How to Advertise Online

If you’re planning to advertise on local websites — such as newspaper, TV, and radio station web sites — consider these hints to maximize your investment.

Research your local website advertising options.
Identify the local websites your most important customers use, or are likely to use. Before making the purchase, ask for web analytics that indicate the pages of the site your target customers visit most, and the times of day when they visit the website most frequently.

Have a clear goal in mind and make sure your ad reflects that.
What do what you want your target audience to do? What is the call to action? You don’t just want increased traffic for your website; you probably want increased sales, or donations, or another action of some sort. Make sure you focus on that goal in your advertising language, images, and links, and make it easy for the person to follow through.

Skip monthly ad purchase arrangements.
Plan to purchase a number of impressions in advance, for example, 10,000 impressions. With this type of arrangement, the website will feature your ad periodically over a set schedule, and the web site publisher is accountable for delivering the number of impressions for which you have paid. What is a monthly spot worth if no one visits that page/site? This system encourages web site publishers to create an interesting and engaging site that your customers will visit frequently (and see your ad repeatedly!)

Frequency works best.
Banner advertising is most effective when it is used in several websites (possibly in several places within a website) and in several sizes. One banner ad on one website probably isn’t enough to reach a market.

Link intelligently.
Use landing pages instead of home pages. Banner ads typically hyperlink to a specific page on the website. It might not make the most sense to send them to your organization’s introductory homepage. Instead, have the banner ad link to a “landing page” that relates to the content or call to action of the banner ad. It’s never a good idea to make people hunt for your message.

Grab attention with flash and video.
Static banners are history. Consumers expect to see the kind of movement and interactivity of a video clip or a moving rich media banner in online advertising. The result is higher click-through rates.

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on June 1, 2009, in Advertising Tips. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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