The most common form of banner advertising is what we see in any commercial, corporate or social website for that matter, in most websites these days. Here are some of the different types of ads that fall in this category. To begin with, there are small ads within or on the left of articles that can either be banner or half banner ads.
The large and medium rectangle ads can be found within or at the end of the articles while leaderboard ads are found right at the top of the page or within an article. Although there are no full page ads in the banner category, there is something called a half page ad which can be found on the either the right or left hand side of the page. Then, there are the skyscraper ads with an additional category known as wide skyscraper ads that are found on the sidebars and on top of the web pages. Finally there are the square and small square ads that are found on the right hand sidebar.
Effectiveness of banner advertising
One of the biggest benefits of online advertising over conventional advertising is that its effectiveness is measurable in comparison to other forms of advertising. The customer’s purchase journey begins with a click on the banner ad which takes them to the advertiser website’s specific page where the complete details of the product or service being offered is available. If the customer likes what he reads on this page, there are further links here to take him to the payment gateway through which he makes the payment, thereby completing his sales journey.
There cannot be a better way of measuring the effectiveness of an ad than this indicator known as the click-through rate (CTR). It is calculated by using the number of times the ad was displayed (impressions) to divide the number of users who clicked on the ad. A CTR of 7% will suggest that out of 100 impressions, the banner was clicked on seven times. Banner ads are one of the best ways to increase awareness of a brand and their effectiveness increases proportionally depending on the amount of traffic there is, on the sites where they are displayed. They are also excellent lead generators whereby incomplete click-throughs can be retargeted.
Designing banner advertising
In principle, there is no difference in the two critical rules of communication that are necessary in either online or offline advertising – the message being conveyed in the ad and what you want to achieve from the ad. For instance, if you want to sell a particular type of running shoes, show a pair of the shoes on your ad and give a simple sales headline that doesn’t require any amount of pondering or thinking to understand. That’s because you barely have a few seconds to grab your customer’s attention. Because of the small size of the mobile, tablet or PC screen, your ad won’t have much space to either provide a big enough picture of the shoes or the accompanying details.
You will have to optimize both the visualization and copy of your ad to make the most of the limited space on the mobile, tablet or PC screen and grab the attention of your customer in those critical few seconds. You have to ensure that your product is displayed with a lot of open space all around it and your headline is short and to the point. Many people make the mistake to cramming in too much copy into a banner ad assuming that the customer needs more details at very the moment he sees the ad. That’s a big mistake because unlike offline print, ambience or outdoor advertising, in online banner advertising, the customer should be guided all along the purchase journey in one seamless, continuous and consistent click-through run.
Process of banner advertising
It needs to be remembered that unlike in print or TV advertising, an online banner ad is a quick-fire medium intended to produce fast and effective results. The creative director simply doesn’t have the time or space to play with abstract ideas that sometimes intrigues the reader. For the online audience, there are scores of options right in his device – mobile, tablet or PC and as it happens when one has an abundance of choices, the process of flipping through options is done at a fast pace. It doesn’t require a doctorate in psychology to realize that the online customer is in a hurry to see all his options.
True, there are online video ads that run as long as a TV commercial or even longer sometimes but where does it begin on the mobile, tablet or PC screen? Of course, it all begins from a banner ad where you have to attract the customer with a simple and meaningful headline and a clean, clear and uncomplicated picture of your product. Even if it’s a video, it will start only after the customer clicks on the banner ad. Therefore, the advertiser needs to follow the simple thumb rules of online banner advertising to get the maximum results from his ad.