First, if you don’t know what “Realtor Banner Advertising” is, it’s simply a small or large rectangular or square shaped advertisement that you’ll see on many websites. They’re similar to pay-per-click ads in that they can be an automated marketing idea for Realtors; you pay for the ad placement and let the traffic flood in to your website. Realtor Banner Advertising is much like a billboard for the internet and you need to be on it.
When launching a Realtor banner advertising campaign, the banner ad can be static with only text (that does not change or move) or it can be dynamic with animation and images. The idea is that visitors will see the banner ad and click on it, bringing them to the website linked to it. Simple concept, right?
Here’s the deal though….
I wouldn’t ignore using banner advertising but I’d use it sparingly as a Realtor or agent. It’ll be somewhat difficult for you to find websites that are in your geographic location and that have sufficient traffic to warrant the ad dollars you’d be spending. It’s not impossible; it’s just harder as an agent because of the geographic issue.
A unique issue with Realtor banner advertising is that you will usually pay for a certain number of “impressions” and not “click throughs” (as is the case with pay-per-click marketing). What this means is that instead of paying a certain amount for each person who “clicks” on your banner ad, you’ll pay a certain amount for each person who simply “views” your banner ads.
So if a visitor comes to a site where you have some banner advertising and your banner as shows up, that counts as an “impression”, regardless of if they click on it or not. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but something to be aware of. You’ll want to know how your marketing dollars are being spent.
Now just as with outdoor billboard advertising, the two main issues with internet, Realtor banner advertising are:
1) where to advertise
2) the ad itself
When it comes to finding sites that have enough local traffic, one idea would be to do a Google search specifically for local real estate blogs. For example, in Seattle, there are about 3-4 high traffic real estate blogs that are consumer based. They accept Realtor banner advertising and would fit in perfectly to a local Realtor’s or agent’s marketing arsenal.
Another solution to finding solid sites for Realtor banner advertising would be to use a media vendor that has sites lined up and ready to sell ad space for. These media vendors are contracted with local sites all over the country and world and get you the pricing for various ad packages.
This would be a great way to go as you won’t really pay more than if you went to the site directly, in most cases. Sometimes, going through these vendors is the only way you can buy Realtor banner advertising on the site. Plus, the sites that these media vendors represent will typically have sufficient traffic to warrant selling ad space.
Two vendors we’d recommend checking out would be 1-800-Banners.com and BidPlace.com. Both would be great resources to check out pricing and estimated traffic in your local area. There’s no guarantee that there will be websites or blogs with enough traffic in your area but these vendors will be able to match you up if there are.
The second issue with banner advertising is the design of the banner ad itself. The same rules apply as we’ve gone over in other tutorials regarding how to design marketing pieces. But with banner ads, it’s a little trickier because you need to design the ad, which requires some coding and “techy work”. It’s not as simple as writing some text in a word document.
The vendors above can help point you in the right direction in terms of where to have your banner ad designed. But if you want to design your ad for free with a site that makes it simple for “non-techy people”, try AdDesigner.com. It won’t look quite as cool and professional as if you hired someone to design it but it’s free.
If you want to go the professional route, I’d also send you to Yuriy at DesignsByTrident.com. Yuriy designed our entire brokerage site at Shiloh Street and is the best designer I know, hands-down. Fantastic service, great pricing, great eye for design, etc. He’s just awesome.
The banner ad itself will follow the same principles outlined in most copywriting and ad design tutorials out there. Headlines, benefits and a “call-to-action” are the vital pieces to pay attention to. Plus, it needs to be eye catching since web surfers are bombarded with ads all day long. You need to stand out from the crowd!
Bottom line, if you have a well designed banner ad on some good sites with solid, local traffic, it could be well worth the marketing dollars you’ll shell out. Do your homework though and test, test, test as you would with any other marketing weapon.
I wouldn’t suggest using this as a big part of your marketing arsenal but it’s definitely worth using in a small way, unless you start getting amazing leads and clients. Then you’ll want to make it a HUGE part of your marketing arsenal!