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August 14, 2009

10 Web Advertising Blunders

Advertising on the Internet can play tricks on you, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the rules. While there are no magic formulas, it is a good idea to learn from others who have gone before you to avoid the dangers they have encountered. It is extremely wise to use good judgment about any information that may influence you or your online business decisions.

What you are about to read and understand directly impacts a web user’s capability to communicate with you. Ten of the most popular web advertising methods still maintain their independence, but come with certain technical flaws and disabilities.

1. Video Ads. I’m a firm believer of utilizing videos to advertise a product or service. Actually, I think it’s the best overall affluent tactic ever invented. But, Web videos have their technical limitations with multi-user support. There will always be one user who cannot view a video properly, or not at all. If support is not built in, a blank window will appear. Developers must remember an estimated 25% of the world still use old machines and outdated browsers. What’s more shocking, those same users must deal with slow dial-up Internet connections.

2. E-zines. Advertising with ezine publishers can be very productive providing the list owner has a target market. The old, “Fan Zine” market typically has its information embedded within a realm of influence. These skillfully crafted publications offer a specialized interest. But, one false positive exists in ezines – The quality of the list. Or, is it?  Advertisers who are smart enough to test realize this and try hard to overcome shotgun marketing failures. It could be a number of things that didn’t pass inspection by the readers. Obviously, return on investment remains in the forefront. Calculating profits will often be delayed due to unfamiliar expectations of the publisher’s audience.

3. Banners. People use banners to advertise on the Web, plain and simple. The main cycle of operation is to increase the persuasiveness of a message with graphics. Banner usage has remained steady for businesses that use the kinds of graphics that are appropriate to the role of an audience. Their subtle ways of communicating emphasizes a customer benefit in every message they produce. Why? Because it works. Or, does it? The downside is compression and it doesn’t blend in with the rest of the page. Web graphics should be oriented on the page with an active caption that is quick to load.

4. Affiliate Programs. Voted the top of its class for generating web site traffic and sales, affiliate programs offer a cluster of activities for resellers. The vast majority of e-commerce systems configure routed orders to their appropriate sales partners. Program owners virtually maintain influence over sales and enhance customer experience. However, a good working affiliate program should have the proper cookies, IP, and sessions in real time operation. This is what makes it real, because there are programs which have difficulty delivering on performance.

5. Press Release. The power of news crafted into a good story has a phenomenal affect over driving visitors to your web site. Distribution knowledge (plus) a well written and newsworthy document (equals) media attention to interested public viewers. Most importantly, if you deliver the right angle to an editor or reporter in a courteous, yet professional manner, then you have succeeded in separating real news from promotional jargon.

6. Articles. The correct use of articles have stood the test of time by being a permanent fixture to targeted audiences. This encourages problem solving at its best, however, article marketing methods designed to establish you as an expert can quickly misrepresent any business qualities. If I’m so amazed at your knowledge and so curious about what other problems you can solve for me, then be prepared for my visit to your online enterprise.

7. Blogging. A widely popular term for people with a mission to engage personal or business dealings online. Bloggers from all walks of life manage to express their own beliefs and opinions in a vibrant way. While blogging can be entertaining and a great learning resource, there’s a limit on what you can say, how you say it, and where you say it that can be detrimental to your job or business. If you plan on using blogs for personal or business reasons, write on the facts and learn how to react to any post where it involves your credibility.

8. Email Marketing. If you think email is king over any method of web promotion, you’re 100 percent correct. You can communicate instantly with family, friends, business prospects, and customers. If every email marketer can grasp the fascinating facts about the technical aspects behind their operation, things will run much smoother. All major ISPs implement a form of content filters and personal response systems that has resulted in creating a “brick-wall” effect on any sizable amount of incoming email from a single source. Ask any successful email marketer, ‘what their main responsibilities contain’, and 99.9% will say it’s what you send, clean bounces, manage unsubscribers, manage complaints, and keep the followup process active. Lot of work, isn’t it?

9. Pay Per Click. If every web marketer could understand all the intricacies of search engine optimization and page ranking, they wouldn’t need PPC. The harsh reality is if you can get it right, you’ll generate loads of targeted traffic to your site. Newly updated web applications offer users the ability to control campaigns in real time. But, in order for everything to work properly, the account manager must also become marketing manager. You don’t have to be a marketing metric statistician, however, you don’t need to pay for something you can get for free, either! Search Engine organic listings earn more quality traffic and exposure than sitting in a side bar on the page filled with other ads.

10. Podcasting. It is a client side browser activity. The type of service it provides is very similar to Radio, with the exception to being a web based learning tool or entertainment resource. Podcasting is also a rarely NOT supported system. It’s a bandwidth eater and can interrupt frequency levels and can serve you with a non-existent, or very low quality audio file. However, millions of users remain loyal to their favorite stations and individual personalities. Listeners have the power to tune in while surfing the web, thus, steering attention away from the main show. Throw ads into the mix and you now have reduced attention span levels by 50 percent.

Advertisers must have common knowledge before seeking out under-tapped opportunities, under marketed products, services or markets. Only a handful of Internet Marketers can massively increase their sales and marketing methods. Fewer still can add lucrative new income streams, products and services to a business mix. Anybody can personally engineer ways to get enthusiastic applicants. Effective Web advertising can quickly, significantly and continuously multiply profits. However, this will not stop anyone from coming up with ingenious new selling systems. It’s inevitable!

Steven Boaze is a business consultant and writer. He can be reach at