The first banner ad appeared online in 1994. In the last 26 years, banner ads have been a standard promotional tool for advertisers, and some say they have fallen out of favor compared to more modern marketing formats.
Those who disregard this ad format will often claim that web users aren’t as likely to click on them as they were in the past. In reality, banner ads are still highly effective, as long as they’re done right. Business owners looking to expand the types of advertising they use for their company will find banner ads can help drive more traffic to their website, leading to more engagement and sales.
What Are Banner Ads?
Banner ads are the advertisements that appear on the top, bottom, and side of websites. These ads are designed to be placed in high-traffic areas where it’s likely they’ll be seen by the target audience. Most of the time, banners are small and feature only limited text.
Instead, the focus is on the immediate visual aspects of the ad with the messaging delivered through images, videos, or animations.
The idea behind the banner ad is to place a targeted ad where a potential customer is likely to see it. The ad should grab their attention, and a call to action should encourage them to click through for more information.
Once someone notices the ad and it’s for something which speaks to their interests, they’ll click it and travel to a website where they can find the information or offer promised by the ad.
Other Types Of Visual Online Advertising
Banner ads may have been the start of visual advertising online and they’re still a staple of web marketing but they’re not the only option. There are other options, which are often used as an alternative or supplement to banner ads. They include:
- Display Ads – Banner ads are considered just one type of display ad. Other display ads can include static image or text ads, floating banners, pop-up ads, and video ads.
- Ads on Social Media – These ads can be a type of display ad, but they are mainly posted on social media websites to help reach the target audience easier. These ads can be organic or paid, depending on what the business owner wants to use.
- Video Ads – Videos ads can be at the beginning or end of a video, or pop up in the middle. These are similar to commercials, but if the user clicks on the video, they are taken directly to a relevant landing page, such as a product listing or contact form.
- Ads in Emails – Email marketing is not just about sending text information to customers. It can also include images, graphics, videos, and other types of ads that will encourage viewers to visit the website or specific landing page.
Why Are Banner Ads Better?
Banner ads, though they have been around for a long time, are still a great way for businesses to advertise online. In fact, there are a lot of reasons why they may be better than the other types of advertisements mentioned above.
In a well-rounded marketing strategy, other types of visual online advertisements can be used along with banner ads, which all serve to boost and support a common campaign. Banner ads can be an effective contributor to a promotional launch of any type since they are:
- Versatile – Banner ads are highly versatile. They can be used in any marketing strategy, can be easily adjusted to be more effective, and can be altered to reach various target audiences. Since they are highly versatile, they’re a great way to reach as many potential customers as possible.
- Eye-Catching – Many people have learned to tune-out various advertisements online. Yet, when a banner ad is done right, it will still gain notice and clicks. Banner ads can be very eye-catching and help grab a viewer’s attention, even if the viewer naturally ignores most ads they see online.
- Affordable – Banner ads are a simple type of advertisement and the way they’re used on websites means they’re highly affordable. An effective banner ad created and published on high-traffic websites can be surprisingly more affordable than other types of sponsored content and online advertising.
- Help With Branding – Banner ads can be a simple means of creating brand recognition among a niche. Even if a viewer doesn’t click on the ad, its presence on a familiar website helps increase a passive but effective awareness for the company. It can still make an impression that stays with an internet user.
- Help With Promos – When something is being promoted on the website, banner ads can be a great way to get the word out. They let target audiences know about sales, special offerings, new products or services, and more.
Why Should A Banner Ad Be Part Of A Marketing Strategy?
Along with brand awareness, improved reach of promos, and attracting more attention to a website, there are other reasons why a banner ad should be a part of any marketing strategy. This includes the potential to target niche customers, the potential to measure the effectiveness of the campaign, and the ability to drive and support a long-term marketing plan.
Banner ads can be tailored to meet the needs of a business, which means they can be created with a specific customer type or demographic in mind. Instead of trying to stick with general keywords for the ad and getting as many views a possible, the banner ad can be targeted towards those who are more likely to click on it and follow a path to conversion.
A marketing campaign for a pool cleaning company, for instance, will get a higher click-through rate if they tailor the ad to those who already own a pool and frequent certain websites as a result. This type of advertising will provide a better return than a more general campaign that simply targets homeowners or people in a certain zip-code.
It is vital for businesses to see how a marketing campaign is performing and whether it’s as effective as anticipated. With banner ads, it’s easy to check on the click-through rate to see how many people have engaged and followed the ad through to the landing page and beyond.
This data allows businesses to make sure the ad is targeted to the right audience, eye-catching enough to get clicks, and helping to convert visitors into customers. If the ad isn’t effective, it can always be adjusted and the data can be tracked to gauge improvement and move on from there.
Banner ads can be a short or long-term marketing solution for businesses. Many types of marketing content today are only going to be effective for a brief period of time – that’s just the nature of advertising campaigns in a web-based arena. Banner ads, however, can be used for longer periods when the goal is brand awareness or consistent delivery of traffic to a landing page.
Since these ads can be adjusted as needed, it’s possible to keep a campaign running and adjust it periodically to make sure it continues to be effective based on targeted audiences and the trends they follow.
Options For Adding Banner Ads To A Marketing Strategy
Due to their flexibility, there are numerous ways to use banner ads within a marketing strategy. Business owners will need to decide on what works best for their business. Some of the ways to include banner ads in a marketing strategy include:
- Focus On A Certain Campaign – A banner ad can be created for a specific campaign. This might focus on a holiday that’s coming up, a specific promotion the business is offering, a new product or service, or any other campaign that will catch the notice of potential customers for a set period or trend.
- Focus On A Specific Target Audience – Business owners likely have an ideal customer in mind when they’re creating a marketing plan. Banner ads can be tailored to target these customers. A well-defined niche focus means the ad is far more likely to gain clicks and contribute to conversion and sales.
- Drive More Customers To A Landing Page – Landing pages can change as the business needs change. A landing page might be created for a certain location, a specific event, or a promotion the business is offering. Once the landing page is created, a banner ad can be designed for that landing page. This helps drive more customers along a specific path based on the goals of the campaign.
- Use for Retargeting – Retargeting is where an action is taken based on a viewer’s previous actions. Banner ads are excellent for retargeting because they can be placed where the viewer is more likely to see the ad. If the viewer has expressed interest in related products or services, the viewer will be more likely to see and click the banner ad.
When it comes to banner ads, the design can make a huge difference in whether it’s effective or not. Business owners do have the option of DIY banner ads and there are apps available to help with the creation and publication of this type of marketing content.
However, there are limitations; if the banner ad isn’t designed properly, it may not be as effective as planned and may create the wrong impression. With very poor designs or a disregard for best practices, a banner ad could have the opposite results and drive viewers.
Instead, business owners can work with a professional design company to have banner ads created as part of a campaign launch. This way, they can be sure the ad is designed to be as versatile and effective as possible.