10 Ways to Improve Banner Performance

Dara Such

Vice President and Publisher

Banners get a bad rap. We constantly look for rationale as to why click-through rates (CTR) or conversions suffer: Too much/little frequency, not enough contextual targeting, etc. What we should be looking at is the delivery vehicle itself – the creative.

Google recently shared their guidance on how to build better ads that ultimately drive stronger banner performance and it’s refreshing to see them confirm what we’ve always urged our customers to focus on: “As with any marketing campaign, the success of a banner campaign comes down to creative quality” .  All the targeting in the world cannot overcome creative that is too product-heavy or mis-matched to where, and to whom, it serves.

Regardless of who’s building creative, we as marketers need to be sure we’re asking  some basic questions before launching campaigns (hint: you may notice many of these bear a striking resemblance to content marketing best practices too!):

10 Essential Questions to develop quality B2B Banner Creative

  1. Does this creative map to my campaign goals?
  2. Is it clear & easy for my target audience to understand?
  3. Am I using acronyms, jargon or “marketing speak” that may be confusing?
  4. Does my messaging/copy separate me from competitive set?
  5. Does this message resonate with the target audience it’s being served to?
  6. Are there too many panels of information to consume?
  7. Is my creative mobile optimized, or at least screen-size appropriate?
  8. Is there a clear call to action?
  9. Is the value to the end user clearly articulated?
  10. Would this compel me to click?

Banners are still an extremely effective means to drive reach and awareness, but they can also be strong direct response, engagement, and traffic-driving vehicles if we go back to basics. Pairing good creative with the right audience can yield some incredible results. TechTarget regularly sees CTRs in excess of 2-3% (and higher) on Welcome Ads when the messaging hits user pain points. And there are even more interesting ways to leverage display when you inject account-level intelligence into the mix.

Let’s not jump to the wrong conclusion before adopting the same best practices we’ve used successfully in our content marketing efforts — even when delivered in the humble banner, content is still king.

Feel free to share your own best best practices when developing banner creative – leave a comment below or connect with me on LinkedIn.

ad creative, b2b branding, banners, content marketing, marketing creative

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