Let’s get CREATIVE

At Bullseye Marketing, one of our ‘core strengths’ is the creative process and placement of Digital Display Ads.  In this blog, we’re going to discuss what makes-up a good display message.

What is display advertising?

The first banner ad appeared on the web in 1994 and was a little rectangular ad for AT&T on the first version of wired.com. Years, and trillions of ads later, the fundamentals of display advertising remain largely the same.

A display ad, or banner ad, is the box or ‘banner’ on a website that stands out from the rest of the website and looks distinctly like an ad. For example, it often features a product image, brand, and call-to-action (CTA).

Display ads and display marketing can range from simple static images and animations to videos and interactive applications. But one thing remains the same: when clicked on by a viewer they link back to a company’s website or a dedicated landing page. 

How do I create an awesome banner?

There are essentially 6 parts to each successful banner design. These are:

  1. The size
  2. The background
  3. The headline
  4. The sub-text
  5. The CTA (Call To Action)
  6. The product image

** Plus a 7th part that’s often overlooked, but incredibly important:

  • The Landing Page


Which sizes of banners should I create?

According to our research, 89% of all banner ad impressions are made up of these 4 sizes:


300×250 Medium Rectangle, 40% of inventory
728×90 Leaderboard – 25% of inventory
320×50 Mobile Leaderboard – 12%
160×600 Wide Skyscraper – 12%


Putting it all together

Here is a short checklist of things to consider when planning your campaigns:

  1. Banner Sizes
  • If you’re just starting out, 4 sizes will cover 89% of all placements;
    • 300×250 Medium Rectangle
    • 728×90 Leaderboard
    • 320×50 Mobile Leaderboard
    • 160×600 Wide Skyscraper

2. Background

  • Consider whether you should use a solid-color background or a photo background.
    • Solid color is good when you want to showcase your product or have a very clear message
    • Photo backgrounds can work well when you’re selling complex products or want to tell a story with imagery.

3. Headline

  • Keep it short. One sentence, or maximum two, should be enough to convey your message.  Think of a Display Banner as a Billboard……..5-7 words: MAX.

4. Sub-headline

  • If you need to convey further information to the viewer, this is the place to do it. Again, keep it short. It’s usually better to have a Read More-CTA than cramming your banners with text.

5. Product Image

  • If you have a beautiful product, show it off!
  • Crisp product images and a clear message sells products.

6. CTA

  • Think about the colors. Using the opposite color of your background usually works well.
  • Tell people what you want them to do:
    • If you’re selling shoes – tell people to Shop Now
    • If you’re selling complex digital products – tell people to Learn More
    • If you’re selling online gambling – tell people to Bet Now

7. Landing Page

  • Use a dedicated landing page
    • You’ll see conversions improve and get happier customers if you take them where they expect to be taken when they click the banner. Their Time on Site (otherwise known as “stickiness”) will increase drastically and will help visitors stick around longer and understand what you have to offer.


8. Animation

  • An animated ad is any digital display unit that has movement—no matter the intricacy or simplicity of the movement involved. In contrast, static banners have zero movement; they’re the web equivalent of your morning paper.
    • (Believe it or not) – Website visitors are NOT going to a site to look for Display Ads <I know – shocking>.  So – you have to be ‘proactive’ and make them notice your banner ad, which includes ‘movement’ – otherwise know as Animated Gifs



Have fun creating your banners – and think about what you want to tell people, and you should be good to go!

Do you know anyone in need of some design tips? Share this article or better yet, have them give us a call.  They’ll be happy they did.

***Next month’s article will be about finding the perfect audience who is looking to buy YOUR product or service:  RIGHT AUDIENCE – RIGHT MESSAGE – RIGHT TIME………….STAY TUNED****