I'm fairly new with Magento and I am trying to place a banner under the left column. I looked online for guides and followed them step by step through CMS static blocks but nothing seems to work still.
This is a link to an example page that I need to have the banner show up on.
It's hard to say what's wrong with your settings. Have you tries this method - http://www.phptechi.com/magento-display-banners-for-category-page.html ?
Alternatively you can use a special extension Promo Banners which can display banners on cart, category and product pages makes and makes the process of configuration much easier.