Can CPM (cost per thousand) banner advertising keep up with current online marketing trends?
Betsy Scuteri is the Sr. Director of Audience Marketing at Business.com. A mother, and digital fanatic, Scuteri is in charge of traffic acquisition of the companies owned and operated domains.
For the past 10+ years, Scuteri has been leading the conversions of start-ups and their needs as they grow.
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A few years ago, banner advertising was at the forefront of online marketing resources. As banner advertising rose to popularity, more and more business owners began to incorporate the costs of banner advertising into their marketing budget, enticed by the fact that they would be able to quantifiably track which ads their website visitors were clicking on. And, with the emergence of banner ads came the beginning of ROI driven advertising.
Considering recent improvements in online marketing strategies, as an entrepreneur with a start-up company, you may be asking yourself if so-called ‘traditional’ online marketing (CPM banner ads) is still a relevant and efficient way to reach your target market.
Marketing strategies are definitely not cut and dry so the answer to any marketing strategy question will almost always begin with “It depends.” If you are a small to mid-sized businesses, you have many options in the realm of online marketing, in which case traditional banner advertising can be put at the bottom of your list of priorities.
Keeping today’s economy in mind, every business, including start-ups, should create a marketing plan with programs correlated to immediate ROIs. Here are several recommended marketing strategies that are typically useful to start with:
- If it is possible, always start with affiliate relationships. Affiliates or lead generation companies (usually defined as another company that will sell or refer your services or products for a share of your received revenue) can be helpful in that they do not cost you an up-front investment for the customers you can attain through them. If you can find good affiliates, it is imperative that you treat them well, as they will not likely stay with you if you do not provide them any value in return for their services.
- Businesses with sales departments should maximize their pay-per-lead advertising budget. There are hundreds of thousands of companies that utilize this service because it works, and it is also tied to immediate ROI.
- Consider PPC and CPA advertising, which only require you to pay for an action. For example, you would only pay Google if a visitor clicked on your site.
- Don’t forget about social media and SEO as they are great channels for promoting your business.
- Google is now recognizing video in search results and SEO experts believe video will help efforts more and more in the future. If you’re working with an SEO company, make sure they offer video at a relatively low-cost. One option I recommend is Running Stills.
- When it comes to most marketing strategies, starting small, tracking your results, finding a sales approach that works, and then expanding, can best lead to success.
If you’re still wondering whether or not you should use CPM banner advertising, consider the size of your business. For larger companies, banner ads are a very effective way to drive traffic as well as enhance your ROI in every aspect of your advertising agenda. Smaller companies and start-ups should consider implementing programs that are tied to a direct return of investment rather than jumping right in to banner ads.
The bottom line is that CPM banner advertising is not a thing of the past and it probably never will be. But, as it goes with all types of advertising mediums, it isn’t for everyone.