banner ad design starting points
4 minutes read

I think the best job for a stalker would be in research. What better person is out there that likes digging into information until getting to the most accurate one? 

If you have one friend that knows his way into stalking, ask him to do this for you. If you don’t,  you’d better continue reading and start researching for yourself, before designing a static ad or creating an animated banner ad!

Why is research important? Mostly because it creates some guidelines on which you can base your future strategies on, meaning that after having a well-done research you can prioritize and maximize your time effectively. And who doesn’t want to do that?

There are 6 fundamental elements you need to research thoroughly before you get to the artsy work.

1. Consumers & Potential Customers

You know that saying “The customer is always right”? Well, when it comes to advertising and designing banner ads, you must know what the consumer thinks and give him exactly what he’s expected to get. Truth be told, understanding your consumer’s needs stays at the center of every successful business.

Here are 3 mandatory questions you need to answer. Start from this and go as far as you can to know your consumers.

  1. Who is your consumer?
  2. Where can you find your consumer?
  3. What does he like to do?

There are many tools out there that can help you do that. One of my personal favorites is Kissmetrics. Understanding consumer behavior is its superpower and it can help you track your customer’s journey, right from the channel he came from.

When it comes to Banner Ads, their purpose is to make users click on them. Stalk customers in their favor: giving them exactly what they need by clicking on your banner ads.

2. Competition behavior


Like it or not, they’re out there. The best thing you can do for your business or client is to know everything about your competition. There are a few ways in which you can do that. Use Google Trends, Google Alerts (or other tools), follow them on Social Media and see what strategies and campaigns they have. Subscribe to their newsletter, try to see which is the way they communicate with their clients.  

You should be the biggest ‘fan’ of your competitors, know their plans and anticipate their every move

Try to answer these few questions while ‘stalking’ your competitors. It will help you create better banner ads that will differentiate from your competitors:

  1. What’s their USP?
  2. What are their favorite colors in visual elements?
  3. How are they using their branding elements?
  4. What’s the quality of their work?
  5. Are their banners optimized?
  6. What are their calls to action?
  7. What platforms are they using for paid advertising?

Remember though, this shouldn’t be done in order to steal clients, but to retain them and improve strategies. And wouldn’t it be weird if, by coincidence, you had a similar banner ad to your competitors? We’d rather not risk it.  Also, probably your competitors already have an eye on you, so – you’d better watch out!

3. Product and Brand Identity

Banner Ads represent those small pieces of visual that serve as a hook for your landing page, blog post, etc. They act like a visit card saying “Psst-pssst. We’ve got something good for you!”

So, since there’s so little space to introduce a product and convince people to click, there must be a very concise and convincing piece of copy, in terms with the communication guidelines of the brand. Also, the colors used in the banner ad must be from the color palette of the brand. These two aspects make users easily recognize the brand, even without seeing the logo. In order to do this, you must know your product and brand identity inside out.

4. Distribution

social media channels distribution

There are many types of Banner Ads, as you might already know. But before designing them, you must know where they will end up. Will they be published on a website, on Facebook or on Instagram? Each of these mediums has its own standard banner sizes and typical line of design.

5. Industry trends

trends banner ad design

It’s a known fact that marketers are always up to date with everything that’s going on. But not only you have to be updated, but be ahead of the news! Subscribe to trustworthy publications, blogs and attend events that might help you either learn new things or create new relationships.

What you also need to do is be aware of what trends fade away. You wouldn’t want your design to be considered outdated, would you?

6. Events around the world

Be it Christmas, the Olympic Games, Halloween, elections, or any other events that might interest the whole planet, you must be aware of them. Adapt your design according to them, and make sure to be considerate of the negative events happening around the world. Make sure you’re not caught off guard and miss the start. You can’t turn back time!

Now, you’re ready to start designing your banner ad! Let us know in the comments section below if you’ve tried any of these steps!

Content Marketing Specialist at Creatopy

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