Banner ads are a useful way of promoting your offer to a wide variety of people. Affiliate marketers can effectively use this method of advertising to reach out to thousands of possible opt-ins and leave an impression on the site visitors. However, if not designed right, banner ads can just as quickly become something that the site visitor zones out of his/her field of vision and ignores entirely. Let’s look through some tips on how to make your banner ads stand out from the rest:
1. Get Your Ad Right
Banner ads may differ based on the result you are looking to achieve. Depending on whether you want to increase site traffic, brand awareness or gain more opt-ins, you have to design different advertisements.
Your banner ads need to be tailored depending on the audience you are targeting. Some of the important factors here include gender, nationality, profession, or social status.
Banner ads can also be differently designed for viewing on larger screens like computers or smaller mobile devices and tablets.
Once you’ve got your ad right, decide on the length of the campaign and your budget. And don’t forget to track the results of your campaign to figure what works and what doesn’t.
2. Start with an Attention Grabbing Headline
Beginning with the headline that you choose for your ad, the user/viewer must be interested in knowing more. Try and choose the best headline that arouses curiosity. Ensure that the headline gives out only the bare minimum of information needed to make the viewer move on to the next line in your ad. Make your headline stand out from other content on the page by playing with fonts, sizes, and colors till you get the perfect enticing headline.
3. Follow Through with Strong Content
Once you have convinced your viewer to move further into the ad, do not let their attention wander. Your ad text must be creative and should use the right words to get the message across to the viewers. Do not miss out on information that you think the customer might want to know about, yet keep the text short and simple.
4. Images Increase Visual Appeal
No one will read a bunch of sentences on a visually unappealing banner ad. You have to include content which settles pleasantly with the text based part of your advertisement. But naturally, there has to be a connect between the image and the product being sold. When there is a mismatch here, the visitor tends to get irritated with your brand. For example if you have the picture of a premium sports car on the banner when all you are trying to sell is motor insurance, this will not result in conversions as the advertisement is obviously misleading.
5. Subliminal Call to Action
Nothing as simple as ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here to Buy’ works anymore. Most people will browse through your banner ad and then simply decide not to click any further. The word ‘buy’ within a call to action immediately brings in thoughts of spending money for many people who would not want to click on the call to action just because they do not want to be pushed into making a purchase. Instead try and make your call to action message subliminal. Use messages like ‘Click here to know more’ or ‘See more’ in order to take them to your page. Ensure the click button is properly highlighted and that the viewer can understand that it is a clickable ad.
6. Stick to Basics
While they may be called banner ads, never forget that users will view them on an electronic device which may or may not have a large screen. Cramming your banner ad with too much information or too many offers will just result in the viewer giving up midway. No matter how well you design it, always try and stick to offering just one single idea in one ad. Also ensure the text and the design layout is done in such a way as to seem minimalist.
7. Ads Should Never be Size Heavy
Smaller your banner ad file size is, the quicker it will show up on the website that the visitor is browsing through. While high quality ads with animations, many colors and photos might be attractive, in the end, if your ad is the last to load on a website, chances are, other ads have already grabbed the viewer’s attention. The optimum file size for your banner ads is between 10 kb to 40 kb in order to ensure fast loading.
8. Consider Animation
It is advisable not to overdo the animation or motion in your banner ad or it might become too heavy to load. However, some amount of movement in the ad is always recommended since the human eye is invariably drawn towards motion. Make sure the animations you input into your advertisement are visually appealing. Fast moving text or text which forces the viewer to concentrate hard will annoy them rather than keep them interested. Keep just enough movement to grab attention and quickly move to static text and images to get the message across.
9. Frame Your Ad
A subtle frame around the box of your ad would keep the viewers’ eyes focused on your ad without letting them wander to what’s outside the box. Place a small but well defined border around your ad in a darker color in order to ensure that the message inside pops out.
10. Avoid Fancy Fonts
While they may look appealing on paper, fancy fonts or non standard sizes may not be so interesting to everyone. Stick to fonts which have a track record of being instantly recognizable. This makes absorption of the information given in your ad easy for the viewer. Also make sure that the size of the text or the visuals is set in a way to deliver the information with a minimum of understanding effort needed by your viewer.
Over the years, internet users have got used to looking at hundreds of banner ads during their browsing sessions. The human mind subconsciously tends to identify advertisements and ignores them. To fight banner blindness, you must ensure that your ad has some relevance to the viewer or at least is designed in a way that it puts across the information in an easy fashion.
How do you counter banner blindness? What are your tried and tested techniques for creating high quality banner ads? We’d love to hear in the comments.