Which is more likely to occur throughout your day?
Your commute home is slowed by a family of flamingos crossing the freeway?
Or..you click a banner ad?
If there is a slight hesitation in deciding which, you aren't alone.
Recent studies have found that as much as 60% of people suffer from banner blindness; a condition where they have become so used to seeing banner ads on websites that they ignore them subconsciously. So why are companies still wasting valuable marketing dollars advertising on banner ads? If you aren't seeing the return on investment from your banner ads it's time to consider the alternatives.
Calls to Action
Relevant calls to action on your site are an important part of inbound marketing. When you publish a new blog article for instance, a relevant CTA placed below a blog post has proven to be far more effective.
This works better than a banner on your site because your site visitors have been conditioned to ignore banners and because you are providing an additional value to a targeted audience who is already interested in what you are offering. Just don't link to unrelated content for the sake of adding links. If your add-on doesn't add value you will only annoy your readers. It's all about providing context.
If you don't have a new offer to go with your content, that's fine. Use the offers that you already have in place. For example, we created an event marketing eBook which we are able to refer back to when we publish a new article about trade shows.
This ensures context and value added.
Your social media audience is a more targeted audience than one you would reach through a banner ad on another website. Those who follow you on social media have chosen to receive your content. Take advantage of this by driving them back to your website as frequently as possible.
Consider Facebook's boosted posts, as well. Boosted posts (previously referred to as promoted posts) make your posts more visible to your audience, and give you the option of also posting to the friends of your fans. The cost of doing this varies by your audience size and is affected by your budget.
However, you can choose how targeted a post to promote, as choosing your audience as well as other important demographics make this a far more attractive – and effective – measure of promotion when compared to banner ads.
Guest blogging is a great way to gain exposure to a new audience and expand your contact list. By including a call to action that drives readers back to your website from the blog, you are providing new readers with an easy way to find more of your content. The key is identifying the best opportunities for guest blogging. Think of opportunities that allow for maximum exposure to a relevant audience.
Most guest bloggers link back to their own site, but by taking the extra step of linking back to a specific offer on your site you are showing that you are able to provide additional related content, giving you an extra opportunity to position yourself as an expert in your field. This will help you to leverage your guest spot to gain more followers.
If after evaluating the success of your banner ad campaign you decide you are not getting the return on investment you hoped for, then it is time to consider these more cost effective alternatives. The data is available for us to determine how successful each of our marketing initiatives are. Track, measure, and most importantly, adjust.
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