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10 Horrible Excuses for Not Having A Digital Marketing Plan

Business owners frequently make excuses when it comes to why they aren’t utilizing digital marketing despite the many business advantages it brings. In this post i’ll list 10 excuses businesses make regarding why they don’t engage in digital marketing and explain WHY we think not having a solid digital marketing plan is a terrible business mistake in the digital age.

1. Digital Marketing Won’t Work for My Clientele

You’ll never know until you try. There are new customers that can be reached online that cannot be reached via local or traditional marketing channels for pennies on the dollar, and it’s easy.

2. I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

That’s okay! Everyone needs to start somewhere. That’s what digital agencies like Cox Media Group Houston (shameless plug) are for. We’ve spent the time and resources to build a team of digital experts to help be an extension of your team. Why try to go at it alone?

3. I’ve Tried It Before and It Didn’t Work

Use your prior campaigns as learning experiences and don’t make the same mistakes. Expand your reach or go for a specific local target. Do research to back up your marketing strategy and to improve your chance of success.

4. We Don’t Have the Resources

Most marketing keyword campaigns will be very cheap and have a great trackable ROI when compared to print, TV and radio ads which are typically a little more difficult to track.

5. TV, Radio, Print, Etc. Has Always Worked for Us

Of course the traditional mediums of marketing are often successful. Continue to use them. You’re creating demand or reminding your target audience to use your product or service. That audience is then highly likely to go online before they come directly to you. You want to be where they are.

And with digital marketing, the reach is often for a cheap price when compared with the alternatives. It makes it a business advantage that many companies, stuck in the past, often miss out on. Don’t let it be yours!

6. Our Prospects Aren’t Very Mobile/Tech Savvy, Etc…

You’d be surprised according to the stats nearly the majority of every generation use mobile phones and internet.

  •   90% of American adults have a cell phone
  •   58% of American adults have a smartphone
  •   42% of American adults own a tablet computer
  •   63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online
  •   34% of cell internet users go online mostly using their phones, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.

Source: Pew Research Center

7. We’ve Budgeted Elsewhere

You can find room in the budget for $100-$500 for a test run on a few relevant keywords to your business. If it doesn’t suit your business needs, so be it, but the amount of customers that you can reach across the world with your businesses keyword categories makes it an undeniable way for businesses to reach new customers and expand their digital footprint.

8. We Don’t Really Use Social Media

You don’t have to, although it is recommended. With marketing campaigns such as Google Adwords and Adsense, your business can be found via Google searches and Google Maps expanding your reach and making it easier for your customers to find information about your business.

9. Our Website Doesn’t Generate a Lot of Business

Some businesses won’t benefit from a fancy website and a lot of expensive keyword campaigns but doing a small test run can surprise you and show you that maybe your website can generate business if you took a more serious look into digital marketing. Your website my not drive business, but if people don’t easily find your product or service when they search for it online, it will be your competition that they find.

10. I Don’t Know Where to Start

Do some reading and try and become more comfortable with how digital marketing works. Try reading these to get a quick understanding:

Know Enough to be Dangerous: Your Online Guide to Digital Marketing

Digital Advertising is Always Evolving: How to Stay on Top

The Five Steps of SEO 

Top 10 Digital Don’ts: Your Guide for What Not to Do

10 Facebook Best Practices for Businesses

After reading our list hopefully you have a changed mind about not implementing a digital marketing strategy. The upside is too great to not give it a shot. For retail businesses, with the amount of new customers you can generate and the cost effectiveness of your marketing efforts, digital marketing is something you can’t pass up. For other businesses it’s a great tool to direct people to you, expand your online footprint and improve the reputation around your brand.

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Why Social Media Marketing is Critical for Your Houston Business

According to Pew Research Center, 74% of all internet users engage on social media every day—which is why social media sites have become the most efficient way to market businesses. Whether you tweet, post status updates, share photos, or write quick blog posts, being active on a variety of social media sites can help your business generate leads and engage consumer bases.

A New Way to Connect

Social media users come from all walks of life and touch almost every corner of the globe. They are eager and conditioned to use social sites to connect and share. This makes integrating social media into your Houston marketing strategy the perfect avenue to find and engage with potential clients and consumers.

Unlike other marketing routes (such as traditional or digital marketing) where advertising may reach a general audience that may or may not be specific to your business, social media sites are more targeted than ever. Based on the platform your business utilizes, you are able to correctly reach the client base that works for your needs.

