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7 tips for creating impactful banner ads


Banner ads: you see them every day – often well over one hundred per day – and you may not be able to remember personally having clicked on one. But they are the most commonly used digital ad platform out there, so they must be doing something right, right? 

Indeed they are – banner ads’ real power comes not from the number of clicks they generate (although those are always welcome), but from how they build brand recognition

But if you want to maximise the positive effect these little squares and rectangles have on your business, you need to get a few things just right. Follow these tips for creating the best banners and building a cohesive brand identity for your business.

1. Keep it simple

Audiences are probably only going to glance at your web banner ad for a second so don’t waste their time with complex messaging and lengthy passages of text.

In fact, only 9% of display ads are viewed for more than one second and that shrinks down to a measly 4% for over two seconds. So put all your effort into making your audiences immediately understand your ad. If it’s confusing or there’s too much text squeezed into the space, they’re not going to engage, and more importantly – remember who you are.

2. Get the layout right

Effective banner ads are designed to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. They have three key ingredients:

Your Company’s Logo: this has to be included to build brand awareness. Making sure your logo is visually dominant is the best way your business will be remembered after the campaign has ended. 

Value Proposition: determine what you’re promoting and how your product and company will improve the lives of your audience. For example, if you’re a cleaning product, focus messaging around your effectiveness such as how it can clean your house “2x faster than standard household cleaners”.

Call To Action: a clear call to action invites your audiences to engage e.g. “Learn More” “Contact us”. While the inclusion of your company’s logo is to increase brand awareness, your CTAs focus on generating sales. Whether you’re directing them towards your website, a contact form or a phone number, by giving your audience a clear directive you’re continuing your engagement.

3. Carefully select your imagery and colour palette

The average person gets bombarded with over 1,700 banner ads per month, so eye-catching visuals are vital to help your ad stand out.

A well-suited image makes for a successful campaign so choose relevant graphics and photos that enhance your message and are directly related to your product. 

The visual components of your ad are the first things people will see so avoid abstract concepts that people won’t immediately understand.

Whatever colours you choose for your campaigns, make sure they align with who you are and your overall brand identity. 

4. Find the right environment

While the right copy, imagery and colours are important, if you place your ads in the wrong place, you risk having too few people, or even just the wrong people, seeing it. 

Trust has never been more important to your customers and advertising in a premium environment will not only protect your brand and reputation but could also increase engagement by 50%.  

5. Determine the purpose

Are you promoting an upcoming event such as the opening of your new store or an end-of-season sale? Is it to advertise a new product or service? Deciding the purpose of your ad is important but easily overlooked.

Do some brainstorming and make sure you and your team understand what you’re trying to achieve through your ads. Make sure this purpose is clear in your design. For example, if you’re promoting an event, make the time/place visually dominant and include a clear Call To Action (CTA) directing them to buy tickets.

6. Be consistent with your brand

No matter how bright your colours or how smart your copy is, your banner ad needs to be consistent with your business to make a true impact

Your ad will likely need to link to a landing page that includes your offer, so make sure the ad matches the landing page’s branding colours and tone so potential customers don’t become confused and disengage.

Want to find out how to increase brand consistency? First step is to find your brand voice.

7. Measure your impact

Once you’ve got the right ingredients for a killer banner ad now you need to know how much impact your campaign is actually having on audiences.

We provide state-of-the-art brand lift reports to our advertising partners, helping them know how their campaigns are performing and what they can do to achieve more.

With the right metrics, you’ll be armed with more effective insights on how to improve and optimize your campaign. Contact us to find out more. 

Stay creative and current!

These are just some banner ad guidelines, but we’d recommend updating your designs often. You can rotate various messages, create theme-based campaigns and even take advantage of current events and holidays such as Mother’s Day and Christmas.

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