How Does Banner Advertising Work?

How Does Banner Advertising Work

There is a lot of talking around banner design and banner advertising.

In this article we will show you how banner advertising works.  

But first of all, let’s see who has launched the first banner ad and which website hosted it. The fact is that the first banner ad is so popular among all the online advertising tactics that it’s having its own domain called – thefirstbannerad.com.

The first banner ad was launched in October 27 in 1994 on Wired Magazine (then it was called hotwired.com) and it was a simple banner that said “Have you ever clicked your mouse right here? You will” and the banner sent the user to an AT&T campaign.

As FastCompany said in an article:

“AT&T’s wasn’t the only clickable campaign that ran on HotWired that day, but the irony of its message is hard to beat, given that most people today don’t click banner ads.”

What was the purpose of the first banner ad? As Otto Timmons said “We saw our ad as kind of a public service announcement” Because that specific banner ad took the user to a microsite on which he could find lists of the top museums and other mind-expanding websites.

The banner advertising industry

But today, the banner advertising world has developed from the web banner ads you see on your favorite publications, to social media ads like Facebook Banners, Instagram Sponsored Ads, Snapchat Geofilters and other social media ads.

Digital Display Ad Spending

The display advertising spending will decline search ad spending in the US. Online advertising formats as banner ads, video, rich media and sponsorship will account for the largest share of digital ad spending: 47.9%, worth $32.17Billion.  

And to make sure we’re speaking the same language, we need to set some things straight about banner advertising and design right from the start.

Let’s begin with the basics:

1. What is banner advertising?

It’s a form of online advertising through banners. 

Banner advertising is also called display advertising (as opposed to text-only advertising) because of the visual nature of banner ads. The purpose of banner advertising is to promote a brand. The banner ad can take the visitor from the host website to the advertiser’s website or a specific landing page.

You can start a banner advertising campaign with Google Adwords or any other display network.

2. What is a banner ad?

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 or HTML5). 

Thus, banner ads can be static or animated, depending on the technology used to make them.

The static banner ad can be a simple image or a visual that is acting just like an ad but in the digital ecosystem you can click on it and get to the website or landing page of the advertisment.

We’ve heard  lots of questions around “What is an animated banner ad?” so we want to help you with an answer:

An animated banner ad (or web banner) is a type of digital advertising that is delivered by an ad server. The purpose is the same as the one for the static banner ad: to get noticed on the website and make the user click on it.  

Also you can call the animated banner ad a programmatically generated display or sequential visual that creates the illusion that the objects in the image are moving.

2. How do banner ads work?

Banner ads are intended to generate traffic to a website by linking to it. Also, web banners can function as regular, print advertisements: inform, notify about a new product, increase brand awareness and so on.  

However, most banners are clickable and their main function is to get clicked on. But we’ll talk about banner effectiveness in a few moments.

So, why use banner advertising?

1. Brand awareness – you can grow your brand awareness using banner ads so people can easily recognize your product or service. Brands like IBM, Apple, Target or Nike use  banner ads to grow their business.

2. Lead generator – it’s a great way to build your users base. If you are as SaaS you can use banner ads to get more users sign up and try your product/service.

3. Retarget your audience – if somebody came on your website but didn’t sign up on your newsletter or didn’t try out your product you can retarget them with banner ads.

Generally, banner ads are placed in high traffic websites that offer interesting or useful content.  

But, besides traffic, there are other important aspects to be taken into consideration when choosing a website to advertise on. This is why we always recommend you to advertise on the websites that are in your industry’s niche.  

One of these aspects is the website’s target, which has to more or less match with the banner’s intended audience.

3. Why is banner advertising effective?

One advantage of the online advertising over the traditional one is that its effectiveness can be easily measured. Regarding banner ads, the main effectiveness indicator is the click-through rate. The click-through rate (CTR) is calculated by dividing the number of users who clicked on the ad by the number of times the ad was displayed (impressions). 

For instance, one might say that a certain ad has a click-through rate of 3%. That means that out of 100 impressions delivered, the banner was clicked on three times.

Therefore, the higher the CTR is, the more effective the advertisement is. It’s that simple.

4. Standard banner sizes for advertising

When you browse across the Internet it’s likely for you to encounter all kinds of banners in all kinds of sizes. Lucky for us, there are some standards too. And their role is to reduce the amount of work for agencies when faced with the problem of creating many banners and similar sizes for different publishers. 

