A banner ad, or a web banner, is an advertisement displayed into a web page. The advertisement consists of an image (.jpg, .png, .gif) or of a multimedia object (usually created using Flash). Thus, banner ads can be static or animated, depending on the technology used to make them.
If you’re looking for a definition that’s a bit more formal, according to Wikipedia:
"A web banner or banner ad is a form of advertisingon the World Wide Web delivered by an ad server. This form of online advertising entails embedding an advertisement into a web page. It is intended to attract traffic to a website by linking to the website of the advertiser. In many cases, banners are delivered by a central ad server."
Banner ads are image-based rather than text-based and are a popular form of website advertising. The purpose of banner advertising is to promote a brand and/or to get visitors from the host website to go to the advertiser’s website.
But to sum it up and make this as simple as possible, all banner ads share the same basic function: you click on this image/multimedia object you see on a web page and your internet browser takes you to the advertiser’s website/landing page. They are simple yet very important pieces of html and their presence on the web can make a big difference for internet-based companies and brands.
Just the way a physical banner outside a shop would make someone enter the shop because it says they offer a great discount on a specific product or they have this new product that kind of sparks the curiosity. It’s the same with online banner ads.
When creating a banner ad a person usually have a single goal:
banner ads are intended to generate traffic to your website by linking to it and from there a person tries to seal the deal, whatever the deal is.
But a person needs to do that by attributing a role to the banner ad and see what fits best in that specific context. Web banners work the same way regular print media advertising does: they inform, they notify about a new product, they grab the attention, increase brand awareness and so on.
Having that in mind, there are a few ways of sending people to the website to find out more about the business, through banner ads.
The banner ad encourages the visitors to go on the advertiser’s website by clicking on it. And through this method, the ad is paid in many ways (CTRs, impressions, time spent on the web page etc.)
Banner ads encourage you to buy certain products. And here it’s all about the right context and placement. For it to be relevant and effective, the banner ad placed on a certain website has to be related to that niche and to offer an answer to the question the visitor that ended up on that website has.
Capturing someone’s attention nowadays can be very challenging, especially in the digital environment where it’s all about being creative. But you have a lot of information on how to be creative and how to design everything from scratch so that it’s going to make your banner ad stand out from the crowd on this blog. It’s up to you to study your target market and see if what you need is an animated bouncy ad or a classy font on a neat background.
Another way for businesses to generate and increase revenue is through sales and discounts. And what better way to reach potential customers than through banner ads.
Why do they (still) work?
Banner ads are a big part of the visual world. They work because people react better to visual content or a message that is accompanied by a visual example.