Internet Users Hbk - Chapter 13c. How to Advertise Your Business
Chapter 13C. How to Advertise Your Business
13.15 How Web Advertising Works (Condensed)
IntroductionTwo different things are happening right now: More and more sites are asking you to pay a fee to subscribe to all or part of the Web site. Advertising is becoming more and more "in your face." There are now pop-up ads, ads that play music and sound tracks, ads that swim across the screen, and so...
The second trend is true of nearly all commercial Web sites. There are many new forms of Web advertising, and they are more and more obvious. Many Web users have questions about all of these new ad types. For example:
- Why do Web sites have so many ads now?
- Why do Web sites allow pop-up ads that open new windows? (People hate closing them all.)
- Why do Web sites allow the floating ads that cover the content so I cannot read it?
- How can I make all these ads go away?
In the Beginning: Banner AdsWhen the Web first started being a "commercial endeavor" around 1997 or so, thousands of new sites were born and billions of dollars in venture capital flowed into them. The sites divided into two broad categories:
- E-commerce sites - sell things. E-commerce sites make their money from the products they sell, just as a brick-and-mortar store does.
- Content sites -create or collect content (words, pictures, video, etc.) for readers to look at. Content Web sites make their money primarily from advertising, like TV stations, radio stations and newspapers.
At some point, advertisers concluded that banner ads were not as effective as full-page magazine ads or 30-second TV commercials. At the same time, there was an incredible glut of advertising space -- thousands of sites had a million or more page impressions available per month...
The economic principle of "supply and demand" works the same way on the Web as it does everywhere else, so the rates paid for banner advertising began to plummet. Today, if you shop around, you can buy banner ads from thousands of Web sites or brokers for 50 cents or so per thousand impressions -- which are exactly what they are worth to a person who is trying to sell something with banner ads using a direct sales model.
…But for most other Web sites, there is very little money to be made from banner ads. In order to charge more than 50 cents per thousand impressions, Web sites have to offer ads that either: Have a lot more branding power or Get a much higher click-through rate
New Advertising Formats and ExperimentsSIDEBAR ADS
A sidebar ad (also known as a skyscraper ad) is similar to a banner ad, but it is vertically oriented rather than horizontally. Because it is vertical, the height of a sidebar ad can often reach 600 pixels or more, and sidebars are generally 120 pixels wide.
A sidebar ad has more impact than a banner ad for at least two reasons: A tall sidebar ad is two to three times larger than a banner ad. You cannot scroll a sidebar ad off the screen like you can a banner ad. With a banner ad, you can scroll just 60 pixels down and the ad is gone. With a sidebar ad, the ad is with you much longer.
Because of this increased impact, sidebar ads have higher branding power and a higher click-through rate. A typical sidebar ad has a click-through rate of 1 percent (10 clicks per 1,000 impressions), or about two to three times that of a banner ad Advertisers will typically pay $1.00 to $1.50 per 1,000 run-of-site impressions for sidebar ad placement. Advertisers pay more for targeted sidebar ads, just like they do with targeted banner ads.
VARIED SHAPES AND SIZES
Banner ads and sidebar ads have standard sizes. But in the last year or two people have tried all different sizes and placements. Here are three examples:
Sites aren’t paid much for these smaller ads, because generally the click-through rates are low. But by putting 10 ads on the page, it can add up to $2 per 1,000 page impressions.
POP-UP AND POP-UNDER
A pop-up ad is an ad that "pops up" in its own window when you go to a page. It obscures the Web page that you are trying to read, so you have to close the window or move it out of the way. Pop-under ads are similar, but place themselves under the content you are trying to read and are therefore less intrusive.
Pop-up and pop-under ads annoy many users because they clutter up the desktop and take time to close. However, they are much more effective than banner ads. Whereas a banner ad might get two to five clicks per 1,000 impressions, a pop-up ad might average 30 clicks.
Therefore, advertisers are willing to pay more for pop-up and pop-under ads. Typically, a pop-up ad will pay the Web site four to 10 times more than a banner ad that is why you see so many pop-up ads on the Web today.
