Banner ads are as ubiquitous on the Internet, but how effective are they when it comes to generating home improvement leads? Think back to the last time you clicked on a banner. I’m willing to bet it was months ago, and I’m willing to double down that you did it by accident.
If you purposely clicked on one recently, you’re in the minority. It’s estimated that 5.3 trillion banner ads were served up to Americans alone in 2012, and the click-through rate was a miniscule 0.1 percent. Bad, right?
But think about the purpose that banners actually serve. We don’t complain that no one clicks on billboards or newspapers or magazine ads. Well, banner ads are the Internet’s billboards. And with trillions of them served every week, they have to be working for someone. But who?
When you look at most billboards, they’re advertising for soft drinks, oil companies, TV shows, and so on. Regardless of the industry, they all have two things in common – they’re from big companies and their goal is to generate brand awareness.
Banner ads are the same way. Pepsi versus Coke is a choice consumers make every day, and so brands stay in the front of their audience wherever their audience goes – in this case to the Web. And banners offer brand advertisers an even bigger advantage in the form of advanced targeting options, so they can target on their core audiences: teens, tweens, soccer moms, men, women, 55+, sports fans, fashion mavens, etc.
This is particularly true when it comes to Facebook. Because every user has a profile with all of their demographic information, Facebook offers an incredibly precise ability for brand advertisers to target their audiences via banners.
The short conclusion is that this type of brand advertising works for large brands because they have very different goals than most home improvement companies. Brand awareness and consumer eyeballs are their prize – not leads that turn into sales appointments.
So do banners work for home improvement? The reality is that a very well coordinated campaign that is precisely targeted and perfectly executed will drive a small percentage of a home improvement dealer’s overall leads. From my experience, that’s the best you can hope for with banners.
But if you’re looking to expand your existing brand awareness and you put in the time to get your banner targeting correct, you can certainly give banners a try. Just keep your expectations in check.