Where you place your banner ads is mostly based on your goals and target market. So logically your first step should be to know and learn as much as you can about your target market. Understand your buyer personality, behavior and motives. Research your audience using existing studies or data.
Look for case studies that reveal what has worked in the past for your niche. Or you can even do your own research by analyzing past advertising and sales data from your own records or by conducting surveys and polls on your target market. Also, just be aware of what people are saying and expressing by taking time to regularly monitor social media groups and forums in your target market.
Looking at the goals mentioned in the prev
ious section, you need to have a clear goal set for each banner ad campaign you run. Are you testing the waters for a new product idea? Then maybe your goal this time is to get visitors to a survey to gauge interest in the idea as well as to build an “early bird” list of leads to sell to when the product is finished. Maybe your goal is straight forward sales. Whatever it is, you’ll need to know before you start planning where to display your banner ads.
Once you’ve got your target audience and goals sorted out, it’s time to pick where to stick those ads. One option is to manually choose display locations. You can do this by reaching out to website owners, forums, and blogs in your niche. If you’re selling an internet marketing tool, go pay for a banner placement in the header area of the Warrior Forum. If you’re promoting your new book, find a popular blog for books in your genre and approach the owner about sidebar ads.
When using this manual method, be sure to research the metrics of the given site, blog, or forum. Naturally you’ll want to display your ad in places with a reasonable level of traffic and a positive reputation to ensure your advertising dollars are spent well. You can learn a lot about websites by researching them on Alexa.
The manual method we’ve just described can be very effective but it can also be time-consuming and difficult. Many marketers prefer to do general targeting via a major ad network. Probably the most popular example of this would be the Google Adwords Network. Here, you’ll simply make some targeting/audience and/or keyword decisions within your Google Adwords creation process (check out our Google Adwords guide for more info) and provide the right banner images (discussed below). Google Adwords will then begin showing your banner ads in the locations that it’s data determines are best for your desired audience.
Another great option is to use a retargeting platform with multi-network reach like AdRoll. This means you install retargeting pixels on your site and build a retargeting audience which you can then follow around the web with your banner ads via several different networks/exchanges including Facebook and Google Adwords. In these cases, the retargeting platform generally does all the hard work for you.
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