Martha Hubbard

Display Advertising: 3 basic questions every marketer should ask themselves about banner ads

June 18th, 2013

Considering low costs and the potential return of driving significant volumes of traffic to your homepages or landing pages, banner ads would seem a safe bet to count as one of the most important elements of a successful marketing strategy. Yet in reality, most banner ads become lost in the afterthoughts of marketing campaign planning.

How does this happen?

One thing I have discovered in working with our Research Partners is the problem begins with an all too common approach to banner ads in which a focus is placed on “creating a few banner ads” instead of “creating highly effective” banner ads that appeal to visitors.

In today’s MarketingSherpa blog post, I wanted to offer three questions every marketer should ask themselves when crafting banner ads that you can use to aid your display marketing efforts.


Question #1. Do we know where the traffic is coming from?

Assuming you already have banner ads in place, a good place to start is by diving into your metrics to better understand the amounts of traffic your banner ads are currently generating.

If you are new to banner ads or have limited historical performance data, then consider some of the obstacles you must overcome to create an effective banner ad ranging from:

  • Gaining a visitor’s attention
  • Capturing visitor interests
  • Driving visitor engagement to click on your banner ad

You should also consider the types of traffic coming to the website or page in which your banner ads are displayed because this information will play an important role in later design, messaging and CTA planning.


Question #2. Do we know where the traffic is going?

While it is important to know where your visitors are coming from, knowing where visitors are going throughout the overall experience can help you craft messaging and CTAs that deliver on the expectations set by the banner ads.

For example, if a banner ad redirects a visitor to a lead capture form, then using a call-to-action like “Learn More” would not be an optimal CTA versus using “Apply Now” or “Apply Now.” Analyzing where your traffic goes is also a great way to help you detect and fix any simple leaks in your funnel.

Question #3. Do our ads effectively communicate value?

There’s a fundamental question every potential customer wants answered that directly impacts the effectiveness of all banner ads: “If I’m your ideal prospect, why should I click on your ad rather than any of your competitors?” And until you answer this question sufficiently, your banner ads will likely continue to underperform.

So, before your marketing department spends another dime on banner ads, take some time to ask yourself and your team to evaluate if your ads focus on any potential customers …

Or do they focus on the right potential customers?


Related Resources:

MECLABS Value Proposition Development Online Course

Value Proposition: A free worksheet to help you win arguments in any meeting

Value Proposition: Our research team answers your questions

Martha Hubbard

About Martha Hubbard

Martha Hubbard, Business Intelligence Analyst, MECLABS Martha is responsible for managing projects for companies both small and large, and helping Research Partners determine the best places to test on their sites where they will gain solid learnings and see big lifts. Before MECLABS, Martha worked as a project manager for a small marketing firm. Martha holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Florida, where she also participated in two short-term study abroad trips to China and India. In her spare time, Martha enjoys spending time with family, going to live music shows and traveling.

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  1. June 18th, 2013 at 14:52 | #1

    Great questions to ask yourself. People are always so busy that they never stop to ask these questions. But what if they are not working and your still asking the questions? Your target audience is always your main focus. Thanks for the read!

  2. June 24th, 2013 at 11:14 | #2

    These are great questions.

    More professionals should adopt the habit of asking themselves the questions their prospects may be asking when building banners and landing pages.

    With banner ads being so much cheaper to place than text ads, many marketers assume the more the better. Which to some extent is true.

    But the quality of the banner, and the congruence of the banner to the landing page can really have an impact on the ctr of both.

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