Guide to effective banner ads in employer branding

In employer branding, banner ads can raise the profile of your company, create awareness of your job openings and company culture, and showcase your employee value proposition.

Banner ads are digital images embedded on web pages that showcase a product or brand and link to the advertiser’s website. Most companies use them in one form or another because they’re an affordable, measurable, and effective medium to increase brand awareness. In employer branding, banner ads can raise the profile of your company, create awareness of your job openings and company culture, and showcase your employee value proposition.

Each set of banner ads have specific guidelines for size, orientation, the number of variations (or A/B tests) that you can include, and a number of variations for the call to action (CTA).

According to Google Adsense, the most successful standard banner sizes are:

  • 728×90px — Leaderboard
  • 300×600px — Half Page
  • 300×250px — Medium Rectangle
  • 336×280px — Large Rectangle

As one of the most common advertising tools used, display ads are incredibly flexible and effective. They can reach people wherever they spend time online and on their device of choice and, through targeting, you can control who sees them. This allows employers to reach audiences most likely to be interested in their messaging and career opportunities.

Google Adsense tends to set the benchmarks for display ads, but communities like Stack Overflow are a great example of targeting candidates in the technology space. Developers and engineers spend time communicating with one another within these communities and your display ads are most likely to be seen by the qualified tech talent your company is looking for.

What to Include in Your Banner Ads for Recruitment

Your company logo must be included to build brand awareness. It should be visually dominant and recognizable, but not as dominant as the value proposition or the call to action.

​​The value proposition showcases your employer brand and what your company can offer tech candidates. This should take up the most space in your ad and be the first thing that viewers’ eyes see. This would include statements like “work wherever you are” or “your career development is our mission.” Show the reason why a candidate should want to work for your organization.

The call to action (or CTA) is the text or button that invites users to click. Phrases like “Apply Now” or “Learn More” are great examples. This should be a clear focal point of the ad.

Effective banner ads have a clearly defined frame with graphics extended to the edges of the box. If your ad is white, it’s a common practice to put a 1 pixel gray border around the ad.

Your banner ads will link to a landing page that includes your job description or application. Make sure the ad matches your branding and the landing page so candidates don’t get confused. You will also want to ensure that your landing page is optimized for mobile.

Stack Overflow’s Employer Brand Banner Ads

Stack Overflow Talent communities and company pages are a great way to deliver your employer branding message in a way that is unique to your company and allows you to be in control of your employer brand.

Ad Sizes available on Stack Overflow:

  • 728x90 (also known as leaderboard). This size performs well if placed above the main content, and on forum sites.
  • 300x250 (also known as box ad). This size performs well when embedded within text content or at the end of articles.

Stack Overflow Banner Ad Guidelines:

  • With these ads, you can have up to three different Call to Actions (CTAs) and two creative variations for A/B testing.
  • Ads must be distinct from content. Ads with a white or light background must include a dark 1-pixel border that clearly distinguishes the ad from the content.
  • Static image ads only. We do not accept animated ads, pop-ups, expandable ads, rollover ads, floating ads, or other multimedia ads.
  • Accepted image formats are JPEG/JPG or PNG. Max file size per creative is 150KB. When it comes to file size, the smaller the better. Your ad needs to load fast on a page before viewers scroll down and miss it.
  • Your landing page must be mobile optimized if utilizing the box ad placement.

Targeting Capabilities for Your Banner Ads on Stack Overflow

You can leverage powerful contextual targeting capabilities on Stack Overflow using topic tags.

Topic tags are a way to organize content on Stack Overflow. As an employer you can use the topic tags to contextually target your ads, ensuring you reach the right person, with the right message, at the right moment. From [artificial-intelligence] to [devops] and [cloud] to [C#], your ads will appear on question pages that include tags that are relevant to your company's tech stack or the products your team builds.

Currently, Stack Overflow has more than 60,000 active technical topic tags, ranging the spectrum of languages, frameworks, and technologies that modern developers and technologists use in their daily work.

For more about Stack Overflow Advertising, visit: Creative guidelines | Stack Overflow Advertising

Stack Overflow's Employer Branding solution enables companies to engage and market their employer brand to millions of self-motivated, proactive, passionate developers and technologists. Build a talent pipeline and let technologists familiarize themselves with your organization.