Internet Advertising Types
- Establish a Clear Objective
- Refine Your Message
- Optimize Your Web Site
- Harness the Internet's Interactive Capabilities
- Establish a Clear Objective
As with any marketing communications effort, your presence on Grand Forks Herald needs to be driven by a set of advertising objectives. Ask yourself what you are trying to do:
- Build brand loyalty?
- Generate sales?
- Increase traffic?
- Improve customer convenience?
- Refine Your Advertising Message
Make sure your message gets noticed among the other ads on Duluth News Tribune online. The best way to do this is to keep in mind the basic principles of online advertising.
- Make your message simple to see, simple to read, and enticing. People visit Grand Forks Herald online to get information, research, and find out what's happening. Encourage them to look at your ad
- On your ad, stay within a five to seven word limit. Keep the message short and easy to grasp. As visitors surf through Duluth News Tribune online, your ad needs to quickly grab their attention and entice them to learn more.
- Use your banner ad and its text to drive visitors to your Web site.
You cannot tell your whole story in a two-and-a-half-inch box, but you
can use it to attract visitors to your Web site where you can tell them
your whole story.
- Optimize Your Web Site
When many of us think about how we want to show our marketing message, we start by visualizing the size of a piece of paper about 8 1/2" by 11". Unfortunately, the computer screen with an Internet browser allows you about one-half to one-third of that amount of space even though you can scroll down a Web page.
Here are some tips to consider:
- Keep pages simple and easy to load. Don't clutter with too much information or too many graphics.
- Break up text into narrow columns and short paragraphs to make written content easy to read.
- Use hyperlinks to streamline navigation within your site and lead visitors to the most important information.
- Structure the page order of your site so the hierarchy of information and the flow of content make sense.
- Update your Web site regularly as key information about your business changes. Let visitors know you've got new information (through your ad) to keep them coming back.
- Choose a design that accommodates changes quickly and easily, mainly
by using graphics sparingly.
- Take Advantage of the Internet's Interactive
Your ability to make Grand Forks Herald online advertising work for you is only limited by your imagination. More is expected in an online ad than a print ad. Here are just a few things you might try by linking directly to your own Web site.
- Take reservations by directing customers to an 800 number or an e-mail address, or by giving them a printable fax form.
- Take meal orders for pickup or delivery via phone, e-mail, or fax.
- Keep patrons up to date on upcoming shows and special events with a regularly updated billboard on your Web site.
- Use a coupon or special offer in your Web site to encourage customer traffic and sales.
- Survey your customers about their preferences and encourage them to respond to you by e-mail.
- Use your Grand Forks Herald online ad and site performance data to track results and evaluate your marketing efforts.
- Test different promotional offers on Duluth News Tribune online before rolling them out in other mediums.
- Graphical (banners, flash, etc.)
- File size is important. Smaller files load faster, and that's always better. You can shrink a banner's file size without changing its appearance by using one of the many utilities made for that purpose. Adobe's Image Ready, Macromedia's Fireworks and JASC Software's PaintShopPro all have filters that reduce file size while maintaining image quality.
- Do not use a "Click Here" message on your banner. The purpose of online advertisement is to create brand awareness. It is this Brand Awareness that will generate traffic and business.
- Static banners have a lower visibility than a good text link.
- Static banners have a smaller file size than animated banners. That makes them load faster and that is more important than a higher click through ratio.
The purpose of animation is two-fold.
- To attract the eye. For that it only needs a "wiggle" of animation, which is often enough to increase the Brand Awareness by 5-10%.
- To allow more "space" for additional text or images. Two layers give you twice the space.
- Animation should not be too powerful; you just want to attract the eye, not make it hard to look at. If words blink they should blink slowly. Give the surfer enough time to actually read the words.
- Make it easy to look at. When a surfer scans a banner he will look at the images, then the text. While he is looking at images you want to let him see them all without moving the eye. If he is interested in your images he will switch to "reading mode." Now you want to give him all the text, again without needing to move the eye. So you put the images one on top of the other, and all the text in the same place, too.
- Be creative. These are general rules, but you can be creative, too. For instance, it is often effective to put a long or complex message in multiple layers, without changing the position. This can give some continuity to the banner and allow people the "visual stability" needed to read the long or complex message. A message such as "Make your Caribbean vacation plans with us and we'll pay for your meals all week." would need to use this method, perhaps in smaller text along the bottom of a banner. Capture the important ideas in simple phrases and the above example becomes two frames: " Reserve Your Caribbean Vacation With Us" and "Get Free Meals All Week!"
You want to track the 'page impressions' of banners. An ads Page impression is the number of times the ad is loaded on to a page. A high number of page impressions will strengthen Brand awareness which will lead to more traffic to your business or enterprise. The software necessary to do this is included with the purchase of an Grand Forks Herald banner ad.
Banners have limited lifespans. Surfers stop responding to a banner after they've seen it twice. This requires that you constantly replace your old banners with new ones. If you don't know how to make your own banners, be sure to factor the cost of new banner design into your monthly expenses.
If you care about your search engine rankings you'll want your inbound links to be text links. Text links that contain your keywords are the best way to increase your link popularity, a critical aspect of search engine optimization.
Another important factor: Some surfers have become "banner blind" and they respond to text links at least as well as most graphical links.