Many people think of banner ads as more of an annoyance than anything else. A study by Retale, a mobile shopping app provider, found that 60% of all clicks on banner ads are by accident. Thirteen percent of people said they clicked on banner ads because they found them interesting, while 16% did so because they liked the brand promoting the ads. Clearly, something is off in your advertising strategy if the majority of the click-throughs you’re getting are accidental. Yet while there is much online about the demise of the banner ad, rather than rejecting it wholesale, advertisers need to rethink their tactics.
In fact, Retale’s president believes that “‘The key is to a find a mobile platform in which the users welcome a branded or promotional message.’”
Instagram, For the Win
Advertisers might just have such a platform in Instagram. Only a couple months ago, Instagram unveiled a feature that causes its advertisements to be essentially no different from traditional banner ads.
If Instagram users want to find out more about a particular company, they can now click on an ad, and that ad will link them to the brand’s profile page. A banner with a CTA, such as clicking through to the brand’s website, will appear at the bottom of the profile.
This change is far from being a source of irritation for users. Instagram states that it enabled this feature because users wanted to find out more about their favorite brands: “‘We found that Instagrammers were routinely tapping on a company’s name from a direct response ad to learn more.’”
It probably doesn’t hurt that Instagram is also now allowing businesses to retarget customers with ads showing products they have recently viewed online. This strategy is one that Facebook has been using for some time now. Brands can, therefore, incorporate display advertising with retargeting. This combination is unarguably a more effective method of advertising than simply showing banner ads by themselves.
Instagram is an important platform to consider when processing how to use banner ads to reach your audience. Sixty percent of people on Instagram come across new products while on the platform. Seventy-five percent of those people, after seeing the products, follow through on the CTA.
Why Would (or Wouldn’t) Someone Want to Click on Your Banner Ad?
The reason why people usually hate banner ads and why Instagram’s banner ads are successful is obvious. In the former situation, the ads interrupt people when they’re preoccupied with something else. In the latter situation, the ads facilitate people getting what they want.
HubSpot concurs, pointing out that ads fail when they do not target people’s interests. The ads also might not be meeting customers at the right stage of the buying process. And if the ads are not easy to use on smartphones or are not clearly beneficial to those reading them, potential buyers will likely pass them by.
Creating Effective Banner Ads
One of the first steps you can take to produce effective banner ads is to find a suitable tool for creating them. Bannersnack is an excellent resource that allows you to make banner ads that are static, animated, and interactive. You can make ads in a variety of formats, including HTML5, Flash/SWF, and GIF.
Bannersnack’s solution comes with the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of your ads while you are making them. The company has gathered data on what makes a banner ad high-performing. It uses this information to give your ads a “Banner Score” as you create them, increasing your efficiency in making successful ads. Because of this immediate feedback, you won’t have to run your ads before you get any inkling of whether or not they’ll work.
When it comes to the actual makeup of your banner ads, there are various approaches you can consider. For example, you could ask a thought-provoking question and try to get your audience to ponder an aspect of their lives.
You should certainly include an image that is unique, dramatic, or gripping. You only have moments to engage people before they move on to something else. A striking image is the easiest way to do so.
Relating your ad to a current trend in pop culture can be effective. If something is popular and you can co-opt it in some way, you are more likely to get people to click on your ad. Many people enjoy memes, so consider turning your ad into one.Humor is an important element to consider as a way of capturing people’s attention.Click To Tweet
While animation can make your ads more interesting, be careful to keep it simple and not go overboard with animating your ad. Have one focus for the ad that the animation serves. That being said, the animation is a useful way of engaging your users. You also might want to experiment with gamifying the ad; gamification can be a powerful marketing technique.
Banner Ads Are an Asset to Your Brand
Finally, banner ads are not exclusively an advantage to your customers. They are also an advantage to your business since they help make people aware of your brand. Because you can track who clicks on your ads, banner ads help you collect data on your customers that you can use to improve your marketing endeavors. You can learn the demographics of your audience, as well as which of your ads, are the most successful.
Banner ads also tend to be cost-effective. Depending on how much you spend to create banner ads and the value of an actual conversion, banner ads have the potential to save you quite a bit of money.
It’s About Knowing and Engaging Your Audience
Using banner ads in a compelling way is about engaging your audience members where their interests lie. Yes, you can use banner ads to browbeat people. But just because many advertisers aren’t savvy about their banner ad use does not mean you have to make the same mistakes.
Strategically apply the information you have about your users, and meet them when and where they want to find out more about you. Then banner ads will be a cost-effective way to market your brand and benefit your customers.
Image credits: Pexels; Marketoonist.