September 2, 2010

Time-based Banner Ads Part 1


Hostway Team

By Samantha Gluck

Businesses of all sizes use Internet online advertising in the form of banner ads to promote their goods and services. Banner ad technology has become increasingly more sophisticated in recent years. Time-based banner ads target customers at certain times of day, days of the week or both.

Why Use Banner Ads at All?

A well-designed banner ad builds brand awareness, creates new leads and increases sales and traffic to the business website. However, potential customers need to see the information in these ads at times that are meaningful and relevant to them. A banner ad about food that appears near lunch or dinnertime may influence viewers to click over to the site through the ad, whereas if it appeared an hour or more after people normally eat, the message may be ignored by viewers. Nightclubs or bars choose to display time-based ads later in the evening and near or on the weekend days when people are looking for a place to experience nightlife.

Nature of Time-Based Ads

Businesses use specially designed software to control many factors associated with time-based ads, or simply outsource the service. This software, or service, controls exactly when the ad appears, as well as, controlling how many times any one visitor sees the ad in a given time period. Even a very relevant and well-designed banner ad may become stale when viewed too many times in a certain period by the same visitor. Additionally, some ad designs perform better than others with a particular target audience. Businesses must research and investigate the lifestyles and values of their target customers to effectively design and place a time-based ad.

Targeting Time-Based Ads

Businesses analyze data collected, using cookie technology, from the websites where ads appear and from visitors who actually clicked on the ads. This data tells advertisers which ads performed the best and at what times. Whether ads display at the top, bottom or sidebars of a host Web page makes a difference in performance as well. When businesses design a time-based banner ad campaign, they must consider all of these elements in order to get the most out of their advertising dollar.

Do Viewers Still Pay Attention to Banner Ads?

Studies show that Internet surfers do succumb to banner ad fatigue, which causes them to view these ads as an unwelcome reality of Internet use. These visitors largely ignore banner ads unless the ad presents some personal, compelling reason to motivate a click-through. This is precisely where well-targeted, time-based banner ads are effective. Studies do show that attractive and unobtrusive time-based ads build brand awareness and garner more positive acceptance from visitors than any other type.

About the Author

Samantha Gluck has had over a decade of experience helping businesses better focus their websites to enhance ecommerce and Internet presence by utilizing Web analytics, relevant design elements and marketing campaigns.

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