If you have ever been to a Web site that uses them, you know what "floating ads" are. These are ads that appear when you first go to a Web page, and they "float" or "fly" over the page for anywhere from five to 30 seconds. While they are on the screen, they obscure your view of the page you are trying to read, and they often block mouse input as well.
Floating ads are appearing more and more frequently for several reasons: They definitely get the viewer's attention. They are animated. Many now have sound.
Like TV ads, they "interrupt the program" and force you to watch them. They can take up the entire screen. From a branding standpoint, they are much more powerful than something like a banner ad or a sidebar ad they cannot be ignored. They have a high click-through rate, averaging about 3 percent (meaning that 30 people will click through for every 1,000 impressions of a floating ad).
The high click-through rate, as well as the greater branding power, means that advertisers will pay a lot more for a floating ad -- anywhere from $3 to $30 per 1,000 impressions depending on the advertiser and the ad Because they can pay a lot of money, Web sites are willing to run floating ads.
The only problem with floating ads is that they annoy people. Some people become infuriated by them, and will send death threats and three-page-long rants via e-mail. That is why you do not yet see them everywhere.
The annoyance problem points out something interesting about advertising, however. When pop-up ads first appeared, they bothered lots of people and you did not see them on very many sites. After a while, people got used to them and stopped complaining, and now pop-up ads can be found on tons of sites. As people get used to floating ads, they will become more common.
Why you see so many ads on Web sites today. It's either:
- Lots of ads,
- Switch over to subscriptions (hope you can get 50,000 people to subscribe -- no easy task).
- Or go out of business. A Web site is a business, and it must cover its expenses to survive. HowStuffWorks-Bain
13.16 InnovationAs people stop clicking on banner ads and pay less attention to search-related text ads, marketers have tried out new ways to reach an increasingly saturated-by-advertising audience. Video ads play before you watch online videos on many mainstream news sites, and audio podcasts include ads read by the hosts. Advertisers are also considering ways to send relevant ads to mobile phones, though many people want to get free data or free calls in return for watching ads on cell phones. MediaShift
13.17 Advertising Is Still A Numbers Game?
Your Website is Your Business. You must have traffic, No Traffic – NO SALES!However, it is not the number of “unique hits” that your site gets, it the number of conversions – OK. Conversions are buyers. Therefore, if you need a 100 or 1, 000 hits to get 1 buyer, then you need to increase your number of hits in order to get 2 buyers or 3 buyers, etc. If no one can find your site or you fallen to an advertising scam, then you will not get any real hits and certainly no conversions or buyers.
Example: Getting the NumbersOver 30 years ago, after spending a year or so unemployed to complete my doctorate dissertation on “Top Performers”, I needed a job. My sports car and other cars, house with swimming pool and other expenses were running about $ 7,500 per month, and I was running out of cash. . What to do, I had gotten use to the so-called better lifestyle that I enjoyed after too many years trying to forget and distance myself the slums of Boston.
I was in La Jolla, California (San Diego). What a beautiful place; however, as I have often said “People with money, can afford to have bad taste” I also said in 1984 while in a meeting with my employees “Patience is a Waste of Time”, but that is another story.
I could have sold real-estate where the big money was at that time and maybe still is (but I didn’t want to babysit houses), and the start uptime was typical 3-6 months before your first check, I could have sold luxury automobiles (but I already had them) – again lots of competition but potentially a faster pay check. What to do?
Although over the years, I had founded several bootstrap, but successful businesses, I needed something new. As a former Chief Executive, Director, Senior Manager, blah, blah, etc., I remembered that I was good at paperwork, analytics, etc., so I ventured into the mortgage business. Paper is easy to carry, doesn’t take up of a lot of space and for me better than babysitting a house or a car. It was pro-active rather than reactive; meaning go after the client, rather than waiting for them, say at an open house or showroom
To try to keep it short, I applied for a job with the owner and manager of a 13-branch mortgage firm. He said I probably will not make a living as a PhD doing mortgage finance, and he suggested that we do not use the PhD on the business cards. (I thought that does not make sense because other than the house, the loan is one of your biggest expenses – how about credibility – I thought it was my edge, my differentiator – which you may have heard of about in business). So the PhD stayed, so now the challenge was to act like one: be competent in the job. As Beyoncé, or perhaps her mother said, “If you got it - flaunt it”.
