Banner Ads in an Internet Marketing Strategy: Pros and Cons

Since the inception of the internet, banner ads have been prevalent and popular. Ad sales representatives work to make you think that their banner ads are the best choice for advertising. This is not always true. There is a place for banner ads. If you’re just starting out and don’t know what works, then you could end up wasting a lot of money and not even know what part didn’t convert.

Pros of Banner Ads

Of all internet marketing strategies, banner ads are likely to be the most visible. They often have images, and take up a fair amount of prominent space. These are especially effective if you have a recognizable brand, or something that can be advertised most effectively with pictures.

You’ll usually pay for your banner ads by the thousand impressions, so there’s a chance that a lot of people will see your ad. These impressions are generally low-cost. For more cost savings, you can trade ad space on your site in exchange for someone putting your banner ad on their site.

Drawbacks of Banner Ads

The cardinal rule of a new marketing campaign is to have measurable results, which banner ads do not have. Just because thousands of people view your banner ad, doesn’t mean they actually read it or pay attention. You’re still spending money, even if there are no click-throughs or conversions as a result.

Most marketing campaigns don’t benefit by having images, and too much “clutter” can cause people to lose interest. You are only trying to get the idea across of what you have to offer. That can often be accomplished in a simple text ad, which may be cheaper and do a better job than a banner.

Sponsored search links and text ads are pay-per-click advertisements. They may seem more expensive — sometimes a single click costs more than a thousand banner impressions — but it’s guaranteed to only cost money when someone is really paying attention. They are interested enough to click. People that breeze by without a glance don’t cost you anything. From here, you can use Google Analytics to determine how effective that ad is at bringing converting traffic to your site.

Banner ads may require additional costs if you want to hire an ad designer, or otherwise wish to make it stand out.

When should you use banner ads?

Banner ads are not a bad option — as long as you already know that the ad works. Use pay-per-click ads to test out your campaign, measuring the return on investment for each. When a pay-per-click starts converting at a rate that makes it more expensive than banner advertising, then switch to pay-per-impression. You already know it works, so you know that you will be saving money. Keep testing pay-per-click campaigns, and convert only the best into pay-per impression.