Why Banner Ads Are Still Relevant - A Digital Advertising CEO Tells All

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Image source: PhotoDune

Are banner ads dead? Not if the team at Bannersnack has anything to say about it! Bannersnack is a professional banner creation app for designers and marketers - and are disrupting banner advertising as we know it. First, the app empowered small businesses with the tools and resources to create interactive, engaging and visually attractive banner ads. Now, Bannersnack's new analytics package makes tracking and optimizing for engagement a piece of cake.

Founded in 2008, Bannersnack continues to be at the forefront of digital advertising, thanks in no small part to the visionary leadership of CEO Gabriel Ciordas. Today, Bannersnack has over 2 million users creating over 2,000+ banners each day. I recently sat down with Ciordas to learn more about his approach to digital advertising, how he's built such sizeable market share, and what's next for Bannersnack with its new marketing analytics package.

Here's what Ciordas had to say:

Why did you found Bannersnack? How has the company evolved since its initial launch in 2008 as an online app for making banner ads?

We got the idea for Bannersnack from one of our previous projects, FlashEff. FlashEff helped users create Flash animations without having to know how to implement code, and it was mostly used for banner ads. That was even the tagline for it: "Art without coding".

However, FlashEff could only be used with Flash, and it required downloading and installing. We wanted more people to be able to create professional, high-quality banner ads, without having to download and install the tool. That led us to build Bannersnack.

What has been your biggest challenge in growing your user base? What strategies are most effective for driving conversions?

Growing your user base is like growing your brand: you need time, and you need to pay close attention to the consumers' needs. This is why we are always working on Bannersnack to give our users not just a banner maker tool but also a marketing tool. Marketing analytics help optimize your overall marketing strategy.

The best strategy a company can have for driving conversions is a deeper understanding of the consumer's needs, a thorough knowledge of the competition's business, and to be as serious as you can about your brand.

What's your biggest client success/turnaround story?

It's hard to tell. We started the company several years ago. In the beginning, we only had a few customers, and we were excited to see a new one using our product.

Since then, our customer list grew even longer with Fortune 500 companies, universities, and even governments. Even though we are proud to have these marquee names, we still appreciate each of the customers equally, no matter what they do, what size they are, if they are a small or a large business, or if they're designers or marketers. Each of them represents a huge client success.

Tell us about Bannersnack Analytics and why you created it.

After analyzing thousands of banner ads, after looking at how our users create their banner ads and what they do with them, we started thinking about what would be a good way of optimizing their work.

So we launched Bannersnack Analytics, a feature that helps optimize banner ads by showing the relevant information, such as views, CTR, clicks, devices that people used to view and click on your banner ad. A world map and the locations where your banner ad is getting more attention and last but not least, the first heat map designed for a banner ad.

What's next for the digital advertising marketplace? Where do you see banner ads heading in the next 12 to 24 months?

We can look at the future of display advertising from two main perspectives: search and social. If advertisers want the consumer's attention, then these ads need to express the fact that you are there to help them and answer their questions.

But I believe that we should focus more on the present then look at what's in the future. So let's see what a banner ad is today and how we can optimize it to get the results we want, on the right platform for the right user.

Looking back over the last eight years, what's the one thing you would do differently? What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs in the digital advertising space?

Never forget about your customers. We've grown so fast, and we were so busy developing our products, that we've forgotten to talk with our clients. Even though we've always sent newsletters, we've always asked for their feedback; we've never invested time in building a more personal relationship with them. Since then we've started to work hard to get to know them better. We want them to know that each of our products is for them, and we are happy only if they are happy. We want to be part of their life and be useful in their everyday tasks. Go out there and get to know them better: their hopes, their goals, their fears. Everything matters. It's all about them.

Bottom line:

When it comes to digital marketing success, it's all about optimization! A banner ad is more than just an image you see on your daily news that pop-ups in front of you while you read it. A banner ad is a clickable image, a part of an advertising campaign on a network. By using a tool like Bannersnack's Analytics dashboard, you can monitor everything from the best time of day to run your ad to the visual content to include in it that aligns with users' expectations for that network's content. By creating banner ads that are visually attractive, relevant, and optimized for user experience, you can boost engagement without breaking the bank.