For example, if looking for the biggest audience, look no further than Facebook. Pew Research Center says that 71% of Internet users have a profile on Facebook, making up more than 51% of the entire adult population. B2B organizations in particular should utilize LinkedIn, a social media site specifically for career-based networking, where the users are largely college graduates and high income earners. For finding younger consumers, sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, that allow users to quickly share snippets of photos or statuses, is quickly becoming the most effective medium for reaching out.

Businesses can choose to stick to one of these targeted platforms or to branch out with unique cross posts targeted for a variety of different audiences. An example of this would be a sharing a photo on Instagram of a new menu item to reach younger, mobile audiences.

A New Way to Engage

Overall, the main purpose of social media use by businesses should be to foster engagement between the business and its audience. This begins with drawing the consumer to the central hub — the website. Social media, according to Entrepreneur, is used by nearly half of Internet users as their “go-to” source for online discovery. An additional 28% say that using links provided by social media sites has helped them discover new websites. This means that social media has a huge potential in terms of generating unique, targeted website traffic without much effort, time, or financial investment.

Where social media really shines is in being the anti-website. Instead of just being a pitch from a business to a consumer or client, social media provides the chance for a two-way conversation. This includes having a comment section where users can communicate with one another or with the business itself or having a space for the customer to make suggestions for better business ideas.

Social media also provides a space for business owners to evaluate their organization’s performance. While it may be frightening, social media allows consumers to be honest and open– more so than ever before. This may mean that your business fields complaints or receives negative reviews. However, it also allows you to discover what is and isn’t working directly from the customer. It is the instant feedback that makes utilizing social media marketing in Houston worth it.

A New Way to Market Your Houston Business

Embracing social media marketing can be challenging at first. However, discovering ways in which to engage with a new audience and seek feedback through sites like Facebook, Yelp or Pinterest can open up a wide variety of opportunities for your business. From connecting and sharing to driving targeted traffic back to your website, social media has become today’s most critical media space for Houston businesses to stake their marketing claim.

If You Don’t Have a Responsive Design Website, You Are Losing Business

responsive_design_websiteObserving the trend of increasing mobile usage doesn’t take statistical analysis—it can be observed day to day, in public. Smart Insights lets us know that in 2013 global mobile internet use met and surpassed desktop computer use, and that as of January 2015, 80 percent of internet users own a smartphone, with 47 percent of internet users owning a tablet.

If you’re paying attention to Houston Marketing Matters and other digital marketing sources out there – you know that April 21st marks the commencement of Google’s emergent policy of penalizing businesses without responsive design websites.

There are quantitative consequences for the decisions you make regarding your businesses website and hopefully that decision is to create a site with mobile responsiveness in mind. Here are a few important points for Houston business owners to keep in mind while searching for the best fit for your company.

Responsive Websites Give Your Visitors a Positive Experience

If your visitors are able to get the information they want and need about your business while they are on the go, they will create a positive imagine around your brand within their busy lives. If a user lands on your mobile website and is frustrated or doesn’t see what they are looking for, there’s a 61% chance they will leave immediately and go to another website.

Responsive Design is Easy

Many marketing professionals do not realize that responsive websites are not mobile sites. Mobile sites require separate domains and can be operating system, software, or model-specific. Responsive design websites adapt to any size screen, so users can comfortably access the site from smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, or laptop computers without the use of different domains. Responsive sites also adapt to future devices because it is based on screen size, not device type.

Mobile Usage is Exploding

Over 20% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device. This means that an investment in a web platform will become necessary, but business owners who make strategic choice, favoring sustainable responsive sites will reap greater long-term benefits.

The growth of mobile usage makes web pages highly visible aspects of a business’s public image. Speak with someone about an adaptable responsive design that will efficiently deliver important information and a positive experience for a reasonable investment. Keeping this information in mind will, not only, help you to find the best strategic fit for your company but keep your brand current and, in the end, driving more traffic to your new website.

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Houston Businesses: Is Your Competition Stealing Your Online Traffic?

Fact: If your competition’s website loads quickly, navigates and presents information easily on a mobile device and yours doesn’t, they are stealing your digital audience.

Mobile usage has shown rapid and steady growth over the past few years and is more popular than ever with Houston residents. Mobile advertising and optimization is crucial to marketing in Houston. Your website and content should be optimized for mobile viewing in order to reach your target market, expand brand awareness and keep you from losing digital traffic to your competitors.

