The #1 advantage of internet advertising, is the fact that what you chose to display may be changed at any time. Print ads are permanent fixtures in magazines, and due to the lead time involved, cannot be used for "real time" updates to your products. At RC Groups, you have the ability to run a different ad every hour if you wish. Your ad will be most effective if it's used like a "daily specials" chalkboard at a deli, rather than a "roadside billboard".
Think about it this way; everyone passes billboards on their daily drives through town. You notice and read it the first few times you drive by, but soon it just turns into part of the "background". The chalkboard at the deli however, you look at and read every time you walk in, because there is always current and pertinent information on it. You may not want the hot pastrami sandwich today, but you'll check it tomorrow because they may have something you like.
In relevant terms: A new ad will attract more attention than the same stale ad that's been the same for months. The users also recognize constantly updated ads, and actually start to look for them as they browse the site, to see what's new and hot. They also make an association between sponsors that are constantly updating product lines, new in-stock items and such, with sponsors that are interactive with them and responsive to the ever-changing nature of the hobby business. Imagine the power you hold, when the users are just waiting to see what you're going to have on your ad next!
Along the same lines as above, once you have everyone's full attention, you need to draw them to your site. Even the smallest business can't show every product on a banner, so you have to drive them to you to find something to spend their money on. An easy way to do this is by simply having your newest coolest product on your banner. Or, if you have an exclusive distribution on something popular - feature it and make sure everyone knows to come to you to get it.
A simple "your business name.com" in fancy lettering banner will seem to work well when it's new (like any new advertisers banner) but the clicks will drop off drastically after only a few weeks due to the "billboard" effect. Name recognition is a good thing, but you have the opportunity to let the users know not only who you are, but exactly what you have in stock, what's coming soon, and that you're listening to them!
Take some time and look at the sponsors page and think about which ads make you want to click on them, and why. The ads that attract me as a user of the site, and consumer of hobby products, are the very specific "this item on sale", "new and in stock", "clearance", "now available" and such type ads.
The culmination of the above concepts will require some thought and coordination, and for the owner-operator type businesses, can be a severe strain on time. I'll break this section into suggestions for large businesses, and small ones.
Have your banner/web designer in constant communication with your marketing person. Telling someone to "make a new banner every week" is better than keeping the same one for months, but the graphics designer needs information about what's new and hot each week instead of featuring a "this fits the color scheme" product. Coordinating promotions and sales between the two departments will get you more clicks, and happier customers to boot.
We cannot stress the above enough. Many large companies use an outside graphic designer to create banners for them that may not even be involved with the hobby at all, so they cannot be expected to create effective ads entirely on their own. If you do a significant amount of print advertising as well, be careful of featuring the same product(s) in both mediums. If it's really hot - it deserves double coverage. Otherwise, if the users have seen the same presentation somewhere else first, it diminishes the impact of a duplicate.
If you contract an independent graphics person for your ads, please see the above. If you do them yourself, avail yourself of family and friends for ideas about design, content, and promotions. Talk to your customers about what draws them to click on your ad, and other ads, and learn from them. The "little guys" often have an advantage in this medium because they can be more responsive and faster acting than the "big boys". Keep an eye on what the other advertisers are doing to market their products, and adapt good ideas to your own marketing plan.
At least once per week, in the absence of the below, make a noticeable change to your banner:
When it happens:
Big or small, We're here to help you with ideas for your advertising on RC Groups.
Please feel free to contact us anytime.