Banner ad campaigns: Best practices

BANNER AD CAMPAIGNS: BEST PRACTICESInterested in posting banner ads to bring more business your way? The holiday season is just the time to begin considering this marketing strategy.

In short, you have three basic options for starting a banner ad campaign:
1) Work out an exchange with other web sites- they display your ad, you display theirs,
2) Pay publisher websites for posting the banner, or
3) Pay a banner network, such as DoubleClick, Flycast, or other organization to post the banner on several publisher sites.

If you’re just starting out and don’t have the capital needed to launch a traditional advertising campaign, consider the first option- exchanging banner ads with other sites. You can do this individually by developing relationships with other websites and trading specific banners. The downside to this option is that your ad won’t end up on a great number of sites unless you invest a lot of time seeking out interested webmasters.

To get greater exposure with less time and effort on your part (and without the monetary investment), think about joining a banner exchange program.

As with any advertising, time and research will show if your banner ad is effective. Monitor the response gained from the ad and adjust as needed. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it and lose a potential customer from the start by having a screaming flashing ad that is simply ignored. This “banner blindness” has been the catalyst for new, fresher banner ad designs. With more emphasis being placed on matching ad and page relevance, along with creating more simple designs, banner ads are drawing more clicks. There are certain qualities of banner ads that make them more effective in multiple situations. Read on to discover tips on creating effective banner ads for your marketing campaign.

Do your homework.
What is the competition doing? Scan their banner ads to see what is on display. List qualities you like and aspects you dislike. Are there any commonalities you can cash in on? Also, study the audience on the website where you intend to display the banner ads. Your ad is most effective when you reach the target audience for the product.

Unlike traditional print advertisements, banner ads are limited on the space allowed for them. Banner ads are also generally displayed amongst a large amount of information, be it text or graphics. Make your ad stand out by keeping it simple, easy to understand, and straightforward. Consider larger fonts and less text. Potential customers don’t have the time to read your longer message. They came to the page seeking other information, not your banner ad. You must catch their attention with the ad’s simplicity and lure them into clicking by using key words relevant to the site.

Maintain low file sizes.
Banner ads should be about 45-70kb. This range allows you to have fun graphics while not slowing a page’s load time. There are three basic options when choosing the type of banner ad to use: basic, static GIF or JPEG image, GIF animated, or rich media banner ads. For more on these types of banner ads, click here.

Make aesthetic choices.
If your banner ad will run on different websites, keep the context in mind when designing your ad. Choose colors that will compliment the theme of the website while also drawing the eye to your ad. It would be a good idea to check the color scheme of other ads displayed on the page to make sure yours stands out from the crowd.

Click to impress.
When your banner ad successfully brings potential customers to your website, be ready with a site that is just as exciting. Nothing is worse than to have the ad bring users to an unimpressive site. Invest in effective programming that will make those clicks “cash in.”