Gabriel Bitis is the Product Manager of Bannersnack, a professional marketing tool that helps business owners, marketers and designers to create better and smarter banner ads. He recently checked in with us to offer insight on best practices for using banner ads. Here's what he had to say:
How popular is banner advertising today?
Look at Facebook, Google or Yahoo, do you see banner ads there? Yes, you do! It's true, the click-through-rates (CTRs) aren't as good as they were in the old days, but banner advertising today is also a lot cheaper compared to those days; advertisers still use it massively, and the budgets for display ads are still growing.
What is a banner after all? According to Google, a banner ad is "a heading or advertisement appearing on a web page in the form of a bar, column or box" - you see those every day, everywhere!
Why should businesses include banner ads in their marketing strategies?
Banner advertising can be very effective if you do it properly. And fortunately, nowadays there are ways to target and re-target your audience so that you can insert the right content in front of the right pair of eyes.
Let me give you an example. We all know that content marketing is important, and there are lots of marketers who create a lot of content (blog posts, eBooks, videos, infographics) where they invest a lot of resources. I believe that these great pieces of content should be pushed forward more and more and with display advertising, even if we talk about banner ads on Google Display Network or Facebook ads, you can make the magic happen.
Want to get your content in front of interested visitors? Banner and display ads are a great way to target and re-target your ideal audience. Photo credit: Dai KE.
What are some best practices for designing eye-catching banner ads?
I'm not the first one who says it: keep it simple and clean! There are a few guidelines a banner designer should follow, and I'll only mention some of them:
- Send a clear message about your brand. People are reserved about clicking an ad if they don't have a reason to trust it.
- Keep the necessary elements: Logo or company name, value proposition and CTA.
- Make sure the text is easily readable.
- Make sure the CTA is easy to find.
- Don't communicate more than one message per banner.
- Use a professional tool! I would recommend Bannersnack!
But the most important thing is to start with your audience in your mind: what your audience wants to look at and how this banner ad can be a bridge between them and a better life (your brand).
What about some design no-nos?
Don't use too many elements in your banner - and don't crowd them! As I said, keep it simple and clean!
A big mistake is not to test your banner ads. A lot of marketers think that if they create a banner ad they can now sit down and watch how the money comes in their pocket. Today we can test everything, and we at Bannersnack are working on a new feature that will make your banner ad better and smarter.
What types of banner ads most often fail to get results?
The main reasons why your banner ads are failing, are bad design and the lack of credibility. So, it isn't really a type of banner that fails to get results, it's a way of designing banners that fails to get results.
How should marketers approach the banner ad copy?
Marketers should keep in mind that they need to send their message and get the audience attention at a glance. Use the copy to say what you're selling and why your audience needs you!
How can banner ads work in tandem with other marketing/advertising efforts?
When you think about an advertising campaign, it's not just banner ads, it's also e-mails, social media, affiliate marketing, etc. All of these must go together for maximum performance. Keep common elements in all of them, so that your brand is recognized and confirmed through all of the channels.
What brands do you think use banner ads most effectively? What can we learn from them?
We can look at brands like Apple, Coca-Cola or other top brands that everybody is talking about. They are using banner ads and invest a lot of money. The question is: if banner ads are not good for their marketing strategy, why are they still using them? They are doing it because it's good for their brand awareness and also for their results.
On the other hand, we see great results on other medium and low brands that are using banner ads in their daily marketing strategy.
I recommend every specialist to look at the internet with the marketing "eagle eye" - that means that they should investigate, interact, experiment and test everything.
What do you think is the future for how brands market online?
Why are we talking about the future when we need to live in the present? Who said 10 years ago that social media will be so big? Who said 10 years ago that banner ads will be reinvented on other platforms? Nobody!
But what I do believe is that brands should start doing more than just going out on the market and start screaming to everybody on how good is their brand.
If you really want my answer on this, here it is: there will be more and more channels available for advertising, the internet of things will have its share, same with VR and augmented reality. We'll be surrounded by advertising, but as long as we'll still stare at screens, devices or other visual channels, banner advertising will be there too.
If you are interested in learning more about effective online advertising tactics, check out our blog post, "Don’t be afraid of PPC: 4 tips to get the most of paid search efforts."
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