Using Ad Networks & Video to Drive Website Traffic

One of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website is through online advertising. It sounds simplistic, but it’s true. However, determining how to reach the right audience and convincing them to visit your site is where it can get tricky and somewhat overwhelming. Paid search, social networks, display, video, mobile – the list goes on, and it continually changes. Just when you get comfortable with a plan, a new technology or platform arrives on the scene. Fortunately, there are a few basics we can count on (at least for now). For this discussion, we’ll focus on ad networks and video ads.

Ad Networks are great for reaching a targeted audience with banner ads over a large list of websites with a single buy, as opposed to ads on individual sites. The main advantages are:

  1. Reach – An ad network containing hundreds of websites helps extend your reach beyond the major portals and premium sites. This aggregate of sites, known as the long tail, delivers reach to quality websites, usually at a much lower price than premium portals.
  2. Targeting - Because of the huge number of websites available, the ad network brings massive amounts of user data that can be used for multiple targeting options: behavioral, contextual, geographic, retargeting and more. In other words you can minimize waste by reaching a precisely defined audience that is more likely to buy your product.
  3. Optimization – Buying through an ad network allows you to optimize the campaign and apply the same parameters for impression goals, frequency capping and more. A cohesive buy gives you greater control and should perform better.

Online Video ads continue to evolve as a viable advertising option. Video usage has exploded on the web and continues to grow rapidly. According to Comscore, in December 2011, 182 million users in the U.S. watched an average of 23.2 hours of video per viewer.

Like ad networks, video ads offer numerous targeting options that allow you to precisely reach your target. However, video ads should be more than just running your TV spot on the web. Doing this falls short of reaching the full potential of online video. Effective video ads should feature interactivity that allows the advertiser to truly engage the viewer. For example, overlays embedded into the video could contain links to a Facebook page or a special-offer page that is tailored to the customer. The objective is to create an interactive experience for the viewer.

Video ads and ad networks can be highly effective traffic drivers to your website. They are just a couple of the myriad of options that can be used. As with any ad program it is important to align the media tactics with your specific website goals.

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