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Building Better Banner Ads: Tips and Best Practices

Posted by Love Hudson-Maggio on November 3, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Banner ad tipsBanner ads have evolved and changed just like other digital marketing mediums, but the core of their utility remains the same. Banner ad promotions have succeeded by keeping things simple and relying on proven best practices that have been established and reinforced for years.

Small adjustments to retail banner ad strategy have produced worthwhile increases in campaign efficiency, which ultimately produces greater returns. Brands should also consider some of the special variables that come into play when running a sale or other promotion through banner ads, particularly in today's mobile-heavy retail environment. Here are some important tips to make sure your banner ads are noticed and engaged.

Adopt Color Schemes That Demand Attention

Banners appear in familiar places on websites, and site traffic can turn a blind eye — especially when those banners blend into the website's color scheme. As sleek as a black-and-white banner might look, the odds are pretty strong that too many consumer eyes will glaze right over them.

Instead, dynamic coloring is key. If you know which sites your banner will appear on, you can craft color schemes that directly contrast that website's overall design. But if your banner will appear on any number of different sites — which is likely if you're advertising through a network — you can still improve your odds by choosing vibrant colors that aren't likely to match an overall website's palette. Think bright colors like pink or neon green, and consider color combinations that are even less likely.

Convey a Sense of Urgency

A sale or a promotion is meant to drive transactions quickly. To do that, you need motivated consumers. Buyers will drag their heels if they feel they don't feel a sense of urgency, such as limited stock or better pricing during a short timeframe. Brands need to convey this urgency quickly: Phrases like "limited time," "now through Sunday" or "24-hour sale" all create urgency without wasting words.

If consumers feel like they only have a short window to take advantage of an opportunity, they'll be more likely to click through and consider a quick purchase. That's one of the chief goals of any sale or promotion, and your banner ad needs to reflect this.

Craft Compelling Calls-to-Action (CTA)

You have their attention, you've filled them with a sense of urgency: Now what? The best thing to do is offer them actionable steps. Don't leave consumers guessing as to what their next move is: Show them that, by clicking the banner, they can dive straight into actions leading to a successful outcome. Every banner ad should have a CTA, and it needs to be both clear and concise. Rely on strong visuals to get attention, but use economical words and phrases to push consumers through.

The referral driven by a CTA is where most of your banner campaign value will be found, so make sure it is strongly worded and offers clear direction. If you can do that, your sale or promotion will have no problem finding shoppers.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads

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