Posts tagged #banner ads

Banner Ad Best Practices

Most people don’t go looking for banner ads, take out marketers, and NO ONE goes looking for banner ads. It is a very passive but still powerful medium. You can reach current customers and prospects to drive new and repeat business. A good display advertisement targeted to the right audience can drive fantastic incremental lift to any campaign. Outside of developing the right audience, banner creative is the next most important piece to your campaign. Here are five things to keep in mind when you’re creating your banners:

1. Message should be aimed at your target audience

  • For example, targeting lapsed customers with a we miss you message is very appropriate. Targeting a group of prospects with the same message is a little weird.

2. Keep it simple, then make it simpler

  • If you are using a banner to educate customers, you are picking the wrong medium. You have only a couple of seconds, if you are lucky, to get you message across and one of those MUST be you brand

Opportunity for improvement

Bank of America digital display ad. 1 - 2 - 3 is a nice touch, but there is a lot to get across on this message that would require the viewer to invest "effort & time" to read. Cash back, rewards, bonus, etc

Bank of America digital display ad. 1 - 2 - 3 is a nice touch, but there is a lot to get across on this message that would require the viewer to invest "effort & time" to read. Cash back, rewards, bonus, etc

Good

Nest Thermostat digital display ad. One message that the viewer can easily digest.

Nest Thermostat digital display ad. One message that the viewer can easily digest.

iTunes Radio display ad. Couple messages, but clearly translates in the hierarchal format. What, who, how

iTunes Radio display ad. Couple messages, but clearly translates in the hierarchal format. What, who, how

3. Don’t overdo the interactive elements

  • Any of the animated or interactive elements should add to the message, not distract

4. Use white backgrounds to emphasis an element and stay away from small fonts

  • Most web pages use a white background, so using this as your banner background can increase the chance of people missing it, but if it is used to emphasize an element it can work very well (unique looking product image)
Nest Protect digital display ad. Draws attention to the interesting image which also includes the brand name.

Nest Protect digital display ad. Draws attention to the interesting image which also includes the brand name.

  • Fonts should be 16px or larger, people will not work to read a message they weren’t seeking out to begin with, so make it bold and big

Opportunity for improvement

Disney Cruise Line display ad. Other than a 20% offer, there is a lot to understand in this ad. Would be interesting to see if instead of the tiny print they included more pictures of either the cruise ship or locations.

Disney Cruise Line display ad. Other than a 20% offer, there is a lot to understand in this ad. Would be interesting to see if instead of the tiny print they included more pictures of either the cruise ship or locations.

Good

Forever 21 digital display ad. Pretty straight forward offer message and sense of urgency with end date.

Forever 21 digital display ad. Pretty straight forward offer message and sense of urgency with end date.

5. Don’t forget your logo, and yes, make it bigger

  • Don’t let your logo get drowned out from the rest of the message. A majority of people won’t click on the ad itself, but they may go searching, but if they don’t know who to search for, you’ve missed an opportunity
  • Also, for those with animated banners, make sure to keep your logo ever-present 

Opportunity for improvement

American Eagle display ad. Did you spot the brand logo? Probably not at first glance.

American Eagle display ad. Did you spot the brand logo? Probably not at first glance.

Good

American Eagle display ad. This one is very clear on the brand!

American Eagle display ad. This one is very clear on the brand!

Sports Authority digital display ad. Very clear brand and message to get your winter gear.

Sports Authority digital display ad. Very clear brand and message to get your winter gear.

Follow these guidelines and you should be in great shape to have a successful campaign. Once last piece most advertisers forget about is the post-click or for most the post-exposure experience. Where can you land customers so the experience is consistent? In the example of we miss you campaign, does the landing page include that same message? If you are promoting an offer, how can customers find that offer they saw in the ad?

Samples taken from Moat.com, a great place to view digital display ads from various brands.

Posted on April 7, 2014 and filed under Strategy.

Look-A-Likes, an Underutilized Tactic

Getty Images. Flickr. Lana Isabella http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/contrasts-royalty-free-image/149397808

Getty Images. Flickr. Lana Isabella
http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/contrasts-royalty-free-image/149397808

There are two main groups in marketing. The acquisition marketing, and relationship marketing folks. Here is a quick definition of each group:

Acquisition Team = Focused on driving anonymous people to known individuals (sign up, purchase, etc)

Relationship Team = Focused on driving known individuals to take action (purchase, repurchase, etc)

It is important to distinguish the two audiences, as marketing moves to an orchestrated individualized experience, we need to be able to create experiences for individuals across all the digital channels based on what data we know about them. 

