Banner Ads: How to Create Banner Ads That Get Results

POSTED BY Chad Willenborg - 10.25.12 - Digital marketing

The Banner Ad Challenge: How do you rent a pair of eyeballs for more than, say.....5 seconds? In this Attention Deficit Disorder age it has become quite a challenge for banner ads to grab attention – and get clicked. Making an effective online banner ad that catches a searcher’s attention takes creativity and experience.

Internet users tend to scan websites quickly. Remember, they are searching online for pre-determined, desired content. Banner advertisements are not top-of-mind. (Don't worry though, when done correctly, online banners are a very effective way to reach people and drive them to your company’s website, social media platform, like Facebook or Twitter, or other landing pages you’ve created for your banner ad campaign.)

To help you create the best banner ads possible, I have come up with a Top 10 list: Online Banner Ads – The Top 10 Traits of Effective Online Banner Ads:

10) Show Happy People, Faces and Zoom-In

In most online banners you want to create a happy feeling as the viewer sees your ad. One of the best ways to do this is to use quality photography of people enjoying the product or service. Zoom in on peoples’ faces and their actions. Photos have much more impact if they are close up as opposed to far away.

9) Animate

Within a banner ad, the best animation should enhance the overall effectiveness. It should not take over the ad or be distracting. When adding animation to an ad, there should be a reason. Animation and movement in a banner ad should be smooth, eye catching and purposeful.

8) Powerful Headline and Verbiage

Make your words count and hard hitting. It's not just what you say in the headline, but also the font treatment you give it. You need to know your audience and what type of "feel" the font and headline should convey.

7) Color Palette

A well thought-out color palette is very important. Your color scheme will be the first thing the viewer notices. Color has a huge impact on the type of feeling the viewer pulls from the ad. It won't be something they consciously think about, but it is there.....influencing.

6) Brand Recognition

If you decide to go for a more brand recognition approach, it is best if you have a strong, well designed logo. The look should be consistent with your company's overall tone. For instance, a roofing company’s banner ad is going to look at lot different than a flower company. Fonts, color palette, message and offer should all have forward momentum, all going in the same direction.

5) Highlight Your Competitive Edge

What makes your company or offer stand out from the competition? It's up to designers and the sales team to figure this out for you. However, a strong concept thought out and shared, will get your banner ad off to the best possible start.

4) Create Urgency

Give the user some reason to want to engage the ad and click through right away. Words like “Now,” “Today Only,” “Hurry,” etc. You want visitors to think that it is paramount that they click on this ad -- right now. It may take some creative, original verbiage.

3) Target Your Audience

Know who you are trying to reach! This is important. Your color palette, fonts, message, offer and animation should all have this in mind. Jolting, bright, high contrast color palette would be appropriate for a teenage clothing store, but not for shoe stores that cater to the elderly, for example.

2) Call to Action

What do you want the searcher to do by viewing and interacting with your banner ad? Be as direct and clear as possible. In other words, make it simple for them. You have about 5 seconds to let them know what it is you want them to do. After that, they have probably moved on.

1) Keep Your Message Short and Simple

If you have ever heard someone say, “Keep it simple. Less is more,” this definitely applies to online banners. You are not there to tell a 30-second TV commercial in a banner ad. You want a high impact, immediate messaging. Anything more than 15 seconds is too long. Generally, 10 seconds is about right for the conversion to take place. Oftentimes, a well-designed "static" ad is more effective than an animated ad. The viewer sees it, gets it and acts immediately.

Hopefully you’ve found this list of Top 10 Traits of Effective Banner Ads to be a useful guide to developing effective online banner advertising for your company. It takes well thought-out and creative design to make an online message have impact and get results.

Still need help with your banner ad campaign? Contact the folks at Fusionfarm and we’re happy to help! Email today.

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