Internet marketing can be one of the toughest ways to advertise to consumers. With changing trends and technology, it's hard for even a seasoned internet marketer to produce excellence. Many ad campaigns on the internet today are ineffective and produce low quality results. Below are tips I believe are valuable to run a successful campaign:
Addressing the Overall Goal of the Campaign
Ever go to a website and see an ad completely irrelevant to the website? For example: Let's say your looking at a cooking website for a recipe and there's an ad for window treatments. Since you're only looking for a recipe and not really considering remodelling your house, where's the relevance? That particular campaign may result in a very low click-through ratio.
Even though you may have achieved the overall impressions you're trying to attain, the click-through ratio may be as equally as important depending on the type of campaign you're running. If you're not a household name, you may just want to advertise to bring about brand awareness, but more importantly, have people look at what your product is all about. If you're a big company like Pepsi Co., most people know what you do, what your main product is, so just brand awareness campaigns for a new product might suffice enough.
I'm not interested in large companies because they're already successful. I'm more concerned with smaller businesses who want to effectively market their products. What you want to do is specifically address what the purpose of the campaign is. Do you want to bring about brand awareness? Do you want people to purchase your products? Do you want people to take surveys? I think you get the point.
Once you know what your overall campaign goal is, you can then determine where to place your ads.
Like I said in my example before, it's important to have your ad appear on relevant pages. You don't want to sell chocolate on diet sites. No one is going to click your links. You want to sell chocolate on a chocolate lovers site. It is critical to establish where you want your wants. Do the research. Find out what websites are similar to your product/service. That's exactly where you want to be.
The ad creative is possibly the most important part of your campaign. It is what visitors are going to click on to get to your landing page. This is absolutely critical because you want to attract the most attention. Unfortunately, I've seen some very ugly advertisements. I've also seen some very nice ones. However, sometimes the very nice ones are horrible because they don't entice me to click anything. You want the consumer to wonder about your product. You want to stir interest. Being too flashy or not flashy enough isn't even the whole problem. The problem is attracting the right people to be curious about what you do.
It is important that you spend time/resources on creative. You can make the same creative for multiple sites and reuse it. Essentially, a good creative can last you a long time and generate a higher than average return on investment.
You might have a million products to sell. You can't possibly advertise them all. So in conjunction with ad placement and your overall goal, you'll need to choose which product you really want to emphasize in your ad. Just because you're advertising one product doesn't mean it's not going to attract visitors to other products/services you may have. It's important to strategetically choose which product/service you believe would be the best to advertise.
Purchasing ads can be tricky. You're never really sure how many impressions you want to buy. Other campaigns may use other ways such as cost-per-click, but we'll just worry about CPM for now. Anyway, you only have a certain budget to work with. Obviously you want to impress your boss (or yourself) by getting yourself out there on authority sites that are frequently visited. In this case, your purchase size will determine which site you'd like to see yourself advertised on.
If you're going to publish an ad on a well-known website that has real brand recognition, you'll be paying a very high amount per impression. That's not to say it's a bad thing because you might be attracting the right people. On the other hand, you could put yourself on a no-name site that receives millions of ad impressions a day. Let's get a little more into detail:
The well-known website is well-known but it may not receive nearly as much impressions as another website. However, on the well known website, this may work to your advantage. Let's call the well-known websites Widgets and the not so well known website Gadgets.
Widgets might only be able to deliver 100,000 impressions a month while Gadgets can deliver 1,000,000 impressions a month. Let's say you bought 50,000 impressions on Widgets at a very high price. Even though you paid a lot for so few impressions, every other ad on Widgets will be your ad. You can show whoever you want how prestigious you are; you're on Widgets. However, for the same price, you could buy 250,000 impressions (5x the amount) on Gadgets. Well your ad will still appear frequently, but not as frequent, as well as, not as well known
So in that particular example we find that more impressions might not bring as much presitge to your brand.
Of course there are more dimensions to advertising on the web. I feel as if this is a good start and if anyone has anything to contribute, please do so. I appreciate and welcome all comments.