A high-quality design can increase the viewing duration by about six times and double the intention to buy (+ 93 percent) according to the recent study “The Power of Creation” conducted by the Online-Vermarkterkreis (OVK – Circle of Online Marketers) in the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft e.V. (BVDW – German Association for the Digital Economy). This is an important approach, because as a media analysis conducted by the market research firm Eye Square in September 2013 shows, the viewing time for standard banners is only 0.8 seconds in the German speaking world – as opposed to particularly attractive banners, which gain the viewer’s attention for approximately 1.5 seconds.
Four elements are recommended to achieve the ideal ad banner design: a logo, an attractive image, a main message and an inviting click button.
The logo serves a dual purpose here. For new contacts, it has a constant branding effect and for customers who already know the company it has a positive recognition effect. This is particularly important, because once customers have had good experience with a company, they are much more open to its advertising than they are to “unknown” advertising.
Although the entire banner can usually be clicked on, integrated buttons especially inviting to click on. Of course the button should be clearly visible as such and ideally be labelled with a call to action (e.g. “Order now!”).
The advertising message has to be short and clear, and appear understandable, complete and inviting. Time does not allow for long text or complex explanations. Impressive headlines remain in viewers’ memories like a good picture. It makes sense to try out different banners with different messages. AdServers that automatically determine which ads generate the highest conversion levels and then use these ads more are helpful in this regard.
Several variations of a banner should be created in order to address potential customers in a more targeted way. Keyword retargeting: put simply,users with different surf histories and different preferences are shown different banners that fit them. When visiting the website, a cookie is placed in the user’s browser with information pertaining to the visit and the viewed content. Based on this, the user is recognized later on other sites and again shown ads that specifically target his or her interest. In addition to different static banners, dynamic banners can be used that are generated with specific content on the fly. A typical example of this consists of ads by tourism companies, which show new offers for a destination that the user has searched for. The life cycle of such cookies should be limited, because users many otherwise feel like they are being permanently monitored.