Banner ads surfaced in 1994, and have grown significantly in popularity over the last 23 years. Banner ads have a proven track record of largely increased sales and brand recognition, and they still have a vast advantage over text or non-graphic advertising. Over the last decade, competitors of banner advertising, such as in-app ads and pop-up ads, have risen in popularity but tend to be viewed as an annoyance; they have proven to have a much lower conversion rate than eye-catching, well-designed banner ads.
CrystalCommerce’s design team creates and provides dozens of free graphic banners every month to all of our members for use on their direct websites and across their social media platforms. We create these as a service to each of our members to help improve your store’s marketing presence online. Below, we have detailed the top 8 reasons to begin utilizing banner ads in your online marketing strategy.
Increase Sales and Stand Out
Graphic banners are a fantastic way to send your customers directly to the newest and hottest releases in the game and hobby industry in one click. Keeping your banners current and revolving around the upcoming releases will continue this path to success. In a world of plain-text social media promotion and marketing that can be easily missed, cutting edge custom banners offer a level of professionalism and legitimacy that will make your store stand out from the crowd.
Banner ads are also a multisensory advertising tool. This means that this type of media touches more than one sensory point. Customers can read the message on the ad while being able to look at a visual representation. Studies have shown that multisensory advertising increases interest, brand recognition and, most importantly, taking action!
Direct Traffic to Your Website
Posting banners on your social media platform that link to new products on your direct website is an excellent way to increase visibility to customers. That way, they can find the products they are searching for and also view the additional content on your website. This includes your blog, articles, and news posts. This keeps customers engaged with your content and promotes return business.
Studies have shown that banner ads increase site visitation by over 300% more than non-banner advertisements. This also leads to a much higher rate of engagement with your content and taking action on your site.
Linking banners to your preorder products are essential to moving that inventory ahead of release. For this reason, we include an alternate version of nearly every banner that includes the release date on it. This way, you are able to link this banner to your associated products and/or singles so that customers can easily locate these products and get their preorder in as early as possible.
Getting the product sold ahead of release gives you the capital to invest in more products that you know you will be able to move. Preorders allow consumers to guarantee immediate shipment on release, and you will be able to gauge how much demand there will be based on the size of your initial order. You can also be assured of minimum sales. This is a fundamental piece of your store’s success.
Advertise Sales and Promotions
Do you have a sales promotion that revolves around a holiday? Perhaps you offer a coupon for 10% off a customer’s order for the rest of the month? Are you having a clearance sale and want to move an excessive amount of older products over a period of time? Customize your banners to include this promotion! If you monitor your email inbox’s spam folder, you can most likely find hundreds of sales advertisements in different forms, most of which are quite ineffective. Improve the visibility of your promotion to your customers and fan base with a clean, concise banner ad right on the homepage of your website.
If you created a coupon code through your admin section, include the coupon code in the banner graphic and include an expiration date in fine print. This will create urgency for your customers and increase engagement with your promotion. Avoid excessive fine print and ensure that your graphic is engaging, concise, and specific to one mission for the audience viewing it. If the mission is to participate in your sale, advertise the sale. If you want them to register for an event, advertise preregistration. Ensure that the message of your banner isn’t clouded or too busy.
Showcase Excess/Unsold Products
Some product releases are not as successful as projected and, in some circumstances, you may be left with excess products in your store that may be difficult to move. Depending on your store’s marketing tactics, you can create banner ads to help showcase these products better. If you are able to draw in the audience of that product line combined with an incentive, such as a clearance sale, you can get that product moved and avoid it taking up space in your warehouse any longer!
One of the most important revenue streams for stores in the game and hobby industry is your events. Whether it is your Friday Night Magic events, Yu-Gi-Oh! weekly events or special prerelease events revolving around the release of a new product line, attendance to these events is paramount to achieving success. Many successful stores on our platform customize their banners to advertise registration for their events. This way, when a potential attendee visits your website, they immediately see the date and time of your next big event and are given the opportunity to register to attend and participate.
This same principal can be applied to events that you are not hosting. If your store will have a presence or be participating in a convention, tournament, or industry-related event, this is a phenomenal way to promote your involvement. Something as simple as “(Insert store name here) will be attending GAMA 2018! Come see us at Booth 623 for a special giveaway!” is a great way to announce your involvement and incentivize engagement with the potential audience at the event.
Maintain Relevance and Build Trust
Your customers rely on you to be a wealth of knowledge and information on all things new and exciting in the game and hobby industry. Keep your banners updated and relevant to what is trending in the industry. If your banners are advertising a release date of April 24th, make sure that the banner is updated to a dateless design for that same product on April 25th to ensure that your website is not out of date.
This is important in establishing your business as a knowledgeable source within the industry, which builds trust with your audience. They know that you are up-to-date on current news and trends within the industry and are more likely to look to you when new releases are approaching. Keeping these banners updated every month, or ideally, every week can help add to this perception.
Showcase Your Content/Blog
As you have read countless times on this blog, content is king. The content you create is key in driving customers back to your site and re-engaging, even when they don’t have a current purchase need in mind. Some of the most successful stores on the CrystalCommerce platform utilize their banner ads to advertise their blog content. They then link the banner to the article they are advertising so that they are maximizing engagement with their audience, and easily presenting their content to all visitors of their website.
For most game stores, the majority of website visits are by potential customers shopping for products. These customers may not notice your blog section of your website, or even be aware that you have a blog at all! This way, you can incorporate a relevant infographic within your banner directly on the front page of your store’s website to entice your customers to further engage with your blog and keep them invested in the content that you work so hard to produce, publish, and promote.
Where to Use Your Banner Ads?
Your direct website: Utilize your banner spaces to promote releases
Your social media platform: Post banners to direct traffic to your site
Your email newsletter: Embed banners for a gripping experience