What is a banner ad?
Size and Shapes
- 728×90px — Leaderboard
- 300×600px — Half Page
- 300×250px — Medium Rectangle
- 336×280px — Large Rectangle
Creating Banner Ads That Convert
- Keep it Simple: In the case of digital ads, less is more. Keeping it simple will help viewers understand your ad quickly. On the web, this is important because you have only about four seconds to convert consumers.
- Use Awesome Graphics: Nineteen percent of people said they would be more interested in ads if they had stunning graphics. Using beautiful pictures and/or animations will catch people’s attention long enough for you to give them the information they need. Research shows using pictures also increases memory from 10% to 65%.
- Animate When Possible: Ads that include animation usually outperform static ads. However, if you include animation, don’t make it longer than 15 seconds and make sure it only loops a maximum of three times.
- Know Your Colors: The psychology of colors is important in creating banner ads. Different colors bring about different emotions in viewers across the globe. Knowing your target market and the associations they have about colors will help you choose the correct color scheme for your purpose.
- Always Include Your Logo: Including your company logo and making it obvious are essential steps in crafting creatives that convert. Your brand logo should be one of the first things a viewer sees. Even if they don’t click on the ad, you are building brand awareness and consideration.
- Leverage Contrasting Colors or Images: Contrast grabs people’s attention. Whether using contrasting colors for your headline and sub-headling or leveraging images that show massive change, you can utilize this psychology to influence your viewers’ decisions.
As the Neilson Norman Group first revealed in 2006, most viewers only scan webpages, often in an ‘F’ shaped pattern. This means you must direct your viewer’s attention accordingly. The content of your banner ads must be easily readable, concise and compelling. Pick what you want to include on your ad strategically. As the goal of your ad is to get people to click on it, sometimes what you don’t say on your ad is just as important as what you do say.
- Limit the Amount of Text: Again, less is more in the case of digital banner ads. Ads that have a headline and a sub-headline of about 10 words and under four lines are ideal, so consumers can read your ad instantly. It’s best not to include all the information about a product in an ad, but rather include text that will intrigue consumers so that they want to learn more. If consumers have all the info right on the ad, they have no need to click-through.
- Readable text: The text on your ads should be instantly readable. Your headline and sub-headline should be different fonts or sizes and you should use a font that’s easily readable and not too thin.
- Highlight Value-Propositions: Your value-propositions should be the first thing that people see when they see your ad. Tell them why they should care, right away. This can be things like, “Positions available for highly qualified nurses” or “The future of early cancer screening.”
- Use Clear Call-to-Actions: You have to tell people what you want them to do. Things like “Get a free sample today,” “See Results” and “Read FDA approved study” are all call-to-actions that could be seen in an ad directed at healthcare professionals. Not only should the call-to-action wording be persuasive, but the button itself should also be clearly clickable.
- Place Your Ad Where it Will Be Seen: Consumers move quickly through webpages. Unless something has caught their attention, they will most likely stay for less than 15 seconds. For this reason, it’s important to place your ads in a position consumers will see immediately. Above the fold of the page and close to the main content is the best.
- Ignite a Sense of Urgency: Good creatives spur a sense of urgency. In order to make conversions, you need to appeal to the survival part of your potential costumer’s brain and show them that their current position is potentially ‘dangerous.’ Context is one of the most powerful ways to do this. Show in your ad that your consumers won’t be able to hit their goals without action.
- Do Something New: Neuroscience shows that new things keep our brain engaged and attentive. If you can show your viewer something they haven’t seen before or make a connection they haven’t considered, you will have their attention.
- Use Emotion: “Emotion drives attention,” says Robert Sylwester in his book, A Celebration of Neurons. Appealing to a potential consumer’s emotional side is a strong strategy to gain attention and increase click-throughs. If you can make someone feel, they will be interested in what you have to say.
- Stay Consistent: The landing page for your ad should be consistent with the ad itself. It should guide them further into the story of your ad and answer any questions the consumer may have after seeing your ad.
- Get There Fast: The bigger the file size, the longer your ad will take to load. When you have under four seconds to catch the attention of a potential target, load times are crucial. The best file size is under 150kb.
The Best Ad Can Always Be Better
By combining strong design, content and strategy with reliable first-party data, you can run a successful ad campaign with high click-through-rates and impressive conversions. Tracking and scaling your efforts will result in higher ROIs and more effective campaigns. If you don’t have the capacity to navigate all the elements of a digital campaign independently, collaborating a third-party advertising solutions partner can help.