In the olden days, when you wanted to boost sales for your product or business, you could take out an ad in the paper, buy commercials on TV or write a jingle (the more annoying, the better) for the radio. It was a simpler time – a marketing manager’s dream. Then a bunch of computer geeks had a baby, called her the ‘Internet,’ and ruined everything.
Online display advertising is the use of the Internet as an advertising medium where promotional messages appear on other websites and/or search engine results page. That’s the official definition, anyway. My definition of online display advertising is, “those colourful boxes I ignore when I’m researching that holiday I know I’m never going to afford.” Luckily, however, a new breed of digital marketers is emerging. A better banner breed. Here’s how to join them:
1. Research is important.
You cannot compete in the display marketing scene without knowing your competition. Hop on to popular websites related to your industry and scan the hundreds of ads on display. Which ones jump out at you? Save them and keep them on file somewhere. This will be your vault of inspiration.
2. Target the right people
Display advertising shouldn’t be like slapping a sign on a bus. Rather, it should be like sending out invitations to an exclusive event. Effective display ads target the right customers and gets real, measurable results. Put a lot of thoughts into the ad groups you create. Who is your message targeted to? Think demographic, psychographic and geographic.
3. Keep it simple.
Less is more with display advertising. We’re not trying to win an Archibald Prize for our designs here – we’re trying to get people to click on an ad. Therefore, don’t be afraid to weave your magic with words. Keep your ads simple with one idea, one colour scheme, one typeface and, most importantly, one clear call-to-action.
4. Flirt and convert.
Ok, so your ad is looking great and you’ve attracted the customer’s attention with beautiful simplicity and relevance; a sniff of the cologne and a lift of one eyebrow, if you will. Now what happens? A conversion happens. That is, the customer does exactly what you wanted them to do. Because they loved your ad so much and because it was applicable to them, they have clicked the promotion and have followed through with an enquiry on the landing page to which you’ve led them. And the crowd goes wild!
5. Test, test and test again.
Many companies treat display ads like a billboard. They make one ad and run it for a month. But instead, consider and take advantage of the dynamic nature and flexibility digital ads afford you. Create a testing schedule and mix it up with different copies and images. Eventually you’ll strike gold with one (or more) of your executions and your analytics will show it.
Follow these five things and let smart thinking help to sell more of your products. You can purchase space on the Internet’s most expensive sites until your face turns blue, but at the end of the day, a potential customer’s memory is the most valuable real estate you can invest in and occupy.
Have a go!
There are 9 different file sizes the Google Display Network offer to advertisers. Because I’m feeling generous and you’ve caught me in a good mood, I’ve attached templates of all 9 sizes for you to download for free. So now you have no more excuses. It’s time to start building better banners!