I’ve read several articles and blogs the past several months dogging the banner ad and claiming they don’t work or the banner is dead. Well, I disagree. Banners can and do work for the right brands and in the right situation. You can’t just throw anything out there and expect the right person to see it and react to it positively. If you do that with a television spot, radio commercial, print ad or out-of-home creative, then they won’t work either.
Banner ads, just like any other marketing or advertising vehicle, have to be evaluated based on your marketing goal. Neither all channels nor all media vehicles are right for every situation. But, they are right for some. Your banner message has to be crafted in a way that will grab the attention of a potential consumer with a message that is relevant to them. It needs to be placed in content and on sites where the specific audience you are trying to reach consumes online media. Here are a few things to keep in mind when including banner advertising in your media strategy.
- Take advantage of your banner ad placements by using technology to engage your consumer and provide them with interesting content right within the banner. Use expandable banners with overlays to help the consumer find information that is relevant to their need, be it a location finder, a coupon, featured menu item, specific service, a video, etc. These type banners typically result in 3x the click-through rate of a standard flash banner.
- Use technology to target audiences that are in the market for your product or service. There are a variety of ways to target audiences from the simplest demographic and geography to more sophisticated methods like online user behaviors, content and search intent. If you get the right message in front of a true potential customer, then your banner will work.
- Use video in your banners to really engage your audience. People will view them. On average 50 percent of people who begin a video from a banner will watch it all the way to the end. And, they will click through to your website for more. In-banner videos typically result in twice the click-throughs as a standard flash banner and pre-roll videos will drive even more clicks with as many as 15 times the clicks of a standard banner.
- Test, learn and optimize. A big advantage in this wonderful digital world is the ability to track in real time how your advertising is doing and optimize your placements, messaging and creative design. The digital medium allows you to make changes from copy to colors to ad size and execution throughout your campaign to insure the best results possible.
And as a final reminder, when evaluating your online banner campaigns, think past the click to the consumer’s engagement with your brand.