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Advertising on the Internet – beyond the hype


Internet advertising seems a shady world. We've all seen those flashing banners that appear on the top of many a website - sometimes we're tempted to click on them (usually if they're coloured bright green and feature a jumping frog), sometimes we click on them by mistake (anyone taken in by those banners that look like buttons from a Windows application will recognise this), and sometimes we don't even notice them (which suggests poor design).

But why advertise on the internet anyway? Surely no-one actually finds something they want to buy by clicking on one of the banners, whether by accident or on purpose? Actually, the figures suggest it is a worthwile activity. Writing for our sister site AccountingWeb, our parent company Sift's Marketing Director Richard Dennys says it's well worth considering if you have a website offering. You can expect between 0.5 and 5% of people who see your banner to click on it (known as the 'click-through rate'). When you consider how difficult it is to track customers who've come to you through other means - TV advertising, billboards and to a lesser extent advertising in print - the banner has clear advantages in allowing you to track exactly how many people have reached you in that way, and from where.

Like any form of marketing, targeting your market effectively is a key factor in its success, which means choosing a site which you know your potential customers will visit. Kofi Dwinfor, Marketing Manager of Focus Quality Services did just that, when he contacted TrainingZONE with a view to placing advertising on the site. Kofi identified the weekly LearningWire as a suitable place to advertise - because TrainingZONE is a specialist professional site, he could be sure that potential customers would be looking in, and the e-mail to website tracking process operates in a similar way to that of banners, so it's easy to track. The results of this particular campaign are clear to see, says Kofi: "Focus Quality Services have used the LearningWire extensively to generate direct response and brand awareness. I was so impressed by the quality and quantity of the responses, that I have in fact ceased all other forms of advertising, including direct mail, in favour of the TrainingZONE LearningWire. It has proved to be the most successful advertising media we have ever used."

So don't dismiss web advertising out of hand. If you've got a functioning website which you set up to help draw in new customers, advertising on another site they're likely to use is much more proactive than registering with a few search engines in the hope someone might come and find you!

For more information about advertising on TrainingZONE on in the LearningWire, contact Keith Bryan.

To find out more about getting the best from advertising on the web, read 'marketing on the web: Planning your banner ad campaign'.


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