Carrying the Banner: Tips for Designing Successful Digital Banner Ads

December 3, 2018

One element of a well-rounded digital campaign is a set of banner ads. You know…the little rectangular ones you see on the side of your computer screen? They help drive traffic to your website, and clicks can be quantified to help you gain insight into your viewers. But what makes someone click on a banner ad when it is off in the peripherals of their original website visit? Here are a few tips to make those tiny little banner ads count:

  • Compact Copy – You’re trying to communicate a message to your viewer, and more often than not, you wan’t to do so with words. In this type of ad, though, your entire playing space is about 300 pixels wide…so that really great sentence you just wrote that captures your brand so simply isn’t even simple enough. Cut it down, and then cut it down again. If you can’t write your text on a mini Post-It with a sharpie, you’ve probably got too many words. 
  • Lights, Camera, Call to Action – You’ve figured out that you only have few words to play with, so make them count. What is the goal of your digital campaign? Do you want website views? Are you pointing viewers to a document to help raise awareness? Chances are you are looking for the viewer to go somewhere else online, so put a clear call to action in the ad. As simple as it sounds, people love clicking buttons.
  • Consistent Content – Keep your branding consistent. Designing your ad to mimic the visual style of your brand, and specifically the site the ad is pointing to, helps your viewer know your brand even quicker. By the time they are on your website, it already seems familiar.
  • Make a Motion – To make your ad stand out, try breaking the horizontal/vertical grid of the website. Adding a tilted image or text, animation, or any kind of motion draws the viewer’s eye from the standard web layout to your content.