Witty & Memorable in 120 Characters or Less
Banner ads those pesky, money making entities might just be the bane of all existence for some writers. After all, it’s hard enough to be witty and memorable when you have 120 characters to work with on Twitter; but how are you supposed to do it when you’re only allowed 20 percent or less text per ad? The answer is with care and of course the following four steps.
Step #1. Prioritization Is Key
I learned a lesson writing government proposals my first year out of uni. The lesson is as follows, “20 words or less. In the ideal world 10.” In short, there is no need to be verbose in certain types of writing. Like government proposals, banner ads are not the time to drone on (even if it is in a witty fashion). The key to successfully being simultaneously witty and concise is to prioritize. The following information needs to be included in banner ads:
- Company name / logo.
- A value proposition.
- Visual representation.
- Call to action.
The words and the selected images need to work as one to get viewers to complete the call to action. Speaking of, that leads nicely to step number two.
Step #2. Subtlety Is Overrated
There is a time and place to be subtle; the call to action in a banner ad is not one of those places. Instead, you should use a relevant, yet bold, call to action to reduce friction for the customers and increase the click through rate on your ad. To achieve the latter two goals you can implement the following best practices:
- The call to action button should be easily recognizable.
- Don’t make the button to small to notice.
- Use the right font, so that text is easy to read.
- Speaking of text, it should have a bit of urgency that encourages the viewers to act quickly.
Step #3. Choose Complementary Images
Have you ever looked at an ad only to scratch your head in confusion? To tout another lesson learned from my government RFP writing days, “the words should speak to the graphics, not the other way around.” To put it simply, your words and images need to complement each other. Just as you use the thesaurus to come up with the perfect play of words, so too do you need to jazz-up your images. Filters, editing, and of course using relevant location-specific images are all ways that you can enhance the impact of your banner ad.
Step #4. Create A Sense Of Movement
While some banner ads contain animation, those that are stagnant should still have a sense of movement. You want the ad to feel as if it is pulling you in and encouraging you to immediately take action. The latter two characteristics can’t be achieved without movement. The following tips can help you to achieve movement within your ad:
- Use leading lines to draw the viewer’s eyes in a designated direction.
- Place words in unique, eye-catching patterns.
- Turn the words into an image or design.
Finally, don’t forget to create a website landing page that matches the design of your ad. You don’t want your viewers to view the ad, click on the call to action, and then be taken to a site that is an entirely different visual style.
The Bottom Line: Text, Images, And Movement Are The 3 Keys To Creating Dynamic Banner Ads
If you want to create witty and memorable banner ads, then you need to create the perfect balance between the text and the images used. Additionally, you should create an ad that has good movement. This movement should encourage users to follow the call to action. At the end of the day, creating the text for banner ads might take a little bit of practice, but as they say, “with practice comes perfection.”
Laura P has written 4,000+ articles, blog posts, product reviews, press releases, and website content for a multitude of clients. In the past 7 years, she has developed written, marketing, video, and web content for clients in the real estate, information technology, restaurant, auto, retail, equine sales, oil and gas, and public relations industries. Laura is highly proficient in SEO optimization, particularly in real estate and retail industries. She ghost wrote IT white papers, government contract task orders, RFIs, and RFPs that resulted in millions of dollars won. She has 7-years of experience working with and interviewing olympic athletes, small-business owners, CEOs, SMEs, and entrepreneurs on complex topics. As a professional writer, Laura strives to create content that is both meaningful and relatable to her readers.