Inside Bannerflow | 04 MIN READ

Advanced format banners: why rich media brings rewards

Advanced format banners enable advertisers to catch the eye, and designers to be creative. They break the mould and are anything but a simple static banner. Use them wisely and you will convert more. Use them in combination with other advertising technologies like data feeds and programmatic, and prepare to wow.

What are advanced format banners?

If you think an advanced format banner is a pop-up, or screen takeover exited by the viewer via a small cross then you are ill-informed.

Advanced formats are what we at Bannerflow define as banner formats that are adjustable from their original placement. In other words, they are banners that expand, contract, rotate, slide or anything else you can imagine.

These types of banner are also called rich media formats. Previously, these formats were built via flash but that’s no longer an option. HTML5 is the only way to go. Advanced format banners allow advertisers to create unique banners that are variable and more interactive than a standard format.

They can incorporate video too. However, while video banners are considered a rich media format, they’re deserving of their own category. There are many additional elements to consider when creating a video banner!

Improve performance with advanced formats

Advanced format banners increase conversion opportunities too. According to Bannerflow Product Specialist, Travis Isaacson: “we have experienced clients who have achieved 200% increase in CTR just by using an advanced format. Applying advanced formats results in better engagement and higher conversions!”

This wasn’t always the case! In the past, a criticism of using rich media banners has been the “weight” of the banner. In particular, this stemmed from rich media ads that reduced performance, slowing down pages or obscuring content. Hence the adoption by some users of ad blockers. In response to this user criticism, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) famously declared: “We messed up. As technologists, tasked with delivering content and services to users, we lost track of the user experience”. They also developed new “lean” standards for rich media ads.

In part thanks to the industry adoption of HTML5, as well as the application of the IAB’s lean standards, advance format performance has improved. Today if you build a HTML5 rich media ad via Bannerflow, your ads are lean by default and there is no impact on performance on a page. For example, a cube banner has no extra weight, even though it has four unique touch points on each side of the cube.

Thanks to improvements in performance, rich media ads are set to grow in usage. eMarketer research states that in the US alone, by 2021, $17.89 billion will be spent on rich media ad production, each year. Spend that money on awesome advertising!

Advanced format banners and Bannerflow

Advanced format banners have long been at the heart of Bannerflow. After all, part of Bannerflow’s company mission is simplifying the production process of all types of banners.

One of the problems with building any type of advanced format banner can be the hassle of coding. After all, not all great designers are great coders! Bannerflow removes the need to code by supplying pre-coded templates.  Take a look at the video below if you want to know more:

As you can see, advanced formats are easy to build in Bannerflow. Using the platform an in-house team can create agency-quality campaigns in minutes! Plus, the easy production of advanced formats results in better banners, as designers have more time to be creative!

Combining advance formats, programmatic and feeds

Premium programmatic solutions now allow advertisers to serve rich media campaigns programmatically. Add in feeds to make your banners dynamic and the potential is endless. Writing in the drum, Eric Visser, founder of JustPremium hits the nail on the head when he says using “ad formats…enable a more creative scope”.

Here’s an example of what you could do with an advanced format like a cube banner for a sporting betting company. For example, a cube banner for an FPL football match between Liverpool and Man Utd. On the first part of the cube, you could see a direct comparison between the two teams, with the option to swipe left for one, and right for the other. Swipe in either direction and you’re presented with a customised background based upon the team you chose. Not only that but live odds are streamed into the banner, giving you the option to support your team directly with the latest figures.

Essentially, with advanced formats you can create a customisable user journey that can be automatically updated. Take another example, this time for a retargeting ad for an e-commerce brand. Using a banner that expands upon user engagement, you could show the latest prices for a number of products the viewer has previously expressed interest in. Remarkable creative and impactful ad formats are the best options for advertisers to stand out. 

You can also use advanced formats when creating programmatic creative campaigns. According to Andrew Buckman, Managing Director EMEA, Sublime Skinz, “there is no reason for creativity, rich media, and programmatic to be mutually exclusive. It’s the combination that achieves resonance with consumers”.  Use advanced formats alongside programmatic creative, and it’s a win-win situation – audiences receive a better user experience!

Conclusion

If you’re not using advanced format banners, then the question is why not? Building better banners that convert is the reason you read this blog, correct?

But before you go crazy we have one final piece of advice from Bannerflow’s resident banner expert Travis Isaacson:“ always check with your publishing network to see if these types of formats are compatible. Publishers often have different rules and this can be tricky to navigate”.

Whichever creative management platform you choose to use, make sure you use it to produce creative display ads that work. Not just simple static banners but ads that capture the viewer’s attention, drive a click-through, and ultimately gain a conversion.  Use advanced formats to differentiate your ads from the competition, and unleash your creativity.

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