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As consumers become more aware of online marketing tactics and the tricks advertisers use to grab their attention, it has become much more difficult to get users to click your client’s banners. However, while the average click-through rate of banners is less than 0.06%, more and more businesses are using display ads to grow their business.
Source: “10 interesting digital marketing statistics we’ve seen this week

As a graphic designer or marketing agency, it’s your job to ensure your client’s banners get clicks, and more importantly, that they achieve their intended objective.

In this blog you will learn:

• how to understand your client’s brand to create winning banner ads,
• how to work with clients to ensure success and a long working partnership,
• six key touch points to create killer banners, and
• the best tools to test your banners and placements.


Understanding Your Client’s Brand

Before you even start designing banner concepts and messaging or marketing objectives, you need to understand your client’s brand. Everything from the colors you use to the words or messaging portrayed should reflect your client’s brand. Something as simple as picking a color they never use can compromise the success of your banner ad, and worse still, damage their brand.

Netflix’s original logo in their brand colors: red, white, and black
What? Is this a scam? Well, you get the point.

Aside from having a very strong communication stream with your client, you can understand your client’s brand by visiting their website and social media profiles to see what type of images and messaging they use.

From taking a look at Nike’s Instagram page we can see that the message is prioritized over their products.

While every image shows a sports athlete wearing their product, the product itself is not the focal point of the message. The bulk of content produced by Nike aims to inspire and motivate their fans.

Now compare Nike to Walmart, who list the price of their products and use their products as the focal point of each message:

If you had a client similar to Walmart, focusing on products and pricing should play a greater role in your banner creation. If you had a client like Nike, it would require you to think more about messaging and image to portray a certain message. Banner ads are a complex ad unit and require a continual communication stream between you and your client to ensure the banners you create align with their philosophy.




If visiting their website and social media profiles aren’t enough to go by, consider asking them the following questions:


1. Who are your three main competitors? What do you like and dislike about their brand?


2. Who is your ideal customer?


3. What is the story behind your business? Why did you create it?


4. What is your goal for this campaign?


5. Do you have any dos and don’ts about colors, words, or other graphic elements?


6. Use five adjectives to describe your brand’s ideal look and feel.


These questions should give you a concise idea about your client’s brand and how you should be designing their banner.




How to Work with Clients to Ensure Success


Design is a Client Service

Any type of work that is a service to clients will always require communication between the service provider and the client, and web design is no exception.



Clients Know Their Business Better Than You Do

What you’re designing for a client is being created for a specific business and to achieve specific results. As designers, we really don’t know much about most of our clients in comparison to what they know. They know who falls into their target market, and (hopefully) they have an idea of what that target market would like. They know what their visitors will be interested in. They know the details of their business that need to be communicated to visitors. Without effective communication, gathering this information will be difficult or impossible. With effective communication you can work with the client to create what they want/need that achieves their goals.



Clients Don’t Know What You’re Talking About

If you use industry jargon or technical language when communicating with clients, they will almost always be confused. Yes, you’ll have some clients with an excellent knowledge and understanding of web and design, but most won’t fall into this category. After all, they’re coming to you to do the work for them, so most likely they don’t know that much about the subject. Being able to effectively communicate in a simple and understandable manner is a skill in itself. If you are able to develop this skill, your clients will be able to have a better grasp on what you are doing and why.


How To Align with Your Client’s Objectives?


Before you start working on creating your client’s banners, you’ll need to understand who they are targeting and what they wish to achieve with their banners. Objectives can include the following:


• Generating brand awareness,

• Product awareness,

• Increasing website traffic,

• Generating leads,

• Making a sale,

• Signing up to an event.



Below are two adverts from IT companies that are in the same market but target a different customer base.


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