Without any particular training, he threw me to the wolves. What to do I asked? His traditional mortgage company mentality advice was to go find 5 offices that like you pass out your adverting flyers and maybe you will make a living doing loans for their customers. What territory, I asked? “Do not worry; just find some business”
I quickly learned that loan companies were like body shops, bodies coming in and out, high turnover, the grass are always greener, pretty boy/pretty girl companies, etc. Competence and/or training was not the standard, just attract the customer and the sale.
Five offices, which five? how many would I have visit before I would find that magical 5? Worse than that, what was I advertising; what were these various loans programs, quotes, fees, disclosures, etc. I had a lot of homework to understand my product(s) – salvage my credibility, again.
As I already said, I had started or had been in various businesses for years before and after my military and government stints. All I needed was my own strategy. (Think outside the box seems to be a popular summary of the situation) Most loan officers, visit offices (again the pretty boy/pretty girl scenario), shake hands, to sit down have coffee, chit chat, earn the relationship, etc. Since most agents follow the 80/20% rule and have time on their hands, if they were even in the office and were always glad to talk to the pretty girl.
I didn’t have time for all of that. I needed to make money fast and I didn’t have time to figure out who was going to like me or not. Besides, I was not a young pretty boy or girl. My monthly expense of $ 7,500 comes every month whether I had income or not.
So my strategy evolved; I wanted, I needed the numbers – Period! Taking a lesson from my military (US Navy – enlisted and officer) days. I developed my Search and Rescue Map. I was searching for real estate offices, and location – a popular real estate terms. I took my San Diego map and started driving my sports car into each and every neighborhood where I expected to find an office. I noted real estate signs in the windows or on the lawns to see who was working.
Upon finding an office, I would peak inside to see how many desks and potential agents there were there. Agent’s usually double desk it, unless they are producers. You ask why was I peaking and not going in, because I would take the roof of my car and drove the city and neighboring streets at 4-5 AM till about 8 AM, before most offices opened. I loved to drive that car and I did not want to lose it to the bank. I then did the same at night, when most of the offices were closed. Often, if someone was working these odd hours; they were just as interested to see who I was, as I was to them.
I recorded office addresses, number of agents, phone numbers, etc. As a result of my early morning excursions, I wound up with a 600 office list and an estimated 3,000 agents. Talk about numbers – great. Like the mail carrier or in this case, several mail carriers, I developed my route and naively asked the boss for 3,000 flyers. He laughed; most of his loan officers only use 10-20 flyers per day he said, maybe 50 and certainly not more than 100 – after all, they were only going to 5 offices, right. I didn’t tell him my strategy.
So fine, I used one of his allocated flyers as a master and printed my own 3,000 flyers. I worked 7 days a week, from 3, 4, 5 am until about 8 Am and after hours to pas our 3,000 flyer and complete my route in a week’s time and then started again the next week for about 6 weeks.
Remember, to me it was a numbers game. Certainly, it was not long before everyone had heard of Dr Don; the phone began to ring from the first week on. After my morning route, I would return to the Office. The boss wanted to know why I was in the Office and not out knocking on doors. This was before the “How did I ever do business without a cell-phone days?
I am waiting for the phone to ring, I replied. A common problem for anyone in those days was accessibility and availability. If the phone range, I want to take care of the caller, immediately. Even today with cells phones, this still seems to remain a problem for many – Timely and Effective Communication. If you are not available the next company is!
To summarize this example up for you, it starts as a numbers game and the bigger the numbers, the faster the start. I needed a fast start. The phone rang; some wanted to find out who I was, how creditable I sounded before they would try me and give me business. Luckily, the pros also rang in which as good for me. The word about the new kid (man in town) spread quickly. Although I continued my route for about 6 weeks, in my first month, I brought in more business than all of the other loans officers combined. After 6 weeks, I expanded my advertising and started my mass mail campaign to local Escrows, CPAs, Attorneys, and Financial Planners.
