Banner ads are a foundational element in digital advertising, but the engagement and clicks they produce don’t always hit the mark. The more relevant they are to your advertisers’ audience, the better. That’s not always easy to accomplish. To help as you make recommendations to your customers, check out these digital marketing banner ideas!


fontUse Font That’s Eye-Catching and Readable

Your customers may want to go outside brand fonts for more appealing banner ads. While it’s great to use fun fonts that will catch the eye, keep legibility in mind. Banner ad sizes can be small, so non-standard font can become unreadable.


Keep Backgrounds Consistent

If your advertisers do a series of banner ads representing multiple products or solutions, the copy and imagery will be unique. However, you should keep these series of display ads in the same design family. Work with your clients to develop a set of ads that all have the same visual feel.

Trade Out Stock Photos for Illustrations

Stock photos aren’t your only option for imagery in a banner ad; illustrations are another option. Sometimes it’s easier to illustrate a product or solution than to photograph it. That’s especially true for services. You can test out some illustration banner ads to see how they perform versus photos.

Red Bull has been using illustrations in their advertising for some time. Here are a few banner ads they’ve put out recently.

Red Bull ad sample

Get Niche

If you have customers that have very niche customer groups, a banner ad can be a good way to reach them with inclusive language. You have targeting options on placement, but the ad can go further with the copy, calling out specific audience groups. 

For example, you may have an advertiser that offers services to commercial and residential customers. Ads for these groups will be different in what they say and how they look. Urge advertisers to be more granular in their banner ads to have the best responses. 


Be Clear with the CTA

Every banner ad has a CTA (call to action). It’s the offer or incentive that will cause the click. It should be evident in the content and align with the imagery. Keep it simple. If your customers have offers with lots of exceptions, those aren’t the best content for digital marketing banner ads. 

If the CTA seems ambiguous, an audience isn’t likely to convert. 


Inject Humor and Creativity

Banner ads that use creative and humorous themes can drive powerful results. They will stick out across a sea of display ads with a logo and a few words of copy. While you don’t have a huge canvas in display ads, you can design ads that go way beyond the norm.

Check out these clever examples. They do a great job of keeping things light while also positioning their brand. 

Bull Dog ad sample

Ministorage Ad Sample

Include Interactive Elements

Movement with GIFs in banner ads is an excellent way to capture attention. You can go even further by using interactive elements. Gamification can drive engagement and could influence the click. Volkswagen executed this in a fun and thoughtful way in the examples below.

Interaction with your banner ads can take many paths. One option is to have users fill in a blank, and they can land on different pages based on their answer. For wine shops, it could be “I LOVE [Wine Category]” or “What to Serve with [Meat Type],” which would send people to various product pages to help them pick out the best product.

VW sample ads

Spotlight Testimonials

Happy customer comments make banner ads more credible. Inserting just a few sentences of a customer’s experience can drive clicks. You can also include star ratings if applicable. In this way, it’s not your advertiser boasting; it’s from an actual customer.


Go Retro with Ads

Not every ad needs a contemporary feel. Many times, going retro will be more impactful. How retro depends on the advertiser and their customer base. Some ideas include black and white imagery or simply a reminiscent feel. It doesn’t have to be from 100 years ago. The 80s are retro now, and that could be a fun campaign!

Here’s an excellent example from H&M.

H&M Sample ads

Digital Marketing Banner Ad Ideas for Your Advertisers: Come to the Table with Inspiration

Your advertisers could keep using the same creative for their banner ads, and they’ll get the same results (or worse) if the creative is stagnant and irrelevant. Many times, they don’t have the time or expertise to drive the ad content. That’s where you come in, with inspiration and ideas like these to help make their campaign a success. Your advertisers will appreciate your support, allowing you to deepen your relationship while driving results.

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