Banner advertising was bread-and-butter of the internet in its early days. But now it is sometimes seen as a dying art. Some point to the rise of the ad blocker as a reason. Usage of ad blockers rose by 30% in 2016 alone. Is there any need for having banners if people can’t see them? Surprisingly, the answer is yes.
The predictions are that spending on digital advertising should almost double by 2021. Digital ads aren’t going away – and banner advertising won’t disappear either. So what benefits will banner advertising have for your website? Read on to find out!
Half of banner advertising relies on design
This is perhaps the area where people get stuck. You can have the best advertising strategy in the world, but if it looks awful, it converts no one. Figuring out where your ad should be placed, or who you’ll target on social media, is relatively straightforward. But creating a good design is a lot harder. You don’t want to overwhelm the viewer with too much text. And if you use too many colors, it’ll look messy or confusing. And don’t forget you need high-quality images. So no fuzzy, pixelated Google cast-offs here, thank you very much.
Google rewards a seamless, enjoyable user experience. And well-crafted banners can help you to create that. They help users understand your brand on a deeper level. And they communicate in more subtle ways without needing pages of text.
So to recap, use:
- Readable fonts
- Simple choice of colors
- Clear and well-crafted call to action (CTA)
But the benefits of well-designed banners are clear. You can show how professional you are through the look of your banner. And you can grab attention through simple, thoughtful design.
Think sideways and move into smart branding
Branding has evolved past the point of simply being a logo and a color scheme. Smart branding now uses a range of elements to ensure the user recognizes the brand. It’s especially useful now that the internet is such a crowded place.
The film industry has used smart branding for years. Think of those films whose advertising relies on recognizable typography and one of its stars. If you see a character posed with an android and wielding a lightsaber, you know you’re looking at a Star Wars ad. Transfer these similar properties to your own branding to help boost the profile of your banners.
Boost your profile through associating with quality brands
You probably won’t run banner ads for yourself on your own website. But you may host banner ads for other companies. No one likes pop-up banners that dominate the entire screen before you can see the content. But there is still space for responsive banner ads that scale with the device.
Rather than selling them ad space on your website, why not become affiliates for these brands? That way, you earn commission on sales made when visitors buy the services you advertise. It’s a growing area of marketing, and as a passive form of income, it runs quietly in the background. You can earn money while you’re away from your computer. But it also has a secondary benefit. Hosting banners for trusted brands or excellent products can help to position you as an expert since you know to use these brands yourself.
Not only that, but it also helps to confer a degree of trustworthiness to you because you’re only promoting brands that you use yourself. You can capitalize on the ‘trickle-down’ effect of associating with high-quality products and services.
Run your own banner ads on social media
One area of digital advertising that has seen a huge growth spurt is native advertising. These ads use the look and feel of the platform on which they’re placed so they blend in with their environment. In fact, native advertising has been so successful that worldwide spending on these ads is predicted to reach $59 billion by 2018.
The most successful ads on platforms such as Facebook follow the same principles as banner advertising. High-quality imagery, minimal typography, and clear design. Used in this way, banner ads can drive traffic back to your website. By providing an enjoyable user experience on your site, you can convert that traffic into paying customers.
The lower cost works in the favor of banner advertising
CPC ads are often quite expensive. And while native advertising on platforms such as Facebook or Twitter is a lot cheaper, banner advertising can also be very affordable. And because you can choose from retargeting options, you can always display your banner ads to previous visitors to your website. They might not have been in the right frame of mind to buy on their earlier visit. But with a nudge from your banner ad, it could be the difference between a sale and them forgetting who you are.
Not only that, but banner ads encourage interaction. A beautiful image that speaks to your target client will encourage a click more than a simple ‘click here’ button. You can also be more creative with your banner ad designs. Hand-drawn illustrations are popular because they stand out among the swathes of stock photography. Or you might harken back to the retro designs of the 1930s or 1950s with bold colors or simple illustrations. They capture attention in a way few other image types can.
In banner advertising, you can afford to be bold.
Best of all – it’s incredibly easy to make a banner
You might be jotting down ideas for banner ads as you read this. But there’s a voice in the back of your head saying “Oh but I don’t know how to design anything”. Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience with a designer before. Or you’re reticent to spend a lot of money on graphic design software. Thankfully there are plenty of solutions available that won’t cost too much. It is absolutely possible for you to make a banner that will boost your brand. Just remember the keys to success. Make it bold, keep it simple, and stay clear on your message.