How to Make a Cool, Clickable Banner Ad

It’s hard out there for modern day Mad Men.

How to Make a Cool, Clickable Banner Ad

With the invention of the DVR, no one watches tv commercials any more. Meanwhile, the internet is ripe for advertising, but it’s controlled by the user. If you don’t want to see an ad, you can ignore it or even go to another site.

While no one’s crying over the predicament of advertisers, businesses share their challenge: how do you advertise yourself online? In this online world where every single brand is hiring digital marketing agencies in order to stand out from the rest, how do you make your voice heard? Is there any one form of communication that you should be focusing on? Is there any one thing you should be steering clear of? While there is no fixed answer, there is one form of advertising that is known to show results – banner ads. Banner ads are a popular choice because they’re relatively easy to make, and when executed properly, can be non-intrusive and even kind of fun.

Last year, Nielsen reported that display advertising (which includes banner ads) grew by 26.3%. Obviously enough people still believe in their effectiveness.

If you’re considering creating banner ads for your brand, here are a few guidelines to follow.

Don’t overdo it

We’ve all seen – and been annoyed by – bad banner ads. They’re big, flashy, and basically scream at you from the margins of your screen. Animated GIFs or overly flashy ads with bright colors – while attention-grabbing – can backfire. While creative agencies have been advocating against these types of banners, brands across the world do not seem to want to listen to them. They keep using bright colors thinking that they will turn customers towards them instead of away from them. That is where they are wrong. People are sensitive to aggressive salesmanship. They become inherently suspicious of in-your-face advertising, especially if it looks cheap (the exception being the city of Las Vegas, of course).

In a survey by AdKeeper, 54% of participants said that they don’t click on banner ads because they don’t trust them. If you come on too strong in your ad or pitch something that sounds too good to be true, people will avoid you like the plague for fear of spam or viruses. Instead of making the banner ad very in your face, one thing that you can do is make it part of your web design los angeles in a subtle manner. It should not distract the person visiting the site from the content on your site. It should also definitely not hide any major tabs or buttons from the viewer as that will make them leave the page faster than you can say banner ad.

Keep it simple

While it may seem counterintuitive, people are potentially more likely to click on your ad if it doesn’t rely on bright colors and crazy images. Simplicity is key to building trust. When designing your ad, start by choosing a streamlined and compelling image. If your product is photogenic (jewelry, fashion, etc.), maybe all you need is a great picture of the item on a model.

B2B companies, on the other hand, may want to consider a graphic that demonstrates the benefits of their service. Logos may be a good idea, but only if they add to the image rather than distract from it. Text can also appeal to people if it’s concise and short. In fact, a little bit of text can go a long way.

Emphasize your call to action

In that AdKeeper survey, 57% of pollsters said they don’t click banners out of fear that they’ll open something that they wish they hadn’t. Your banner needs to be clear, which again emphasizes the need for simplicity. Even with an enticing image, people might hesitate to click through if they don’t know what the outcome is going to be. If you are confused about what should go on a banner, look towards the experts. A website design company that has been in the industry for a couple of years will be able to help you out by making the banner trustworthy and clickable.

Always include an obvious call to action. Whatever your CTA is (“Shop now”, “Subscribe”, “See how”, etc.), make it clear and separate from the other text in the ad. And don’t forget to follow through. If you advertise “Click for a free trial”, don’t take the user to your Home page. Make sure they’re directed to a relevant landing or web page with a similar color scheme.

Make it relevant

Privacy issues aside, internet cookies are a boon for advertisers. Marketers love cookies because they can use that data to customize their ads for each individual user. Typically, most internet users would prefer to see targeted ads (58% of people from the survey said that banners weren’t relevant to them), and so they’re generally okay with their data being shared.

Use cookie data to customize your banners. A great example of a targeted banner ad comes from Nissan, who used data from a housing website to show its banner ad to certain people based on income, neighborhood, and other relevant info. The success of such campaigns should be all the encouragement you need to use data to your advantage. In today’s digital world, data is being collected at every touch point, especially with the presence of SEO agencies. Make this data work for you, customize your banners, and win over more and more customers in the market.

Be interactive

With so many people clamoring for your attention online, your banner ad needs to stand out – again, not in the seizure-inducing, flashing-gif way. It’s possible to not only make your ad compelling but fun as well.

This ad from Adidas is innovative because it encourages you to participate by sketching lines on the ad itself. It draws you in (pun intended, unfortunately) on account of almost not even looking like an advertisement. If you are able to achieve this level of advertising, where it does not even look like an ad, know that you have reached the ultimate goal. After this, no level of website redesign is even required. Similarly, this MetLife banner asks you to play piano along with Schroeder (the shy musical genius from Peanuts) by typing on your keyboard.


Measure performance

Banner ads act like T.V. commercials in that they create brand awareness. While they might not directly lead to a sale, they put your business on people’s radars, and introduce them to the sales funnel. One easy way to measure a banner’s effectiveness is to track its clicks through Google Analytics. If the user is taken to your site, follow their activity. Did they then subscribe to a newsletter or even make a purchase? This will provide you with invaluable information that can be used by branding companies to identify what is going right for them, what requires minute tweaks, and what needs to be completely changed and re-pivoted. All of this helps measure performance and see how long is there to go before reaching the end goal.

To learn more about how to make banner ads work for you, check out SPINX’s services.

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4 thoughts to “How to Make a Cool, Clickable Banner Ad”

  • Catherine Marshall

    Excellent tips. I always tell people not to overdo their ads. Anything that seems like spam misses out on a lot of clicks. You’ve got to be smart about your taglines.

  • Okay, so how do I make it clickable for a magazine banner ad?

  • This is a great guide, indeed! Thank you for all the advice.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m thrilled to hear that you found the blog helpful.

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