5 Tips For Designing Mobile Banner Ads

June 28, 2016 Francis Dignan

Designing banner ads is, fundamentally, like designing anything else. It needs to look great, fit the audience it’s intended for and do its job well. We’ve already written about the creative process behind designing a banner ad, but how should your approach differ for your mobile campaigns?

BannerFlow optimises all banners automatically, so if you have a cross-platform campaign your ads will still look great on mobile, without the need to redesign and make changes. However, if your ads are going to be shown exclusively on mobile, you might want to consider taking a different approach to help you stand out from the crowd.

1. Keep it simple

Banner blindness is less of an issue on mobile than desktop, so there’s no need to make your ad too loud and brash. You’re working with limited screen space, so you don’t want to annoy your audience by screaming at them, and assaulting their eyes with a visually busy banner.

Consider using a clean, simple design. Something that's easy to read, which stands out without jumping. Of course, you need to stick to your business’ style manual, but think about using it in more of a minimalist way.  This approach will not only please your audience, but it will help raise the quality of banner ads in general, which in turn will switch people back on to them, and long term it could move people back away from ad blockers.

2. Concise Copy

A lot of advertisers, particularly with banners designed for desktop displays, fill banners with copy. Lots of information about the product or service they’re selling is displayed over a background, or next to an image, and it can work. Some people want to know as much as possible before clicking on an ad, so it makes sense.

With mobile, though, this approach isn’t so effective. Firstly, if you have a lot of text you can’t predict how it will look on every single screen size. Second, you only have, well, seconds to get attention. On mobiles people tend to browse more quickly, and skip over things of no interest, so if you’re asking them to read through lines and lines of text on an ad, the chances are they won’t.

For ads specific to mobile, you need to keep your message short and snappy. Have a clear message, but create enough curiosity for your audience to want to click through. Perhaps most importantly, be honest. Have a consistent message, and ensure that the landing page backs up any claim that the ad itself makes.

3. Put the format first

The physical act of browsing on a desktop is massively different to how you do it on your phone, and you need to try and take advantage. As opposed to moving a mouse cursor and clicking, you tap, scroll and swipe. Think about this when you’re building your banner, as it will help you make something which your audience naturally wants to react with.

Browsing on a phone feels more interactive, so feed into that with interactive banners. Using BannerFlow, for example, you can create a cube banner, where the user swipes to see different sides of your advert. This way, you as the advertiser can get multiple offers and products in front of your audience in one space, and the user naturally wants to ‘play’ with your advert, which results in increased engagement. Win win.

4. Silence is golden

As a savvy marketer, you’re probably looking into video banners as part of your mobile advertising campaign, but there’s one important thing that a lot of brands don’t take into account. That is, most people using their phone at any given time are either already listening to music or don’t want sound coming from the speakers as they’re in public. Most video ads rely on sound almost as much as the visuals, though, which is an issue, as advertisers often wouldn’t get their full message across.

Now creators are making videos with no sound at all, tailor-made for the mobile experience. Everything is conveyed through the visuals, so it’s less demanding on the user and in turn, easier to digest and more effective.

5. Big buttons

Your buttons and calls to action need to be big, relative to the ad, as people are pressing on them, rather than using a small mouse cursor to click. Don’t make them too big, of course, as you don’t want them taking over the entire display. Big enough to press and draw the eye, not too big to overshadow the message.

To sum up

Banner designs should be straightforward, particularly if you’re focusing solely on mobile platforms, as you have just a few seconds to grab your audience. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to creating an engaging, successful mobile campaign. BannerFlow can help you achieve this, with all the tools needed ready and waiting for you to utilise them. Try it for free here or book a demo!


Previous Article
Microlocation Marketing - how it can change the way we shop
Microlocation Marketing - how it can change the way we shop

Next Article
Customer Experience
Customer Experience