Jan 3, 2010

Going Beyond Banner Advertising

A major stumbling block for many internet marketing newbies is the false belief that the placement of a banner ad on a web page is all that’s required to immediately start making a few sales. This is a false premise.

There are a couple of key principles of internet marketing that can prevent any newbie from falling into this enticing trap.

No. 1) Choose A Relevant Affiliate Program

Let’s hope at least that as a newbie you have chosen an affiliate program to promote that has relevance to your online interests.

As an example, if you have placed a website online that discusses the care of young infants, it is certainly easy enough to find affiliate programs that deal with infant health, nutrition, clothing, or even security, such as baby monitors.

The affiliate program doesn’t have to exactly match your website content, but it should be very closely related. If your site is about infants why on earth would you want to promote rock videos? Only perhaps, if you think your own child is a future musical prodigy.

Yet, many first-time internet entrepreneurs make just such a mistake. Even an affiliate program that deals with teens or preschoolers is not close enough, because the people coming to your site, presumably are not seeking information about those subjects. Tiny infants are not preschoolers.

Of course you might make a sale or two, by virtue of blind luck, but that is not the way to run an internet business.

You want at all times to be lean and focused. Don’t waste effort promoting anything that is going to be a hard sell. Your effort is best spent elsewhere.

No. 2 ) Write Informative Articles and Testimonials

Using the same example above, let us propose that you have wisely chosen an affiliate program that relates to young infants. Now what? You’ve had your banners up for a month or two, and you just aren’t making many sales. This despite the fact that your site receives a reasonable amount of traffic.

One of the problems you’ve unwittingly created for yourself, is that banner ads are too easily ignored. They are like background music.

Each hour online, anyone who surfs the web is going to be bombarded with banner ads, such that they become invisible. And it doesn’t matter even if the banner ads are of excellent quality.

They are still banner ads.

Text-based ads are a much more effective advertising method, although at first glance it would seem exactly the opposite. But, let’s look at this idea more closely.

Banner ads say out loud that you’re attempting to sell something. One of the major precepts of internet marketing is that people DO NOT WANT TO BE SOLD.

People are online to gather knowledge. Even if they are online as a time for recreation and pleasure, they are still interested in learning.

Human beings are innately curious. This is a plus for you, as you attempt to make a sale.

Here’s how.

One way to introduce text-ads into your web site is to write articles. Or to write a review of the very product that you’re trying to sell. { you aren’t trying to market something you haven’t purchased yourself, are you? }

Testimonials are an extremely effective advertising device.

That’s why so many web merchants place testimonials on their site, and frequently on the very first page of the site, where the testimonials are most likely to be viewed.

Also, testimonials are a form of “aggressive” advertising, that doesn’t look aggressive at all. This is because testimonials deliver valuable information to the consumer. Thus, the consumer is more likely to make a purchase because they never form the negative impressive in their mind, that they are being SOLD something.

A person who is feeling negative is much less likely to decide to make a purchase.


One final point before we conclude this article. Banner ads are not going to disappear. They can still serve a useful purpose. Sometimes a banner ad or two, can help dress-up a drab,
uninspired-looking site. You don’t want your website to resemble a plain white term paper.

A little sizzle is okay. But, NEVER let banner ads be your main advertising method.

Also, if every other affiliate is using the same banner ads, then the impactof the ads on your site will be further lessened. The key to online marketing success is to be unique.

Online, as opposed to the offline world, uniqueness is an endearing trait.

Don’t plaster those same ads all over your pages everyone else in your marketing niche is using.Write your own articles. The customer will become comfortable that you know what you are
talking about. This gives them a reason to return. { a key factor as people rarely make a purchase the first time they ever visit a website. }

Stay on your toes, don’t become complacent, and never miss an opportunity to improve the content, relevance, and usefulness of your site.

If you have a thought or an idea about something. Then place it online. You’re always more likely to receive a click-through from a well-written informative article than from some flashy banner ad. Give the customer more of what they want, without trying to sell them.

That is the simple key to increasing the overall marketing effectiveness of your website.

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