Monday, November 25, 2013

THAT'S HOT - Online Advertising

Monday, November 25, 2013
I posted this blog about three years ago and, you guessed it, online advertising is even hotter now. So in case you missed it then, I've updated it with new and interesting information. It's time to get on the online advertising band wagon if you haven't already. I hope you find this refreshed blog helpful. – Peter


Don't you just love online advertising?

I know I do — it is easily trackable. You, renewable energy, solar energy, bioenergy, geothermal energy and hydropower marketers and advertising buyers, face hard decisions on how to spend your advertising budget and then face tough questions as you report back to your bosses with return on investment metrics. But of course you have countless years of marketing knowdledge and show off your marketing-guru'ness and wizardry all the time. If not, look over your shoulder, your boss has started to look for success metrics from his hard earned marketing dollars. But fear not, online advertising is here.

Online advertising makes it easier to measure the success of your marketing efforts. For example, with online display advertising banners, e.g. the website or eNewsletter Leaderboard and Medium Rectangle banners, the most basic measurement of success is done through "Ad Impressions," "Ad Clicks" and "Click Through Rates."

Once you have those numbers you may ask: Ok I have the numbers, but how do I know that my online ad banners are doing well or not? And what do I compare it to?

Trying to find Click Through Rate (CTR) averages in online marketing articles, let alone averages for specific online advertising banner sizes like the Leaderboard or Medium Rectangle. is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, so your best source of information is your digital advertising sales contact. You should start by asking him/her what the stats are in their medium and internet-wide. Once you have those numbers, you can determine if your ad is doing above or below the average.

Nice, my banners are performing above average, or ahhhhh, my banner is performing below average! What do I do?

First off you should try and get ahead of that problem before it arises and one way to do that is by testing different banner designs and copy. Don't settle with one banner at a time, rather test several messages and designs with around two to four different ads. You don't have to spend more money on the website, just ask your digital advertising sales contact to upload your different designs at the same time and then check-in on the stats after a week or two. Compare banner results and simply choose the banner or two banners that are pulling best. Now you will have more confidence and higher success with your banner messaging — so go ahead and start branding your company — 2014 is just around the corner!

Once you have your ad messaging set, remember it's not all about the CTR and lots of clicks doesn't necessarily mean leads. Why should online display banner advertising be any different than any other marketing medium? Online display advertising is about branding, branding, branding! Read this article from eMarketer, "Clicks, So What?" to find out what I mean.

Now if you are looking strictly for "leads," digital is still the way to go. One great lead generator is a commercial or editorial webcast, posting a white paper or digital magazines. Yes you read that correctly, Digital Magazines...they are not only a great option when you look for a dynamic branding medium that includes e.g. video, but can also include lead generation directly from readers. Contact me if you would like more details.

Back to online banner display advertising: Much more to write about...but I'm afraid I have to be careful with the time spent rewriting my first ever blog post, my boss Jim needs me to sell sell sell.

But before I do, I just want to mention Targeted Banner Advertising and how beneficial and cost-effective it is for the marketers I talk with. Advertise for example by geographic location and contextually, which means that if you have a specific audience in mind like my hypothetical advertiser in Denmark, Jorgen Jorgenson does...Let's say that Jorgen wants to target European readers that are interested in Solar Energy news and information on our website, he will tell me to target them only and I will ensure that our website advertising software will only show Jorgen's ad to visitors with IP addresses that are located in Europe and who read solar content — so for example no-one in China that reads our wind news will ever see his advertisement!

I'd like to leave you with a not-so-recent marketing article (it was recent when I first wrote this blog, but is still very timely) on online ad spending from eMarketer, which mentions that more marketing budgets are shifting towards online display ads and especially video advertising.

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