Which is quicker? Manual banner creation or BannerFlow

April 26, 2016 Francis Dignan

Banner Ad production has, for so long, been a thorn in the side of marketers the world over. It still is for most, who opt to manually create and code HTML5 banners using programs from providers such as Google,  Adobe and others. The process of creating a banner from scratch can be long, complicated and painful. Since Flash became redundant, many thought everything would get easier with HTML5. Without specific software though, the coding process is very much the same.

BannerFlow is the solution to these problems. It was built for advertisers, so they can build, design, scale and manage banner adverts without any coding experience. It removes all of the pain, and makes building banners a purely creative process, and allows the advertiser to spend more time on the campaign, and less on the time consuming technical stuff.

 

How can we be sure?

One of the co-founders of BannerFlow, Daniel Jacobsson, suffered the old process for many years, and that experience was one of the driving forces behind creating this software. With deep knowledge of how long it takes to manually create a banner campaign, all the way from the concept stage to publishing in multiple languages and sizes, we can demonstrate how much time it’s possible to save by using BannerFlow.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the workflow of manual banner production for HTML5, compared to the BannerFlow experience.

 

Campaign 1 - Manual HTML5

1. Briefing

The team in charge of designing and producing the banner ads is briefed on what they need to do, and when they need to do it by. The marketing team will have the concept and the general idea of needed copy ready at this point.

 

2. Text sent for translations - 1 hour

The marketing team will already have the copy for the ad, but it then needs to be translated into the other 9 languages. This will likely be done via email, to each different translator, and the process would likely take around an hour (if the process goes smoothly).

 

3.  Designer creates master banner - 3 hours

Now the designer creates the master banner, which is a very important part as this will likely be used as the basis for all of the other versions. It needs to be just right. This is the most creative part of the process, as everything is built from scratch on the basis of a simple concept, and this is the part which requires the most skill. A great eye for design is needed, as well as the coding talent. On average, this process takes around 3 hours, but it can vary greatly. It all depends on how complex the final banner is. If you’re using video, rich media or dynamic content, this part of the process can take much, much longer.

 

4.  Designer creates 9 other sizes - 4.5 hours

Then it’s time to scale up the campaign, and create 9 other sizes. This manual process involves recreating each banner using the same elements, but resizing and repositioning everything so that it looks pixel perfect. Then each manually recreated banner needs to be saved separately, and clearly labeled so no mistakes are made further down the line.

 

5.  Designer creates translated versions - 8.5 hours

The next step is to use the multilingual texts that you have (hopefully) received from your translators. If we’re going by our example campaign, this means another 90 banners need to be coded.

This would take longer than any of the previous stages, and is more painstaking as it’s simply a matter copying and pasting the various text and elements, ensuring that the translations look perfect in every size.

 

6.  Designer creates .gif animations - 17 hours

Next, fallback images and gifs are created. These are displayed if, for some reason, the banner cannot be loaded. This is a requirement for publishing on an ad network, and they need to be uploaded along with the full banners.

When making banners manually in HTML5, to create the gifs and fallback images the designer needs to take a screenshot of each stage of the banner frame, and build a gif for each banner manually. It’s a long, drawn out process which in this case would take at least 17 hours.

7. Upload to networks - 8 hours

The banners should all be ready to go now, so all that’s left is the process of uploading them to your preferred advertising networks. Depending on what you’re using to create your banners, and which network you’re using, this can be a quick process, or again if you need to do it manually, it can take a long time. In this case, we’ll say it takes 8 hours to upload the 100 banners, along with all the fallback images and gifs.

 

BONUS - Correcting mistakes and making changes - 28 hours

Mistakes aren’t guaranteed, but they are easy to make. Unfortunately, with manually creating banner ads, they’re not so easy to fix. Maybe it’s not even a mistake, but maybe you need to make a change based on market feedback.

If this is the case, you need to take your banners down from your ad networks, manually alter and change every single banner, as well as re-creating the fallback images and gifs. Even a relatively small change or update could take a staggering 28 hours!

 

Campaign 2 - Built with BannerFlow

1. Team Briefed

Just as with the manual process, the team needs to be briefed on expectations and concepts.

 

2. Designer creates master banner - 2 hours

With BannerFlow, the designer can get straight to work on the master banner. As there’s no coding required, the designer just needs to log in to our platform and start uploading the required images or videos. From there, they drag and drop onto the canvas, and can edit or add effects and transitions until it looks exactly the way they envisioned.

The banner builder is easy to use and intuitive, and built with designers in mind, so this process should take around 2 hours on average. Of course, it all depends on the complexity of the banner, but with no coding required and the widgets available to make embedding video and dynamic content easy, it takes much less time than doing it all manually.

 

3. Text sent for translations - 2 minutes

You can do this stage directly from the platform, using the ‘Send For Translations’ feature in BannerFlow. Then select your campaign and hit send. Job done!

 

4. Designer creates 9 other sizes - 1 hour

This part is very simple with BannerFlow. There’s no copying and pasting at all, the designer simply selects the other sizes needed and BannerFlow creates them using the same elements. There might be some minor details to alter, but everything is there on the canvas and ready to go. Also, a huge time saver is the fact that gifs and fallback images are created automatically.

The biggest time saver though, is probably the fact that as soon as a new size is created, BannerFlow automatically generates a banner in every single language used already. So that’s 100 banners. 10 different languages and 10 different sizes, and all in around one hour, and without designers copying, pasting or coding.

Betsson have experienced the benefits of scaling with BannerFlow first hand, and say "If we were to make all banners through designers we would have to employ a lot more people in our affiliate department. Now we manage all banner needs for all our brands with 1 person."

 

5. Upload to networks - 5 minutes

Finally, you need to publish all of your ads to your required ad networks. You can use the BannerFlow Direct Publishing feature, which means your campaigns are automatically uploaded to the ad network of your choice. This will take around 5 minutes, and requires no downloading or file handling.

BONUS - Correcting mistakes - 1 minute

When you notice a mistake, or want to make a small change, it could not be easier. The designer just goes into BannerFlow, makes the edit, and it’s automatically changed within minutes. You don’t need to republish or upload anything, as the changes pull through to the banner ad automatically.

 

Final thoughts

Even with relatively conservative time estimates, using BannerFlow means you could save nearly 90% of your time, which is massive. Think about how much you could do with all of those hours! If you want to make it a reality, get in touch to book a demo, or try it for yourself, free for 14 days.

 

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