How To Create Effective Banner Ads
To create effective banner ads, first get real about what you expect your ads to accomplish. Click-throughs? Awareness? Hire a professional designer (one with actual experience designing successful banner ads), and tell the designer what your goals are. Let the designer in on how you see whatever you’re promoting, any images you want to avoid, and the whole basic drill of information you defined when you decided what your site was all about. You almost certainly want your ad to be clickable. Tell the designer where on your site the click will lead, and make sure that anything the ad’s text implies will be there for the user is actually there and is easy to see. If the ad says you offer solutions, for example, the user had better find a solution on the first click from the ad to your site.
A call to action (”buy now”) is a fine idea. But forget the overused “click here.” Most users know they’re supposed to click. Use that teensy ad space and your oh-so-brief opportunity to say something more compelling instead. Here are more tips:
- Invoke mystery or leave a question unanswered. As in our Linux example, this intrigues the user into clicking through to find an answer.
- Create ads that are funny, sexy, timely, or topical to appeal to the universal desire to be entertained. But don’t let your advertising goals be overshadowed by the cuteness of the ads.
- Have several ads on hand. This allows you to target one ad to a certain demographic and another ad to a different demographic. Also, rotate the ads so users don’t burn out on them.
- Bandy about already established brand names. Whether you use your name or strategic partners’ names, brand names can pull in already loyal customers along with curious clickers. But make your own message more prominent than the name of any company or product that’s not your own.