Display ads or banner ads are extremely important to online marketing efforts. They can boost the online traffic to your website, they can give audiences insight into your new products and are visually creative. These ads give creators the opportunity to reach millions of people. If you are new to the world of digital marketing, taking on this project may seem intimidating, but extremely beneficial. In fact “the Wall Street Journal reports that the market for display ads is projected to double in the next five years, thanks to new innovations in the display advertising industry.” We are going to break down the essential technical and design elements you should incorporate in your display ads.
Why are display ads important?
First, they are one of the easiest ways to get the word out about your business. The results are measurable and they are low cost for high reward.
Where should you post your display ads?
Once you determine your audience and the types of sites they visit, you will have a better idea of where to put your ads. You should place your ads on sites where your audience will frequently visit and has to do with the product you are advertising.
What is your niche?
Every product will have a specific audience to cater to. Your task is to figure out that the audience’s wants and needs by asking yourself a few questions.
- Who is my audience?
- What are their passions/hobbies?
- What problem am I solving for them?
Once you have established who your audience is and how you can speak to them you will have a better idea of what aspects of advertising to use. Ask yourself how you can quickly, visually capture your niche’s attention? How can you make them feel like you are talking directly to them?
Google Display Network
One of the most popular sites to create display ads with is Google Ads. It helps businesses create effective ads while displaying information when people search for what you offer. This program gives you the flexibility to choose where your ads appear. The Google display network is connected to over one million sites.
Important elements of structured display ads
Ad placement– This is important as audiences tend to scan images quickly. So, where you place your ad can be extremely important. Google will not give you much control over this, however, if you are using these for landing pages, you will have more control over the placement of your ads. You have a few choices in ad placement, this is known as visible positioning. You can place your ad at the top of the page, where it will gain you the most attention and clicks. You can also try the right hand of the page, while visible, this spot will not get the same amount of attention.
Readable text- You don’t want to spend all of your time and resources creating an ad that no one understands. That is why your font choice will be instrumental in helping you push out the message of the product or service you are advertising. According to 99designs.com, don’t “Use cursive/script fonts, extremely thin font weight, all uppercase copy, or font sizes smaller than a 10 pt (unless it’s a disclaimer or copyright notice).”
A solid message– Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Make your message easy to understand, simple and short. You will not have a lot of room to write a message. So you will need to get creative with spacing and imagery.
A purpose– Like any other ad campaign you want to have a clear purpose for the campaign, without a purpose you ad will appear misplaced in comparison to your business message.
Ad optimization-Optimize your advertisement to appear on desktop, tablets, and mobile with the same quality.
Fast Loading Time– Your ad may turn out amazing, but if it does not load quickly, no one will see it. People tend to click off if your ad does not load within three seconds.
Organization– Make sure that your ad is well organized so that people can easily digest your message and take action. Begin with your message or image, followed by your call to action and company logo. If your ad is all over the place, you will have customers running away.
A visually interesting background– Your background should be interesting and use elements that compliment the visual star of your ad. Do not use anything too complicated that will distract from your main message. Avoid patterns and use solid colors, this will ensure your reader can focus on your message.
Include your company logo– If you have a logo that you are well known for or want to be well known for, then it is essential that you include it in your display ads.
Tactics to get that click
Add a button– Adding a button not only makes your ad interactive but creates another unique design element to your ad. Make sure the button is distinguishable from the ad and contains a call to action. According to designhill, “Using terms like “Show me”, “Sign me up” sometimes works better than “Click here” or “Sign up”. Though this is not a concrete rule, usually the pronouns You, Me etc. grab people’s attention easily.”
Create Urgency-Creating a sense of urgency will create a sense of anxiety for customers who feel they may miss out on an opportunity you are advertising to them. You can integrate this into your display ads, by using phrases like “ limited time only” “limited edition” or “get your offer today”
Include a call to action– Your call to action will be the sole reason you have created this ad in the first place. You want to create a reason for your audience to click on your ad. Your call to action can include a myriad of requests. Make sure this call to action includes a link that users can easily access.
- Check out our website!
- Give us a call
- Join our email list
- Learn more
- Get started today
Make this the focal point of your ad if you have a strong message to tell audiences
Appeal to emotions-Producing an emotional response from your customers is a great way to become memorable. If you can use humor, romance, sadness or sentiment to draw out an emotional response you are more likely to stay in the head of your customers.
Make sure the size is correct
The standard size of display ads according to design shack:
- 728 pixels by 90 pixels leaderboard (often at the tops or bottoms of pages)
- 300 by 250 medium rectangle (often floats on the right side or is embedded in text elements)
- 300 by 600 half page
- 320 by 100 mobile banner
Designing your ad
Integrate unique design elements into your ads, that will catch people’s eyeGoogle display ads, and you will be inundated with some of the most creative images you have ever seen. Gain inspiration from these images and see what potential you have for your ads. Study the right colors to use and use filters. Color choice is incredibly important and can have a lot of power over the success of your ads. Here are the meanings behind your color choices.
Red– energy, danger, and excitement
Pink– feminine, romantic and exciting
Yellow– happiness, playful and optimistic
Orange– creativity, adventure and fresh
Blue– trust, calm and depressed
Green– natural, wealth and prestige
Purple– royalty and mystery
Brown-honest, wholesome and simple
Black– sophisticated, formal and sorrowful
White– minimalist, pure and innocence
Try a visual metaphor to convey your message, which can be an interesting way to capture your audience’s attention. For example, canva.com exhibits the perfect example, “This ad warns the public about foodborne illnesses by comparing an unwashed artichoke to an explosive. By creating a visual metaphor, Elter Drugs is able to impart a strong message about food safety and Elter Drugs’ own Gastric and Antibacterial Therapy Division without showing any sensitive images.” Another way to get creative is to look for creative visual relationships. Use one image to fit into another, each aspect should convey a piece of your ad message. Have fun with exaggeration, you can show your product doing a seemingly impossible task. You can play with optical illusions and create movement. Lastly, you can try using iconic figures in your ad. Not only will this give something for a viewer to easily attach to, but you can also get creative with the messaging involving the icon.
Keep consistent with your brand
Do not think of display ads as a separate entity from your other marketing efforts, think of them as an extension. This means you need to maintain consistency throughout your ads. Use the same color scheme as your logo, use the same font.
Test your ads
If you want to gain a more accurate idea of which type of ad is going to work best for your campaign, then perform A/B split testing. When you perform this test, you allow yourself to test two variants of the same site with different ads. As a result, you can
Use the correct file formats
File formatting is more important than you might think and can often go overlooked. There are few elements to consider, first is the file size. According to Google Adwords, the ad should be fast so a viewer won’t miss it. Second, you must make sure you save it as the right file format. According to 99designs.com, “JPG, PNG, GIF or HTML5 files will be your working deliverables.”
Creating effective display ads to market to your audience is a process that involves both strategy and creativity. If you can focus on captivating your audience quickly and create a connection through your images you are on your way to success.