And here is where the IAB standards come into play. But we’ll talk more about ad standards in a future post. 

Check the list below with the banner ad standard size:

Ad size Name Where it’s featured Supply
300×250 Medium Rectangle Embedded within or at the end of articles Good inventory
336×280 Large Rectangle Embedded within or at the end of articles Good inventory
728×90 Leaderboard Placed on top or in inserted in an article Good inventory
300×600 Half Page Featured in the right or left hand side Growing inventory
468×60 Banner Featured in small spaces inside or on the left in articles Limited, declining inventory
234×60 Half Banner Featured in small spaces inside or on the left in articles Limited, declining inventory
120×600 Skyscraper Featured in websites sidebars Limited inventory
160×600 Wide Skyscraper Featured in websites sidebars Good inventory
970×90 Wide Skyscraper Top of website pages Limited inventory
200×200 Small Square Usually featured in the right hand sidebar Limited inventory
250×250 Square Usually featured in the right hand sidebar Limited inventory

5. How to create banner for advertising

Easy! You don’t have to be a professional designer to design a banner ad. You can create static or animated banner ads with Bannersnack, without any coding skills. The best part is that anybody can create banners: all you need is a computer with internet connection. You can log in with Facebook, Twitter or your email.

But there are a few simple principles you have to make sure that you understand while you design a banner ad:

1. Who is your main target and what do you want from them? Before you design a banner ad you need to know who is your core audience and what you want from them. Maybe you want them to click on your website, or to buy your limited sale product or to try your service for free. Think about that!

2. What is your value proposition? This will help you write the text of your banner and also choose a good CTA button text.

3. Choose a Standard web banner ad size – Because the publishers are usually using the standard banner ad sizes on their websites. So, if you pick another size you limit the reach of your banner ad campaigns.

4. Use readable fonts – You want the user to understand what you want to offer and what he can get if he will click your banner ad. 

5. Use high quality photos – A very low quality photos and images used in a banner ad can create mistrust between the brand and the user. 54% of users don’t click banner ads because they don’t trust them.

6. Use your brand colors – If you want to create professional banner ads and you want people to recognize your brand on the internet I recommend you to stay close to your brand color.

7. Don’t overcrowd your banner ad – The simpler the banner ad is the easier you can communicate the right message to your audience.

8. Don’t forget to use a branding element (logo, company name or website) – It doesn’t matter how big you are in your industry, you need to use one of your branding elements to show the user that your company is behind that banner ad.

6. How do I advertise my banner?

After you create the banner, you need some web space to use it on, so you will need to buy ad space on websites. Contacting blog and website owners and negotiating with them individually can be stressful and time consuming, so most people choose an advertising network to help them distribute their ads.

Some of these advertising networks are: Google Adwords, iab., Aol Advertising, Right Media, BuyAds.com, OpenX. Each of these has certain standards, so you should make sure that your banners comply with their regulations, before you start creating the ads.

This way, you won’t have to edit the banner again.

Bannersnack banners are compatible with all of these ad networks.

7. How to start banner advertising?

It doesn’t matter what kind of advertising do you want to do, there are a few principles you must stuck to it so that you can have an effective banner ad campaign.

The thing that I love in banner advertising is that it’s all about visual advertising. The visuals (photo, videos) go beyond text advertising and you can easily use buttons, colors, images, text or even animations to create an easy to understand message.

So, what are the principles that will help you start in banner advertising?

1. What do you want from your campaign – Think about your product/service and see what’s the specific idea you can build your campaign on.

2. Determine your budget – Advertising is something you pay to show and banner advertising is the same. You need to know how much money you want to invest in this banner ad campaign.

3. Who is your audience – Understanding who you want to advertise to will help you create a better banner ad campaign. Because you will know their needs and you will know how to design the banner ad to get noticed by them.

Conclusion

Banner advertising can be a real deal for your business if you know how to optimize it and get the best out of it. There are brands like AirBnb, Wall Mart or Time Magazine who use banner advertising and see an increase in their business.

Here are a few ideas and tactics that will help you understand how banner advertising works.

Now back to you, let us know in the comment section below what are your biggest struggles when it comes to launching your banner ad campaign!


16 Comments

  1. Carl Carlsson
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