Bringing in business is only part of the equation; you must close the business to get paid. Yes I got an award and a small bonus for bringing in more business then all others combined, but the company failed to deliver on a second problem – never overload your system. Ultimately, it is not the number of hits or originations, but the conversions and closures – the Payment.
TIP. Take the end objective, and work backward. If you need $ 7, 500 a month, then how many sales do your need to make 7500 and expect some fallout, so you need more - Right?
13.18 We Get People from the Numbers GameI cannot argue with that, but you must first attract the customer and then turn him or her into a person. Scammers know that, that why they attract you with their headlines. I know a lot of people will tell you today, it’s a people business, get on line join the social networks, chat, makes friends, etc., - This will build your business
I cannot argue with that either, but for me, it is time consummating, too slow with the introductions, what you do, rejection, I will give you a try, etc. It is a Slow Start, but still better than trying to sell to your friends and family. Reminds me of the previous story – go get 5 offices, which 5, where?
Of course, I know it is a People Business, but I prefer to cut through the looky-loos, the shoppers, the comparers, etc. I want the commitment necessary from my customers to go online and make a living, be successful.
In my offline business; I did consultation sales and marketing, I re-engineered processes, created financial databases - sold data to large bankers, used the same data for my clients and resold the data to my affiliates.
I was very successful in building my bootstrap company from $137 to $15-20 million. I was the expert and at my desk the “customer was not always right.” I clearly felt that if they left my desk and went somewhere else on an emotional decision – it was their loss. I never concern myself with the ones that get away.
I told you in the numbers story, about the dedicated people who were still in the office late or early morning, the same hours that I worked. I not only built relationships with these dedicated real estate professionals, but also with those from my mass mailings to CPAs, Financial planners – as mentioned above.
To cement the relationships, I attended various chamber meetings, professional, sports and social events. Associating with other successful people helps you make friends and create relationships. “Success Breeds Success.” On any given Wednesday, if you go bowling with the beer drinking gutter bowlers, you game will get weaker not stronger.
These professionals and their clients were both my clients as far as I was concerned; for that matter my bankers were also my clients, just as I was theirs since they sought my business. Why, because I never did a transaction in which if I had had the money, I would have funded the deal myself, or I did fund it, I would have a ready buyer for the paper. Yes, it is a People Business.
My business model and style branded me as the expert, resulting in clients from all walks of life that included everyone from wage earners , garbage collector – he was a tough client, Professors, Governors, Rock Stars, Baseball Stars, a Fortune 500 CEO’s, other CEO’s, dotcom stars as clients. I even had a customer who didn’t become a client; who left my desk and was shortly thereafter was convicted of murdering his wife. Some clients have never borrowed money before, but now wanted to leverage their money. I guess you should know that I lived in one of the so-called “High Rent Districts” of the United States. Of course some of my 16 hours days were filled with social and civic advocacy commitments which didn’t hurt me.
Most off-line/online MLM companies, Amway, Tupperware, and Shaklee all know that it is a People Game; it is face to face negotiations, helping etc. and certainly, my offline business strategy worked as a People Game, by associating with other successful business people.
The online business owners and up line sponsors, as I have experienced with few exceptions only run a numbers game. They never turn the numbers into people. Most are not accessible, and their support systems are a farce.
Most run a business, much like some of my off-line business competitors – they run a Body Shop. Their mentality and business plan was to flood the territory with bodies which enabled them to a little business here and there, in hopes they would keep headquarters alive, but the bodies would die a slow death.
The online Gurus remind me of this; they do well and can make a website after website and make a new claim after claim. Their buddies will join with them, but most of us that join the Gurus and their buddies, will die a slow death.
They will tell you not to quit, because quitters can never win. True, but in business there; is a time to set your exit strategy, cut your losses and get out. There are others that could not or can’t afford the dream of internet wealth that just go broke – worse off than before they started following their emotions, before being scammed.
