How many people click on banner ads?

How much would you pay to have your company on the 10×5 meter huge billboards on the side of the motorway that leads up to the airport?

This is always a question I ask my potential customers as I need to gauge their understanding of Branding as part of their marketing.

Why do the Blue chip companies continue to pay for them? I would add:
“Because they can afford it” I am told quite often, I would often reply “Because they cannot afford not to.”

Ask any small business if you could give them the Airport billboard adverts for free, do they think the branding would make a difference to their business?

Start-ups and small businesses struggle with branding as a concept, as you need to find a balance between; what your mentors are telling you about how cash is king in the first 5 years, how cash flow is the major contributor to all company failures, and the notion that you must develop trust and get your name and logo seen.

Banner advertisements on websites have changed so much in the last 10 years, affiliate marketers and bloggers could easily make a living back in 2005 by creating a great site and giving great content and sharing their news and views on social media. The traffic would pour into the site and see and click the adverts.

Sadly however the rates at which people click adverts are vastly diminishing in fact HubSpot paint a really scary picture:

  • Only 8% of internet users account for 85% of clicks on display ads (and some of them aren’t even humans!)
  • You are more likely to get a full house while playing poker than click on a banner ad.
  • The average person is served over 1,700 banner ads per month. Do you remember any?
  • You are more likely to summit Mount Everest than click a banner ad.

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So if it is not about clicks anymore, why are there still so many ads on websites?

Let’s go back to the Billboards again, imagine the Sales Representative for the Billboard Company sitting in the board room with his potential clients:

Customer: “So, how many clicks to our website can we expect from this billboard?”
Rep: “Ermmm not a clue sorry.”
Customer: “Okaay, how many eyeballs can we expect from this billboard?”
Rep: “Well 50,000 cars drive to the Airport each day”
Customer: “Well haven’t they got their eyes on the road and their minds on their flights to catch?”
Rep: “I guess so, yeah”
Customer: “Ok we will take six months!”
Rep: “Really??”

Billboards on road sides are not clickable, and you drive by so fast you can’t even see the phone number. So why do successful companies continually pay for them?

Because they understand branding!

Branding means a feeling of trust that your company name gives them, that you are always there for them, they know where you are when they need you,

A friend of mine runs a simple market stall, in the beginning business was slow but he knew that just being there all the time when people pass by, that eventually they would all get around at some point of buying form him, it took 5 years for everyone to know him and he knew 60% of his enquiries would not buy today, but would at some point,

If he ever moved his stall temporarily, then he lost business, as people thought he had gone. People are fickle and time and concentration are a difficult thing to ask of people even his ‘I have only moved 20 feet to the next aisle’, did not help much.

His success was about branding and stick-ability.

Website adverts are a fantastic and cost effective way for potential customers to see your name and know you are there for them, but don’t expect clicks, it’s branding for small businesses and you will feel that most of your money is going down the pan, yet it’s a lesson in karma, give without thinking, and it will return to you.

When I started blogging on Biz-find sites 3 years ago I was spending 20 hours a week writing for all 8 sites week after week, yet for the first six months, many times I questioned my sanity, whilst another people were bringing home the bacon, I was yet to see a penny for my work, Then one day at a networking event a chap received my business card and before I said anything he said:

“Oh you’re the guy who writes those blogs about social media and content marketing, I started my own blog thanks to you, and yes I would like some advertising on your site!”

Oh the joy of Karma!

Biz-find offer banner ads on their sites quite proudly as we have decent traffic to say we can help brand your business to over 150,000 eyeballs each month. This is the branding principle I have outlined in my blog, where the banners are clickable but don’t expect clicks, and if you do get a few, that’s a bonus , but the real benefit of banner ads on websites is name recognition and the trust that extends much further than a one-time click and sale.