Browsing on the Go

Houston’s mobile users want information quickly and simply. They are using the Internet on the go and don’t have time to hunt through your website for what they need. Houston businesses must take on this challenge by creating a responsive website.

A responsive website transitions from one screen size to fit various other screen sizes without users needing to zoom in or out. This makes content easy to read and navigate to increase your clickthroughs and conversions.

Mobile-Friendly Content

Optimizing your content for mobile use is key to improving engagement with your brand rather than your competitor. Use headlines to draw attention to important information and subheadlines for support and key details followed by body content.

Long paragraphs of content are difficult to read especially on a small cell phone screen and mobile readers are too busy too sift through to find the information they need. Break up sections of content for improved mobile viewing by:

  • Keeping your content concise
  • Keeping your call to action clear
  • Using bullet points to make key points easier to read

Opting Out of Optimization?

If your website requires viewers to tap or zoom their cell phone screens to see your content or scroll endlessly to find your call to action, they will be navigating away from your website. They won’t have the information they need and with a bad experience attached to your brand, your competitors will be more likely to gain their business instead—you are losing sales.

Mobile usage is constantly growing and having your content optimized for different screen sizes isn’t something that “cool” or “hip” businesses are doing, it’s something that all businesses need to consider adopting if they haven’t already. Because as we’ve read, if your site isn’t optimized for the mobile users experience your competitors may be.

A Positive Experience

If your website is easy to interact with and your content is easy to comprehend mobile users will connect a positive experience with your brand. This will enhance your brand value to them and increase your clickthroughs and likelihood of valuable lead conversions.

The world is ready for mobile even though you may not be. If your Houston business isn’t optimizing for the growing mobile audience, your competitors will leave you in the dust.

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A 101 on Mobile Geo-Fencing for Houston Businesses

Technology has opened new doors and broadened the ability to reach customers. In particular, geo-fencing, a mobile marketing technique, has become a go-to strategy for many Houston businesses. Understanding the intricacies and abilities of geographically based mobile advertising techniques and the latest in geo-fencing best practices can open up new opportunities for business to connect with customers on a more personal level.

What is Geo-Fencing?

Over the last five years, advertisers have increasingly looked to mobile technologies to push their products, drawing on a phone’s ability to provide data on a customer’s real-time location data. This has provided invaluable information, such as when and where consumers shop, to help marketers target users in real-time as they shop. Marketers began drawing data from cell tower pins, WiFi data, and GPS locations to advertise to customers when they are physically present at a store or business—a technique known as “geo-conquesting.”

Geo-fencing takes this one step further by hyper-targeting the location. In this case, the person at the shoe store would not just see an advertisement for a different shoe business, but the advertisement would be for a shoe store within walking distance. For Houston marketing, this includes “fencing” off an area within a quarter mile of a business. When the person’s phone data indicates they have stepped into the “fenced” area, they will receive targeted advertisements for the business.

Geo-conquesting and geo-fencing directly increase the chances that the shopper would be willing to modify his or her behavior in real time. It also ensures that targeted results are even more specific to the intended customer while continuing to push for advertising the provides clear ROI.

Geo-Fencing Strategies for 2015

Before jumping into geo-fencing, there are some basic best practices that will especially be relevant in 2015. First and foremost, Houston marketers should understand the format and the limitations of the mobile geo-fenced advertisements in order to select which type will make the most impact. Currently, geo-fencing marketing placement are used in content, display ads, and through SMS (text) messages.

However, not all geo-fencing strategies are created equal. While a SMS or push notification message may be direct and to-the-point, many users opt not to sign up for these alerts. On the other hand, the subtlety of display ads may be lost when a person is distracted.

For 2015, mobile marketers should try tapping into the market via applications that capitalize on a person’s location specifically. For example, Uber, the socially driven car service, uses geo-fencing to target customers who have landed at an airport. When the consumer enters the geo-fenced location, the consumer is greeted with a message welcoming them to their new city and asking if they would like a ride. Other apps, such as those that suggest restaurants or stores, could be invaluable for pushing out messages without being directly from the source.

A Must for Mobile Marketing

For Houston marketers interested in mobile marketing, geo-fencing is the best and latest strategy to effectively target a consumer group. By using real-time data mixed with a knowledge of a consumer base, geo-fencing and geo-conquesting will only improve as the technology expands and consumers become more amenable to such targeted advertising. For Houston marketing, geo-fencing, when done smartly, could bring a major change to how advertisers and consumers connect.

