Tips For Creating Effective Banner Ads That Will Drive Conversions

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Banner ads are so ingrained into our daily web searches and mindless surfing they have become an integral part of our web browsing experience. However, there was a time before banner ads were placed all over our favorite web pages and social media platforms.

The first banner ad was created in 1994 and appeared on Wired magazine’s website hotwired.com. It was an ad for AT&T focusing on “futuristic technological wonders”. The purpose of the ad was to demonstrate how AT&T could transport people through time and space via the internet. 44% of people who saw the ad actually clicked on it, a novelty percentage compared to the click rate we see on most banner ads today.

Text reads: Have you ever clicked your mouse right here? Then, an arrow indicating the right side of image where text reads: You will.
The first banner ad, as it appeared on hotwired.com in 1994.

Today it’s nearly impossible to scan the internet without running into a display ad, and most internet users actively avoid them at all costs. So that begs the question, how do we create display ads that entice viewers and actually generate conversions?

How to Create an Effective Banner Ad

There are many different shapes, sizes and colors of banner ads, but when designing a banner ad for your organization keep these things in mind:

1. Simplicity is key

Most people looking at your banner ad are glimpsing at it while scrolling, an ad with too much text or a busy design can looked cramped and leave viewers wondering how they are meant to interact with it. Think of all the elements of graphic design when designing your banner ad: font size, font color, background color, the shape, and the use of space.

2. Include a call-to-action

A call-to-action or (CTA) is what entices people to click on your ad or learn more about your business. Your CTA should stand out from the rest of your ad, catching the viewer’s eye and encourage them to take the appropriate action.

3. Incorporate your brand

This one should be pretty obvious. Without your logo, how are viewers going to know what the advertisement is for?

Incorporating Animation

We live in a visual world. Most people would rather watch a “how-to” video than read a 10-step explanation. This shift to visual content isn’t a bad thing; it just means advertisers have to embrace this trend to avoid being left behind.

Put simply, animated banner ads, also referred to as HTML5 banners, are display advertisements that feature some sort of animation or moving graphic.

With an interactive element, animated banner ads tell a visual story, which can be more compelling and grab viewers’ attention.

HTML5 banners have proven to be highly effective in achieving higher click through rates and conversions.

In 2018 Crello conducted an experiment, launching two advertisements to the same target audience with the same text and links in both advertisements.

The only difference? One was a static ad, and one included an animation.

The results of Crello’s split test showed the animated ad attracted 1.5 times more clicks than the static image. The animated ad link was clicked on 325 times versus the static ad at only 145 clicks.

Also, according to recent research from Crisp Media, banner ads with animation are 4.5 times more effective than static ads.

What does this tell us? HTML5 advertisements invite the viewer to be part of the experience, which in turn captures their attention, leading to more potential conversions.

Don’t skip on static

Just because studies show animated ads have higher engagement than traditional banner ads, this doesn’t mean you should throw out all your static ads in exchange for complex animations.

If you are delivering a simple message, with an eye-catching image, static banners can still be a great way to relay your message to consumers.

In certain scenarios, a static ad may work better as it relays information to the viewer quickly and concisely.

At the end of the day, the choice between static and animated is based on the unique goals of your marketing campaign.

Who are you trying to reach? What are you communicating? And what action do you want the viewer to take?

Are you interested in creating display ads for your product or service, but don’t know where to start? Call Robert Sharp and Associates at 605-341-5226, to speak to our graphic design creatives. Our team of graphic design gurus, analytics experts, and digital marketing strategists can help you analyze the unique goals of your marketing campaign and design a product best fit to your needs. And we should know, we’ve been in the business of helping our clients for over 30 years!


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