Banner ad creation still continues to be one of the biggest bottlenecks that companies face in their marketing teams. This is because the banner ad creation process hasn't transformed in the 20+ years that banner ads have been displayed on our screens. However, in the past few years, companies have realised that working with slow, unmanageable banner ad creation causes a lot of problems for the organisation, and this isn't acceptable. With this in mind, companies have started looking for purpose built solutions to help them kill the pain of banner ad production.
This is where we come in. BannerFlow solves a huge number of problems that are associated with banner ad creation. Below we have outlined some of the problems that marketers and advertisers face during banner ad creation and publishing, and how the BannerFlow software solves them.
1. Lack of HTML5 knowledge in-house
In the past few years, the online display advertising industry has gone through a number of significant changes. One of the key developments was the switch from using Adobe Flash to build banner ads to HTML5. This important change has left a gap in knowledge and tools in terms of the creation HTML5 banner ads, as Flash did some things really well which are much more difficult to do in HTML5, like compressing and bundling banner files. This means that companies are having to invest heavily in refreshing their organisations through finding people who can manually code HTML5 banner ads, or need to outsource campaign production to an agency, which can be slow and costly.
BannerFlow provides a built-for-purpose solution which enables you to create HTML5 banner ad campaigns without any need for manual coding, allowing you to focus on the creative side. It also takes one of the main benefits from Flash - the quality and ease of compression - and does it automatically. This is great for both the user and for the ad networks, as the banners retain their crisp designs and fonts while reducing the size of the file to meet requirements. This also means that companies don’t need to outsource their campaigns to agencies or have to hire new development talent. Instead, BannerFlow makes the HTML5 production process so easy, that anyone can do it.
2. Complexity of modern ad formats
Online display advertising has not only developed in terms of the technology used to create them. There has also been a lot of change and development in the types of ad formats that are available, like video, interactive elements, and rich media ad formats. With more advanced ad formats, ad production becomes more complicated too. This means, that if advertisers want to bring their campaigns into the 21st century, but are still coding campaigns manually, then they need to start investing heavily in ad production in order to get the job done.
With BannerFlow, creating complex banners using interactive elements, or our advanced formats, is no more difficult that creating standard HTML5 banner ads. Everything is drag and drop, enabling teams to create complex ads without code regardless of team size or knowledge. Advanced users can even develop their own custom functionality to be implemented into their own campaign, if they have the knowledge.
3. Slow ad production
Traditionally ad production, as an overall process, is painfully slow. Slow processes affect the whole business, essentially, because it means that excessive amounts of time are spent on one thing whilst other projects are put on hold or cancelled.
BannerFlow solves the problem of slow ad production by completely reinventing the way that teams create their banners. The easy-to-use platform removes all bottlenecks and many of the manual processes which slow down banner ad creation such as coding, scaling of campaigns and translation management.
4. Having to outsource certain work to agencies
For many of the reasons listed already, companies working with display advertising feel that they need to outsource the creation of their banner ad campaigns to agencies in order to save their internal resources. Whilst this may seem a good idea, it does not solve any of the core problems of producing banners in the traditional, manual way. This process still remains slow and unmanageable and there are additional issues that arise once an agency is involved, such as loss of control and extra costs for the company employing the agency.
BannerFlow is powerful behind the scenes, but incredibly easy-to-use. This means that anyone can create amazing banner ad campaigns without losing control by keeping production in-house. In addition to that, it will look like it was done by a true professional, whether you’re a beginner or an expert.
5. Ugly affiliate banners made with templates.
When banner ad production is difficult, slow and eating up resources, the natural way to try and counteract this is by using pre-made templates to try and speed up production. The result of using templates can leave you with ugly banners that do not look professional, adhere to your brand manual or convert well.
Again, with BannerFlow, design and production are so easy that you'll never have to use a template again! You’ll spend less time than you would by using a template, and the end result will be far better, and unique.
6. Possibility to scale: Are you missing your audience?
When manually coding banners, expanding campaigns to include different sizes, languages and versions take up a lot of time. In fact, it can take a designer days, if not weeks just to scale up a campaign.
With BannerFlow, this problem is solved very simply. Once you have created your first banner using our software, simply select the sizes and versions that you want to create and BannerFlow will scale up your campaign automatically meaning that a single person can produce a whole campaign, regardless of the size, in a matter of minutes.
7. Creating fallback images
With any HTML5 display advertising campaign, fallback images have to be created. Fallback images are still image files or animated gifs that are shown as a backup in case, for whatever reason, the HTML5 banner ad cannot be shown. This ensures that at least one version of your advertisement is always shown, so the viewer can see your offer, and advertising networks require that advertisers upload these to their campaigns. Traditionally, there has never been a proper way to create these required fallback images. Therefore, designers had always resorted to taking individual screenshots of their banners and uploading them.
However, using BannerFlow, fallback images are created automatically. You can choose exactly which part, or parts of the banner you want to use as the fallback images too; all you need to do is scroll to that part of the timeline and select.
8. Creating responsive banner ads
One of the most important features that needs to be at the forefront of any display advertising campaign is making the ad responsive. It didn’t used to be as big an issue, but now with people browsing the web on a multitude of different screen sizes and platforms, you need to make sure your ad adapts to each. This can involve a lot of manual coding, or you can just use BannerFlow.
Then whichever sizes you create will be fully responsive, regardless of where the user is seeing your ad. No coding or extra time required.
9. Mistakes, updates and translations
Updating your banner ads with visuals and translations, or worse, noticing a mistake after publishing, can be one of the most painful experiences for an online marketer. It involves taking the banners down from the publishers’ sites, making manual changes to each and every individual banner, and republishing.
With BannerFlow, you go into your campaign page, make the changes or send off for translation within the program, and all changes are then uploaded automatically. No need to republish, it’s just a case of saving your work, and then the changes are pushed for everyone else to see.
10. Approval and collaboration: communication breakdowns
A regular barrier in any display ad campaign, and essentially in any industry in the world, is when it comes to the point where you need to ask someone else to complete a task. This is nothing to do with the other person involved, but it always takes time, and the other person invariably has one hundred other things to do, just like you. It’s easy for your email request to get lost in all the other emails, and so the deadline draws near and you still don’t have everything you need.
BannerFlow takes away all of these problems. You simply need to authorise the other people you need at an appropriate level (so translators can’t play with the design, for example), and when you need them to take action, they will be notified. They just need to go into the system and do what you need them to do, without the usual back and forth and endless email chains.
11. A/B-testing - is your chosen message the right one?
Display ad campaigns, more often than not, are derived from more than one great idea. So how do you know the one you’ve gone for is going to get the best results, better than any other options? The truth is, it’s impossible to be sure without fully testing each campaign. To do this properly can be a massive time sink if you’re manually creating banners, as to test just one alternative image or version of copy you’d need to create double the amount of banners, and publish once again to your networks. The actual results and analysis from the testing can also vary according to the network too.
Using BannerFlow, A/B testing is made really simple. It takes minutes to create your alternative banner options, and you can run the two adverts at the same time, as well as getting real time analysis on which is the most successful. Then you can make an informed choice, and be certain that you’re running your best possible campaign. All of that in a fraction of the time it would take to do it manually, too.
BannerFlow isn’t just solving one problem in banner ad creation. It completely changes the entire process of building a campaign, from the time saved, to the steps involved, through to the end results and analysis. You don’t need to code, or copy and paste, or manually publish, and editing and testing couldn’t be easier. BannerFlow is more than a banner creation tool; it represents a whole new, more efficient way of working.