A handy control in the elcomCMS list of content controls is the Advertising Banner Ad control.
The Banner Ad control allows you to set up banner ads in a central place, and use them in controls on articles through out your site.
They’re called banner ‘ads’ and sit in the Advertising section, but the name is misleading – they are often used for inserting call-to-action banners on sites (and nothing to do with and advertising programs).
They are very simple to set up and use. Here’s a quick overview:
Setting up Banner Ads
Start by expanding the Advertising section in the main menu:
You’ll see a list of currently configured Banner ads. The following screenshot is from a live client site, so I’ve greyed out the actual banners to protect their privacy:
Setting up a banner ad is very simple.
Give it a name, set it active, a start date, the image to use and where the image will point to.
There are other optional settings including a stop date and number of times it has been displayed.
Next when editing an article, add a Banner Ad control to the page:
Once added, click the control to edit it.
The available banners will be listed (only active banners that are within their start/stop dates are displayed):
Publish the page and the banner(s) will start displaying. If you’ve selected more than one banner they will rotate each page load.
Simple but Effective
The banners are very simple and unfortunately don’t have any advanced controls such giving weightings to banners, or optimising to give higher clicked ads more prominence. Nor is there any detailed reporting such as click through rates (CTRs). Perhaps my biggest wish would be the ability to add a script as an action rather than being limited to sending to a URL.
I’d like to see some advanced features, but for now they are effective at simple placement of calls-to-action.
Here’s a few ideas where they can be used:
Call-To-Action (CTA) banners
This is the main way I like to use them. Add a banner to end of every main product article on a site with a call to action (eg an offer, or a demo signup, or a Contact us message).
After adding the banner, you can then centrally update the banner(s) and immediately every page will be updated. Add a schedule to the banners and you can see some of the power they offer. This week you can schedule your banners to promote an upcoming event, next week the schedule can show a whitepaper offer, etc.
Home Page Promotions
An advantage the banner ads have over carousels (another nice elcomCMS feature) is that they can use the scheduling function to only show promotions during specific times. Which means, similar the to CTAs they can be setup in advance. You can setup your Home page to be regularly updated with new offers – all in advance.
Hope this is useful.