Banner advertising can still yield good results online, especially for direct response stuff like special offers, sales and incentives rather than brand building. But if you’re going to invest in buying this kind of media, you’ll want to make sure that your ads work as hard as possible. Here’s a few things to bear in mind.

Tip 1: Consider carefully where to display your banners – If you want to pick and choose the sites you could be looking at paying ten times more for your advertising space than if you specify the top 500 Comscore sites for example and leave it to the networks to decide exactly where your ads are shown

Tip 2: Make your banners stand out – Some sites are very busy, so you’ll need to use the right combination of colours, animation and copy to attract people’s eyes to your bit of the screen. Get the balance right though; too much animation can be annoying and put people off

Tip 3: Keep file sizes small – Optimise your banners so they load fast, even on slower connections

Tip 4: Consider going large – Expandable banners (where the banner enlarges once rolled over) give you much more space to get your message across

Tip 5: Keep your message short and sweet – Banners are small, so don’t try and communicate too much at once

Tip 6: Stay on target – Keep your message targeted to your audience, don’t try and sell everything to everyone, it won’t work

Tip 7: Stay on brand – As with all your marketing, keep it consistent and use your logo so people quickly know who you are

Tip 8: Trial different formats and creative – If your campaign is going to run for 8 weeks, trial different banner sizes and different designs or copy in the first few weeks, see which version is pulling the greatest response and then run that one for the remainder of the campaign

Tip 9: Think about where your banners take people – Is it enough just to dump them on your homepage, or should it be a specific product page or a custom landing page?

Tip 10: Go local – It may be the world wide web, but if your product is in any way geographical you can define a certain area for your banner advertising

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