Digital Display: 6 Tips to Make Your Banner Ads More Effective

Posted by Brooke Jordan on April 30, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Forrester Research estimated that $12.7 BILLION Banner Ads, digital marketing, online marketingwas spent on digital display ads in 2012.  And that that number will grow to $28 billion by 2017! Unfortunately most advertising, digital or otherwise, is somewhat misguided and arguably wasted.  Often a simple marketing plan and strategy isn’t followed, resulting in a wasted advertising investment.  Like most advertising, digital display ads are an effective option, assuming you take the necessary steps to assure their effectiveness.

Here are 6 simple ways to make an effective banner ad:

1.) Put them in the right place
Make sure you are placing your ads on a site that has the correct audience for your business.  Quality vs. quantity is important.  If you are advertising comfortable shoes for the 65+ crowd, you shouldn’t have an ad on a gossip site targeted to 12-24 year olds. 

2.) Make people want to click
You don’t need to, and should NOT, put every bit of information on the ad itself – less is more when it comes to banner ads.  Include just enough information to get the readers interested, but not too much that you give them no reason to click the ad since you told them everything already.  Remember, the #1 goal of display advertising is to get the target to click on the ad.  Always write your ad so you leave them wanting more. 
 

3.) Deliver what you promise
If you are promoting a specific product or service, let your URL direct people to it.  The banner ad should not always link to your homepage.  If you’re a mattress store advertising a sale on a specific mattress, the ad should link directly to the advertised mattress.  Don’t make the customer work for it – lead them to the correct place. 

4.) Keep the file size low
Whether the site gives you a file size limit or not, try to keep your banner ad file size low (under 50k).  The bigger the file size the longer it will take to load the page... and the greater the chance that your potential customer will leave the site before they ever get to see your ad.

5.) Do your research
What are your competitors doing right and wrong?  Are their ads too busy?  Are they not specific enough?  Are they too specific?  You can learn a lot about what to do and NOT do by analyzing your competitor’s marketing strategy.

6.) Keep it in context
Before you design your banner ad, take a look at the site on which you plan to run it.  That site probably has a brand of its own – a font, a template, a specific set of colors.  Make sure your banner ad stands out on the site without distracting the consumer from the content that they came to see. 

Many of these elements may appear to be common sense, but this list comes from years of experience with clients who continue to make these very mistakes.  With a little planning and strategic thinking, the effectiveness of your digital display campaign will increase exponentially.

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Tags: digital, Marketing strategy, Brooke Jordan, creative

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