16 September 2013, by A. Cedilla
Continuing from last week’s initial introduction to banner ads, there are advanced types of banners that you probably have already encountered on the internet. These ads provide more visual interest to viewers because they present their information differently from the simpler ads we mentioned before.
Expanding banners resemble normal banner ads, but expand when you mouse-over or click on them, instead of immediately redirecting you to a target webpage. They usually have the message “Click to Expand,” and then the visitor exposes more information about the product or service, much like the “click for more” message that drops down more information on webpages. Some variations of these ads have e-commerce capabilities built in, allowing visitors to order products within and from the banner itself, without ever going to the banner owner’s website.
Flash, Shockwave and Java ads lets you use rich media in your advertising. With these ads you can use animation and sounds into your banners.
Take note that while Java-based banners have more features, they also take longer to download, running the risk of truncated views from impatient visitors. Flash is meant for speedier loading time for websites, animations and ads to make faster-loading websites, online animation, and advertising, so when you want to put rich media into your banners, you may want to go more with Flash or Shockwave for faster visitor viewing.
Drop-down menu banners are banner ads that have embedded HTML function. Viewers mouse-over selected links and the menu drops down, cascading into sub-menus that are visible in a glance. These banners are a time and labor saving help with in-site navigation, aiding visitors to zero in on their target webpage easily.
Floating ads and DHTML ads ‘materialize’ into place when you first visit a Web page, appearing like a darkened panel hovering over the target page with a special offer or request for information until the visitor clicks to close it. Until that moment however, the visitor still has enough time to look at the ad in its entirety, thus still letting the website’s brand and offerings register.
Interstitial ads are ad that pop up in another window while the page is loading. Because they appear in a separate window, these ads can support streaming media like videos, applets, and larger graphics to take advantage of the ‘space’ (a complete window to itself.)
Unicast ads basically act like TV commercials, but on the internet. They play in a pop-up or pop-under window, with video or animation and sound. Unlike TV commercials, viewers can click on the ad to get more information, or go directly to the product owner’s website.
Since these ads have become increasingly common,it’s a question of making sure that you place them where they have the most impact, i.e get the most click-throughs. As mentioned in the previous article, high-traffic sites in your specific niche are prime ‘real-estate’ for ads, so it’s up to you to research the best location to reach your advertising goals.
Content sites like blogs and niche-specific websites (example, cooking, arts and crafts, sewing) are like watering holes for your target market. Your demographic would be more likely to visit sites like these and if you want to catch their attention, buying ad space on these sites is an effective way of getting it.
Prices for ad space vary, banner ads being sold based on the number of click-throughs (clicking the ad and getting to the advertiser’s website) or impressions (viewing). When ad space is charged per impression, usually the site owners guarantee that your ad will be seen by a certain percentage of people (their visitors). A popular website will usually have a regular readerships and followers, so it can count on having at least a certain number of people visiting the site daily (daily traffic), and they can charge according to those numbers. It’s on the site owner’s shoulders to ensure the traffic on the site is consistent so the advertiser will get his money’s worth.
When ad space is charged per click-through, it’s the advertiser’s responsibility to come up with an ad that gets visitors to click on it. More sites charge per impression than those which charge per click-through. The benefit to per click-through is that you don’t have to pay for people who only saw the banner (impression) but didn’t click-through. Websites that don’t see high volume traffic usually just charge flat rates for a specific time period.
If you’re planning on buying banner ads, you have to consider the following:
- How good a fit is it between your target demographic and the viewers/visitors of the site you want to advertise on?
- How many sites are you thinking of advertising on? How many can you use to reach your target viewership?
- What specific banners sizes are allowed? Usually, the bigger space the banner takes up, the more it costs.
- How many other banners will share the space with yours? Link prime ‘real estate’ and exclusivity — the more competition you have for impressions, the lower you should pay. If your ad dominates the page, the more you pay.
- How does the site rotate the banners advertising on their sites? Well-run sites also want to maximize their profits from selling advertising space, and they can set it up to show the best banners to fit their visitor profile (targeting). That way they can charge more.
- Are there sliding rates? What are the other competitor sites charging for space on their sites?
As you have learned by now, picking and using specific types of banner ads is not as simple as it seems. It’s not just coming up with with an attractive set of banners in various colors or sizes with your top three taglines, or going for the best price. It’s also having a clear picture of what you want from your ads, and laying the groundwork to make it happen. Music and animation are the bells and whistles — you have to make sure that what you’re doing with your advertizing is having a positive effect on your bottom line, and we hope that this information will help you make good advertising decisions for your business.
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