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How Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Really Works

You’ve spent countless hours working on an amazing product and you’re finally done. Sadly, no one knows about it. What can you do to let others know about it? The Internet is a very big place. Should your Houston business advertise on a specific website or a social network? There are no guarantees with these options.

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could guarantee your marketing dollars will have maximum impact? You can with a PPC campaign. (Shameless plug => Cox Media Group (CMG) has an established SMB partnership with Google and has extensive knowledge about having successful PPC marketing campaigns.) You pay for results from customers, not for an ad that may or may not be reaching an audience.

Let’s break this down further to look at how PPC campaigns work:

1. Compare and Contrast Using an Expert.

PPC campaigns work directly with search engines. Because of this, a search engine marketing (SEM) expert can optimize results and ensure the right audience is being reached. Remember, if this is not your area of expertise, it will take more time and money to do this on your own. Consider hiring an expert like CMG from the get go. Vendors like CMG already have a full-time team of experts trained and ready to support your PPC campaigns.

2. Choose the Platform(s) You Will Use.

Typically this is Google (which uses AdWords) Yahoo or Bing. (Note – the last two are now the same platform, called BingAds). Google is the market share leader in search but in many cases it is best to advertise on all three search engines for maximum reach.

This will also help with specific geo-targeting, demographic targeting, or exact match keywords. For example, if you own an Italian restaurant in Sugar Land and someone types in “Italian Restaurant Sugar Land” on a search engine, using geo-targeting and Adwords or BingAds, an ad for your restaurant will come up on search engine results pages (on the top or along the right hand side).

If utilizing the exact match keywords of “great Italian restaurant” your ad appears only when those words are searched. Remember, the more platforms you use, the more time will be needed to spent analyzing and updating the information.

3. Starting Your PPC Campaign.

The next step is to implement the PPC campaign using the specific keywords needed for your ad. This can be very difficult at times as it requires strategy and focus. A PPC campaign can be very time consuming especially if this is the first time going through the process. Research is also required to find the keywords being used match up with wording used by the intended audience.  These are all the more reasons to hire a digital media firm to assist!

4. Analyze the Results.

Once the PPC ads are in place, it is essential to measure and analyze the results and make appropriate changes. A PPC campaign requires constant monitoring. It will take time and some trial and error to be sure the keywords are targeting the right audience and to adjust for changes.

Some of the metrics which are likely analyzed include:

  • Clicks: The number of clicks on the ad placed.
  • Impressions: The number of times the ad is seen.
  •  Click Thru Rate: The number of clicks divided by number of impressions.
  •  Conversions: A click and action taken by customer.
  • Conversion Rate: The number of conversions divided by clicks.
  • Cost Per Conversion: The cost spent divided by number of conversions.

Once these metrics are analyzed, the keywords are fine-tuned to achieve better results. Negative keywords may be inserted which help define when the ad appears. An A/B version testing campaign may also be implemented to see what specific keywords achieve the best results.

Again, this can be a very time-consuming process for many, so it is best to get the help from an expert like Cox Media Group so you can utilize your pay-per-click campaign for optimal success with your customers.

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Responsive Design & Mobile Display Advertising 101

You’ve heard about mobile advertising and know that your website must be mobile optimized, but you still aren’t 100% sure how to take the best advantage of mobile display advertising for your Houston business. Understanding the benefits of an effective mobile advertising plan is crucial and starts with having a responsive design website. So – here are the goods you need to know.

Mobile Display Advertising vs. Regular Display Advertising

Mobile display advertising is a form of advertising on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Regular display advertising can be seen on desktop computers. Examples of mobile display advertising include: apps, mobile image ads, QR codes, mobile searches, SMS (text messages), and local ads.

Responsive Design vs. Mobile Website Design

Smart mobile advertising is only successful if your business has a website that is mobile optimized. Furthermore, having a responsive design website is pertinent to today’s success as a business owner. Mobile design entails creating an entirely different website to accommodate mobile devices. Using the desktop design website is not conducive or practical for mobile use. However, in today’s rapidly evolving, technologically-driven marketing world, having a mobile website and a desktop URL are not sufficient anymore.

Responsive design is becoming the standard in the digital and marketing world. TechTerms states that responsive web design (RWD) “provides a customized viewing experience for different browser platforms. A website created with RWD will display a different interface depending on what device is used to access the site.” This is especially helpful when displaying content on small screens. Responsive web design ensures that the user can receive and read all content, no matter the size of the screen being used.

