Are your Display Ads working out for you? Are you finding they are getting blocked or just simply ignored? You’re not alone. Going that extra mile now to create ads that work is more like going that extra 10 miles.
Not only are your display ads often the first impression for consumers on your brand, but they are also your gateway to bringing in new business. So how do you get people to take notice and click on your ads?
The first thing to remember is KISS – Keep It Simple, Silly (I like that better than stupid). It’s easy to over complicate things when it comes to digital advertising. Article after article can be written on the technicalities of fine-tuning display ads. But if you’re new to this world of advertising, you need to start somewhere.
Some Tips You Might Not Have Considered
Fundamental Elements – The structure of your ads is where it begins. Like in the building of a house, if the basic fundamental structure isn’t there it’s not going to be solid. Same goes for your ads. From the size of your ad, to the arrangement of the information that goes into it, the principals are generally the same. Google offers a variety of ad sizes for example, and not all are ideal for every application. Google states that the top three ad sizes for performance are 300×250 (medium rectangle), 336×280 (large rectangle), and 728×90 (leaderboard). Structuring your ads so they can fit into these formats ensures that there’s flexibility when the ads are viewed on different screen sizes.
Creating responsive ads will help with this. As per Google ‘Responsive ads will automatically adjust the size of your ad for different types of devices, such as mobile, tablet and desktops, and can fit in almost any available ad space.’ Learn more about responsive ads here…
Simplicity – It’s easy to want to cram as much information into your ads as possible. ‘If I’m going to get one shot, I need to make it count’ mentality. That’s most definitely not necessarily true. Confusion = disinterest, and too much info in a small ad space will only lead to confusion. Like in most things in life, simplicity reigns supreme. And nothing is truer when it comes to display ads.
A well-crafted ad will show, with visual, the ‘what’s’, and contain precise text on the ‘how’s’ or ‘where’s’ to fill in the rest.
The compact nature of ads, married with the ‘glance of an eye’ factor (meaning, it better be clear what it’s all about in one very quick glance) means you have to keep it simple, but clear. Overwhelming the reader will only lead to abandonment.
Your value proposition needs to be forefront and the Call To Action entirely obvious. Outside of the text, images should be uncluttered, single-pointed, and very clean to the eye. The point should be understood immediately.
Going one step further, you’ve created a beautiful ad, it is imperative that it be directed to a landing page that is equally simple and immediately understood. If you send consumers to a general page where they have to search again for what they are looking for, you’ve lost them. The landing page should look and feel the same as the ad. If your ad has one purpose, so should your initial landing page.
Color and Quality – Ads, by nature, are small, and for the most part, being view on mobile devices now. But don’t fall into the trap of skimping on image quality because of this. There’s nothing more repelling that an ad with fuzzy quality, off-putting cropping or text that isn’t legible. You never know where your ad is going to be seen, it needs to be structured to be perfect for all displays and devices.
Color can be another easily altered tip…but who are we kidding, not everyone has the eye of a color wheel master or understands the psychology behind what colors work best. But there is plenty of information out there on color and gender, color and mood, and color and buying.
We’ve all learned that things like black and white can indicate ‘formal’ or ‘firm’, maybe even professional, and that pastels tend to lean a little more to the softer side, more free and exciting. But the dynamics of all the color in between can most definitely have an impact on the success of your ad. (Another great reason to consider ad testing/optimizing)
Consider who your market is, what their expectations might be, and then what colors might appeal to them the most. Here’s a very ‘colorful’ article on the psychology of color!
Custom Creative – It’s very easy to slip in some stock images when creating ads. Not everyone has the budget or the creative know-how to customize. But custom creative can have a tremendous impact on your consumer.
Custom creative can express a sense of humor, pass along a particular feeling or sentiment, or simply just be so darn brilliant that it embeds itself into the minds of anyone viewing it. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. Some of the best custom images are simple, just with a twist.
Take this Volkswagen ad, it holds many elements we’ve discussed. Simple, clear and concise, sharp…and well, in this case, a little harmless innuendo to add some humor.
Some other simple tactics to try are sticking with the ‘real’. Use real photos of your products with real people. Consumers like seeing something they are potentially interested in, on someone, in something, or based around a real-life scenario. They get a better feel for the actual product by seeing it in action. Current customers are a great resource for some pretty creative images of your products. What could be better marketing than a happy customer showing off their (YOUR) favorite new item?
Other Tips That Require Mentioning
There really can’t be an article written on display ads without the following. Heck, there likely aren’t too many articles written on anything in the digital marketing world without the mention of the following. That’s how important they are!
Keywords –Yep, as always, keywords are the single most important factor in any display or search ad campaign. Having the wrong keywords can be costly. Doing the research and optimizing over time to zone-in on the precise keywords or keywords phrases (two to three words long) can have a great impact on your targeting and ultimately your conversion rate. Learn more about keyword planning here…
Also, placing keywords in your ad text shows viewers that your ad is relevant to what they are searching and looking for. This is very often overlooked.
Call to Action – Along with having your Value Proposition upfront so it’s clear and relevant, making your Call to Action just as clear will help push consumers through the top of your funnel.
If your ad isn’t selling a product, or even if it is, making the message clear to the consumer about what they need to do to take action is a very basic and primary function that needs to be right. People want to be told, or rather shown, what to do. They don’t want to have to figure it out on their own. They want a clear path to discovering what they actually came here to find.
Ensure you are using the proper Call To Action, as well. Depending on where your ad is situated in your sales funnel, using words like Buy, Order, Learn More, Sign Up, Tryout, or Browse will help consumers understand what their next step is, and then it should lead them directly there.
Don’t miss the opportunity by forgetting to lead them where you need them to go. Don’t miss the boat on hand-delivering them into the exact place you need them to be to drive them to converting.