Generating Interest & Awareness
No matter how attractive and informative your web site is, if you don't "get the word out", very few will ever be able to find your offering. Online advertising should be a significant component of your overall promotion plan to generating interest and awareness for your company, products, and services.
Online advertising comes in a variety of different forms. Each has their distinct advantages from a performance and cost perspective. The key to any online advertising campaign lies in research and targeting. In nearly all cases, quality consumers are preferred over quantity. Some examples of online advertising include:
Graphical and interactive, these ads come in a variety of sizes. Some are static but more often than not, the ads are animated and can even include sound. More advanced rich media ads actually spawn additional 'mini-web' functionality to include the actual purchase of the advertised product.
Keyword advertising typically takes place on search engines, portals, and directories where a sizable amount of content and visitor traffic exists. Using the search function, a visitor searches for a keyword or key phrase. When web sites that match the search are returned, they are accompanied by ads purchased by companies with offerings relative to the search term. These ads can appear in the form of a 'preferred' or top ranking search listing, a sponsored listing (one that is highlighted), or even a banner advertisement. A variety of sales models are available including pay-per-click and pay-for-inclusion.
Sponsorship ads can appear in a number of online mediums. From 'premium' web content pages, to 'advetorials' (combination of an advertisement and an editorial) on trade web sites, to specific graphic and text blurbs on digital newsletters and magazines. Because sponsorship ads often help offset the cost producing the content, they are often a good value for the advertiser.
Similar to keyword advertising, targeted ads can be placed within specific auction and classified web site content.
Advertising on directories and portals (topic specific content) comes in a variety of offerings. Banners are offered in a number of sizes from micro-buttons to half banners, full banners, tower boards, leader boards, and skyscrapers (see the specification at the Interactive Advertising Bureau Association). Where search capabilities exist, keyword advertising is also frequently available (see above definition).
Affiliate advertising utilizes a network of resellers to promote your offering. This advertising usually works in conjunction with your e-commerce system and a system for tracking affiliate sales. Typically, affiliates promote your products or services with either banner ads or text ads on their own web sites. The banners have a special link associated with them that tracks the affiliate's identifications whenever visitors click them. This special link ensures that the affiliate is credited with the sale for commissioning purposes.
This form of advertising also comes in a variety of forms. The term multimedia implies animated graphics and/or video and audio. These ads can also conform to banner specifications or can come in the form of pop-up ads. Frequently, these ads implement advanced 'micro-web' functionality that allows the consumer to actually purchase the product directly from the ad itself. Multimedia advertising can also come in the form of viral ads and email direct mailers, to robust product catalogs (see Mobular Technologies for an example).
Viral advertising is a unique and often effective means of 'spreading' your message. Utilizing a highly creative approach such as a game, quiz, or multimedia design, viral ads propagate themselves through email 'word-of-mouth' referrals. This approach relies on a highly creative approach to ensure the message is passed-on to friends and colleagues.
When crafted properly, advetorial ads combine advertising and informative content, often appearing to be "just another article". These ads attempt to educate and inform while directing the viewer to 'helpful resources' (i.e., your web site). Advetorials typically are found on industry specific web sites and online versions of printed magazines.
Pop ads can appear in their own window or as another layer of an existing web page (a good way to get around pop-up blockers). Ads can pop-up above or below the current web page only to be found when the current window is closed. The ads can conform to industry standard banner sizes or not. They can be static or animated and can offer a simple link to 'micro-site' functionality.
Advertising your offering online can be overwhelming and confusing - which web site to choose, what price to pay, how to target your prospects, CPM's and CPP's, tracking ad performance, and more. NetCentric simplifies the process for you by researching your options, presenting them to you in an easily understood manner, purchasing your ads, managing their performance, and reporting their successes.
Contact NetCentric for Your Next Advertising Campaign.
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