Ever since the beginning of the internet, banner ads have become the most popular form of online advertising. They are the closest to advertising in print media. You need a photo and some text, and put it where people can see it. With the only difference that the viewers of your banner ad can click through and directly end up on your website.
You are not the first person who understands the convenience of banner advertising. The model has existed for a long time and millions of companies are using it. The very large majority of websites have banners. It has become that big, that it’s hard to stand out among the others. People see hundreds, if not thousands, of banner ads every day. Why would they click on yours? Because your ad stands out.
What is banner blindness?
Banner advertising has become this common, that we’ve been able to train our brain to avoid looking at banners. This is called “banner blindness”. The banners are still there, we just don’t notice them anymore. Pretty annoying for advertisers and publishers of banner ads.
This is not typical for online advertising. Newspapers often have hundreds of ads. How many do you remember after reading this morning’s paper? One? Two? This is where it all comes down to. You need to have that one ad that people do notice.
It all starts with the image
Some companies only need to place their logo somewhere and everyone will see it. Because it’s familiar. You automatically look at something you recognise. But unless you’re Coca Cola, Volkswagen or Disney, you’ll need something more to attract the viewer’s attention.
Our eyes are trained to scan a website instead of looking at every single component separately. The eyes of the viewer will pass by your ad in a fraction of a second. Certainly not enough for them to read any text. Yet, this is the time when you want to drag their attention. This best way to do so is either with eye catching keywords like “25% Off”, “New” or “Free” or with an appealing image.
When selecting an image for your ad, always keep the final format of the banner in mind. An image of 35 naked people having a communal dinner at your naturist resort may be a great presentation of the atmosphere at your place. When you reduce the image to a size of 300×250 px, it becomes nothing more than a skin coloured blur.
Who - What - Where
Other than advertising in print media, for banner ads it’s not necessary to stuff as much information as possible within the boundaries of your ad size. Of course you want people to know about your swimming pool, your sauna, your jacuzzi, your rooms with airco and Netflix tv, the events you organise, the restaurant menu and lots of other things. The banner ad, however, is not the place to do so.
The only purpose of a banner ad is to attract the eye of the right audience and make the viewer interested enough to click on the banner and read more about your business. They need to know Who you are, What you provide and Where you’re at.
The “Where” is only important if you want people to actually come to your business or if you can only ship your product to specific countries/regions. If you have a company that creates funny hats saying “My parents went to the nude beach and all they got me was this lousy hat” and you can distribute these around the world, nobody will care whether your company is in Germany or in Papua New Guinea.
If you have a naturist resort on the other hand, people do need to know where they can find it. You want your ad viewers to think “Oh, Mexico, I would love to go there”. But also “Oh no, Mexico, I will never go there”, because this will result in one less paid click from someone who will not be interested anyway.
The “What” tells people in short what you have to offer. “Naturist camping”, “clothing-optional resort”, “nudist club” or “hats for nudists” are all good examples. Again, keep it short and mind the boundaries of your ad.
Finally, the “Who” that’s you. The name of your business and the logo. This is important because most people remember names better than images. Ad viewers are likely to get attracted to an ad with a name which they’ve already heard before. If yours is still unknown today, chances are that it will ring a bell next time they see your ad.
Use catchy slogans
For most banner sizes, the Who-What-Where will pretty much be the only text you can put on the banner without ruining the whole image. On some of the larger formats like 728×90 px, 300×600 px and 336×280 px you might find some space for extra text.
Here you could add a catch phrase, a slogan or an extra promo. “Top luxury holidays in Mexico”, “The best present for your nudist friends”, “Where clothes are just an option”, “Celebrate your birthday in your birthday suit, 25% off if you were born in May” all work pretty well.
What also works great is a call to action. “Read more”, “Click here for more info”, “try now”, “join now” or the more inventive “start the magic” or “take me there now”.
Use colours to evoke emotions
Different colours trigger different emotions on people. Depending on the message you want to bring with the ad, you want to use different colours/colour combinations.
Colour associations differ from culture to culture. Below is an overview of which emotions colours tend to evoke to a Western audience.
Create different sizes of banner ads
NaturistAds campaigns can contain up to 10 different banners in 7 different sizes. Make use of that. It creates a variation in your banners which will eventually attract a larger audience. Someone might not like the look and feel of your 300×250 px banner but get attracted to your 728×90 px one.
At NaturistAds we work with a network of publishers who all put different sizes of ads on their websites. Some implement the complete range of 7 sizes, others stick to only one or two sizes. So to fully use our whole publisher network it’s also important to create banners in different sizes.