TIP. Whether offline or online – not everyone is fit to start their own company. In marginal cases, some can learn the ropes. The same must be said for the internet, not everyone will take the time and prepare themselves to be a success.It should be noted that the failures for online businesses is about the same as offline. – Pick a number – 95%
It is my hope that our members learn this important lesson; It is a people business, be accessible, and when your business grows to a point where you cannot handle it or are not available – Get a good support staff and pay them well. As your business grows, get more involved with your people, answer emails, join in the forums, social networks, etc. Get back to face-to-face discussions with free media such videos and Skype
13.19 Traffic Exchanges (TE)In your search for traffic and online advertising options; Traffic Exchanges must be considered as they are easily found and even for sale. Reviews are mixed; some think they work; some do not. Some say only the TE owners are making money, while others claim a nice monthly income once they have built their downline.
TE’s are for clickers to earn credits for their own ads. But like Paid to Read/Paid to Click sites, discussed later, most are resellers/advertising other traffic exchanges. Some say use videos and splash pages, as other pages don’t get anyone’s attention. What are they, do they work. Again, some say nothing great, slow process, time consuming. Most are free to join, and worthy of a look. If you have time, then try Traffic Hoopla as one of the best ranked sites to start and it links you to other tops sites. Advantage, advertise one site and get business to 50.
A Brief Explanation of Traffic ExchangesIf you have a website and you want to increase the amount of visitors (also known as traffic) to your website, you can sign up for a free account at any of the thousands of traffic exchanges available online or choose one from the list below. Then once you have gone through the registration process, you will be able to add links to the website you want to promote, for example, I promote one of my home business websites on many traffic exchanges and this is the address I use http://www.carolking.ws you would simply add your own link.
Traffic exchanges work on a credit basis, in order for your website to be seen you must first generate credits by viewing the sites of other members. The credits you earn enable your site to be viewed by other members across the system. This increases the number of visitors to all of the websites involved.
Traffic exchanges usually enforce a credit ratio, meaning members earn a certain amount of credits for visiting one member site, and each credit is translated into one page view. Ratios can vary from program to program so before registering for a traffic exchange it is wise to check out their ratio first. A ratio of 1-1 is best, that way you will get your page viewed once for every (1) page you view.
All traffic exchanges have specific viewing times of all member pages. These viewing times can range from 10-30 seconds, so whilst surfing the system, every page that is shown to a member will remain in view for 10-30 seconds, you will not be able to proceed to the next site until the specified time has passed.
Most traffic exchanges have a toolbar at the top or bottom of the page that has a timer on it so you can see when the timer reaches 0 and it is ok for you to continue on to the next page. This is put in place to make sure each member site is promoted equally and fairly. If you try to go on to the next page before the timer reaches 0 you will be penalized in some way, the penalty varies from exchange to exchange.
To make surfing traffic exchanges a little more interesting, some services offer different ways to surf such as, playing games for credits or listing to radio stations whilst surfing. If you do not want to surf manually for credits you can purchase them, again prices vary. Many traffic exchanges are free to join but also have Pro versions that allow you to generate more credits from referrals. Always thoroughly check out what is available in the Pro version when you first sign-up.
How to Use Traffic Exchanges EffectivelyUsing traffic exchanges to promote your business can be extremely effective, but as with all Internet marketing methods, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. I myself have wasted a great deal of time going about it incorrectly and consequently I did not gain the full benefit. I even went as far as to say that traffic exchanges did not work. Fortunately soon after, I became a Plug-in Profit Site member and the training that is given with the program soon educated me. I quickly learnt that traffic exchanges are very powerful and could channel a lot of traffic to my websites and blogs.
Even now, as I surf my favorite exchanges I still see so many people making the same mistakes I did, this is one of the reasons why I started this lens. I hope to offer straightforward, helpful tips to stop people from wasting their credits on the exchanges.
The Most Common Mistake Is Using SALES Pages In Traffic Exchanges.You know the ones I mean, affiliate pages that contain long-winded text, graphics, images and video. These pages are a waste of the surfer's time. It is not the product or the wording of the page that is the problem; it is a simple matter of loading time. It may not sound very important but it is crucial to your success on traffic exchanges.
