Banner advertising is one of the more established forms of promotion on the internet, having originated in the early 1990s as the first revenue driver for search engines. But as the internet has grown, banner advertising has evolved into a dynamic, interactive and effective means of promotion that is specifically tailored to exploit the rich media features of the World Wide Web.
For a fraction of the cost of TVCs and other video promotion, you can create animated or live-action banner ads, have them pop-up, run the length of the page, or sit at the top. In fact, how advertisers use banner ads is limited only by their imagination. Additionally, you can now create banner ads specifically for mobile devices and mobile websites.
Because the Internet is populated with sites specialising in just about everything, banner advertising allows you to place your ad on sites that directly relate to the type of service or product you provide.
For instance, if you're a plumber you might run a banner advertising campaign on a home renovations site. Or if you sell funny T-shirts you might place ads on youth culture sites. The general rule is to keep your placements to sites that focus on a similar niche to yours, without being a direct competitor.
The trick to effective banner advertising is educated test and measure. While a suck-it-and-see approach isn't usually advised with expensive traditional media campaigns, banner advertising campaigns allow such flexibility on account of their low placement costs and near real-time measurability.
Being able to track which ads and placements are producing the best results and directing the most meaningful traffic to your site is what makes banner advertising a key tool in your overall online marketing strategy. But be warned, an ill-conceived banner advertising strategy can end up costing far more that you imagined, for little result.
The cost of banner adverting campaign starts from around $40 per thousand clicks of your ad, and depending on the popularity of the host site, the price rises from there.
While banner advertising at $40 per thousand clicks is cheap, a campaign with a site like Ninemsn, for instance, can quickly blow-out when you start talking click-through figures north of 100,000. That's why it's vital that your banner advertising strategy is couched within your overall online marketing campaign to ensure there's an over-arching strategy governing where, why and at what cost you're placing banner ads.
Like traditional media, the key to banner advertising is selective targeting of your audience, engaging creative, close monitoring of results and quick reaction to the results you're seeing.
Banner advertising offers flexibility, use it. Don't run an ad for 7 days costing $20,000 if you're not seeing direct, measurable results. Watch the trends closely and change your ad if need be, or suspend your campaign, regroup and try again. The key is to modify your approach to find what works - then mine it for all you can.