Ideas and Validation September 29, 2020

Idea validation: announcement banners as a service

Mick @Primer

Problem: how do I add an announcement banner to my site without needing to go through the development team

Target customer: no coders or non technical people at a company eg marketers

Proposed Solution: banners as a service. Login in to a dashboard, create a banner, publish it and it appears at the top of your website. No devs required.

  1. 2

    Hellobar.com did this quite successfully a lot of years ago. Looks like they're still at it. They got some attention for using WordPress as their back end.

    1. 2

      Nice. Thanks for the headsup. I'll take that as validation.

  2. 2

    I think a IHer is doing something like this, but I may be wrong? @yongfook building BannerBear?

  3. 1

    I worked on this in 2013. Not just the announcement bar - above the nav bar at the top of a website, but also a floating widget at the bottom corner.

    In the no code space, take a look at hellobar

    If you wanted a little more feature rich, it can be with the rules options. Say, show the bar for repeat users, visitors from a certain location, only if 10s is spent on a page, only of these particular URLs etc.

  4. 1

    This is actually an idea I had a while back as well after getting tired of building that functionality into every new project. I kept it on my list but never acted because 1) it felt more of a nice-to-have (i.e. would people pay?) And 2) the space looked saturated.

    All that to say, I still think there's something to it and I often circle back to the idea briefly. If it's something you can spin up quick to validate, I think it's definitely worth pursuing!

    1. 1

      Well ok I might use it as a training exercise to learn Livewire. Thanks for that.

  5. 1

    Lots of products do this already :)

    WP > https://theblogmetrics.com/hello-bar-alternative-wordpress-plugins/

    Non WP > https://thedigitalmerchant.com/crm/5-incredible-hello-bar-alternatives-that-boost-conversions-fast/

    Sumo, HoldonStranger, etc.

    Some have more capability than just an announcement bar, but I suspect that's because customers wanted more after they started using the announcement bar.

    1. 1

      Hmm... potentially moving from validated to saturated lol

      Think my idea for BannerBastard just got binned.

  6. 1

    I know a little bit about this space... :)

    IMO you're really talking about two products.

    1. an image generation tool that uses templates, requires user inputs / parameters, and spits out fresh images

    2. a lightweight CMS that users can use to enter inputs / parameters for (1), and then pushes the image result to some kind of snippet on a 3rd-party site. Probably has things like randomized banner rotation, scheduled banners, approval process etc etc.

    Quite a bit of work involved in delivering both those things.

    FYI I'm building (1). I've thought about (2) but I don't think it's something I'm going to touch in the short-term.

    1. 1

      Interesting that you refer to images.

      I wouldn't be doing anything at all with images. It would be a lightweight CMS, that part is what I'm thinking. But the user would input whatever text they wanted to show on the announcement banner and also maybe set their brand color.

      That would then pull into their site as just html and css.

      EDITED TO ADD

      Ah yeah I went to your site and can see what you're doing is a little different to what I'm proposing. I'm talking about announcement banners whereas you're doing full on banners with images etc. Also yours is API based whereas mine is intended for non-techies / no coders.

      Still cool though! thanks for your input!

      1. 1

        ah I see, I understand what you are proposing now. Essentially showing a mini webpage inside an iframe or some other kind of embed. That makes things a lot more manageable.

        Someone actually asked me to build a CMS / banner management thing for Bannerbear that they could use to embed on their website. But in my head I just thought that the specific solution they were describing would be much better implemented as an iframe / mini website, like I think you are proposing. So there's definitely some hint of validation there. FWIW they ran a network of blogs.

        1. 1

          Thanks for that little snippet of insight. I think I'm gonna go for it. Shouldn't take long to build something that functions.

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