When it comes to rich media banner advertisement many of the same rules apply as with traditional banners. One, creative is key to driving response. But beyond the tried and true practices and the fact that engaging creative makes a difference, there are also some practices that many banners employ that should simply be ignored.
Here are four:
1. Photos of people always boost performance
2. Assuming color always matters
3. Always employing an urgent CTA
4. Relying only on CTR for your only metrics
Let’s look closer at these popular—but not always successful—banner ad practices.
1. Using photography like it is the Holy Grail
There is a common thought among creative agencies that rich media banners, like all banners, work better if there is imagery of people involved. While a well-used photo of a person or animal is certainly effective in many cases, it should never be assumed that photography is the only way to go. In fact the wrong photo can sometimes do much more harm to a campaign than good. This is rich media, after all, and animation is a good alternative to photography. However, a good rule of thumb if you insist on using photography is to make sure it is relatable.
2. Thinking color matters more than it does
There is some logic to using certain colors in certain ways in rich media banner advertising, but not always. While on a white web page we all know that bright colors pop more and get attention. That’s proven. What’s not proven, however, is that specific colors matter. For example some people say green buttons increase CTA, while others insist that red or orange is the way to go. In truth there are too many conflicting stories out there to trust just one. The solution is to test for yourself.
3. Making the CTA urgent
Many rich media banner designers insist that the more urgent a call to action, the better it works. Often that’s true. However, it shouldn’t be the rule of thumb. Especially with big purchases like a car or a mortgage, or in a business-to-business campaign where you are selling software. In these cases a simple, less-urgent Learn More button would be much more effective than an Act Now!
4. Using CTR as the only metric
While CTR is a valuable measurement for the strength of a rich media banner ad, clicks don’t always equal conversion. And when you are running a retargeting campaign, conversion matters much more than the simple click through.
When it comes to rich media banner adverting, don’t’ always take popular rules as set in stone. Also evaluate them in context to what you are trying to achieve, and what will be relevant to your target audience.