Banner ads. We see them so often that sometimes they just blend into the page. They have become so common place for advertisers that their relevance has been called into question recently. Some have said that because banner ads are so common, we just glance over them. Luckily, many in the advertising industry are coming to their senses and embracing the all mighty banner ad once again.
While it is true that sometimes banner ads are scrolled past or ignored, with proper placement banner ads are still a force to be reckoned with. Until recently click through rates(CTRs) were the name of the game but according to a recent iProspect study, clicks are not the only indicator to an ad’s effectiveness. According to the study, 31% of the participants said they respond to display ads by clicking on them. No huge surprise there. The rest of the findings are not as predictable though. The study also found that 27% said rather than clicking on an ad, they do a search for the product/service/company being advertised. Another 21% percent said they typed the company’s name in their search bar and found their way to the company’s website. Lastly, 9% said they researched the company through social media.
Ok that’s a lot of data. The study tells us that while the click is still king, people are going around the ad and finding their own way to the website. Even if they don’t click on it, your ad may still be doing it’s job. In advertising brand awareness is key and if your ad drives a potential customer to your website, is that not just as successful as clicking on it?
What this boils down to is that although online advertising is a gift from above for tracking and metrics, it’s more similar to traditional advertising than most believe. Think about television, radio or even print. When we see (or hear) and ad we either take notice or tune it out. If it’s compelling enough, we recognize it and put it on our to do list to investigate further. Most of us don’t drop what we’re doing to search more about a company or product the second after we are exposed to their ad. While the medium has changed and people do engage instantly with ads online, many people still wait until a more convenient time for them act on an ad. This means that your ad not only has to be a gateway to your website but that it also has to engaging enough to make it stick in your customers brain for when they search for you later.
Don’t discount the power of banner ads. They drive traffic and provide results! Just remember that while click through rates are important, they are not the only way to measure the successfulness of an ad. At the end of the day brand awareness is critical and banner ads do just that!