With the exponential growth that the internet has experienced within the last decade, specifically relating to commerce, advertisers have brought over proven real-world marketing techniques to the digital landscape. Banner ads are a perfect example.
Primed for engagements and found on the busiest areas of the internet, banner ads have cemented themselves in the digital marketing world due to their effectiveness.
But what exactly are banner ads and how do they work? Let’s dive in.
What Are Banner Ads?
Banner ads, also known as display ads, are visual advertisements that can be found in high-traffic locations on websites, social media platforms, or apps. Banner ads are simply billboards that you find online.
Much like traditional billboards, banner ads are designed to catch the consumer’s attention and encourage further action such as visiting a website to learn more about what is being advertised. Banner ads are bright, inviting, and mostly rely on visuals to convey a specific message. Check out this example from Big Brothers Big Sisters:
This Big Brothers Big Sisters banner ad demonstrates how the emotional impact of your marketing can be increased with the use of images. The images of everyday individuals coupled with the call to action of “Start Something” presents a message to onlookers that they have the power to positively impact the lives of others.
Since banner ads are found in high traffic locations online, these types of ads are effective for increasing brand awareness and generating engagement in the form of clicks, website visits, and even lead generation – but how do they work?
How Banner Ads Work
While banner ads are a form of pay-per-click advertising, meaning you pay each time a click is generated, they’re not the same as traditional paid search ads. Paid search ads appear on search engine results pages while banner ads are mainly found on websites themselves.
To get their banner ads on websites, advertisers rely on display networks to pair their ads with relevant sites. Most tend to choose to run their ads through the Google Display Network because it reaches 90% of all internet users across millions of websites.
As a business using display networks, you’ll pay the display network directly rather than the websites themselves, and you’ll also have the chance to choose the types of locations where your banner ads will be displayed.
Like any digital marketing technique, advertisers use banner ads to target specific groups of audiences to encourage clicks and conversions. While banner ads can come in different sizes, it’s easiest to differentiate banner ads by their targeting methods. The main types of banner ads include:
- Contextual banner ads: These types of banner ads use specific keywords to determine relevant locations where an ad will perform best. For example, a company that sells car tires might advertise their tires on automobile brand sites like Toyota, Honda, or Carfax.
- Remarketing banner ads: A remarketing banner ad is designed to target consumers who have previously visited a specific site by using online cookies that track activity.
We’ve all experienced it before: you visit a bicycle site then after leaving, you continue to get ads relating to those bicycles. That’s the goal of remarketing ads. Remarketing banner ads appear when a consumer is browsing a different website in an attempt to get them back to a previous site.
- Interest targeting banner ads: Similar to contextual banner ads, interest targeting banner ads also use relevance to improve effectiveness. However, interest targeting banner ads use Google AdWords data to target consumers who are actively searching for products or services like the ones you are advertising.
- Specific site placement targeting: If you have an ideal website or online location in mind, you can also contact website owners themselves and pay to have your banner ad on specific sites of your choice, rather than letting display networks choose the sites for you.
Regardless of the type of banner advertising you choose to implement, finding the right fit for your business will take some experimentation.
Why Should You Incorporate Banner Ads In Your Digital Marketing Strategy?
1. Banner ads are excellent for raising brand awareness
Banner ads are one of the best ways that businesses can build their brand’s awareness since these ads are predominantly found on sites that consumers are most likely already naturally browsing.
As stated before, banner ads are great for encouraging consumers to visit your website to learn more about your business.
Even if a consumer doesn’t fully commit to a purchase, banner ads are effective in placing your brand in the minds of consumers as they browse the internet, which increases your brand’s awareness.
2. Banner ads target your specific audience
With the various types of targeting methods that your banner ads can implement, banner advertising ensures that your business isn’t spending its time connecting with individuals who may have little to no interest in your business.
By targeting specific audiences, your banner ad will prove to have a higher return on investment than an ad being targeted at a broad, general audience.
3. Banner ads are cost effective.
By being able to target specific audiences, banner ads have proven to be one of the most cost-effective forms of digital advertising. According to WordStream Data, the average cost per click on Google’s Display Network is $0.63.
When compared to the average cost per click on Google’s Search Network (search result ads) of $2.69, it is clear to see that banner ads are significantly more cost-friendly than search ads.
While search ads tend to show better results, having a lower cost per click helps businesses improve their brand’s awareness without breaking the bank.
Now that you know what banner ads are, how they work, and why you should incorporate them into your digital marketing strategy, let’s take a look at how to actually create a banner ad.
How To Create Banner Ads
While the actual end result and design of your banner ad is up to your business, there are some key elements you can incorporate into your banner ad to ensure that it’s highly effective.
To better illustrate the steps, we’ll use this banner ad from Ridge Wallet.
1. Find Your Call To Action (CTA)
As with any ad, your business should have a clear goal in mind in the form of a call to action, or CTA. A CTA is what encourages online shoppers to discover more about your business. The CTA is where potential customers will click on to be transported to the location of your choosing.
For Ridge, the brand opted for a more casual CTA by using a “Shop Now” button.
2. Don’t Forget To Add Branding
Before moving forward in the design process for your banner ad, it is crucial that your business determines which visual assets of your brand it will include in the ad itself. While you can add any aspect of your brand, such as specific colorways, it is important to at least include your logo so that consumers can properly identify your business.
For Ridge, they decided to style their logo in bold lettering with distinct color contrast to make it pop and stand out.
3. Visuals! Visuals! Visuals!
Since banner ads are meant to catch the eye of potential customers, your visuals will be what ultimately determines the success of your banner ad. Use visuals that effectively convey the messaging of your ad in a quick, concise manner.
Ridge opted for the classic technique of side by side comparison. By showing the drastic difference between their wallets and traditional wallets, consumers immediately understand and see the value a Ridge wallet holds.
4. Use Keywords To Break The “Why” Barrier
Keywords will not only improve your banner ad for search engines, but it will also help break down the “why” barrier in regards to why a consumer should click on your ad. Use the keywords that a consumer searching for your product or service will most likely type into Google.
Ridge’s technique was to use their wallet’s unique selling points to quickly explain to consumers why they should use their product in one easy to understand sentence.
5. Whatever You Do, Keep It Simple
Remember, banner ads are meant to catch the attention of people browsing websites. Because of that, make sure to keep your ads visually appealing through simplicity. The same marketing techniques apply to banner ads when designing them, and the easier your ad is to digest, the more effective it’ll prove to be.
Get Started Incorporating Banner Ads To Your Digital Marketing Strategy
When it comes to improving your brand’s awareness online, banner ads are one of the best options for your business. You yourself have probably interacted with tons of banner ads that have influenced you to buy a specific product or service. In truth, banner ads, as with all marketing techniques, are best used when incorporated within a larger marketing plan.
If you find your business struggling with building its online presence, or simply needs help growing, Practina can help.
Practina is an intelligent system that makes marketing simple for any business. Using artificial intelligence, Practina automates your business’s social media and simplifies the ad creation process down to just a few simple clicks!
With Practina, your business simply tells the system a bit about your business, and Practina will automatically begin improving your online presence by connecting you with individuals searching for businesses like yours. Practina was designed with every business in mind, so the system is easy to use regardless of your experience.
Practina is free to use, and you only pay for the ads that you run. For a limited time, you’ll even receive a $50 Amazon gift card when you create your free account to experience the power of Practina for yourself!
Whether you’re a seasoned marketing professional, or a new business looking to improve its digital marketing, a well-designed marketing plan coupled with banner ads that increase awareness will help your business find success in the online marketing world.