(Good) Banners + Microsite = Effective

this-is-realityI can't stand most banner ads. They just get in the way of my browsing and annoy me. However, like so many other technologies, it's not the technology's fault, it's how we use it that's the problem. I came across a group that is running an excellent integrated digital marketing campaign; rockin' some sweet banners, a cool microsite, and some other essential online marketing tactics.

What first caught my attention were the banners and their seamless integration into a microsite; but then I noticed a few other solid strategies as well...

  1. Banner Ads: I first saw a "This Is Reality" banner within a Washington Post article. What caught my eye was the attractive design and the messaging within the banner: "Burning coal is a leading source of global warming pollution." To top it off, a little birdy flew straight into the typography and fell dead. Both visually effective and on point in the messaging.
  2. Microsite: The banner matches the site exactly. The bird continues to fly head first into typographical fact after fact. After about three clicks, you're given the option of entering your email and watching their TV spot. I entered my email (which is rare).
  3. Email: Aside from the Flash on the site, the most visually prominent piece on the site is an email capture form telling us to "Join" -- indicating community.
  4. Social: From what I can tell, this is where they are most lacking -- their TV spot isn't embed-able (but I haven't scoured the social-sphere for their brand, either). It looks like the most they've provided is a quick link for social sharing.
  5. PPC: Search for "clean coal" and you'll see this: "Not one American home is powered by “clean” coal. Get the facts."
  6. Google Analytics: They're measuring it. You can be sure they're identifying how many email subscribers they've received. Hopefully, they're also measuring video views, clicks in the main flash content, and outbound "share" clicks. Regardless, they're measuring it.
  7. Their work is adding value: This is why I love this campaign. Even without me clicking, their banner provided something for me to think about. Even without clicking, their PPC gives me a fact I can share. And even if I don't sign up for their email, their site uses creative visuals to to shed light on what would otherwise be boring looking statistics. I realize not everyone has something as sexy as a grassroots campaign to work on, but I know I can be more creative in adding value in my marketing.

When running an online marketing campaign, integrate it! Of course, not everyone has the budget to pull off "This is Reality" -- but you don't have to break the bank to integrate your PPC, banners, social, email and microsite...and boy is it effective.

Josh Chambers

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Posted in Article Category: #Strategy
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