What does it take to create a good online advertisement? How do you successfully fill an empty space of say 300 x 250 pixels with engaging and informative content that culminates in a successful click-through to your landing page?
Delivering your promotional messages through online advertising needs more thought than you’d initially think, especially considering the often limited size you’ve got to work with. So we’ve put together 10 top tips to help you create effective online advertisements.
Banners, skyscrapers, leaderboards….
Once you start advertising your business online you’ll come across all sorts of terminology for different types of online ads; there is text only ads, image ads, display ads, static ads, animated ads, banner ads, leaderboards, skyscrapers, medium rectangles and so on. However whatever the size and type of ad or advertising campaign you are planning, be it on a website, blog, email or though an advertising network like Google AdSense, there are some universal criteria that can really help get your advertisements working for you.
10 top tips to help you create effective online advertisements
1. What is your goal
Before you even begin getting creative, you need to be clear on the purpose of your advertisement. What is it you want to achieve? Is it a brand building exercise, is it to increase sales, drive traffic or promote a new product? You’ll find once you have a specific goal it makes it far easier to create the right content. It is also important that when once you have your goal you have a clear idea of how you are going to measure success. Will it be number of click-throughs to your landing page, number of actual sales or percentage increase in traffic to your site?
2. Who is your target audience / ad group
Who your ad aimed at is another essential consideration. Your content is likely to differ depending on the ad group you are targeting or how you intend to segment your audience. Different demographics are likely to respond differently to particular content. So think about who you are aiming your ad at and what they are most likely to find compelling and engaging.
An oldie but a goodie! AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire , Action and is a really useful acronym to apply to almost any kind of copy writing. So when you are thinking about the content of your online ad focus on how you will first grab attention – for example a new product or special offer; then create interest and desire – what benefit is it going to bring customers to make them want to find out more. Finally there must be a clear call to action. Following something like the AIDA model is a really helpful copywriting guide to ensuring you’ve got all your bases covered – especially if you are new to putting ads together.
4. Call to Action
A surprising number of ads don’t have a clear call to action leaving consumers to guess at what it is the ad is directing them to do. You need to be clear about the purpose of your ad and have very visible call to action – for example, register now, sign up today to our special offer, trial our product , join our community, read this article or enter our competition. Of course it’s up to them whether they make the decision to take up your instructions but a strong call to action will help pull in a customer whose attention and interest you have caught.
5. Layout and design
With all sorts different ad sizes, some very small, it is important you layout your text and images in a visually appealing manner. The look of you ad is really important so try to make your layout as clean and clear as you can. There are some excellent tips outlined in this article by 99 Designs including:
- Using standard ad sizes
- Clearly defined frames
- Instantly readable text
- Headline and body copy different sizes
- Using imagery well and only when you need it.
6. Brand consistency
Keep your branding consistent across all your platforms. Always include your logo and try to keep to the same font, colours as your landing page and website. Random styles and mismatching designs are only likely to confuse customers and won’t help you with brand recognition. Your design should flow seamlessly from your advertisement to your landing page and website.
7. Don’t mislead
Don’t mislead consumers by trying to entice them to click-through with something that actually has no bearing on the purpose of your advertisment – potential customers will simply walk away. Your advertising message should clearly reflect content of your landing page and vice versa.
8. Landing page
Don’t forget your landing page. Research shows that a good landing page can help improve conversions and reduce your bounce rate. You may have put together an excellent ad enticing visitors to click though, but all your hard work will be wasted if you haven’t thought about your landing page. It should be specific to the advertisement rather than just the homepage of your website. A good landing page should:
- Be specific to a particular campaign
- Have a clear message the reflects the proposition in your ad
- Well thought out page design and layout
- Recognisable and consistent branding
- Clear and easy call to action.
9. Always remember your Logo
As a bit of a final checklist before you send off your ad make sure that you have included all three of these essential components:
- Message / proposition
- Call to action
10. Test , measure and tweak
Finally, don’t forget to keep testing and measuring your ads and tweaking them accordingly. Go back to your initial goal measurements – have your ads achieved their goal? There is nothing wrong with a bit of trial and error so keep testing, measuring and tweaking to maximise your response rates.
Google AdSense Guide to ad sizes
99 Designs: Design tips for more clickable banner ads
We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this subject, so please do leave a comment.
Billboard image courtesy of scottchan/FreeDigitalImages
Soccer ball image courtesy of hin255/FreeDigitalImages
Standing people image courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalImages
Clapperboard image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalImages
Design definition image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalImages
Signpost image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalImages
Mercedes Benz image courtesy of franky242/FreeDigitalImages