What is Online Advertising?
Online advertising, at its most basic definition, is advertising delivered online via websites, emails, on search engines or in online publications. It offers you a way to promote your businesses products and services to online users within channels they already know and trust. Unlike traditional print advertising, online ads encourage immediate action. A compelling online ad allows the prospect / lead you are targeting to immediately click and contact you or get more information.
Terms You Should Know
Publisher– The website upon which the display ads are delivered to a particular audience. (AHRN.com is an advertising publisher.)
Advertiser– The person or company that purchases display ads to run on a publisher’s website, email or search engine promoting their business, service or product.
Display Ads– Also known as banner or digital ads. Display ads are graphics that are placed on a publisher’s website or in an email. They can be provided in a tremendous variety of sizes and placements. This is different than print ads, billboard ads, etc.
Creatives– Ad banners and other forms of created advertising; the graphics created for a campaign. These are the actual ads / images that you supply the publisher (AHRN.com) for placing on the site. Ad sizes are measured in pixels, with standard sizes (dimensions) for creatives being 728×90 pixels and 300×250 pixels within AHRN.com. These creatives can be static (no movement) or animated (moving text, images, etc.). Animated creatives provide for a better message with more ability to tell your story, but at a higher development cost.
Pixels– Smallest square element of an image (mistakenly called ‘dot’) that can be turned on (illuminated) or off (darkened) on a computer monitor. Creative ad sizes are measured and stated in pixels. Displays ad dimensions sizes are measured in pixels (as noted by the 728×90 pixels above).
Placements– This is where the actual ad is placed on the page. For example, right sidebar, footer, header, etc.
Impressions– A measure of the number of times an ad is viewed. Each time an ad is displayed to a viewer is one impression. One viewer may see an ad several times. Each time, it is counted as an impression.
Conversions– The percentage of visitors/viewers of a display ad who take a desired action, like signing up for an email list or becoming a registered user.
CPM– Cost per thousand (CPM) is the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on publisher’s site. If a publisher charges $15 CPM, that means an advertiser must pay $15 for every 1,000 ad impressions.
CTR– Click-through rate (CTR) is a way of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website and/or email campaign by the number of users that clicked on the advertisement.
Landing Pages– A static page designed by the advertiser (you) for which the URL is provided to the advertiser as a part of the display ad set up. The URL is attached to the display ad. When the ad is clicked by publisher viewer, the user is then directed (referred) to the landing page for more information about the ad / service / product being advertised on the ad. A landing page is more effective when the display ad creative matches the landing page (look and feel as well as audience and messaging). When a user takes action from clicking on the landing page, that is considered a conversion.
Lead Generation– The generation of interest or inquiry into products or services of a business (i.e., prospect development). Leads can be developed for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales.
URL– Stands for “Uniform Resource Locator.” A URL is the address of a specific Web site or file on the Internet. The URL is attached to the advertisement so that when a user clicks on the ad they are directed to the advertiser’s Landing Page.
Pros & Cons of Online Advertising
Online advertising is a powerful tool that gives businesses of any size worldwide presence. In order to make the most of your efforts, it is important to understand the pro’s and con’s of online advertising.
- Quick turnaround – Once your creatives and structure are in place (like on an existing website like AHRN.com), the turnaround for digital advertising is much faster than traditional print media. This allows you to be much more responsive to the fluctuations in the real estate industry.Once your creatives and structure are in place (like on an existing website such as AHRN.com), the turnaround time for digital advertising is much faster than traditional print media. This allows you to be much more responsive to changes in messaging and overall advertising flexibility.
- Wider reach – There are no built in boundaries with online advertising like a magazine or newspaper’s distribution area. With online advertising, you can focus your advertising budget on a specific target audience that needs your products/services.
- Tracking performance – Unlike print, TV, billboard or radio advertising, online advertising provides direct feedback on how many people view and click on your ad.
- Fast Pace – The technology and trends in online advertising are constantly evolving. While it is helpful to have so much information about demographic behavior, it can be tremendously difficult to keep up with the frequent changes needed to optimize your campaign.
What if I don’t have ads/creatives to get started?
As with many aspects of building your business, you have a few options when it comes to implementing your online ad strategy. You can build your own graphics and creatives using dimensions provided by the websites you will be advertising on. Another option is to source via friends or acquaintances with graphic design experience. Some businesses have successfully leveraged sites like Fiverr for inexpensive graphic design.
A word of caution, though, is appropriate here. There is a great deal of thought, experience, and science that goes into the creation of maximally effective online advertisements. AHRN.com encourages advertising partners to utilize the services of our partner Red Door Marketing Group for a truly cost effective and performance driven display ad campaign.
A well designed ad creative (1 design, 2 ads) will run you around $169. Want more options? More designs and revisions will run up your bill. Two ads, two designs, revisions for static ads is $299 and two ads, two designs, two revisions for animated ads can run you up to $599.When it comes to implementing your online ad strategy, you have a number of options. You can build your own graphics and creatives to the specifications (dimensions) provided by the websites you will be advertising, use on online tool for developing these ads, or outsource the development to a professional. Some businesses have successfully leveraged sites like Fiverr for inexpensive graphic design.
A word of caution is appropriate here. You don’t want to penny wise and pound foolish. Starting with an effective creative is key to overall advertising campaign success. There is a great deal of thought, experience, and science that goes into the creation of maximally effective online advertisements. AHRN.com offers the services of Red Door Marketing Group for a truly cost effective and peformance driven display ad campaign.
A well designed ad creative (1 design, 2 ads) will run you around $169. Want more options? More designs and revisions will run up your bill. Two ads, two designs, revisions for static ads is $299 and two ads, two designs, two revisions for animated ads can run you up to $599.
How are ads billed by the publisher?
- CPM – Cost per thousand impressions
- CPC – Cost per click
- Flat rate – billed at a monthly rate (AHRN.com method)
How do I decide if a publisher website is right for me? Ask …
- Does the audience of the publisher match my target prospect audience?
- Does the publisher provide advertising opportunities during the right time when my prospect audience needs my products/services?
- What should I expect when an ad is posted on the publisher site.
- Will receive monthly reporting.
- What is the engagement rate of the audience of the publisher website?
How do I evaluate if an ad is performing well?
- Are you getting clicks? It’s not always the amount of clicks, but the quality. Depending on the product / service, one click that leads to a new client can pay for a whole year’s worth of ads. ROI is well worth it.
- Am I getting impressions but no clicks? If you are getting impressions but no clicks, then there is probably something wrong with your ad or messaging. Building an ad isn’t as simple as throwing something together. Using best practices and a professional design will help you get the ROI out of your advertising investment.
- Standard CTR is about .10% and so if your CTR is doing better than that, great! Worse than that, again there are several factors but mainly it is the ad itself that drives the click through rate. Matching the target audience’s need with your message is critical. The ad must be pleasing, not too text heavy, clear call to action, etc.
- Where the person lands AFTER they click on your ad is just as important as the ad themselves. If you lead a prospect from the ad to a general page on your website and then the user has to figure out what to do next, you are likely to lose a prospect because you didn’t offer some type of opt-in to nurture the relationship. See landing pages section above.
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