A banner is a clickable graphic image on a website with commercial information. When clicking, the user gets to the advertiser's website.
The main task of banner advertising is to catch the user's eye, interest him and make him want to click on the banner to go to the site. Bright, colorful, graphic image, which are moving, stand out well against the background of ordinary content.
Banners can be found on any site of any orientation. Their main purposes:
- Advertising of goods and services.
- Attracting traffic to the site.
- Attracting new potential buyers, i.e. lead generation.
- Increasing brand awareness.
Often, online banners are used as a cross-promotion tool, when one company advertises partner organizations on their sites, and they do the same on their resources. For example, fitness clubs often display banners of partner sportswear and equipment stores.
It is believed that the first banner on the Internet appeared in the fall of 1994 on the American site HotWired.com. Interestingly, it had no commercial purpose: clicking on it took you to a site with a map of the United States, where particularly prominent museums and other cultural institutions were noted.
Now banner advertising is one of the full-fledged directions of advertising on the Internet. Let's talk about the types of online banners, the pros and cons of banner advertising, and how to overcome banner blindness.
Types of banners: graphic, animated, Flash-banners
Online banners are static, animated and interactive.
Static banners are the most common and easy to produce. It text with images in PNG, GIF, JPEG formats, clicking on which users get to other web pages.
Animated banners, Flash-banners
Much more complex, but also more clickable, are dynamic animated GIF banners (sometimes also called GIF banners) with moving pictures, music and sound effects. There are also interactive animated Flash banners, by clicking on which users can become participants in a virtual game or survey.
Another type of banners are video banners with videos included in them. A video banner is a format that combines video and images. This format is widely used on the sites of the Google advertising network.
In terms of purpose, online banners can be branding, informational, and sales oriented. Brand banners solve image tasks. As a rule, they are placed on large Internet resources with high traffic in order to emphasize the status of the company and increase the recognition of its brand.
Information banners are used to inform about promotions, unique offers, arrival of goods and services. Selling banners encourage you to go to another resource to make a direct purchase.
Pros and cons of banner advertising
The main advantages of online banner advertising:
- You can do it yourself. It is quite easy to create banners for free, you should use an online banner designer or learn Photoshop skills. Creating video banners and their interactive analogues is more difficult: you will most likely have to turn to specialists.
- It's easy to learn about the effectiveness of advertising. Among the KPIs of banner advertising are the number of clicks, impressions and their percentage ratio - CTR. The cost of a click should also be taken into account: the cheaper it is for the site owner, the better.
- Direct hit in CA. But with a caveat: if you accurately determine the "places of residence" of your potential buyers and place banners on these sites. In this case, the return on advertising will be much higher.
But there are also disadvantages:
- Banners, especially animated and flash, can reduce speed loading pages.
- A rather large percentage of untargeted clicks and, accordingly, its high cost. For this, as mentioned, it is necessary to choose the most relevant platforms for placing banner ads.
- An excess of digital advertising has led to banner blindness. This is deliberate ignoring by users of any kind of advertising on the Internet, including banners. There are special pop-up blockers and plugins that protect people from annoying advertising offers. Someone learned banner blindness and without any blockers and plugins, simply not noticing bright, static and graphic ones images, moving and paying attention only to what interests them.
How to fight banner blindness and make an effective banner
It is impossible to completely get rid of banner blindness. In order for your banner not to become invisible and to attract as many users as possible, try the following.
- Place banners on specialized sites where your CA sits, show them only to those users who were directly interested in your or a related product category by asking relevant queries in search engines. In this case, the user will see only those advertisements that meet his consumer interests and are not annoying. You can configure contextual banner advertising in search engines in the Google Ads advertising cabinet.
- Break stereotypes. Put something on the banner that provokes, breaks stereotypes, dogmas and patterns. If you show an ordinary thing in an unusual perspective (for example, a square watermelon, a green orange, etc.), then the probability that the user will notice such a banner and click on it will be much higher than in the case of displaying some banalities.
- Come up with bright titles, slogans. Sometimes one exact phrase is enough to make the user click on the banner.
- Don't overwhelm the user. Don't try to cram all the important information into one banner. One precise phrase is more effective than five ordinary ones. This is even more true for calls to action: there should only be one CTA on the banner.
- Consider the location of the banner. Advertising graphic images in the "cap" of the site (at the top of the page) involuntarily attract the attention of almost all banner "blind" people. But so that the banner doesn't get boring and doesn't turn into an invisible one, it makes sense to periodically put it in other places on the page.
- Place banners on pages with useful informational content, and not in places with excess advertising content.
- Remember the color. Banners with a preference for red almost always automatically attract attention. Orange and yellow colors also work well in this regard.
- And about the corporate style of the brand. Design banners in corporate colors, use corporate fonts, add a logo: this will increase brand recognition.
What does the future hold for banner advertising?
Although some marketers consider banner ads to be somewhat outdated, and users are offered more and more ways to block them, it is unlikely that they will cease to exist anytime soon. Most likely, more and more advanced and "smart" types of banners will appear, which are adjusted to the interests of each specific user.