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Banner advertising: evolve and be seen

This post was originally published on the Novacom blog.


Charles Darwin might have understood today's fast evolving digital marketing landscape quite as well as he did his chosen profession as naturalist and geologist.

Darwin's book, On the Origin of Species, introduces the scientific theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection.

Evolve, or disappear

So, leopards can  change their spots?


And so do Internet users. But in the digital space I think the pace at which Internet user evolution takes place would come as a bit of a shock to even him. And day by day, your potential customers evolve to become ever more immune to the bombardment of digital communications that assail them.

Due to shear volume, banner advertising is rapidly becoming little more than extraneous 'noise' to many Internet users, rendering this type of communication almost completely ineffective as users pass by in their continual search for the crucial information they need in life.

Emerging opportunities

If these current forms of digital advertising are being side-stepped by Internet users searching for knowledge, then we must ask why this is, and evolve if we are to survive.

On close analysis of current banner advertising, the cause of this side-stepping becomes pretty obvious.

It is because the vast majority of these banners do not offer any value to passing users. Much of this material is static, it has no story and no value proposition, and is just talking to itself, rather than engaging users with value through knowledge.

Your banner needs to move

What needs to happen is for these online advertising assets to make users an offer they will value. Knowledge is one powerful option as knowledge will enrich them, and help them.

For example, if you were in financial services and your main activity was, say, providing pensions, then offering passing users a free online video guide to pension options and different benefits will be very engaging to three discrete user groups.

One banner, three triggers

Firstly, it will act as a critical trigger for both those consciously considering the possibility of starting a pension, and secondly those in the earliest stages of consideration.

For those who are non-prospects with no need to engage, it will ensure your brand is perceived as helpful, and you'll be front of mind when they think of trusted pension provision.

And if you are going to make such an offer, your banner advertising needs to shout about it. It needs to be animated. So rather than your online advertising channels being static and talking to themselves, they're now reaching out and offering value to those passing them and in this case, to three different groups, in three different ways.

Engage and become human

To those who are considering a pension, this information will be invaluable. They will visit, but you need to be prepared to deliver a good presentation quickly, succinctly and persuasively when they do. Your banner advertising has engaged with visitors, so let's keep moving.

Pensions are considered to be a deeply personal commitment. So engagement with prospective clients through 'talking head' video, featuring an engaging and empathetic presenter will help win confidence and trust.

Taking the video presentation route also ensures your message is communicated quickly and clearly as graphics can be deployed to deliver pension theory and the potential benefits very effectively.

Your banner has legs

What was an ineffective static banner at the periphery of Internet users' vision has now evolved into a valuable animated digital asset. An asset that raises brand visibility and offers perceptions of a reliable, helpful brand to current non-prospects, and a valuable destination to those considering pensions.

And by linking this highly visible and engaging asset to a helpful video presentation, it's now not working alone, It's part of a business-winning team. This is joined up brand development, and not just brand visibility. And if you can't perceive the difference, well, only brand development will deliver ROI.