All traffic exchanges use a timer, which means you normally have between 10 and 30 seconds to grab the interest of the viewer and get them to click through your page. This is not a lot of time; so if you have a long sales page with graphics and images on it, guess what is going to happen?
Yep, your time is going to run out and the surfer will move on to the next page without having read a word of your page. How can this be avoided?
Squeeze and splash pages for Traffic ExchangesBy using squeeze pages, also known as lead capture pages. Squeeze pages are designed to GRAB the attention of the reader and then tell them about your product or service in as few words as possible. These pages are also designed to build your list of subscribers to your newsletter, by placing a sign-up form on the same page.
…. Splash pages keep it is short, to-the-point and attention grabbing; and because of the clean concise design, it loads extremely quickly, thereby giving me the maximum viewing time in traffic exchanges. If you would like to learn more about growing your list with lead capture pages, take a few minutes and read the post on my blog entitled Traffic Exchange Tips
It is not necessary to know a great deal of html in order to get your own squeeze page. There is a free service called Instant Squeeze Page Generator Robert Puddy' site allows you to use free templates that you can add your own wording too. You can also add a free eBook to your squeeze page to encourage viewers to join your list.
When your squeeze page is ready, add it to all of your favorite traffic exchanges and if you have created a good clean, right-to-the-point, attention-grabbing page, you will see an increase in hits on your page because more surfers will see it due to its quick loading.
TIP: Online users now receive the lead generation techniques such as the Splash or Capture page. Yes, these have been around for a while, but now anyone can make a Splash page for any program. Often there is no clue as which program is being advertised along with the request free information. You may ever see the information, but your name and some details have already been captured when you signed up.Another common mistake is trying to use pages that contain AdSense ads in traffic exchanges. This is a definite no, and will get your website banned by Google because it is against their term and conditions. It is possible to use other types of contextual ads on TE's. Better Text Ads for instance are TE compliant. But it is still best not to use pages with ads on them in TE's. Use squeeze pages to build your subscriber list instead.
Further, you will get sign up requests from more than one affiliate, until you finally sign up for the program and your details are found in the master program database
Further, you will get sign up requests from more than one affiliate, until you finally sign up for the program and your details are found in the master program database
How to Use Website Rotators with Traffic ExchangesIn my previous article I talked about how to use traffic exchanges effectively and getting the best out of your surfing time.
This time I want to expand on that a little by giving you some information that will save you a great deal of time when setting up your websites on traffic exchanges.
Website Rotators are necessary for anyone using more than one TE to promote their websites. This simple idea will save your hours when you want to change any of the sites you are promoting. So what are website rotators? They are sites that allow you to advertise multiple websites using one single URL.
After you sign up for membership with a TE the first thing you would normally do, is start adding the URL's of the sites you want to promote. Let’s say for example you have registered with 10 traffic exchanges and you have 5 websites to promote. That would mean you have to enter your URL's 50 times. It would also mean that whenever you want to edit or delete a URL, you have to do it at each of your traffic exchanges, that means 10 sites, 10 sets of editing or deleting, which equals a great deal of time.
Website rotators make adding, editing or deleting your URL's so much quicker and easier. All you need to do is put the URL's of the websites you wish to promote into your rotator, then the rotator gives you 1 single URL to use on your traffic exchanges.
This changes the equation dramatically. Now, if you have the same 10 TE's and the same 5 websites, when you want to make changes, instead of having to go to 10 sites and make 5 changes on each, you will only have to make 1 change on your rotator. The website rotator will rotate all 5 of your websites using 1 single URL.
There are many rotators available online such as Free Rotator, TPM Rotator and HotScripts to name a few. I have recently started using Page Swirl; this rotator is a free service with options to upgrade to the paid service if you wish. I like this rotator because there are no pop-up or ads, it is totally transparent so no one will know you are using a rotator and you get up to the minute stats. This rotator is simple to use and most of the changes you wish to make to your URL's can be done in just a few clicks.
When you are adding your rotator URL to the traffic exchanges, remember to check the terms of service, as some traffic exchanges prefer you to use specific rotators or their own rotators. Squidoo TE
Have a question for Dr Don? Ask or leave a comment below!