How to Build a Better Banner Ad

Lisa E. Phillips�Senior Analyst

DECEMBER 13, 2010 – And consumers scorn them: 43% of respondents to an online AdweekMedia-Harris Poll said they ignored or disregarded internet banner ads more than paid search ads and those in traditional media�TV, radio and newspapers.

Those sentiments aside, eMarketer estimates that ad spending on standard banners will increase 11.4% in 2011, to $6.56 billion, and will continue to grow to $8.63 billion in 2014. How can marketers make the most of their online investment?

First, give consumers what they want. Only one in five respondents (21%) said they would interact with a company or brand online through banner ads that simply �market to me,� according to a report from strategic communications agency Cone, conducted by ORC. The vast majority (77%) were motivated by coupons, discounts and other incentives and nearly half (46%) appreciated efforts to solve a problem or provide more information on a product. Entertaining ads were farther down in the rankings�just 28%�as were widgets, games and online contests (26%).

Second, realize that CTR is not the only measure of an effective banner ad. After analyzing more than 100 million conversions through thousands of campaigns worldwide, MediaMind reported only 20.4% resulted from clicks, meaning that 79.6% were the result of viewing the banner without clicking.

MediaMind suggested these ways to increase effectiveness of a standard banner campaign:

  • Choose sites with focused content vs. those with more general content aimed at a diverse audience.
  • Get more real estate on the page with larger standard banners. Large ads perform better than small ones.
  • Retarget users with multiple exposures. Users are more likely to click on ads that they have already seen, but most users see a campaign only once.

About eMarketer

By gathering the latest research and news from over 1,000 sources, eMarketer has established itself as the world’s leading provider of internet and e-business statistics. eMarketer’s Web site is at