We’ve all seen them. Banner ads, or display advertisements, are everywhere. They’re a marketing tool that is used on websites and can come in a variety of formats, like images, videos, gifs, etc.
You might even have some on your own website.
Unfortunately, display advertising is a highly competitive market.
Not only are you competing for consumer attention against other advertisers, but you’re also competing with digital ad blockers and, yes, banner ad blindness.1
Banner ad blindness is a selective ignoring that happens when consumers grow accustomed to a specific type of ad (like display advertising) and simply ignore (sometimes even unintentionally) anything that doesn’t appeal to them or just looks like it might be an ad.
One study predicted that 86 percent of consumers suffer from this “blindness”.2 If your ads don’t stand out visually or with compelling offers, your audience will simply scan blindly past them and continue on their merry way.
So, why use display advertising if it won’t be seen, appreciated, and clicked? It might sound like a waste of valuable marketing dollars on advertising that won’t produce leads.
But, if you can avoid these issues you can achieve significant results – you just need to follow a few key pieces of advice in order to get the most out of your display ads.
Banner Ad 101
Before you jump full force into the world of display advertising, there’s a short checklist you should review in order to confirm that you won’t be wasting your time and money.
The basics of banner ads can’t be overlooked as you seek to get the most out of these ads.
Make sure you meet the following criteria before you try to master this art!
- Do Your Ads Have an Intriguing Headline?
Your ads are nothing without a headline! This copy will partner with your design and explain why your viewers should engage with your ad.
Consider why you want them to click. What’s your end goal?
Try to imagine what would be a good offer or statement that might catch their interest. Are you providing them with a service or a gift?
Put yourself in their shoes. They probably need you to tell them a reason to click. What will they get?
Catch their attention by offering them something they will respond to. Your headline should communicate a discount or offer something that will make their shopping process easier.
If they’re shopping for a vehicle, consider what you could offer them that you know they will want or something that will help them get what they want.
Consider the ad above. If a shopper is currently in the market for a vehicle, then this ad will catch their attention through contextual relevance – AKA, it’s relevant to what they’re currently doing. It offers them a way to get a better vehicle, faster, for less money. It speaks to many pain points that consumers face when purchasing a vehicle and encourages them to “Get Started”.
According to Moz.com, 40% of “respondents took an action from seeing an ad for a more purchase-related reason than simply being interested…” In other words, the ad was relevant to the viewers and teased a solution to their current shopping pains.
If you advertise something to your audience that they want or are specifically looking for, then you’ll find that you’re actually offering something of value to your audience and you’ll get more responses because of it!
- Do Your Ads Include an Action-Oriented CTA?
If your ads don’t include an action-oriented CTA, you should probably give up now. In order for your viewers to stay engaged with your ads, you have to grab their interest and then require an action from them.
It’s key that these are short, sweet, and to the point! For example, “Download Now”, “Click Here” or “Learn More” explains to your audience that there’s more on the other side that they might want to know or have. For a dealership website, consider “Upgrade My Vehicle” or “Get Cash Back” – something that will speak to a vehicle shopper specifically.
It’s important to note that your CTA is the second most important verbiage element – your headline should be the most important as it works as the incentive for your audience to take action. You want your CTA to stand out, but your ad should not be one huge CTA button.
2. Are You Reaching Your Target Audience?
Banner ads can appeal to your audience in two distinct ways. They should be visually pleasing and relevant to your target audience.
The good news is, audience targeting is becoming more and more advanced – making it easier than ever to get the right messaging in front of the right audience at the right time.
Remarketing/retargeting, social media ads, in-market audiences, Gmail, YouTube, and more make it possible to market to people with only the information that’s relevant to them.
Through the Google Display Network – which is available on 90-95% of all websites online – you can reach more people than ever before and with only the most relevant information.3
Today’s advanced ads even allow you to serve VIN specific ads to your previous website visitors. If they’ve viewed a specific vehicle details page, then you can follow them around the internet with the exact vehicle they previously viewed.
Talk about defeating banner ad blindness!
3. Are Your Display Advertisements Optimized for Mobile?
Don’t overlook mobile. Fifty-three percent of vehicle shoppers use multiple devices during their search and 18 percent only use mobile devices!4
This means, in order to provide a customer-friendly experience for your target audience, you must optimize for mobile.5
This simply means that it’s important to design mobile-friendly display ads that will be visually appealing on whatever device your target audience might choose to shop on. You can even create responsive ads that change based on the device that’s being used. Take note of optimal display ad sizes for each medium and make sure your ads follow best practices!6
Put These Steps into Action
These are just a few steps you need to know in order to get the most out of your banner ads. Display advertising is no easy task, but when it’s executed correctly, we’ve seen significant results.
As you follow these rules, remember to be creative and avoid ads that are too busy or have the same messaging or design that your competitors might be using. You don’t want your target audience to pass blindly by your messaging simply because it doesn’t stand out to them.
Like I said before, if you’re able to follow these steps and create ads that are both visually appealing and valuable to your audience, you’ll get the results you’re hoping for. You can defeat banner ad blindness and gain more leads from display advertising than ever before!
- 2017 Car Buyer Journey
Author: Tyler Wilson
Tyler has a voracious appetite for digital marketing and advertising. He has 10+ years of digital experience and specializes in paid search, display, and social media advertising. A continuous pursuit of learning and growth drives Tyler’s passion towards understanding and discovering the possibilities of the future.