June 25, 2013

Top Three Ways to Amplify Your Company's Site: Part Three

We all like to see interesting or relevant banner ads or, at the very least, an image carousel on a company’s website. Visiting a website that lacks these critical marketing elements is like being transported to a dry and desolate desert; however, something as seemingly small as engaging, timely images or banner ads can serve as an oasis for your customers.

Before you think that banner ads are a marketing foray of yesteryear, consider that these types of visual strategies have been around for over 15 years and are far from becoming obsolete. They just have to evolve to encompass the advent of sophisticated content marketing strategies. Yes, mass production and skeptics have left some banner ad campaigns to be unsuccessful, but this should say nothing about the way your company chooses to utilize them on its website.

In 2012, it was shown that 59 percent of people with a high school education or less have clicked on an ad in the past six months. Conversely, 71 percent of those with a college degree have engaged in companies’ banner ads in the last six months.

So how can you market your banner ads to attract customers’ interest? When asked why they clicked on a banner ad, customers said that it was either because:

  • The ad showed a product that they were already interested in
  • Because it sparked their interest in a product that they previously hadn’t considered

Here are some tips on how to make your banner ads fall into the above two categories:

You NEED Copy on Your Visual

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. That may be true, but your banner ad still needs copy. Customers undoubtedly look at advertisements – whether it’s because they’re interested or because it’s an involuntary action. By emphasizing a few choice words to optimize your ad, you’ll either tap into their pre-existing interest or, even better, build a new interest. That is, of course, the underlying goal of content marketing. Also try emphasizing social media trends like hashtags in the text to make it really pop.

Perfecting the Placement

Successful banner ads should be at the top of your website’s page, most notably above the fold (i.e. in a place that avoids your customers have to scroll to find it). If not, it should break up blocks of heavy text on your site. Trust us, it will be like a breath of crisp, clean air for those who visit your site – not to mention it will be easier on their eyes.

More importantly, make sure each banner ad is relevant to the page it’s located on. For example, if you’re a retailer trying to promote your all-new line of jeans with a limited time sale, make sure your featured banner ad emphasizes a few selective and strategic words. For example, “Save up to 50 percent off,” is all you’d need to essentially guarantee you’d get clicks, and in turn, sales. Remember: Keep it simple, keep it relevant and keep it perfectly positioned to your target audience.

Banner ads aren’t outdated. They just need a bit more TLC than normal to reflect today’s creative content marketing objectives. If you take all of the above into consideration, you’re bound to see a notable difference. Click here to see more banner ad statistics. To check out parts one and two of this series, click here and here.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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