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Display Advertising: 3 Highly Effective (Yet Often Overlooked) Places to Show Ads

Posted May 30, 2013 by fran @ 3:57 pm

You know how people say that timing is everything? Well in display ads, positioning can be everything as well. People have become so accustomed to seeing ads at the usual places (i.e. sidebars, top of the page, etc.) that they hardly even notice them anymore.

Whether you’re an advertiser frustrated with people simply glazing over your ads, or a publisher looking for more dynamic advert placements, below are a few highly effective (yet often overlooked) locations where you can display ads.

Checkout pages – Shoppers always pay close attention to an online store’s checkout page because it usually contains important information such as shipping info, confirmation numbers, and the like. That’s why displaying relevant ads on these pages is a great tactic to get users to view and click through them. Use the checkout page to suggest products related to what the customer just bought. Doing so will increase clicks and conversion rates.

Thank you pages – Thank you / confirmation pages that show up right after a user submits a form also serve as great locations for your ads. Like checkout pages, users who arrive at thank you pages are more inclined to look at and read ads. Additionally, since they obvious just completed a specific call to action, these users are more engaged than your average visitor. Take advantage of that engagement and serve up your ads when they count. (Note: Be sure that the ads are relevant to what they signed up for to maximize clicks and conversions.)

Emails – Why are users more inclined to click on ads that they see via email? Simple. It’s because they’ve already subscribe to the emails that land in their inbox, and they’re most likely interested in the content of those messages. And the fact that they actually OPENED the email further validates this. Make users’ interest work for you by selecting ads that are related to the content of the message. Doing so can tremendously boost your CTRs and conversions.

Remember: It’s not always a question of “where”. HOW you display ads is equally (if not more) important.

While location, location, location  is really important in display advertising remember that manner of how the ads are served up also matters a great deal. Let’s say you don’t have the option to place your ads in the above-mentioned locations and you’re stuck with the traditional ad spaces like the sidebar.

You can still grab user attention and get those clicks and conversions by implementing these two things:

Behavioral targeting – Serving up ads at the most optimal time and environment based on users’ browsing history, location, previous searches, online behavior on more.

Remarketing – If people leave an online store without buying anything, you can implement Remarketing to bring those users back. The Remarketing technology will then serve up your ads even when users are browsing other sites (i.e. checking their mail, reading blogs, etc.)

Quick tip: Supercharge your Remarketing ads by implementing Cross-Channel Remarketing which enables the system to display ads across multiple platforms and channels, including mobile, social media, search, apps, and more.

Image credit:  pasukaru76 on Flickr

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3 Reasons Why People Aren’t Clicking Your Ads

Posted May 15, 2013 by fran @ 3:12 pm

So you’ve designed the perfect ads for your awesome product and you can’t wait for people to start noticing them. You set up your online advertising campaign, launch it, then…. crickets. Your ads are live, but for some reason people just aren’t clicking them.

Sound familiar? If your ads aren’t performing and you’re stuck wondering what’s up with your abysmal CTRs, you may want to back track and see if you’re committing any of the following mistakes:

They’re vague

Your ad copy should concisely answer the following questions: a) Who is this ad for?; and b) What should people do when they see the ad?

Those questions seem pretty basic, but you’d be surprised at the number of companies that get this wrong. Let’s break them down, shall we?

a. Who is this ad for? – In other words, who is your target audience? Who are your customers?  If they see the ad, will they immediately know that it’s meant for them? A huge mistake that businesses make in this aspect is trying to appeal to everyone. They use broad ad copy to try to accommodate every single user. The result? Poor ad performance. Remember, if you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.

Write your ad with a specific target audience in mind. Zero in on the demographic and sociographic of your ideal customers and gear your ads towards them and ONLY them.

b. What should people do when they see the ad? – Make sure that you have a clear call to action on your ads. Spell out what you want people to do. Do you want them to sign up? Download a free e-book? Call you?

Whatever it is, be straightforward and unequivocal about it.

They don’t answer the most important customer question: What’s in it for me?

You have a great product and you want to showcase just how awesome it is. We get it. The question is, will your users get it as well?

While it may be tempting to brag about the awards that your product has won or the cutting-edge features it has, it may not be a good idea to populate your ads with these things alone.

Try to focus on the benefits that your product provides rather than its features. The latter tends to resonate more with people.

For instance, if you’re selling a phone with a 100 mega-pixel camera, the sophisticated camera would be the FEATURE, while the BENEFIT would be the fact that users will be able to take better, high-quality photos that they can post on Instagram or Facebook.

Features merely showcases what the product does, but the benefits show what it DOES FOR USERS. They answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”

Take note: Features TELL, but benefits SELL.

The offer isn’t compelling enough

Sometimes you need to offer a little extra something in order to really stand out.

For example, if you’re putting up ads to get people to sign up to your newsletter, give away a free eBook or report to incentivize them even more. Want to get the word out about that sale you’re having? Offer a coupon right on the ad itself to really get people to click through your site.

In this day and age, everyone is competing for consumers’ attention, so you need to find a way to offer real value to your customers in order to get them to listen to you instead of your competitors.

Image credit: StockMonkeys.com on Flickr

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Another Point to Internet Adverting: Research Shows that Online Video Has Higher Impact Compared to TV

Posted May 2, 2013 by fran @ 9:58 am

An infographic released by Adweek earlier this week showed that online video ads are stronger than ever. The number of people in the US watching videos online has grown to 58% this year, compared to just 38% in 2008. The number of Internet users watching digital video is following the same trend, and has gone up from 56% in 2008 to 75% in 2013.

Compared to TV ads, online video has delivered higher numbers in terms of message recall, general recall, brand recall, and ad likeability which could indicate that online ads are more memorable than TV commercials.

To see all the stats and get the full details, be sure to check out the infographic at the bottom of this post.

Not using video ads yet? It’s high time that you do!

If you aren’t using online video yet, then you could be missing out on tons of traffic and branding opportunities. Internet video ads have a much wider reach now compared to just a few years ago, so getting in front of your target audience is easier than ever. Additionally, since online video has a higher impact compared to its television counterpart, you’ll have better chances of making an impression on customers using this medium.

Two ways to take advantage of online video:

1. Pre-roll ads – These are ads that are played at the beginning of online videos. They’re a good way to reach people who are already engaged and when paired with relevant content, they can significantly boost brand recall.

A best practice in pre-roll video advertising is to include a skip button if you have a lengthy ad. You don’t want to annoy users by forcing them to sit through a long video. Doing so can do more harm than good and cause viewers to see you in a negative light. If your video runs for more than 30 seconds, be sensitive to the time of users and just give them the skip option.

You can work on work on minimizing skips by creating an entertaining ad that will keep people watching. Also make sure to put important messages at the beginning of the video. According to AdWeek, “on average, people streaming video watch ads for 20 seconds with and average completion rate of 87%” so you may want to take that into consideration when timing your ad.

2. FooterRoll Ads – FooterRoll appears as a horizontal bar at the bottom of the browser window and is used to play videos on regular publisher sites. It’s a unique ad unit that always shows up above the fold so viewers can’t help but notice it. The FooterRoll toolbar also contains links and social media buttons so it’s more interactive.

Best practices for using FooterRoll include adding a skip button as well as allowing users to minimize the videos. You want to get people to notice your ads, but not at the expense of their browsing experience.

 

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