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Banner Advertising Models          Print the current page
by Brian Chmielewski

Describing 1997 as a breakthrough year for advertising on the Internet, the Internet Advertising Bureau put the total online advertising revenue figure for 1997 at US 907 million, a sharp increase from the US 266.9 million figure of 1996. Following the trend back to 1995, one can see that online advertising, with an emphasis on ad banners, has overwhelmingly been chosen by marketers as the preferred method to promote products and services on the Internet. It is only natural that a visual ad element, like the banner, and a visual serving medium, like the computer monitor, are destined for a comfortable marriage. Like many things in life, they simply belong together.

When advertisers talk about banner advertising in a per impression sense, they talk in terms of cost per thousand (CPM), governing, banner frequency and clickthrough percentages. CPM is the amount of money you pay per thousand banners served (impressions) at a site and is typically determined by the amount and quality of traffic on a given web page or web site. You'll notice that it offers different CPM's depending on the location that you want to target. Based on the audience that you wish to target with your banner, you will find a site, or group of sites that match your target. To make an ad buy, you will need to contact the advertising sales contact or the advertising representative. Either one can be involved in all or part of the sales support, serving of the banners through an ad server, and developing the reporting.

Clickthrough percentages are based on the direct relationship between banners impressions and the actual number of people who click on the banner and are routed to the site. To earn good results, you must be alert to your banner's effectiveness in getting people to click through, so access to immediate reporting is essential. Targeting by site and having a topic-specific banner are the variables that generate your traffic.

Banner frequency determines how many times a banner will be consistently displayed before moving on to another banner. Remember, you may be sharing your location with other advertisers unless you buy up all of the impressions available. Most analysts agree that presenting your banner at a frequency of three is optimum, unless you are attempting to brand your company, where the number of banner impressions is insignificant, and clickthough percentages are not the objective. Governing refers to the pace that you want your entire campaign to follow. If you purchase 100,000 banner impressions at a site that receives 2.4 million visitors per month, you could run through them quickly. However, governing the impressions over 30 days, gives your campaign some balance over time and may get your message in front of a more diverse audience.

For example, let's say that you sell guitars and having done your market research or hired a professional to do it for you, you find that your target audience typically spends time online at the free sheet music sites, guitar store sites, music chat rooms, and online guitar periodicals. Either you or your professional will contact the sites or their ad reps and put together a media plan within your budget. Your campaign begins, and you see an immediate swell of traffic and then its gone. What went wrong? You look at your reporting to find that your banners are still being rapidly served. Is the problem the banner or the sites that you are serving them on? You rush to have another banner created, put it into flight and again receive an immediate influx of traffic.

So, what if you could get guaranteed visitors, not have to worry about switching out a banner when it weakens or have to constantly monitor a report to drive qualified traffic to your site? You can! Per click or per visitor banner advertising has arrived and is becoming more pervasive in the marketplace because it allows you to execute all of your banner advertising needs with one agency. You simply choose a target audience and indicate how many visitors you would like to your web site and the process begins. Working with an agency that offers a per visitor banner advertising model allows you to concentrate on the qualified traffic that visits your site, rather than concerning yourself with the management of your ad campaign.

On average, you will find the expense of per visitor models to be higher priced, but when you consider that you are paying for actual visitors to your site, rather than for the displaying of a banner, the value becomes obvious. Some per visitor models offer additional benefits. For instance, uPromote(TM) Exact Traffic assumes the responsibility of targeting your audience based on your directives and the development of effective banners to drive the number of visitors that you want within the time frame that you specify. Choosing one agency to manage your campaign alleviates the confusion that often results from the interplay between the personalities of an ad agency and a creative developer.

Upromote's Exact Traffic service offers you a surefire solution to driving qualified visitors to your web site. Click through to the web site at www.upromote.com/traffic to learn more about this exciting and results-driven advertising service.

First published in WebPromote's May 1998, Vol 1 newsletter.