Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Do banner ads still work?

There have been some claims lately that banner ads as an internet marketing technique are ineffective. And in some respect I can see why.

Banner blindness is term used to describe a lack of notice when it comes to banner ads. A user may no longer see the ad because they’ve seen it so many times. They’re used to it. This is very much real and I’m sure we’ve all experience it.

You visit a website and the first couple times you notice a banner ad that may or may not be enticing. However, after a few more visits you no longer notice the ad. It’s still there; it’s still calling for your attention, but you’re indifferent to it. You’ve experienced this and so have your users.

If do affiliate marketing, you understand how damaging this can be to your business. Unless your visitor notices your merchant’s ad, they won’t click it to visit the site and take action, and all this translates to a loss of income.

Fortunately, there are some simple tricks to keep your visitors from suffering from banner blindness.

1. Rotate your banners. It’s such a simple thing, that many people don’t do. Every couple months change your banners. Use a different size, style, message, whichever but don’t have the same banner sitting for more than 5 months. Visitors become easily immune to sales pitches, especially in the affiliate marketing industry, since that same banner is on countless other sites. Changing your banners makes them aware of the ad again.

2. Create your own or use a unique one. There are a number of free tools to create individual banners or you can ask your merchant if they can create a unique one for you. This will help you stand apart from other affiliates in your niche.

3. Remind your merchant to update. If your merchant has not come out with new banners in a while, gently remind him to do so. By offering many different banner options, you will not only have several to rotate with, but it makes the business look fresh. Banners that hold the same style as those used in the 90’s are not as effective. Let your merchant know an update is in order.

It doesn’t take a lot to save your visitors from banner blindness, use the tips above to ensure that this marketing method continues to stay effective.

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