Some individuals are anonymous (we don't have any data on them) and are limited to certain digital channels to communicate to them (for example, email needs permission first but display retargeting does not). 

Known individuals come with a greater set of data and opportunities to reach out through other channels (following the same example as above, they have opted-in to email, mobile, etc). Hopefully you also have purchase and behavioral data to now use for better communications to these customers.

As we look to grow our customer base, we need to be smarter about who we attempt to acquire. It's time to optimize the acquisition budget. Optimizing our acquisition efforts to grow the right kind of customers can help grow revenue quickly instead of a one size fits all mentality. This is where the acquisition team can learn from the relationship team.

1. Identify current high value customers based on purchase & engagement data. Who buys often? Engages regularly? Who doesn't?

2. Using your data (first party) what values are in common amongst these audiences? Interests, source, etc?

3. Using third party data, what other attributes bubble up for these groups? Age, demographics, lifestyle, etc?

Now that you have a good snapshot of what makes up a high value customer, you can use this information to be much smarter and strategic with your acquisition dollars. This new data can now be used for retargeting efforts in display to drive awareness from similar non-current customers. You can also use this data for social targeting as well. Use this information to target similar customers on Twitter and Facebook. Don't stop there though, there is more to be done.

There is another critical hand-off that most miss, and thats the period between acquisition target to opted-in customer. Use the information you have been using to acquire these customers / leads to better inform your welcome and nurture programs. Can you take the same data elements and inform your content in your first communication streams to customers? Also, use these communications to fill the gaps in your data to better inform these communications. Are there certain data points you need to help increase conversion? Tactics like progressive profiling, web & click behavioral targeting are all good ways to fill in the missing data points.

Are you doing this already? What kind of results are you seeing? How targeted are you getting with your acquisition efforts?

Relevancy of the Post-Click Experience - A Quick Windows 7 Banner Ad Review

While checking out what College Football has to offer me on this glorious desert morning, I came across the following banner on ESPN:

banner ad, digital marketing strategy

It caught my eye for 2 reasons:

1 - I was just at a conference, ExactTarget's Connections 09, where a speaker talked about testing and how Microsoft found that green buttons convert especially well in their campaigns

2 - I'm intrigued by all things Microsoft v. Apple

Back to the matter at hand, the main banner message implies that the young woman pictured provided input for Windows 7, in-line with the recent campaign which I think is actually well done.  A smaller and potentially competing message (software v. computer purchase) on the right talks about finding a PC, but it's clearly secondary and I frankly didn't see it prior to clicking on the banner, but only later when trying to connect the dots to my post-click experience.

Upon banner click you arrive at the following page:

Microsoft Windows Landing Page

Had I clicked on the "Find the Right PC" portion, or noticed it pre-click, this landing page would have made more sense though I'm not sure PC=laptop.  But that's not the banner's main message, and therefore, the user experience created is less than optimal.  I expected some back-up to the campaign - videos from the advertisements, a way to interact or put my $.02 in, etc.  Backing that up with a pick a PC secondary message could have made my experience more relevant, but straight to pick a PC is confusing-bounce.

Windows 7, I didn't provide any input that contributed to your product's features and functionality, but here's a little something that may help improve the relevancy of your online advertising campaign.

[caption id="attachment_105" align="alignleft" width="56" caption="Mike Corak"]Mike Corak[/caption]

Mike Corak leads the strategic planning practice and account management efforts at Off Madison Ave, and is co-founder of www.digitalmarketingstrategy.com.  An active member of the digital marketing community and frequent blogger and speaker, Mike's passion is interactive marketing. Mike's developed and implemented winning digital and integrated strategies for hundreds of companies over his 12 year career including the likes of Coca Cola, ConAgra Foods, ConocoPhillips, FedEx, Fujitsu, Nike, Office Depot, and Walt Disney. Contact Mike at mikecorak@gmail.com, or interact with Mike here: twitter, LinkedIn.