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January 12th, 2006, 12:32 PM #1Image ads
I run image ONLY ads as banners on one of my sites (terrible clickthroughs, btw... gonna change soon ), but there's one for a Digital Imaging service whose banner looks AWFUL. I mean, it looks like a 2 year old pointed a camera at a piece of paper and snapped a photo.
And it's a DIGITAL IMAGING SERVICE!
I'm not going to say their name, as promoting these guys would give me the chills.
January 12th, 2006, 01:09 PM #2
As an AdWords advertisier, my image ads have a CTR that is 10x higher than the text ads served up through AdSense. I know from consulting on ppc campaigns, that I am the exception more than the rule.
If you've read my ppc posts before, you're bored by now hearing my mantra... CTR, CTR, CTR.
This yields more reach at much lower costs.
I think I do make very compelling banner ads by breaking ALL of the rules about call to action, text, white space and more. My image ads don't scream at you with words but rather are visually appealing. I try very, very hard to send a compelling message with a picture using the absolute minimun text possible. I believe people's eyes are naturally drawn to pictures over text and that it's possible to convey a very clear message is you give it enough thought. I use plain jpegs, and avoid animated gifs. I prefer to use real life images (which means you need to work hard to meet the file size requirements). I prefer people images (they pull at us more), but only try to start off with that - more than half of my image ads end up finalized without people. And I always try to craft a visual message of value and quality.
As I read this page right here, I am looking at the GoodBulbs animated (I see "flashing") banner ad. Nice font, good layout, excellent message - but very unlike my image ads. In this case, it's an affiliate recruiting banner. I'd start my own creative process with...
Person's sitting near computer... looking out the window with eureka look on their face... window covering most of the banner's background... through that window have a field of blooming tulips basking in happy sunshine... put a tasteful, small, quiet (opposite of loud) dollar sign on each tulip... no text.
AdWords will make your ad show in places where affiliates are looking for ideas if you chose your keywords correctly. People there should understand this messge.
For the record, I have seen the goodbulbs banner many times before and never read its text until right now because I needed to analyze it to post. To me, and this is just an opinion, it is ineffective. Perhaps it does appeal to those more text oriented people than a more visual person - but I'm a text-y person and it's nice, but doesn't catch my attention.
By the way, the sunshine is a critical element in this picture to me. We are all looking for opportunities to make money - sunshine's warm glow conveys that warm gushy feeling I get when I land a big commission.
I found this image via google - it's exactly the visual concept that I have in my mind...
Just my opinion... there are no "facts" to the "science" behind effective banner ads in my world.
January 12th, 2006, 01:28 PM #3Originally Posted by Donuts
Love your idea for a Good Bulbs aff recruitment banner!
I think quality pictures do help sell merchandise/services. Haven't tried Goog image ads ... may be a good idea to test them on a page that would be better suited to images than text. Good yopic. Got me thinking. :-)
January 12th, 2006, 01:54 PM #4
Also, might replace a few flower petals with money bills in my suggested idea...
January 12th, 2006, 01:56 PM #5Originally Posted by Donuts
Maybe you should become a graphic designer, unless you already are.
January 12th, 2006, 02:07 PM #6
I stink at making the grahics. Alexbet.com will listen to any concept I come up with and make it perfect - always turns out even better than the mental picture I had in mind! I always use him.
There's another route that can keep costs down while maintaining HIGH quality. The site worth1000.com is a community of graphic artists (like what ABW means to us). On that site, you can post a competition and have some very talented graphics people choose to submit entries. With a banner ad like this, you might offer a $40 reward for the winner (you get to choose, and you own it afterwards - 2nd place and beyond do not become your intellectual property). Because they need lots of contests to keep those creative minds busy, the site owners make up competitions too (that don;t have $ awards). The level of talent that hangs out there is AMAZING. Here's one of their recent contests submissions - this contest was called "Obeastity: Feeding time at the zoo" - really cool stuff!
The people that hang out there can work miracles with PhotoShop!!!!!!
January 16th, 2006, 08:31 PM #7
Meh...everyone's a critic!
Parts of your idea sound good, but the "no text" sure isn't for me. For one, a picture doesn't say *whose* bulb program is behind the ad! Also, a picture alone doesn't give anyone any good reason to click, and it leaves all the questions about the program unanswered. So, in *my* opinion, a pic-only ad is ineffective. Eye-catching, maybe, but without text it doesn't do any of the things an ad should.
I have seen the goodbulbs banner many times before and never read its text until right now
I prefer people images (they pull at us more), but only try to start off with that - more than half of my image ads end up finalized without people.
Also, everyone who can't identify with the people in the pic is effectively excluded. Whenever I see an ad with people, it gets my hackles up. I think, "Oh, so you only want people who look like [whatever the people look like, usually some anorexic types who need to be force-fed some McDs, or--even worse--some snotty-looking, obviously-shower-challenged 19yr old tech-types]."
I suppose the herd-mentality types do want to see that "someone else is already doing [whatever]" (I say that with some derision) but personally I'd rather aim for creative and independent people. "Hey, here's the bandwagon! Jump on it, after all this guy--> <--did!" isn't a pitch I'd like to see.
I stink at making the grahics.There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway
January 16th, 2006, 10:09 PM #8
so those folky artists morphed a bunch of animal pictures into fatties for the contest they're showing. unlikely subjects, by the way . . .
January 17th, 2006, 07:58 AM #9
Leader, all very valid points and certainly the way I used to think - I went off on a tangent once - a lark really - and my CTR went through the roof. In AdSense ads, image ads take the whole slot (no competing ads next to it) and this has worked very well for me as well. Once AdWords sees your CTR is high, it slots your banner more often at very low prices. Without text, if you want to address the *whose* bulbs part, stick your logo in the corner or in the middle or on a petal or... - it answers that question and does "branding" work for you. I almost always do this as well. As far as needing text to convey a message and answer questions and convey meaning, we'll just have to differ - and this is fine with me - if doing something different has worked well for me, and if everyone did it, I suppose my approach would be less effective.
As for the herd animal comment, for me, I see that you're doing what everyone else does with your banner ads - means you're just one in the crowd.
To address your feeling of people feeling excluded, your person doesn't need to be one type - take a face, slice it six ways, jam it full of wildly differing type people - convey the message that anyone can make money with bulbs. Or skip the person altogether - it's an important element, but some of my best image ads have no people - it's a total judgment call in each case.
By the way, I saw your post about the new Spring feed... am considering joining your program... see an opportunity for image ads... :-)
September 21st, 2006, 09:04 AM #10
Leader, saw your banner with dollar signs on stems, in a field, with warm sun in the corner.
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