Posts Tagged ‘banner ads’

What You Think You Know about Advertising on the Web Is Probably Wrong: Part Two

Monday, April 28th, 2014

online-advertisingIn part two of a series, we further explore Tony Haile’s article at, “What You Think You Know about the Web Is Wrong.” Here we examine the effectiveness of online advertising, with lessons for how tech B2B marketers can use better design and better content to reach their audience.

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As discussed in Part One of this blog, Haile thinks that the “Attention Web” is a new way to focus advertising based on a user’s attraction to valuable content and design. But first, he debunks several myths of online advertising.

Myth 3: Native advertising is the savior of publishing

With media companies desperate for new revenue streams and looking for ways to capture audience attention more thoughtfully, native advertising has recently been the talk of the town.

With native advertising, companies create original content and place it on specific news sites in a format that looks and feels like editorial content, because they want their message communicated in a way that is non-disruptive. But does this really work? With regular editorial content, two-thirds of people engage with it for more than 15 seconds – but with native ad content, only one-third engage more than 15 seconds. You see the same thing with page-scrolling behavior: with typical editorial content, 71% of readers scrolled down. But with native content, only 24% of people scrolled down the page at, all based on Chartbeat’s research.

That being said, native advertising isn’t all doom and gloom, some sites have worked hard to ensure the native advertising experience is consistent with what visitors come to their site for. Gizmodo does this really well and they have seen their native advertising perform as well as their normal content as a result.

Myth 4: Banner ads don’t work

The next myth discusses why banner ads are NOT dead. If you listen to the ‘experts,’ click-through rates on banner ads are now averaging less than 0.1% and you’ll hear the words banner blindness discussed at length. But the truth is a bit more complicated…

Research has consistently shown the importance of great ad creative in getting a visitor to see and remember a brand. What’s less well known is the scientific consensus based on studies by Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Chartbeat that a second key factor is the amount of time a visitor spends actively looking at the page when the ad is in view. Someone looking at the page for 20 seconds while an ad is there is 20-30% more likely to recall that ad afterwards.

So, for banner ads to be effective, the answer is simple. You have to deliver great creative and then place the ad near it for a long enough period for the viewer to truly see it. The challenge for banner ads is that traditional advertising heuristics demand that ads be placed on the parts of the page that capture the least attention, not the most.

Here’s the deal: 66% of attention on a normal media page is spent below the fold. That leaderboard at the top of the page? People scroll right past that and spend their time where the content is.

So while the Attention Web may just seem like a way to structure Web advertising based in consumer behavior, it does indeed have the potential to make a big impact. It’s not just the publishers of quality content who win in the Attention Web, it’s all of us. When sites are built to capture attention, any friction, any bad design or eye-roll-inducing advertorials that might cause a visitor to spend a second less on the site is bad for business.

This means better design and a better experience for everyone. A web where quality makes money and great design is rewarded? That’s something worth paying attention to.

How would the Attention Web change how you structure your next web advertising campaign?

Localize Your Tech B2B Advertising Campaign

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Your tech B2B ad campaign that’s got them clicking in Germany may not have any response in China. Since most B2B ad campaigns span various geographies, we thought it might be helpful to offer up a few insights we’ve learned about localizing your campaign.

  1. Review your ad copy – When writing your copy, it’s important to think about how the message could be received in the regions where your ad will be running. More likely than not, you will need translation and localization services. In addition to that, pay attention to the idioms you’re using. A turn-of-phrase that makes perfect sense in your language may bear no meaning in another culture. How do you address this? Just ask someone who knows – a member of your team, or possible freelancer, residing in the region you’re trying to reach. Try running your copy by that resource and ask for their feedback. Chances are, there’s a phrase that may need some tweaking.
  2. Research your imagery – In tech B2B marketing, many ads feature images of end market applications. Some images just don’t make resonate in other countries. For example, showing football on the screen of an LCD TV just won’t make sense to most Europeans. Well, at least not American football. So think about what types of end applications your audiences are using.
  3. Set realistic performance goals – Impressions and click-thru rates (CTRs) are not also comparable region to region. Experience has taught us that you can expect to see some regions garner incredibly high impressions, or what feels like painfully low CTRs. Remember, the performance of an ad is frequently relative to industry standards for that region. So do your research, find out industry standards by geography and set your goals accordingly. Of course, that shouldn’t keep you from reaching for goals above and beyond the standards!

Got any more questions about global B2B advertising best practices? Just give McBru a call.

PS – Check out our take on lead gen and nurturing in a recent BtoB Magazine article.

Banner Ads Deliver More Than Just Clicks

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

In past posts, we’ve explored how banner advertising remains a workhorse for deep tech marketers.

We explained how your banner ads get greater share of mind as other advertisers go dark. We also showed you an example of a powerful ad we did that pulled in an astounding 15% click-through.

Later, we referenced a B2B Magazine article about how banner ads are becoming a stronger marketing tool. We’re already seeing how the new formats and tracking capabilities mentioned in the article are helping to refresh our clients’ programs.

more than clicksIn both posts, we stayed pretty close to the hard-and-fast measurable of click-through. After all, banner ads are typically considered as the front end of a lead generation campaign. But secretly we wanted to tell you all about how they do far more than that, building awareness and recall as well.

Thanks to this article in the Silicon Alley Insider, we can do just that. The article quotes a study of 80 big-brand campaigns that should expand your opinion about the humble online ad – or as they called them, “display ads.”

  • Improvement in awareness. Exposure to a branded display ad made Web users 50% more likely to search for that brand one week later. That lift carried on for weeks, with a 38% increase a full four weeks after seeing the ad.
  • Improvement in site engagement. Viewers of a display ad spent 55% more time when they eventually visited the advertiser’s Web site, compared to those who did not see the ad.
  • Improvement in ecommerce results. When comparing Web site visitors who had seen the display ads to those who did not, the former group spent 7% more, on average.

Our own measurement of client campaigns shows similar effects within electronics markets. In one instance, a semiconductor client had targeted an increase in brand awareness of 10%. After a worldwide advertising campaign dominated by online advertising, audience familiarity and top-of-mind recall were up across the board. In one particularly important market, familiarity jumped 83% and recall shot up 70%.

Great results, not even counting the clicks.

Photo credit: / CC BY 2.0