The Reality of Banner Advertising

What to expect when you're expecting...bitterSo, you actually got off yer butt and done gone and bought yerself some banner ads, did ya??? Well good for you! We’ll give ya a big ol’ “YEE HAW.” Because frankly, at least you’re doing something. However, expecting these banners to sell your business/product/service directly and all on its own is like walking up to that hot girl or guy in the club and opening with, “You wanna have sex?”  Unless you’re Bradley Cooper or Jennifer Lopez that approach is just not gonna work. (Okay, well maybe “back in the day” you were successful with that line and maybe in certain clubs, but you get what we’re saying here…) You have to buy your banners a “drink” (or three) before you do all that. Banners generally have two purposes they can achieve. 1) The banner ads can remind consumers that your business is there – waiting for them to need you. Or, 2) the banners can have a “call to action” which may generate a “click.” What they WON’T do (not EVER) is make someone pick up the phone, call you and say, “Oh wow!  I  just saw your banner on the internet and I just had to pick up the phone and call you!! Can I buy something over the phone?”  Stop expecting your banner ads to sell things for you and start creating compelling graphics and offers that make your company sexier.

Examples of TERRIBLE banner ads:

bad ad 1bad ad 2








Hey! Congrats – you’ve purchased a banner campaign on the PERFECT website – where your perfect demographic is just waiting for your business to advertise. Your banners should be clean, easy to read and professionally designed. Your banners can alert readers to a special event, discounted price or limited option and make the consumer want to find out more by clicking and jumping over to your own website. (Please make sure the “landing page” – the place that the URL takes the consumer has the information that the consumer clicked on. For instance, if you advertised $100 off classes, the page that you send people when they click should be all about the discount being offered. DO NOT make the consumer look for this information. They won’t.) If you’re simply trying to get your business known – your banner can be simply about what you do. In that case, the user won’t be as frustrated being sent to your home page to browse around. Sort of like the getting-to-know-you phase.  Maybe your banner needs to tease a little, rather than flaunting what you’ve got.  It all comes down to one thing…is your banner attractive enough to have someone pay attention to it?  Banners should be an extension of your company’s “look, feel and voice.” Your logo/brand should play a priority while building it. Once you’re as well known as some national brands, you can stray from that a bit. Make sure you’re not trying to tell an entire story in ANY banner, no matter the size. Look at your banner from across the room and see if you can get the general idea of what you’re trying to say…if not, re-work it. (We’ll go into more design ideas in a later post.)

Great examples:

good ad 1 good ad 3







Notice the difference?

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