|One way that a small, cottage-based business can build their brand awareness for free, or at very little cost, is to use web banner graphics. The most popular sizes for web banners are the full banner at 468 x 60 pixels, the square button at 125 x 125 pixels, the familiar 100 x 100 pixels avatar and the 88 x 31 plug button. So just where and how do you use these web banners?|
The Plug Button is a very small 88 x 31 pixel graphic that is made to be used on a plug board. A plug board is a special webpage that displays many of these mini buttons. Each button is a link to the owner's website. As you can see from the example link below, there are so many buttons together on a plug board that it is almost an overload to the customer. But it is an easy, and free, way to get the word out about your site. These plug boards usually rotate the buttons and your button will eventually be replace by a newer submission. You are expected to frequently return to these sites to resubmit your button when it "falls off" the list. Because the plug button is so small, your entire business name may be too large to fit. In that case, you can use an animated plug that will display your business name over several frames. Another option is to use a one or two word phrase, such as "soy candles", that will describe what you are selling. Also, you can use a "hook" on your plug such as "free patterns".
The 100 x 100 pixels avatar is mostly used as part of your signature for online forums. Most forums limit the size of the graphic that you can include in your signature and the "avatar size" works in most cases. Although the text may need to be small, you can usually fit your business name on the avatar. In place of your name, you might be able to fit a tagline such as "Your place for soy candles".
The 125 x 125 square button link is very popular on blogs. The size is perfect for blogs which have two sidebars, allowing the owner of the blog to list several ad buttons down both sides of the blog. If you are low on money, you can start by asking your crafting friends to place your square button on their blogs. You can also start a blog for your business and exchange ad buttons with other business blogs related to your craft. Finally, there are many craft "marketplaces" that will sell you advertising space for your square button. You will usually have your business name and a tagline on this graphic.
The full banner and the banner exchange have been around the web for a long time. There are numerous banner exchange websites that will allow you to add your banner to their list free of charge. Of course, your banner works as a link back to your website. You would want your business name and tagline on your banner.
There are other ways to use this full banner. Many business websites have a "link to us" webpage on their site where the customer can grab a copy of your banner and the HTML code to link that banner back to your site. This is a great way to get free advertising from your customers. It is also great for affiliate programs. With these programs, your faithful customers can earn a little money by advertising your banner on their site. Every time that banner brings a customer to your site and that customer makes a purchase, the affiliate member will earn a percentage of the total sale. When you have some advertising dollars, you can use the full banner on craft marketplaces.
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