Why Your Banner Ad Campaign Is Falling Flat

Posted by Gregg Alexander on Feb 1, 2019 8:01:00 AM

Ok, it’s time to point out an ugly truth that affects a ton of marketing. We don’t like being the ones to do it, but we care about you too much to just sit back and let you waste all your hard work. Hey, it’s no one’s fault, and we’ve all done it at one point or another, usually early on in our business infancy. It’s the tendency to slap something together, throw it up on the internet, clap yourself on the back and leave it there for God knows how long. It hurts us to watch because it usually leads to a bad disappointment for good people who just don’t know better. Maybe it’s a website you haven’t updated in ages, and are slowly killing your SEO in the process. Maybe it’s your blog you haven’t posted to in 6 months. Or, maybe it’s your banner ads, put together without rhyme or reason. The latter is our focus for today, or more specifically, why your banner ad is falling flat. 

You Start Before Defining Your Goals

We’re starting to lose count on how many times goal-setting comes up in our content. This is because it’s probably the most important key to the success of just about anything you do. From running a marathon to running an ad campaign, goals are paramount when measuring success. So ask yourself, what metric do I want to use to determine the success rate of my banner ad? Do I want to measure how many qualified leads it garners my marketing team? Maybe I just want to measure overall traffic to the landing page they’ll be clicking through to. If so, what’s a number I feel is good for my ROI? Or maybe you want to get real serious and measure your success by the number of purchases your banner ad drives. Either way, you can’t know what’s working until you know what you’re measuring. And you can’t know what you’re measuring without knowing your goals, plain and simple.

You Don't Send The Right Message to The Right People

This is another biggie that applies to banner ads as well as many other outlets. When you crafted your message for your banner ad, did you just type up a sentence and publish it? Or did you stop to consult what you know about your audience? How old are they? What do they care about? What are their pain points? What problems are they trying to solve, and how do you help them with that? What’s in it for them? Of course, these are all questions you should already know the answers too if you’ve put together your customer demographics. Knowing this will help your messaging stay cohesive across any platform, and you won’t have to deviate from the usual script when drafting your banner ad. If you haven’t spent the time up front to answer these questions, you’re putting yourself in the position of recreating the wheel every time you sit down at the keyboard, which is not only a headache, it’s fragmented, and your customers are sure to notice.

You Don't Measure Your Results

Now that you’ve set your goals, it’s time to measure your approach. How will you know if and when you’ve hit your goal if you haven’t predetermined what it is that will indicate that you’ve been successful? Marketers refer to these indicators as KPI’s, or Key Performance Indicators. Whether you’re using the banner ad to grow your audience, increase engagement with a specific campaign, or raise awareness about a new product, there are a few different KPI’s you can be keeping an eye on to measure your success. You can measure Impressions to get a grasp on the overall breadth of your campaign. Impressions are simply how many times your banner ad is viewed. They don’t require a user to click, view or share the ad in order to be considered an impression, as this KPI is more about overall exposure. You could also decide to measure Engagement. This requires more from the user and typically involves actions like hovering over your ad, clicking an embedded video or even listening to audio. Once someone clicks your banner ad, now you’re looking into the KPI called a Click-Through-Rate. This number will typically be much smaller than something like your Impressions, but the audience will have a higher likelihood to buy as they are interacting directly with your banner ad.

Another great way to measure the performance of your banner ad campaign is to utilize UTMs. A UTM, or “Urchin Traffic Monitor,” is a bit of code that can be placed at the end of a URL to track the source of the traffic. This lets you know how many people are reaching your site or landing page from the banner ad you created, helping you measure your overall success even further.

Test, Test, and Test Again

Another must-have when it comes to a successful banner ad campaign is testing. You can test all sorts of aspects of your banner ad, and should, but remember to test only one thing at a time (otherwise you won’t know which variant gained your success). Apply A/B Tests to things like your creative, such as the content of your message, colors, tone, etc. Then test more technical aspects like your call to actions, button placement and overall ad placement on the webpage. You should constantly be testing to figure out what your audience is responding to most readily. We think it goes without saying this is something that applies to pretty much all of the marketing you’ll ever do. 

It's More Than Pretty Pictures and Words

At the end of the day, it’s more than just throwing together a pretty picture with some words and a button. It’s knowing what motivates your audience to click through, deciding what you want to achieve and knowing exactly how you’ll measure that achievement. Then, it’s about taking that achievement and testing the hell out of it to get the best results humanly possible.

Have questions about KPIs? UTMs? A/B Tests? We’re here for any of it! Ask us below and we’ll help you out. 

For more great ways to get high quality leads to your website, download the Guide to Lead Generation.

Download the Guide to Lead Generation

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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Web Analytics and Tracking

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