While the art of high click-through rates and impressions is not a perfect science when it comes to online advertising, there are a number of things marketers seeking the faith-based audience can do to ensure their banner ads garner the optimal number of click-throughs and impressions. Here are five ways to make your online banner ads stand out from the crowd:
1. Write an attention-grabbing headline. Let’s state the obvious: banner ads don’t allow for lengthy headlines or large graphics. Recent studies have shown that static banners are more effective than animated banners, simply because they aren’t as distracting. While this trick of the trade may be helpful to keep in mind, static banners give marketers even less room to communicate their message. That’s why it’s important to make every word count. Your headline needs to be creative, succinct and to the point. Here is an example of a 728×90 ad (reduced in size to fit your screen.)
2. Make sure all words are in large, readable fonts. Again, this is tricky because space is an issue, but it’s important to increase the size of your font as much as possible. Fancy fonts may be artistic, but if your words aren’t readable, your banners won’t be effective. Remember, your banner ads are normally surrounded by thousands of other words and images vying for readers’ attention on one page. So, make sure your words stand out.
3. Aim for a clean, sleek design. It’s important for marketers to work with their designers to make sure all of their ads stay on-brand for a single product. Banner ads should reflect the brand of the product as all of your ads should, no matter the medium. Designers can bring in consistent colors, fonts and design elements to make your banner ad instantly “pop” with familiarity and affiliation with your faith-based product or service. Make sure the design is clear, clean and clutter-free.
4. Use a hero shot of the product. Although limited real estate on banner ads forces you to make your product images small, it’s still important to make your product the hero of your ad. If it’s a service you’re promoting, be sure to include your logo or whatever image best represents your company and helps consumers form a lightning-fast association. The goal should be to tell an immediate story through your image.
5. Include a clear call to action. Give your reader a “next step.” Tell them explicitly what to do. ” Use phrases like Click here, Sign Up and Download for Free and key words like discover, find out and explore that drive people to action. It also doesn’t hurt to incentivize your ad. Offer a free chapter download of your author’s book, a complimentary download of a song from your artist’s latest album, or a coupon. Link to exclusive content, and provide a way for them to sign up to receive more info. (BTW – this is a GREAT way for you to build your email list!) Above all, don’t mince words. Tell them exactly what you want them to do.