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banner ads

We have all seen banner ads that were more aggravating than intriguing. A few simple design tricks can make the difference between producing an ad people will want to click on and one they want to run from. That’s why we asked a panel of 12 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) for their advice on creating successful banner ads.

Q. What’s one piece of design advice for creating a banner ad people will actually click on?

1. Have a Clear Incentive

Juha LiikalaDon’t try to be too clever with your ad copy. Chances are, if viewers have to think for more than two seconds about what you’re trying to sell, then you’ve already missed the train. Offer a clear and tempting incentive on why they should click. Use language that your audience understands. Also, make sure there’s a design continuity when they arrive to your actual sales page.
Juha Liikala, Stripped Bare Media


2. Test It

josh weissIt’s tough to predict how customers will respond to an ad without testing it. Come up with a bunch of variations and test them. Once you see what’s working, come up with similar variations to try and beat the control. As you continue down this path, your metrics should keep improving.
Josh Weiss, Bluegala


3. Tell Them Why They Should Care

Dustin LeePeople are already skeptical of banner ads. You need to give them a powerful reason they should care instantly. Get to the point and use only as many words as you absolutely need to communicate your message.
Dustin Lee, Playbook


4. Make It Relevant

Ha PhanIf you want to design a banner ad that people will actually click, don’t make it look like an ad. Make it relevant. The ideal ad strategy is to integrate it with content strategy. For instance, if your content is about a skiing event, then provide sponsorships or ad widgets that enable users to book hotels for the event or purchase winter sporting goods.
Ha Phan, Porch

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