What Facebook and Google Don’t Want You to Know about Banner Ads

What Facebook and Google Don't Want You To Know About Banner Ads

In 1994, the first banner ad forever changed the landscape of the Internet. Today, advertisers spend more than $16 billion a year on display advertising. And as the way people use the Internet has changed, so has the way we advertise.

From popups to paid search ads to in-app video ads, marketers have numerous ways to reach their target audience through digital ads. And each type of ad has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Which is why despite being more than 20 years old, banner ads are still the second most popular format for digital ads, and they continue to account for more revenue every year.

Google and Facebook revolutionized the digital advertising space by showing how data drives better results. But they don’t have a monopoly on analytics—banner ads can use advanced data, too. And while banner ads appear on select publishers’ sites, there are some huge benefits to knowing who you’re reaching and where you’re reaching them.

Banner ads help you reach specialized audiences

While social media ads may be able to target based on profession or interests and retargeted advertising lets you show your ads to people who have visited your website, banner ads let you advertise to an established audience whose interests, roles, needs, and intentions align with your organization.

Sometimes vague demographic information isn’t the best indicator of whether someone is the right fit for your brand. If someone indicates that they’re a Christian on Facebook, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re interested in ministry-related content, or that they want Bible study resources. And some church roles like elders, deacons, and volunteer positions are difficult to pin down with demographic data.

By selecting which publishers display your ads, you’re choosing whose audience to tap into. These publishers actively cultivate their audience to attract particular people to specific content and experiences. And that means you get to benefit from the fruits of their labor when you use banner ads on their website.

But for some, these valuable audiences aren’t enough to make banner ads more appealing than the alternatives. That’s because many advertisers have outdated perceptions of banner ads, and don’t realize what they’re capable of today.

Banner ads aren’t just about impressions anymore

Some advertising platforms will only charge based on CPM (cost per thousand impressions), which means you’re paying for exposure—not results. That might work for brand awareness campaigns, but it doesn’t bode well for other types of campaigns. This is a major reason why people tend to overlook banner ads—but banner ads aren’t just about CPM anymore.

Our banner ads still leverage the same highly relevant audiences, but you can optimize them for the conversions that make sense for your campaign. Maybe you need to drive as many people as possible to a landing page, so you want to optimize your ads for Cost Per Click (CPC). Or maybe your ads are part of a lead generation campaign, and you want to optimize them for Cost Per Lead (CPL).

Using banner ads doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice these valuable metrics—you can set up banner ads in our specialized markets and get the best of both worlds.

Banner ads let you reach people at the ideal time

If you’ve played around with Adwords, Facebook ads, or another advertising platform, you’ve probably discovered that certain times of day or days of the week are more effective. Pastors are incredibly busy on weekends, so if you’re trying to reach pastors, that’s probably not the best time to show your ads (except on sermon websites). Thanks to advances in advertising technology, you don’t have to think about that. When you display banner ads in our network of websites, we automatically optimize your ads to show at the days and times where they’re most effective.

Banner ads aren’t going anywhere

Since digital advertising exploded onto the scene in 1994, banner ads have been a constant. And while the forms and analytics driving digital ads have evolved over the years, so have banner ads. Your ideal audience is out there right now on the sites they interact with every day, and they’re seeing relevant banners from trustworthy organizations.


About the Author:

Ryan Nelson
Ryan Nelson is a writer for Overthink Group, where he helps brands tell their stories and climb search engine results pages.