage your target audience to click on links that allow them to be lead directly to the specific information pages they are looking for. Chances can be wasted if your target audience has to search for their information that serves their relevant needs. When your target audience clicks on your banner ad, reward them by taking them directly to the very page that provides them with the most relevant information expected.

Planning a banner ad campaign requires a great deal of thought, trials and errors. In this way, an effective branding tool is created taking everything possible into account so as to best reach a target audience and generate successful business strategies. The primary objective of a good banner ad campaign is successful results. To achieve this, comprehensive research, care, consideration, questions and a fantastic team of creative and goal driven minds need to work together closely. Banner ad campaigns can be your very ticket to highly satisfactory business success and therefore need to be the absolute best advertising tool that your money can buy.

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