The word online advertising is mentioned, the first thing that anyone thinks of is banner ads. However, banner ads are not the only form of online advertising by any means. This section will explore the different forms of online advertising and their uses. It is important to note that although there are numerous ways to advertise online, not all of them will suit the needs of all websites. Choosing the right method for your site is dependent on your GOPST analysis, as only a few types will help with your Plans and Strategies.
Some of the more popular means to advertise online are:
1. Pay per Click/Pay Per Sale: Advertisers often develop deals with search engines or affiliate sites where they pay a predetermined amount for each click-through that is forwarded to them from the third party’s site. This practice is known as Pay Per Click advertising and it is useful in increasing traffic for the advertiser’s sites. However, this method does not guarantee any increases in sales since the potential customers might just click through and move on.
Pay Per Sale on the other hand links the advertising costs to future.
2. Search Engine Order: Just as mentioned in the Search Engine Order (SEO) ranking section, Proactive and Paid submission of the advertiser’s site to the Search engine acts as another advertising method. Increasing your SEO ranking not only increases traffic to your site but acts as a means of advertising your brand. Often advertisers not only pay for the SEO submission fees but also for the services of SEO consultants in the hopes of taking advantage of this powerful tool. (For more details visit the SEO section)
3. Banner Advertising: horizontal bars placed at the top of a web page linking to the advertiser’s site. Banner ads usually have a lot of colour, graphics, animation and some statistics as they are used to promote, persuade and remind customers. Banner ads are by far the most popular means of online advertising, although it has been argued that banner ads are not effective in increasing sales. Opponents of banner advertising often argue that web surfers more often than not ignore banner ads and thus reducing their effectiveness. (For more details visit the Banner Ads section).
4. Sky-Scraper Advertising: a slang term used to refer to vertical spaces that run on the left or right sides of a page to display ads. Sky-Scrapers are similar in many aspects of their functionality to banner ads with the exception that they remain visible even when the visitor scrolls down the page. For this reason Sky-Scrapers are more expensive for the advertiser than banner ads.
(To see an example of the costs associated with Banner & Sky-Scraper Advertising visit the nickles.com website)
5. Sponsorships: a newer form of online advertising that allows the advertiser to sponsor a section or content of a page. Regular Sponsorships allow the advertiser to “rent” a section of the page to display their logo, a message or a promotion. Content Sponsorship allows the advertiser to submit the content they would like to display on the page and after evaluation this content is displayed/advertised. This gives the advertiser slightly less control in the message they want to advertise, but on the other hand it might be more effective in ensuring content integration between the page and the advertiser’s message. An example of Content sponsorships would be “This cool Video is sponsored by ABC.com”
6. Pop-ups and Pop-downs: new windows that appear as soon as the user types a website URL or click on a link from the third parties site. Pop-Ups open a new smaller window displaying the advertiser’s message and Pop-downs appear on the bar at the bottom of the screen. Often for the user to be able to close these messages, they would need to click on them making it an annoyance for the user. Today users often have programs that work to block these messages from appearing, thus making them really useless. (Some of the disadvantages associated with using Pop-upads are highlighted on the AKAMarketing website)
7. Interstitial Advertising: similar to Pop-ups Interstitial ads open a when the user moves between pages on a site. Although the users can simply close when the user moves between pages on a site. Although the users can simply close them and move on, research has shown that they have higher click-through rates than banner ads as the visitor is forcefully exposed to them. If done properly interstitial ads can be a good method of exposing the visitor to the advertiser’s promotions while they are on the advertiser’s site. On the other hand if done poorly Interstitial Ads can be irritating and drive away a lot of potential customers.
8. Mailing Lists & Newsletters: newsletters or e-flyers that are e-mailed out to potential customers often after they have submitted their email address to the advertiser. In other instances the potential customers emails are bought from information mining companies and thus the mailing lists and newsletters may be undesirable to the potential customers. In this case, the mailing lists and newsletters are a form of spam and may have a negative effect for the advertisers. If done properly the mailing list and newsletter methods may be very efficient as it targets a specific demographic that has already showed interest in the company by voluntarily submitting their email address.
9. Online Coupons: just like traditional coupons, online coupons are a good way of attracting new customers to the advertiser. This method is effective in that it gives the consumers a reason to visit the advertiser’s site immediately to find out more information about not only the product but the company itself. These coupons may be distributed using a variety of the advertising methods mentioned above.
10. Other Online Advertising Methods
Some of the emerging Online Advertising methods include
c) Product Specific forums
Although these methods are not primarily focused on advertising, they can substantially supplement the online advertising and marketing process.