The World Wide Web (or, you know, the internet) has grown so much over the course of the last few decades. We’re at the point now where it’s a pretty critical part of everyday life, even for those of us who don’t necessarily use it that much. Beyond just social use, though, it’s also become absolutely essential for anyone in the advertising realm. Which, as you’ve probably guessed, is where banner ads come into the mix.
Web banners, banner ads or website banner advertisements have been around since the mid-90s — which may be longer than the lifetime of many reading this. For some folks out there, they’ve probably been a part of the furniture for so long that you don’t take much notice of them anymore. If that’s the case, then the advertisers clearly aren’t doing their jobs properly.
The aim of the game with a banner ad, as is the case with any advertisement, is to draw the viewer in. You want to entice them to the point where they feel obligated to click on whatever product or link it is you’re promoting.
Today, we want to analyse a few vital factors when picking out the perfect strategy for your ad.
It goes without saying at this stage, but you’ve got to be creative. When you’re allowing your creativity to flow, then you’re opening yourself up to a whole new set of possibilities when faced with possible banner challenges. With good graphic design, a lot of companies can have a ‘take it or leave it’ approach, which we actually think is really quite dangerous.
For any ad campaign, there needs to be a planning phase that features clear goals you intend to meet. At the heart of that should be the design process, which is what the entire ad campaign should be built around. Yes, you need to have a message that you want to get out there for your target audience to hear and see, but that will fall short if you can’t or won’t create something visually stimulating.
Your hope should be for everything to come together in a way that looks professional. If it looks the part, you will feel like a company that knows what it’s doing. From there, everything should hopefully begin to fall into place.
As noted in the introduction, we want to take this opportunity to really encourage you all to consider your options carefully. Banner ad designs can live or die based on how much effort it is you’re putting in, and that’s just a fact.
For now, we want to rattle through some of the first things that came to mind for us when thinking about this subject.
We’ve spoken a lot in the past about the use of colours in graphic design and how exactly they can change the way in which we view a piece of content. For a banner ad, we can understand how the instinct may be to go down the ‘the brighter, the better’ route. In actuality, though, we’d say it depends entirely on the tone you’re trying to achieve.
If you want to make a statement but also want to keep things pretty dark and moody, then there’s nothing stopping you from doing so. The key is making sure that it isn’t too overbearing in either direction and that you aren’t going to alienate the masses because of how gaudy or dull the piece is. In short, it’s not as easy as picking one or two colours and shooting for the stars.
Typography has always been fascinating to us, and we find that the role it plays can change so dramatically from design to design. With a banner ad, you’ll obviously want to make sure it’s catchy - but in the same line of thinking as the previous point, you can’t go too over the top. In other words, you don’t have to be controversial for the sake of being controversial.
With your font, first and foremost, it needs to have strong readability. If you can barely make out what it’s actually saying, then the entire campaign has fallen flat on its face before it’s really even begun. That’s the last thing you want, and for that reason, once the outline of the design has been created, the choice of font needs to be one of the next main priorities.
Everything is in the visual impact with graphic design. What is the viewer seeing? Is it exciting them? Is it infuriating them? Is it making them feel uncomfortable? Whichever emotion it is you’re trying to get across, one of the best pieces of advice that we have is to make sure there’s an element of simplicity behind it. It doesn’t have to be 100% stripped back, but you don’t want to overcomplicate matters.
You may believe in your heart of hearts that it needs to be larger than life, and that’s absolutely fine, but you really have to understand what your target audience wants and what your primary demographic is. The phrase ‘less is more’ has been popping up a lot more frequently in recent years, and you have to really think about why that’s the case.
In our view, you can never afford to steer too far away from the subject matter. A banner ad aims to capture your imagination and guide you toward either buying a product or buying into a company’s ideology. While it can sometimes work to throw as much craziness at the wall in order to see what sticks, that isn’t necessarily a strategy we’d recommend.
We would suggest sticking to relevant graphics and images that take your company’s core values into consideration and focus primarily on the mission at hand. If, for example, you’re advertising tickets to the next Arsenal game, there’s no need to stretch too far. Put up a player, the fixture, or something that encapsulates the spirit of the club.
The idea of a piece of copy being engaging can be interpreted in many different ways. Some think it has to be long and drawn out with plenty of info, whereas others believe it should be short and snappy. The truth of the matter, from our perspective, is that it doesn’t really matter. It all comes down to what kind of impact you’re leaving on the audience.
The attention span of the general public can tend to be quite short, and you need to take advantage of every second you get. In just a few short moments, they’ll be glancing away with their focus being put on something totally different. You only get one shot with a banner ad to make a first impression, and the copy is a great way to make it leave a mark.
For those who don’t know, a CTA (call to action) is a prompt on a website that asks the juicer to perform an action. That could be buying a product, becoming part of a newsletter chain, or perhaps even something more interactive. With a banner ad, the whole point is to do what the Sugababes wanted us to all along - just push the button.
Some may think that it’s enough to simply allude to the final destination, maybe to keep people guessing or make things feel mysterious. In our view, that just isn’t good enough. Your CTA needs to be clear, concise, and it needs to feel like a main character in the midst of the chaos that is the banner ad. We’ve made it all sound a bit silly, but trust us, this is crucial.
It’s 2024 (depending on when you’re reading this), and in this age, the mobile viewing experience means more than you could ever know. Many banner ads are created to fit the desktop, swinging the door wide open for those of you who like to consume your news and information that way. Alas, not everyone operates like that, and you need to keep that at the forefront of your mind.
If an ad doesn’t work properly on a mobile, or it just feels a bit clunky, then that’s a big problem. It can come across as lazy, complacent, and perhaps even ignorant. Those are all qualities you probably want to steer clear of, and although it may take up a bit of extra time, this is a part of the process you can’t afford to push away and forget about.
Get some feedback. We can say it until we’re blue in the face, and there’s a reason for that. While you may have laid everything out perfectly, and while you may have a really clear picture of what this proposed success story is going to look like, things rarely work out that way. As such, it’s important that you test your banner ad with a focus group or with colleagues/employees.
They will be the ones who give you the kind of glimpse into the kind of the consumer. It’s the first chance you’ll get to see what’s going well and what isn’t, and with that in mind, you need to ensure you’ve set aside the appropriate amount of time necessary to rectify any existing problems. It’s all about trial and error, right?
This kind of design, and really any kind of design, can be a tricky team to navigate - especially if it isn’t something that comes naturally. Those who lean towards other skills and abilities in their daily lives and careers will much prefer to hand this off to another team member who may be slightly more comfortable with it. This, however, is where we come in.
Here at Hatchly, we function with an unlimited graphic design service that gives you all the tools you need to succeed as a business. We can offer you a team of committed, dedicated professionals who are ready to take on as much work as you’re willing to throw at them. It’s cost-effective, there’s a great line of communication, and it gives you one less thing to worry about.
Investing in graphic design may not seem like a big deal, but for the longevity of your company, it can be really critical to consider the positive effects it can have. So, if you’re interested in learning more, please check out our website — and if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch!