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Banner Ads: How to Improve Marketing for Associations

‍Banner ads are a great way to increase overall traffic to your website and awareness of your association. ‍Let’s go over everything your association needs to know about the power of banner ads for both engagement and a revenue increase.

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Banner ads: Some might say a thing of the past. Yes, while it’s true, the banner ad (or display ad) seemed to have its heyday in the late 90s - early 00s, they’re still around to this day. It seems like you can’t go on any website without seeing a banner ad in some shape or form. And there’s a reason why. Display ads bring in success for any business looking to spread the word about their product or service.

According to Smart Insights, display ads and online ads in general help boost both brand awareness and purchase intent. Similarly, these types of ads can actually increase website visits, or view through rates, even when an ad is not actually clicked on.

However, if you think banner ads are only good for advertising your association and increasing engagement, think again. Banner ads double as a new revenue stream for your association. By hosting banner ads on your website, you can start bringing in revenue from multiple companies looking to work with you. So, banner ads seem to be a win-win solution for your association. But how do they work?

Let’s go over everything your association needs to know about the power of banner ads for both  engagement and a revenue increase.

Banner Ads: The basics

If your association has never created or hosted a banner ad before, they can be a little confusing. What are they? How do they work? These are two major questions to answer before getting involved in display ads. First, let’s go over exactly what a banner ad is.

What are they?

For the sake of this article, it’s important to separate banner advertising from the banner ad itself.

Banner advertising is exactly what it sounds like- online advertising through a banner image. Banner advertising is also known as display advertising, which differentiates it from text-only advertising. Banner advertising is typically used to raise brand awareness or to market a specific product or service. For your association, you could use it to promote your membership as a whole.

Or, you can even use banner advertising to promote individual offers. For example, does your association create free content? You could promote your latest ebook, guide, webinar, or anything else through a banner ad. Let’s move on to the banner ad itself. A banner ad, also known as a web banner, is an advertisement graphic that gets displayed on a website or web page. A banner ad can be a static image with no movement, or an animated multimedia creation.

How do they work?

Banner ads work in the same way that social media ads work. They typically have a call-to-action- something that tells audiences to click on the banner. Then, the banner ad will direct its audience to a landing page for a product or service. It’s a one-way ticket to more engagement with your website and hopefully, a new member for your association.

As mentioned before, banner ads can be used to generate sales and promote brand awareness. They can also be used as a lead generator for your association. Connect your banner ad to a landing page with a form fill. This way, when people are interested in your banner ad, they can fill out a form with their contact information. Then, your association can contact them when the time is right. With a banner ad, you can easily measure the success and effectiveness of your association’s marketing efforts.

Creating the perfect banner ad

If your association is looking to create banner ads to host on other websites, there are a few things to consider.


For starters, you want to make sure your banner ad is formatted according to banner ad standards. Bannersnack offers a helpful formatting guide for every type of banner possible. It shows the name of the banner ad, the standard size, where it shows up on a web page, and the advantages of using that banner size. For example, looking for a lower-cost banner ad? You might want to stick to a smaller size.

Creating a square or small square banner ad will cost less money to host on a website as opposed to a half page or leaderboard banner ad. However, a half page banner ad has a better chance of attracting an audience. Once you are knowledgeable about the formatting and outline of a banner ad, you want to move onto audience research.


Before you spend your budget on running a banner ad, you want to make sure your approach reaches your target audience. Without that reach, your association runs the risk of wasting its time and money.

Decide who your audience is and what type of websites they visit. If you can pinpoint specific sites, you know exactly who to reach out to when asking to host your banner ad. Then, consider what your audience would respond to in a banner ad. What call to action would make them click? Would they want a free content offer, or do they respond better to bigger offers like a membership discount?

Take the time to write out a few call-to-actions and any other text you’d like to include in your banner ad. This give you options to choose from when it’s time to put together the final draft.


You’ve researched your approach and your banner ad is coming together. But without a proper design, your banner ad could get overlooked. You want to make sure your banner ad is easy to understand and interesting to view. Using readable fonts and high quality images helps convey your banner ad to audiences. The better the quality, the more of a chance your banner ads will have a high CTA.

You also should make sure your banner ad is fully integrated with your association’s brand. You don’t want your audience to be confused when they end up on your website. Using brand colors and fonts can help portray a smooth transition into your association’s website and/or landing page.

Following these steps can help your association create a killer banner ad that will perform well on a website host of your choice.

Hosting banner ads

But what if your association is looking to increase revenue? Hosting banner ads on your website is the right move for you. Creating ad space on your association’s website is a great way to work with brands you believe in while also creating a new stream in revenue. However, before you jump into an advertising agreement with another company, there’s a few things you need to consider.

Choose the right banner ads

When it comes to hosting another company’s banner ad, you want to make sure what you’re doing makes sense.

You wouldn’t want to host an ad for a company you don’t believe in or agree with, right? This is why researching the brands you work with is essential for your association.

Make the time to research a company’s mission statement and values before agreeing to an ad space contract. You also should reach out to company representatives if possible. The more communication involved, the better chance you have of finding a perfect banner ad fit. You also need to know that any company you host on your website is then connected to your association’s own brand.

This means that if a company you host gets caught up in a scandal or creates a bad reputation for itself, your brand could be held accountable as well. Make sure you have a plan for companies that take a turn for the worse.

Ad space on your website

You can’t host banner ads on your website if you have no room for them. Allocating space on your website for banner ads is important to do before opening yourself up to ad hosting opportunities. You want companies to be able to envision their ad on your website in order to choose the best size and format for their banner ad. However, don’t overdo it. Selling too much ad space on one page can make your site cluttered and hard to navigate. In the long run, it could leave your own members confused and frustrated with their user experience on your site. Once you figure out the logistics of hosting ads on your site, your association can set appropriate prices and start working with brands on creating a new partnership and revenue stream.

Banner ads are a great way to increase overall traffic and awareness to your website. Don’t believe us? Consider creating/hosting a banner ad and see how they can boost both engagement and revenue in the future.