A critical part of any successful online ad campaign requires effective banner ad design. Many online users suffer from what is known as “banner blindness”, and because of this, it is getting harder and harder to get them to notice your banner ad. A simple but catchy banner design requires that the message is clear and well written, a strong call to action as well as good typography and use of colors so that the reader will be inspired to click. If you are not generating click love then your banner ads are most probably lacking any combination of the aforementioned elements.
According to media giant Comscore, as more and more businesses take the online route to increase their business, banner advertising is hotter than ever. Small business owners are in the dark for the most part on what type of design is most effective. These guidelines apply to SMB owners who take it upon themselves to design ads themselves or if you decide to outsource the design work to a graphic designer. So, we decided to shed some light on the issue and share our thoughts by providing you with guidelines and proven examples of ads that increase conversions.
What is the purpose of your Banner Ad?
First and foremost, you must answer this question. It is at the core of Ad design.
What are you offering? Is it a free white paper, ebook download or analyst report?
Is it for lead generation?
Is it an affiliate ad?
Far too many SMB marketers go about designing their ads without answering the questions above.
What is the MWR (Most Wanted Response)? Obviously you want the reader to click. But, this is very general. What do you want the reader to do specifically? If you want them to download your free ebook by clicking, then you have to decide when they click how do you want to facilitate the delivery of this ebook to them. Before even designing your ad, you must define via your landing page how to capture the attention of your target audience.
Define your message and stay on it!!
The elements of your ad’s design such as graphics and fonts are so important, but the message you intend to communicate to your audience is of even greater importance! Even more important than the design itself!Ugly banner ads run rampant on the Internet, but a lot of the ugly ones have messages that connect with their audiences and inspire them to click. Surely, those banner ads might prove even more successful with better design, but the point we are trying to make is defining your message prior to designing your ad is key. If you took a survey, you’d come to find that good copy beats design most of the time.
Sure, designers on their high horse will tell you it’s in the design, but our experience in speaking to the professional marketers in the dispop community attest to the importance of powerful, strongly-worded copy.
Brief and to the POINT messaging
Remember, you only have a few short seconds in attracting the attention of your audience. Writing copy that brags about your company or cramming a lot of blah blah copy into your banner ad will only turn them off. You have plenty of space to do that wherever you are directing them to. Your banner ad is just a teaser, like the bait on a fishing hook. If you want them to bite (click) keep it brief. Also, an effective call to action is key. Keep it to one per ad, so not to confuse the reader. Otherwise, your click-thru rate will suffer. This is even more important for Mobile Banner Ads where the reader’s attention span is even shorter.
Writing your own copy is primary, even greater than the design of your ad. If you can get a professional copywriter to author the copy, even better. You want someone who can package a powerful message with just a few words. Professionals who write high-converting PPC (Pay Per Click) Ads are great for this.
While the design of your ad will attract the readers’ attention, and will fixate their pupils on your ad, it is the message that will motivate them to click on it.