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Old 05-28-2001, 07:11 AM   #1
demae
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Unhappy "How is a dinky little banner supposed to generate sales for our advertisers?"

I came across this interesting commentary about advertising at http://www.weavermedia.com/jack/, which is a video game site:

Now, in the past we have attempted to sell video games and strategy guides on our sites and this has failed MISERABLY. We integrated this pretty well into our site even putting links/text descriptions about this on the front page of our more popular sites. The most we have been able to sell (gross) on our sites in one month's time is $400 in merchandise. When people come to our sites, they want free information and don't want to buy games.

So, if we ultra promote our gaming store, how is a dinky little banner (that most of our visitors ignore) supposed to generate sales for our advertisers? The answer is, it doesn't. My best guess is our banner advertisers have made no more than $350 in sales/leads (distributed between all of them) for a month on our site. My contracts with my advertisers prohibit me from saying what they are paying, but I can tell you that they pay a whole heck of a lot more than that to get our banner spots.

Obviously at some point these online merchants will realize that they are wasting their money. They have just started to realize this (it sure took them long enough!). This time last year we used BurstMedia to sell our ad space and had every single ad spot filled. This year, we have only filled 20% of our ad space with the same company.


Do you guys think that the gaming banner space is really worth so little, since it's so hard to generate decent sales using affiliate programs, and there are no gullible advertisers to pay >$1 CPM rates on it?

On the other side of the coin, I have heard of entertainment site owners on this forum getting $2 CPM using pay-per-click/lead techniques.
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Old 05-28-2001, 07:25 AM   #2
Kaiosama
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Hmmm... I don't have any experience with gaming sites but I do run entertainment sites. I must say that it takes a lot of testing and practice to actually sell from a site offering free entertainment related content. Before I managed to sell a couple of videos a month. Right now I have increased that number by a lot with different linking methods. Selling items is still not a big money maker for my sites but it is doing all right.

Right now I am testing a mini-skyscraper and I am getting pretty good results. I started using it just 3 days ago so it is still to early to tell how it does. Note that the actual sellers make much more then us. We just get a lousy 5-10% commission.
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Old 05-28-2001, 05:36 PM   #3
Ex
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I don't have much experience too but as Kaiosama, I too run an entertainment sites.

I've been generating quite a number of good sales for my store, but then the CPM is horrible after conversion. I fill them up with banners and others I think relevant.

So far, generating 1CPM overall is very very difficult...my overall net CPM is much lower than that.

At the current status, 0.2 - 0.5 CPM net would be a much better estimate.

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Old 05-29-2001, 04:38 AM   #4
Jack
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I thought I recognized that quote in the subject http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif. That's from a rant I made at one of my sites a while back after completely abandoning my gaming sites.

Even though what I said in that may have been a bit harsh, I still believe it. If the well promoted links across the site cannot sell more in merchandise than what is paid for the "dinky" banner slot, then there is a serious problem. Of course, I still believe content sites can be profitable. You just have to be incredibly smart about it and capture E-Mail addresses/registrations whenever possible.

In any case, a well designed, profitable for the longterm gaming site was too much work as compared to my other projects. Thus, I have abandoned the field for the time being.
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Old 05-29-2001, 04:46 AM   #5
Ralph Slate
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There is this mentality that the internet should be able to sell anything. That's simply not true.

I had a CPA company approach me to put ads on my site. They told me that they had CPA ads for sporting goods (I'm a hockey site).

I told them that I would not use them because selling sporting goods over the internet is a dumb idea. Think about it -- if you want to buy a baseball mitt, are you going to order one from the internet or are you going to go to the sporting goods store to check them out?

That does not mean, however, that the internet is not a good place to *advertise* sporting goods. If CCM came out with a new pair of skates, wouldn't it make sense for them to advertise on a site where a lot of hockey players visit, telling these players that a news skate is out?

Do you think someone is going to buy a pair of skates over the internet? I doubt it. But they would buy a pair because they heard about it on the internet.

That's why CPA isn't the best fit for most sites -- because the internet is really only a good fit for certain select products, not for general merchandise.

Ralph
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Old 05-29-2001, 06:01 AM   #6
demae
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> Of course, I still believe content sites can be
> profitable. You just have to be incredibly
> smart about it and capture E-Mail
> addresses/registrations whenever possible.

People who visit your gaming information site do buy games, but are not looking to buy at that particular moment. But if you get them to subscribe to your newsletter and keep your site in their mind, then they will remember you when they are looking to buy...

...Is that the theory?
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Old 05-29-2001, 05:20 PM   #7
Tetraboy
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A dinky little baner is for branding not selling... Someone should sell banners that don't track clicks for christs sake!
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Old 05-29-2001, 07:16 PM   #8
Nintendo
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:::People who visit your gaming information site do buy games, but are not looking to buy at that particular moment.

The first time they go to your content site they don't plan to buy anything. But if you add a store section, they will probably see it and when they plan to buy online, they might go to your site to order. As more people find out about it more people will buy. At first I was lucky to sell atleast one item a day through Amazon.com, but now I'm selling around five to eight items a day, costing as much as $200.00 (Game Boy Advance, sold five of them just over the weekend= $1,000 in sales). I can't wait until the holidays come!!! Now if only Amazon.com's commission was 25% instead of just 5%!!!

All this with out even having a store section up yet, just text links below the banner or small image links where a banner normally is.

Here's examples of the two types of links.
http://www.world-of-nintendo.com/cgi-local/about.cgi
http://www.nintendocc.com/cgi-local/about.cgi

------------------
World of Nintendo!!
Nintendo Code Center
World of Video Games
Video Game Chat

[This message has been edited by Nintendo (edited 05-29-2001).]
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