Though the death of banner ads was predicted long ago, 2016 is set to defy expectations and actually be (and you'll have to pardon the expression here ) a banner year for banner ads, as display advertising is set to eclipse search advertising for the first time ever in the U.S. According to eMarketer, marketers will spend more on banner ads than any other type of digital advertising this year. In order to fully take advantage of this blockbuster year for banner ads, take a quick look at some banner ad best practices for 2016.
No Flash, No Problem
Though Flash was an essential plugin back in the early 2000s, times have changed, and Flash is getting more outdated by the second. Almost every one of the major desktop browsers has stopped natively supporting it. These browsers' users now need to manually enable the plugin to view Flash content. Though nearly one in 10 websites still uses Flash, according to Web survey site W3Techs, Ad Age reports that if all the major browsers were to disable Flash suddenly, roughly 84 percent of banners across the Internet would not be viewable on desktop browsers. To avoid issues with Flash's decline, marketers should switch over to HTML5 as soon as possible to ensure that their banner ads are viewable for all browsers in the new year.
The Rise of Video Ads
Last year, Google, Yahoo and Bing all experimented with video-based ads in search results, and it looks like, for the most part, these tests were a success. eMarketer is predicting that online video ad spending will claim 14.3 percent of digital ad spending budgets in 2016, up from 12.8 percent in 2015. This represents a 28.5 percent growth in spending for video, which is some incredible growth, especially for a platform as new as video ads. This year should provide a great opportunity for marketers to get in on this trend as it grows in the years to come.
Banner ads may not be an obvious choice for a native advertising vehicle, but as long as they don't blend in too much (it's important they not be seen as deceptive, per the FTC's new native advertising guidelines), they can present information related to surrounding content in a way that can inform consumers in a more straightforward way. While this type of ad might not get the most conversions, it's a great way to introduce consumers to your brand, especially those who might be researching similar products on competitor websites.
This coming year will bring many marketing challenges and opportunities, but making sure your marketing organization is engaging in some of these banner ad best practices will ensure that your message reaches your audience in a compelling way that will get this new year off to a great start!