Banner ads are eye-catching, usually image-centric advertisements featured at the top of a website, along the side, or the bottom. These ads have been in use since the 1990s, shortly after the internet became more mainstream and available for hobby and household use.
Though they’re one of the most basic forms of internet marketing content, these ads have remained effective for raising brand awareness and attracting more website visitors, though the way they are used has changed somewhat. Today’s banner ads may look similar to the ones in the early days of online advertising, but they fit onto websites more naturally, are more effective thanks to years of identifying best practices, and can be far more versatile than previously thought.
Using Banner Ads To Raise Brand Awareness
Many of today’s companies don’t just use banner ads to get viewers to click through to their website. They also use them for brand awareness and to introduce new products or services to potential customers. This can be highly effective for creating an impression and making a long-term investment in brand awareness.
Even if a viewer doesn’t click the ad, an attractive, eye-catching visual in their periphery will stay with them. This means they will be more likely to recognize the company in the future when their needs and interests align with whatever is being promoted.
However, if the ad isn’t designed properly, it can fail to produce results. Many businesses do not gain standalone returns from banner ads because their expectations are too high or they don’t know how to design one that attracts the most likely prospects.
Issues Associated With Poor Quality Banner Ads
Banner ad results can fall short due to many different issues. It’s imperative for business owners to be aware of these common problems before they design a banner ad. These factors require special attention:
- Layout – Banner ads need a clean layout that’s clear and uncluttered but also attractive. If the banner is too busy or stark, or if the layout is messy, it’s not going to gain notice or inspire viewers to click on the ad.
- Graphics – Graphics need to be carefully chosen. The wrong graphics or those of poor quality will send the wrong message or turn off a viewer who may have otherwise been interested in what is being offered.
- Text – The text should be simple and short. It should only include the most basic information to draw a potential customer in. Excessive or complicated text can cause a viewer to look away rather than absorb all of the details. The ad should only function as an entry point to a path towards conversion.
- Location – If the location of the ad is poorly chosen, it may not be viewed by the target audience, or the target audience may not be willing to click on the ad. Depending on the location chosen, from the website overall to its position on the page, it can cause viewers to distrust or dislike the business.
- Frequency of Appearance – Ads that appear too frequently are considered spam by viewers. If they see the ad too much, they may tune it out more readily or form a negative impression. On the other hand, if the ad doesn’t appear enough, fewer potential viewers will see it, meaning there won’t be as many clicks.
- Overall Message – The overall message should be short and should encourage the viewer to click the banner ad. If the message is too long, too complicated, or doesn’t include a call to action, the viewer won’t fully understand what’s being offered and will not engage.
- Targeted Audience – If the target audience is too broad, it’s going to lead to fewer clicks because viewers won’t feel the ad is relevant to them. If the target audience is too narrow, fewer viewers will end up noticing and clicking on the ad.
What Makes A Banner Ad Clickable?
Once a business owner knows what to avoid while designing their banner ad, they can start to think of their design and how they can get more viewers to click on the ad. There are many factors that should be considered when creating a banner ad, and all of them can impact how clickable the ad is.
Pay attention to all of the following factors to create a more clickable and, therefore, more effective ad:
- Professional Graphics – Graphics do not need to be professionally created, but they should look like they are. Any graphics used should be carefully chosen to enhance the message in the banner ad, to grab the viewer’s attention, and to drive clicks into the offer.
- Carefully Chosen Layout – The layout can make a huge difference in how attractive or eye-catching the banner ad might be. It’s crucial to use a simple layout and to keep the ad free of clutter. Try out different layouts to see what works best with the graphics and text, and the dimensions of each ad based on its size and position. Different ad sizes and placements will call for unique layouts that create a cohesive look and feel.
- The Right Text And Message – Any text on the banner ad should be carefully chosen to be succinct and effective. A viewer is only likely to glance at the ad at first, so the text should be clear and attention-grabbing. It should also help communicate the overall message of the campaign and include a call to action.
- A Call To Action – The call to action tells the viewer what to do to get the offer. There are many ways to create an effective call to action, but it should fit with the overall message and encourage the visitor to engage.
- The Right Location – Once the banner ad is created, the right website, directory, social network, or other published location needs to be chosen. The location should be based on the targeted viewer, as this will lead to more clicks. Some research is needed to determine where the banner ad should be published so it’s more likely to resonate with the targeted audience and be well-received by regular web traffic for that location.
When Should Banner Ads Be Used?
Banner ads are often used with marketing campaigns to help drive more viewers to the website. This can be a part of a special promotion or campaign, to help showcase new products or services, or to help boost other marketing efforts.
For instance, banner ads can help a business tap into a new marketplace or answer demands brought about by a new trend. They can also boost sales as needed by working as quick and simple sales or discount offers.
Any company can take advantage of banner ads, but they are more suited for business to consumer companies. The key idea is to consider whether the targeted audience is going to be online and where they are likely to be.
This way, the banner ad can be created for that specific audience and its content and location can be tailored accordingly. Business to business companies can use banner ads as well, though they may have to choose the location more carefully to reach their targeted audience.
Tips For Making And Publishing Banner Ads
Banner ads do have to be designed carefully to ensure they will be as effective as possible and will foster more clicks. Banner ad design and publishing options have grown considerably in the decades since this marketing format became a standard.
Now it’s possible to create and launch banner ads using software available online or by hiring a dedicated professional or agency to handle the job.
The DIY approach is often chosen as a way to save money. Though this option is economical, careful attention should be given to the design and distribution. It is possible to use apps when designing a banner, so a business owner has some guidance on the layout, graphics, and text.
However, these apps are limited in what they can offer, so there isn’t as much room for creativity.
With the DIY approach or by using an app, the level of quality and appeal is limited to the app’s capabilities and the skill and experience of the individual using it. That can amount to some very mixed results that may not be able to compete with ads created by a professional.
Additionally, creating a banner ad and then publishing it in the appropriate location are two different matters. Even with a talent for design, some research and time must be devoted to the launch and publication process.
Many designers and agencies offer professionally designed banner ads as part of their marketing services. These ads are created using experience-driven, best practices.
This means they are more likely to gain attention and clicks. Banner ad design services will handle everything with input from the business owner, including the design, the publishing locations, and the frequency of the ad. This can help produce much better results compared to self-managed options.
Using banner ads can be a great way to increase brand awareness and drive more potential customers to your website, but the design and launch need to be done right for them to be effective. If you’re considering a banner ad as part of your marketing strategy, talk to a professional service today to learn more about what they can do and how they can make your ad more clickable.