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5 Simple Rules for Creating Effective Banner Ads

June 20, 2016
2 years, 2 months ago
by

Poor branding, flat messaging, and meager user experiences are fighting against your display advertising campaign. These tips will help your banner ads stand out and shine amongst the crowd.

1. Establish yourself

Rule #1: establish your branding within the ads. When a user sees your ad while surfing the Web, they should be able to easily identify your logo, messaging, and call to action (CTA). The logo should be clear and slightly smaller than the main message you’re trying to get across. The user is more interested in what the ad is promoting, so this should be larger and more eye catching. Also make sure to include an effective CTA that promotes urgency, which increases the likelihood of them clicking. Open house? “Register now.” Application deadline? “Apply now.” You get the idea. Take a peek at how Seton Hall’s Open House banner successfully establishes their brand with a clear message and CTA.

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2. Keep it simple

Displaying only the most important information is vital to a successful campaign. Simpler banners are easier to digest and therefore more effective at having users click through. Try to minimize your ad to a logo, a short informative message, great imagery, and a CTA. Have attractive shots of your product, campus, users, etc. Take a look at how NJCU’s campaign catches the eye but maintains simplicity.

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3. Give them a reason to click

Users see countless advertisements every day. Give them an incentive for clicking on your banner ad over another. For example, are you offering to waive their application fee? Showcase that! Here at Carnegie we’re giving an early-bird special for signing up for our 2017 Carnegie Conference. If you sign up before November 1, 2016, we’ll cut $100 off the price! Learn all about integrating traditional and digital marketing strategies in Disney World and save $100? Sign me up now.  

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4. Use animation sparingly

Animation can be great to catch a user’s eye when scrolling, but you should keep it short and simple. If it takes longer than eight seconds to get to your main message and CTA, it’s too long. Users are scrolling through websites fast—only taking time to scan headlines and look at images and rarely diving in deeper if they want more information. Your banner ad just happens to be a bonus on the content they’re viewing, so it’s highly unlikely they’ll stop for more than a few seconds to watch all the frame animations you want to showcase.

5. Don’t skimp on the follow-up

So your banner ad is established and looking great—don’t mess it up now. Once a user clicks on the ad, make sure the landing page you’re sending them to looks similar and has a matching message. There’s nothing worse than clicking on an ad and feeling like you ended up somewhere totally unrelated. Make sure to have a form here to easily capture a user’s information rather than pointing somewhere else for more info. And make sure your form only captures only the necessary information from users. At the very least, get their e-mail address so you can send them follow-up e-mails to keep them engaged. One final note: make sure this page is mobile friendly so you don’t scare off potential leads using a mobile device.


Congratulations, you’re an expert now! If you’re interested in getting a digital campaign up and running but don’t have the resources to start, feel free to reach out to us at Carnegie, and we’ll simplify the process for you. We’re here to ensure that whether your audience is on a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone, we’re giving them the best possible experience to generate qualified leads for you.

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