Banner advertisements have the ability to attract a target audience with the sole purpose of generating sales. Banner ads can be a remarkable “branding” tool in the world of business. Below is an outline of the different types of banner ads that can be used, as well as some facts and stats that will help you to decide the best option available for your campaign.
Types Of Web Banner Ads
Banners ads come in various forms offering the opportunity to advertise in a variety of ways that best suits a campaign in the making. What you choose and need to best deliver a message in a banner ad campaign will vary with each and every one that you embark on. Your criteria and budget will largely, often strongly, point you in the direction of which will best reach your target audience, as well as suit your desired outcome.
Visuals play an incredible role in how your banner ad will be received. The world’s society is largely a “visual nation” and can effectively be swayed or convinced almost solely by images alone. Visual factors that will have an influence on which type you choose include:
- Single images – These can be animated using GIF images. Static images (no animation is used and remain “still” on the eye) such as GIFs and jpgs can also be used. Jpeg images have a disadvantage in that they cannot be animated.
- Flash movies and composite banners– a composition of different elements (graphics and HTML code) can be used to create more visually pleasing effects. HTML code is embedded in composite banners and is generally used to create an element on the ad that is more interactive. Elements such as drop down menus, radio buttons and check boxes are useful interactive tools that can be made use of.
With the development of flash technology (developed by Macromedia), multimedia content has been injected with a brand new dimension in designing banner ad campaigns. Animation and other special effects (colour contrast, quality graphics and operational elements) can be creatively developed when using flash and the result is a smoother finish which is easy on the eyes of the viewer. Flash is a vector based programme which accounts for its ability to run much more smoothly than animated GIFs.
Benefits of flash made banner ads include:
- Interactive nature – flash banners interact with the viewer and urge them to “engage” with the ad and its message. Flash banners work well with a viewer where interaction is concerned because people are able to run their mouse over the ad as well as click on links.
Flash ad facts:
- Flash banners receive higher CTR (click through rates or ratio) than other banner design types.
- Flash banner ads involve a lot of animation and special effects, but are always saved in small file sizes.
- Most banner ads that are on display on major portals such as Yahoo and MSN are flash designed.
- Flash technology is, at present, the most commonly designed web banner type.
- Studies show that flash banner ads are more likely to build a strong online advertising campaign than other types.
Animated GIF Banners
Quite simply, GIF animation banners are created in a GIF file format whereby a series of frames (usually individual images) are played in sequence. GIFs support a total of 256 web safe colours. In order to really get the effect that you desire with the most impact, GIF animated banners should always be designed within this 256 colour palette. If this is done, your ad is ensured to look its best on all monitors. Photographs used in GIF animations are advised to be viewed on a low resolution monitor first and foremost before being used in a banner ad. This is because photographs contain an enormous selection of colours and thus may not look as good as a 256 colour image.
Benefits of animated GIF made banner ads include:
- GIF file formats are one of the most widely used and supported by web publishers.
- GIF animation is more often than not one of the best cost effective solutions for small businesses looking to advertise using banner ad campaigns.
- GIF animated banners are not all about massive media hype but focus more on the “punch” message that is being delivered. GIF animations offer the benefit of using substance ahead of “flashiness” giving a viewer a more attractive ad. A designer will need to cleverly make use of colour in an animated GIF banner so that is it immediately appealing and not irritating. Copywriting can make or break a banner ad and it is important to ensure that it delivers on its promises. A good way to communicate a message effectively is to “tell a story” that engages a viewer.
- More special effects can be designed in a GIF animation banner since the smallest possible web safe colour palette is used.
- Timing of animated GIF frames can be controlled.
Animated GIF ad fact:
- Studies have shown that the use of animation in a banner increases CTR as they are designed to attract a viewer’s attention.
Static banner ad designs are generally still single frames with an image or catch phrase (slogan or punch line). This singular and still ad offers a “to-the-point”, as well as a subtle call to action. Alternatively a single line of copy or text is used with the sole purpose of remaining in the minds of a target audience. Many business websites generally make use of static banner ad designs as they compliment rather than clash with the overall tone (colour scheme) and layout of the page they are being displayed on. Many are slowly but surely making use of more rich media designs, such as flash and animation techniques, and are steadily growing in large numbers within media industries across the world.
Static banners have been affectionately dubbed “the little black dress” of banner advertising for online media, but questions have been raised as to whether or not there is still a place within the industry for this traditional banner form of advertising. Static banner ads can be tricky when trying to make the best possible impression on a target audience, especially when in competition with other animated and flash designs that are strongly pleasing to the greater public. Getting the most out of a static banner ad largely depends on clever and appropriate placement, of which there are many options to choose from.
Benefits of static made banner ads include:
- Static banners made for the web can provide you with a cost effect means of marketing online products and services.
- Many prefer static banner ads for particular campaigns as they are more often than not, a safe option for virtually everything. This banner ad type is a popular choice when there is uncertainty regarding what to expect from a target audience.
- Static banner ads are often preferred for their conservative, clean line look and feel as this removes the opportunity to “fill” the ad with useless information or effects. In this way, static banner ads do not obviously “scream” advertisement and run the risk of annoying viewers or driving away potential interest. It is a known fact that people are less likely to respond positively when the ad is obviously “advertising” as this creates an impression where the market virtually feels “pushed into” wanting to take notice. People favour choice and control over their own decisions. The trick is to encourage without cornering a target audience.
- Static banners ads are an ideal type of advertising in behavioural marketing and only deliver what’s relevant.
Static banner ad facts:
- Static banner ads have been noted to have a higher CTR than those that are animated when placed on blog websites and pages. Static banner ads generally suit the editorial image or environment of a blog page and rarely clash with the page that they are displayed on.
Types Of Banner Ad Campaigns
Branding Banner Campaigns
- The main aim is to familiarise the public with a company’s name and services. Promotional advertisements are usually very handy here in any way, shape or form including online media. The name of the advertising company must stick in the mind of the target audience.
- With a branding banner campaign, it is not essential that viewers click on the ad immediately as short term results are not a top desirable factor. The objective is to ensure that a company’s name and website, products and services become so familiar that this in itself will “pull” a target audience to visit the URL website address and keep coming back.
Click Through Banner Campaigns
- Click through banner ad campaigns offer the opportunity to make a valuable connection with a targeted audience on the most direct level possible.
- Call for action messages are a useful tool in directing a targeted audience to your website. Humour and a sharing tactic are also useful tools. Here a click through banner ad can make the process of establishing a connection more emotive or personal with the aim of acquiring attention and eliciting a reaction, whilst at the same time sending out a subtle message; “come and visit our website”.
- Trickery is common with type of banner ad campaign by making use of graphics that appear to be actual links or buttons that can be clicked on when in fact they are not.
For all of your online marketing and banner advertisement needs, contact Veritas Prime who will put together a highly qualified design team bound to bring your company the success that you’re after.
Questions to answer before considering which type best suits your banner ad campaign needs include whether or not you desire sending out a simple message packed with impact, telling a story or building an identity for the company. It is important to keep top of mind just exactly what you aim to accomplish with the banner ad, as well as ensuring that you are constantly up to date with who is visiting your site. Copy and ad content should ideally reflect the overall tone and main requirements of your target audience. This could very well be the “make or break” factor that influences how your business may or may not achieve success in the long run.
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