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Online Advertising resources

Display, classified, search and video advertising all fall under the online advertising banner, but it's far simpler for us to separate these into their individual groups as we discuss them.

If you weren't aware, marketing expenditure on online advertising now exceeds any other marketing channel - including TV.

External resources on online advertising:

This isn't exactly a massive list but number 1 in the list, the IAB's site, is a very good resource to look through. We highly recommend it.

Some more ideas on online advertising:

We have experience working in online advertising for some of the UK's biggest and most well-known web sites. We would like to share some of our online marketing and media expertise with you and help you avoid those publishers and sites who just enjoy taking your money and giving you very little in return!

This section is broken down into the following:

  • Display advertising
  • Classified advertising
  • Search advertising
  • Online video

Display advertising

Display advertising covers a whole variety of advertising placements you see all over web sites - skyscrapers, banners, MPUs and all manner of different sized boxes and buttons.

Unless I was a big brand like Tesco, Dell or Morrisions (UK food retailer) or I had exceptionally deep pockets I'd use display advertising very carefully and only as part of a wider advertising campaign on a specific site or towards a targeted audience. The reason being that you can waste a huge amount of money if you aren't tracking it and evaluating it's performance properly.

This article's author has several years of online media sales and buying under his belt and has a far better understanding of the workings around online media buying and selling and online display advertising on work.

Here are 6 tips to help you avoid making some basic mistakes when buying space on someone else's website:

  1. There's so much web traffic that if you're buying cost per thousand impressions (CPM) be sure that you are going to be on the best page possible for you.
  2. Find out if the site publishes ads through a network and find out if it's cheaper to buy space through them instead. Networks usually use up spare inventory on sites so you'll be surprised what you can get for a lot less.
  3. Ask for some feedback from current clients. Choose your clients at random and don't let the site owner pick and choose their best clients as this obviously doesn't work in your favour!
  4. Ask to see Google Analytics pages or any other traffic breakdown stats that can verify traffic levels
  5. Ask to see any research questionnaires or surveys they've done on their site traffic. You want to know things like demographics, buying behaviour, perhaps job title if you're B2B.
  6. Any site claiming to have a verified ABC monthly site traffic figures will have thrown everything at their site for one month to get vast amounts of traffic and is definitely not a true reflection of their real traffic volumes. You should be looking at around 1/3 or half as the real value. E.g. if a site says they have 1 million unique users, you can probably assume it's around 300-500k on a normal month.

Click here to go to our online advertising services page

Classified advertising

Directories or classified sites such as Autotrader for cars, Yahoo or Craigslist for pretty much anything, and Rightmove and Primelocation.com for property are great ways to drive targeted traffic to your site or generate sales leads directly.

Normally you'll end up with a "nofollow link" so it won't help much with the search engines but it's a highly effective way to get relevant visitors into your site (depending on the site of course). You can usually ask for a followed link on another part of the site but you may have to pay more.

We've experience building and marketing large classified databases so we know how they work and which ones are best to use in order to achieve marketing goals. Not all are the same of course and there's a large difference between the pricing and results you get across many classified sites.

Click here to go to our online advertising services page

Search advertising

Google makes a mint from search advertising and the recession has hardly touched this monster media owner.

PPC or Paid Search is the one where you have to pay a site to compete for clicks. It's a simple process of buying targeted website traffic in the hope that your costs of sale regarding more how much you have to spend to get that traffic will mean you can generate a profit. It's become big business

SEO is natural or organic search and is where you'll end up in the "unsponsored links on Google". This is free and it's our favourite but it's a world full of complete con-men and businesses that should have no place in the sector.

We read a lot about SEO and will always structure and build our websites so that the search engines find them easily, and can index according to relevant and useful search terms. We optimise this website for a variety of search terms and you have to consider whether you have any chance of being number one on Google for certain terms or not. Alternatively you can pay to appear in the sponsored links which is one of the reasons why Google makes so much money.

Click here to go to our online advertising services page

Online Video

Video has grown rapidly over the last couple of years and there's been several false-starts. As we see more of a convergence in patterns of media and technology consumption, video has started to take off.

Youtube.com, ITV.com and Channel4.com are all pretty straightforward examples of this. Susan Boyle's moment of fame on X Factor caught ITV off guard when her audition went viral throughout the US on Youtube and they missed out a huge amount of traffic on their website. It was at that moment that ITV probably realised they needed a kick up the proverbial when it came to their website.

Creating video content for the web - whether it's part of your website content or whether it's on a 3rd party site and your advertising / promoting something, you can really add another dimension to your marketing tool-kit.

Broadcasting on your own TV channel across sites like Justin.TV and Youtube.com is a innovative way to engage your customers and is accessible to most businesses. (note the rise of brands starting their own TV channels on digital.)

You can also sponsor online content and the big media sites like ITV will run pre-roll advertising campaigns with high quality adverts normally from the big multi-nationals. Costs relating to VOD (video on demand) aren't particularly well-structured at the moment but it's a good time to start thinking about the potential reach online video can offer your business into new market places.


Click here to go to our online advertising services page