The Benefits of Mobile Advertising/Responsive Design

1. Cost-$$avings

Mobile display advertising costs are significantly lower than radio, TV, and print ads, helping you to reach more people for less money. You will see a higher return on investment (ROI) using mobile display ads, while maintaining the same level of quality that traditional advertising previously provided.

2. Accessibility 24/7

People don’t stray far from their mobile devices these days, therefore, your Houston business can reach customers at all times of the day. They can read your time-sensitive messages any time and at their convenience. The best part is that businesses don’t have to wait for customers to sit down at their desktop computers, you can reach them where they are. In addition, most people have their devices “on” at all times, which means your mobile display advertising is always “on”.

3. Larger Audiences (and Growing)

More people are accessing the internet using a mobile device, giving you larger access to the general public and to an audience that is constantly growing. A 2013 survey showed that 73.4% of smartphone owners used their devices to access the internet. This number is expected to exceed 90% by 2017. Consequently, you have the opportunity to reach an audience you might not have using traditional display advertising, only accessed via a desktop computer.

4. Relationship Building

People have a deep connection with and dependency upon their mobile devices now more than ever. You can use this to your advantage by creating a responsive ad campaign that connects intimately with customers to meets their expectations. This low-pressure advertising will garner repeat customers for your business, while allowing a casual, friendly relationship.

5. 2014 Mobile Advertising Results and 2015 Predictions

As of January 2014, 58% of adults own a smartphone; 32% own an e-reader; and 42% own a tablet. Needless to say, it would greatly benefit your Houston business to take advantage of mobile display advertising, as the mobile market is expected to generate $400 billion dollars in sales by 2015 compared to $139 billion in 2012.

recent study has revealed that 50.1% of spending on paid search ads and SEO efforts will go towards mobile advertising in 2015. It is predicted that 76.7% of search spend will go to mobile marketing by 2018.

The idea that your ads can go straight to your customers’ phones is not surprising, yet can make a significant difference, almost immediately for your business. The caveat to this success, however, is to make sure you plan and prepare your mobile display advertising plan correctly and efficiently, while understanding the benefits of such marketing choices and responsive design.

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Don’t Waste Your Digital Marketing Dollars on Popular Keywords for PPC

Digital marketing, and specifically Pay-Per-Click (PPC) in Houston, can get expensive if you are competing with national brands. To go head-to-head with the ‘Big Guys’ over popular keywords can be a budgetary disaster for smaller businesses.

The Big Guys will always win because of the size of their budgets. However, the ‘Little Guys’ can carve out an affordable strategy by targeting less popular long-tail key phrases. These phrases, although less popular, are more powerful because they resonate with the consumer at the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT.)

What’s the ZMOT?

The ZMOT is the moment when the consumer has decided, consciously or unconsciously, to find what they need and buy it. This person searches quite differently from someone who just wants general information about a subject. They have a pressing need and an immediate desire to fulfill it.

Imagine you are selling a book for parents of toddlers. You want to find the key words, or phrases to bid on that will have the biggest impact. If you target the word “parenting,” you are going to run through your budget very quickly because it is a popular keyword. The people searching for this very general term probably aren’t trying to solve a pressing need.

Less competitive phrases can be more powerful.

Contrast this to a Houston mother who is searching “how to get my toddler to sleep through the night in her own bed.” This is a much less competitive key phrase, but it is much more powerful. If you can provide this person a solution to their pressing need, they are very likely to take action on it. You have found them at their Zero Moment of Truth.

PPC best practices allow smaller companies can focus on less competitive key phrases that have a stronger impact. There is no need to break the bank with Houston PPC. By targeting these key phrases that consumers use when in a buying state, the Little Guys can attract more business without wasting money trying to compete with the Big Guys.

Know the Importance of Online Directories for Your Houston Business

ask_for_large_orders._meaningful_solutions_require_sizeable_investments._In our increasingly digital world, we continue to see shifts in consumer behavior.Long gone are the days when we pull out the Yellow Pages to find the address of a business. Instead, the Internet makes this process much more automatic. After typing in a few keywords such as “Houston auto repair shop,” we are shown thousands of search results all customized to our query and geographic location.

