Creativity is what drives the performance of a banner ad above anything else. It doesn’t take long to realize that a stock advertisement with personal information put into it isn’t going to perform well. Don’t just settle for a cheap cookie cutter system for your creatives. With a little time, effort, and these best practices in hand, you’ll be able to have a banner ad that performs consistently well for you every day.
It all begins with an understanding that there is a certain level of customization that must be achieved with every banner ad. Sometimes rules are meant to be broken. Use these best practices more as a guideline than as a “You must do this now!” type of approach.
1. Size Matters
Use the standard sizes for your banner ads so they can be displayed on the most domains possible. There are numerous sizes for banner adds, but the most common one is the 728×90 leaderboard. The leaderboard, however, is not actually the most successful size of ad. That distinction belongs to the 336×280 large rectangle. You may be confined to spacing requirements on the website where the banner ad will be placed, but try to fit these sizes in first.
2. Branding Awareness
The most important component of your creative is the brand itself. Your logo is often the visual representation of your brand, so it is going to be the most important component of your banner ad. Make sure that is visually dominates the advertisement so that even if you don’t get a click, you create a memory that the user can recall.
3. Value Sells
People are shopping with their eyes when they look at banner ads. Your value proposition must solve a problem for them. Will you save them money? Time? Give them a better quality product? Whatever it is that makes your brand stand out from the competition is information that needs to be included with your creative.
4. Ignore It
Banner ads have a natural call to action component to them. Telling someone to “Click here now!” with your banner ad may be an unwise maneuver. Commands within content lead to higher implementation rates, but the same is not always true when it comes to the banner ad. People will naturally click on ads they find to be interesting. Telling them to click might just push them away instead.
5. Define It
People are naturally drawn toward the center of an advertisement. You can encourage this natural draw by creating a clearly defined border for your advertisement. From there, have the creatives focus on a precise message that is within the line of sight for the user who looks at the banner ad. Graphics or text sell equally here, so make sure the message is clear and concise.
6. Make It Easy
You have about 1 second to make an impact with your banner ad. This means you need to make it easy to read. If you’re using fonts that are difficult to process or are using all capital letters, then people aren’t going to bother to look any further into your value proposition. Make your initial offer stand out by increasing the size of the fond, making it bold, and keep it short and on point.
7. Graphics Don’t Matter
People don’t need to see pictures of other people to click on your banner ad. If you’re Victoria’s Secret, then including a model that shows of your product makes sense. If you’re a writer who is trying to sell a book, then showing a picture of you at the computer isn’t really going to attract more customers. Graphics don’t matter when it comes to making a sale unless they make sense.
8. Color Does Matter
Different colors have different emotional associations. Colors are also subjective and have different meanings for different colors. Adding some yellow to a creative might attract someone’s attention to the banner ad. Having a bright yellow banner, however, will hurt that person’s eyes. If you want a great call to action button in your banner ad, always choose orange. It’s inviting without being overwhelming.
9. Tweak It
Don’t stick with a failing ad. Measure the performance of all your banner ads regularly. If you find one is underperforming, then don’t be afraid to change it. It’s better to remove an underperforming ad then stick with one that can hurt your branding.
These banner ad best practices can help you achieve the right first impression. Keep them in mind as you design your next campaign and you may just find more clicks headed your way.
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