Banner advertising has taken a lot of stick in recent years, with the advent of social media, integrated content and general progression of two-way marketing taking precedent.
The argument against is simple: banner ad blindness.
Users navigating the web are bombarded with adverts of all forms and eye-tracking usability studies have proven that users eyes dart between integrated content (which is more likely to contain the information they’re looking for) – naturally avoiding adverts.
Putting time into developing content, writing articles, generating online PR – becoming part of peoples conversation is far more effective, if also more time consuming.
However, there is often the need to reach new audiences, build brand presence and target specific demographics – as part of the online marketing mix, banner advertising should not be overlooked.
Unlike offline advertising, you will know exactly how effective it is – which can inform future decisions.
A few tips on banner advertising for Hotels:
- Test for a short period on a variety of sites before deciding which sites to progress with in the long-term
- Make your advert relevant by targeting specific pages of a 3rd party website. For example – hotel room sale on the budget hotel section of Lastminute.com
- Split test your adverts to optimize clicks
- Track who clicks your advert to assess their activity on your site
- Include ‘calls to action’ that are engaging and prompt clicks, e.g. ‘Enter ‘LastMinute’ to redeem exclusive price’ rather than ‘book here’
- You’re fighting for attention in a competitive space, so stand out from the crowd. Don’t say ‘great hotel deals’ or something similarly generic – you’ll sound like everyone else and be ignored. What makes what you’re doing interesting?
- Explore ways in which you can integrate your advert into the sites content
- Repeat advertising: don’t rely on one advert to generate clicks, have a presence across a variety of relevant pages and ensure you can assess the data to analyse which adverts people are clicking
- Analyse, analyse, analyse. Don’t waste money on banner advertising that’s not effective, and don’t be afraid to change the design if something’s not working