Search engines are just the starting point for information on your business’s services. As consumers move away from search results, many of them end up on local directory sites such as Yelp, Bing, Google+ and Yahoo Local. Not to mention these types of sites are highly optimized and oftentimes populate the top spots in organic search results.

These directories play a critical role in your business’s online presence. It’s not just important to have your business listed on these sites, but also to have your business listedconsistently across each site.

Read below to find out how submission to online local directories can benefit your Houston business.

1. Increase organic rankings in local search.

According to Moz.com in January 2014, consistent business information across local directory sites made up approximately 15% of the local search algorithm. With all these new back links to your website, Google will deem your website more authoritative and in turn your page rankings will increase.

2. Keep business information updated and accurate.

We’ve all had this happen before…. You look up an address online, put it in your GPS, and spend 15 minutes driving three miles in Houston traffic only to find out that the business has moved. As a consumer, you know how frustrating this is. More times than not, you will find another business (your competitor?) with accurate directory listings that satisfies what you’re looking for. Don’t lose customers due to incorrect business information. That is a loss easily avoided.

3. Increase online visibility.

Your current and prospective customers are relying on these platforms to find your business information. Today’s consumers do not have the patience or time to scour the Internet to find your address or phone number. If your business is not easily found, it is likely they will turn to your competition.

4. Monitor your online reputation.

The Internet is the new first impression. Most directory sites have a place where consumers can write a review. Customers take advantage of this opportunity to share their experiences – both positive and negative. Also, today’s consumers do their homework before making purchase decisions and rely on these reviews to be informed. These directories are a great way to keep a pulse on what your customer’s are saying about you so that you can respond appropriately.

Despite all of these benefits, submission to online directories won’t break your budget. It’s one of the most cost-efficient ways to protect your business from your competition. Your business can afford these directories, but it can’t afford losing the business and trust of your prospective and current customers.

Bottom line is that today’s consumers expect everything to be convenient and automatic. If they can’t easily find your business information, they will lose patience and give their business to your competition. Help your current and prospective customers find you by claiming your business on online directories.

How to Make Your Digital Banner Ads More Effective

banner_ad

How do you make sure your banner ads deliver the results you’re looking for? Managed properly, great banner ads can be an effective way to drive awareness and boost site traffic and sale conversions. Here are some tips to make sure your banner ads bring the results you’re looking for:

1. Keep It Simple

Your message should be short, simple, and able to beat the two second glance. Use visual language and high impact messaging. The reader should view it, understand it, and act on it immediately. Avoid flashy, annoying animations and overly busy designs. Aim for clean, simple, and concise.

2. Color Palette

Colors will be the first thing the viewer notices and feels about your banner ad. Use a color scheme that matches your site’s banner image, and remember to contrast the background and the text so the words pop out. Don’t be afraid of white space.

3. Call-To-Action

A strong call-to-action is critical for any advertising campaign to have success. Sometimes “Today Only!”, “Buy Now!”, and “Hurry!” create just the right amount of tension to cause the user to click through immediately. But, sometimes a softer approach might be more appropriate. “Learn More” might be a better fit for B2B software and training’s.

4. Leave Them Wanting More (Call-To-Action II)

You don’t need to put every piece of critical information on your banner ad. Remember, the #1 goal of banner advertising is to get the viewer to click on the ad. Don’t distract with too much type or messaging. Write your banner copy so you leave them wanting more.

5. Width & Height Matter

Your banner ad needs to be large enough, but not so big that it obnoxiously takes over the page. Make sure your ad stands out without cluttering the screen.

6. Keep the File Size Low

Try to keep your banner ad file size low (under 50kb). The bigger the file size the longer it will take to load on the page. If your file is too big, you’ll either lose out on potential impressions (especially people with slower internet connections) or create performance problems for the page.

7. Research Your Competition

What are your competitors doing? Are they offering online coupons? Are their pages too cluttered? Are they using video banner ads with horrible sound quality? Take notes on your competitor’s marketing strategy.

8. Include Your Logo

You may want to create an abbreviated logo or mark to minimize clutter on your banner ads. For example, you could take an element from your logo (ex. a leaf from a tree logo) and include it on the banner ad instead of the whole logo.

9. Target Your Audience

Specifically, who is your audience? Don’t think that it’s “everyone” or the “general public.” Not everyone will be interested in your product or service just because you want them to. Your color palette, message, fonts, coupons, and call to action should all be geared towards your target audience, whether tweens, stay at home moms, car enthusiasts, or those who enjoy a backyard BBQ.