With the increasing appeal of online ‘remarketing’, image ads are becoming more interesting again. Fifteen years ago, image ads (or ‘banner ads’ as they were usually known) were the future. On the Pro-Talk website network, which I used to run, we couldn’t take bookings fast enough. Banner ad revenue supported entire websites.
But things changed. ‘Banner blindness’ and better measurement of results caused them to lose their appeal. Advertisers realised they were often paying substantial charges for a few hundred views. That would be alright if the views were really targeted. But they weren’t.
Now, remarketing has changed all that. Showing your image advertisements just to people who’ve already visited your website? That’s a whole new ball game. It’s something which every business should be looking at.
Of course, you need to adjust to your audience. There’s no need to waste space on introducing your company or products. The potential customers seeing your adverts have already seen your website. Now you need to use image ads to show them things they might have missed.
My first choice would be new items on the website. Many of our clients using remarketing are doing just this. Every time they add a case study, or introduce a new product, we create new adverts for them. Previous website visitors see the ads all over the web. It’s probably as powerful as email marketing of the news story. And it can reach a lot more prospects. This will include that hardest-to-reach segment: people you aren’t aware of, but who know you.
One of our clients is increasing the visibility of case studies hugely. It was quietly overlooked, but in the past, case studies were typically getting just a handful of views. Now they get 100 or more readers in the first few weeks. Many of those stay and look around the website again. And in a long B2B buying cycle, we all know how important that is.
Remarketing with image ads is also fantastic for branding. Most people understand what’s happening with ads which ‘follow you around the web’. But even so, it still makes your company look a lot more significant. Spending by our clients on remarketing has tripled in the last year, and I can see why.