Shopping Starts With a Banner


banner_smallADOTAS – Shoppers today are making more of their brick and mortar shopping decisions online. A recent study from Forrester shows that 33% of consumers in America will research online for the best prices before making a final purchase. The study also shows that 22% of consumers use search engines and comparison shopping sites to get the best deal, while 13% compare products online to reduce the number of stores that they visit.

Knowing that consumers research online, retail advertisers now have a better opportunity to reach consumers online while they are making their purchase decision. However, the competition for users’ attention is fierce. Advertisers not only compete with one another, but also with the publishers’ content.

MediaMind’s data shows that retailers spend the majority of their display budget on standard banners. They hope to attract users by exposing them to a relatively low cost ad multiple times. But online advertising has another dimension that can boost the impact that the ad has on users — engagement.

Engagement can boost the return on campaigns and deliver better ROI. In order for advertisers to compete successfully in the market and boost their ROI, they’ll need to take a bolder approach to online advertising by combining more engaging ads into their media mix.

When designing a campaign, advertisers should include creatives that engage users by triggering the following reactions: First, the ad must be visually appealing enough to attract the users’ eyes from the publisher’s content to the ad itself. Second the ad should elicit curiosity and makes it worthwhile for the user to engage with the ad. Third, the ad should pull users to the advertiser’s website, or site-in-banner, via a powerful call to action.

Here are a few tips that will help you do that:

Use rich banners. The stats are very simple: rich media quadruples CTR compared to standard banners. Standard banners may be cheaper, but they are significantly less effective driving users to your site. Rich banners provide better experience and more information about your brands and products.

Use video. Rich media is great on its own, but banners with video are even better. Users who viewed rich media ads with video were 25% more likely to engage with the ads, as measured by dwell rate. Research from Dynamic Logic also shows that video ads are better at driving brand effectiveness metrics.

Make them dwell. Make sure that users can discover your products by having them engage directly with the banner. An analysis of thousands of campaigns served in 2009 and 2010, shows that banners with high dwell rate resulted in a higher conversion rate. In addition, users who engaged with an ad are more likely to end up on an advertiser’s site via search or browsing.

Call to action. Obvious as it may sound, many ads still get this wrong. An analysis by MediaMind shows that about 25% of user-initiated video banners did not have a call to action. Users who did see a call to action were 30% more likely to play the video. The best calls to action were those that were highly visible, specific and gave users a valuable return or reward for clicking such as discounts, promotions and giveaways.

Online advertisers have a great opportunity to leverage the user’s tendency to research online before buying. It’s simple math. To get more dollars, you need to attract more users. Therefore, make sure that your ads are visible, engaging, and draw users to your site.


  1. I mainly just want to stop and say thanks for this article.

    I found it quite interesting as I have recently started my own blog and therefore found these marketing tips of benefit.

    I will have to do more research on Rich Banners for future customers and my own ROI>


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