Admit it: you’ve never really clicked on a banner ad unless it’s got a hot chick on it (if you’re a guy) or if there’s a diamond ring (if you’re a girl) involved. We all suffer from ‘banner blindness’, and the other dozen desperate ads that blink and flutter around the articles we read recede into the background.
It makes our job very hard as digital marketers. As much as we shout about the ‘brand building’ properties of buying space online, nothing really beats a solid, honest-to-goodness click-through to a client’s website. This is the Holy Grail of online advertising, and it’s worthwhile to examine the top 3 reasons why internet users avoid banners at all costs.
Reason 1: We’re living in the Attention Economy
You can read more here, but to summarise: a) we’ve exposed to too much information online, b) we’ve become better at filtering out unnecessary information, c) our attention is thus worth more than it was in the past.
Reason 2: We’ve had too many bad experiences
Trust me, you can click on 50 banner ads and the odds are that 49 of them will lead to poor experiences on the other side. This means either a) the page that you’re led to (the landing page) does not match the promise of the banner b) the execution on the page you come to is terrible.
Reason 3: Banners interrupt our browsing experience
Let’s face it. You’re not there to look at freaking banners. You came to a specific page for a specific reason. The banner is an interruption; an aberration in your online journey. Marketers who understand this know that the best way for a banner to work is to augment the content on the page. Relevant, functional banner content is the way forward. An example is throwing up relevant, up-to-date stock prices on a banner appearing on a financial site, or a finance calculator on a car site.
There are more reasons, sure, but these three highlight the main reasons why you’ll probably ignore 99 out of the next 100 banners you see. If we, as marketers, understand these reasons, it will set us on the right direction to creating banner adverts that convert.
In the meantime, check this out: “Probably the best banner advert in the world“