Digital display advertising has long been a way to grow brand exposure for the bottom of the funnel buyers in B2B and B2C sales. Much like a TV spot or billboard, digital ads give customers a glimpse of a brand while they’re going about their other activities.
This kind of brand reinforcement increases brand awareness by growing the association of a business with the day to day activities and browsing behavior of a customer.
What exactly is a banner ad?
The Bannersnack blog defines banner ads by saying that a “banner ad, or a web banner, is an advertisement displayed into a web page. The advertisement consists of an image (.jpg, .png, .gif) or of a multimedia object (usually created using Flash). Thus, banner ads can be static or animated, depending on the technology used to make them… all banner ads share the same basic function: you click on this image/multimedia object you see on a web page and your internet browser takes you to the advertiser’s website/landing page.”
Some organizations and marketing experts question the need for or the effectiveness of banner ads; many people are so accustomed to seeing these banners on pages they are almost blind to them. Their frequent appearance means that people can notice without noticing and have selective attention to only see the content on the page they came for.
Are web banners a good tool for growing brand awareness?
Still, many ad professionals find value in banner ads and point to statistics to prove their point.
- According to a Google study, banner creative for the Android Wear campaign increased brand recall and intent by 15.8% and 9.4%
- Consumers who are retargeted with a brand’s banner ads are up to 70% more likely to convert
- Banner ads are 33% more effective than billboards
Brands who use creative design and are intentional about their banner ads purpose and placement can still see a lot of effectiveness from including them as part of their assets in a marketing campaign.
How can banner ads strengthen your brand?
Brands should be careful to do certain things to create the biggest brand impact for their business.
1. Consistent, clear branding
No matter where a banner ad appears or what size it is, banner ads should be consistent and clear. This means that any user interacting with an ad should be able to tell what is being advertised to them and by whom. Clear messaging not only drive your potential customers to action and increases the likelihood of them clicking through, but it also creates a bigger impression in your customer’s mind and makes it easier to recall your brand or offer later.
2. Keep it concise
Clarity is key, but banner ads are only seen for a few seconds, much like a billboard. That’s why it’s important to be brief. A strong call to action, logo, or brand name is important in digital banner ads. Sometimes the only thing you need is an image of your product or service in use with a clear, bold CTA such as “Learn More”, “Buy Now”, or “Download Here” to drive action and get more engagement for your brand.
3. Make it stand out
Good design is a crucial part of advertising, and it’s particularly important when you want to make a big impact but only have a small amount of space and a few seconds. Some brands include animation in their ad units, while others use one clear image, a large logo, or bold font to attract attention.
4. Make sure it matches
Digital banner ads need to be consistent with the rest of your brand assets. For instance, red might be the color that catches the most attention when scrolling down a page, but you shouldn’t use it in a banner ad if it’s not a color that’s used by your brand. This would ultimately be confusing to customers and not help build any cohesive brand recall in an audience’s mind. If you use animation in your banner ad, you may want to consider having other campaign assets animated, such as the header for your landing page. Ultimately, the best brands have a very cohesive story in terms of style, including copy, colors, and other elements, and you want to make sure that these feel similar and match in tone and visual design across every asset, from banner ads to web pages to print ads. That way anytime anyone encounters ads from your organization, they’ll immediately associate it with your brand.
Banner ads are still an effective digital marketing tool. Using digital ads along with programmatic ad buying is a great way to help you improve your brand reach and exposure, as it can help you reach the right audiences for first impressions and retarget potential customers who have already interacted with your website or content for friendly reminders about your product or service. For the bottom of the funnel and awareness advertising, using banner ads is an effective method at helping to grow awareness for your business and introduce your brand to customers.