Business Brief: Best Practice for Banner Advertising
Figures out this month show that UK Web advertising grew by almost a fifth last year. With banner advertising forming a major part of the marketing mix, New Media Knowledge went in search of some best practice tips.
UK firms spent £3.35 billion on Internet advertising last year, according to a report by the Internet Advertising Bureau, a 17 per cent rise on the year before. This at a time when overall advertising spend fell by 3.5 per cent, or £17.5 billion.
Banner advertising is a key component of the online marketing mix, but finding the best formula to execute a banner advertising campaign can prove a problem to the uninitiated marketer looking at banner advertising for the first time.
Internet watchers estimate that users spend less than a minute on the average website meaning advertisers and marketers have a finite window in which to grab the attention of their target audience. The challenge for advertisers to make its audience take notice and engage with them, all with a small file size that publishers and media owners will support.
Faced with this dilemma, NMK quizzed Grant Keller, managing director of digital consultancy Acceleration Europe, for his view on best practice for producing effective banner ads.
1. Rich Media: “Think about using rich media to develop your banner advertising – this will allow you to deliver multiple messages to a broader target user base.”
2. Flash: “Consider the number of people that use the various versions of Flash Player and allow this penetration data to dictate the lowest common denominator for your creative’s platform. Don’t concede to using the latest Flash Player version because its ActionScript can produce better graphical effects. Bear in mind your user base may not have the latest Player version installed, which will result in them receiving a default image instead. Often advanced graphic effects can be developed on earlier Flash Player versions with enough forethought and determination.”
3. Loading: “When your rich media creative file size exceeds your site’s restrictions, polite loading is used. Often creative agencies fail to incorporate polite loading as part of their design synthesis, relegating it to an afterthought. Instead, you should include this into your conceptual phase. For example, create an introduction or teaser that compliments the fully loaded ad, foregoing the blank, featureless polite banner that waits for the site’s content to load. Importantly, brand the polite loader with a logo and the click-through link too.”
4. Content Management: “Combine a Content Management System (CMS) with your rich media ad to increase your advertising campaign’s return on investment (RoI) and success. With dynamic ads, you can update your banner’s URLs, text, images and video in real-time. This is fitting for ad campaigns that deploy news headlines, promotions and special offers.”
5. Adverts: “Increase click-through and interaction rates, potentially, by considering using in-page video and larger banner sizes, such as half page and large rectangle ads.”
6. Display: “Ensure that the entire ad is actionable throughout the display time. Often users will not wait for a call to action before trying to advance to the advertiser’s site.”
Above: Grant Keller, Acceleration