Below is a list of tips and general guidelines for designing banner ads.
1. Create a compelling call to action
The call to action is the word that requests the reader to act now. There is limited ad space so use a clear and concise call to action. Placing a “Click here” or “Submit” button on your banner can significantly improve your click-through-rate. It should be a standout focal point of the advert, prompting viewers to click on it.
2. Use engaging copy
Use key words like “free” and “special offer” which help to grab the attention of readers. Keep the message short; simple banners tend to have higher click through rates. Speak to your potential customers in a language that they will understand and recognise; citizens may not understand technical planning jargon. It is good to think about what problem the reader may be trying to solve ‘do I need planning’, or ‘I want to make my home more energy efficient’, and tailoring your copy to inform the reader that you can help meet this need; “Increase your homes energy efficiency with solar PV”. It is also important to highlight why you are better than your competition or your message may not stand out from the other messages vying for reader’s attention.
If your ad campaign is a brand building exercise, it is advisable to include both the logo and the web site address in the banner. For other types of campaigns, you might like to include both but don’t drown the advert in copy.
3. Images need should reflect the copy
Make sure the pictures in the banner are relevant to products or services you are offering. Choose relevant images, graphics or photos that enhance your message and that are directly related to your message. No abstract concepts just simple clean design. It’s not always necessary to use photos or images in your ads. Text adverts with great copy and good typography can be just as effective.
4. Link the banner to a specific page
When people click on your banner, make sure they go directly to the page on your website that has the information that relates to your advert, don’t make them look for it!
5. Test your advert before it goes live
You need to ask yourself; “Would I be interested?”. Would you be interested in or excited about what your advert offers? If not, then most people probably won’t either. Try sending the banner to a friend or a colleague to get some feedback. You should send round a number of different executions of your ads to see which one people like the best and why to ensure you get the best response possible.
6. Measurement: the Success of your campaign
You need to define what success looks like for your campaign. This might be the number of clicks generated by the ad or the number of sales that you can attribute to the ad. You also need to be sure of how you are going to gather this information before the campaign.