Despite being perceived as more of a traditional outbound marketing strategy, paid advertising has enormous potential to bring impressive results when implemented in an inbound strategy. These search and display ads are so effective that they drive website traffic and conversions while complimenting your SEO, affiliate and social media strategies.
Everyone considers display ads through Bing, Google, and social media an important marketing investment. However, the only way to get the best out of this investment is to create an effective advertising design. Such designs get the target audience to take the desired actions.
You can rest assured of generating greater returns from your paid advertising expenses if and when you integrate the hacks provided in this article into your designs.
What are these hacks? Read on to find out.
1. Understand your goals.
Display advertising has two distinct parts: action and awareness. The goal of awareness display ads is to appear frequently in the face of your users, helping them understand what your brand offers in terms of product or solution. Brand awareness ad campaigns come in handy for audiences who are yet to understand their problem or those who have understood their problem and looking for the right brand to get the solution from.
Whether you are making the problem clearer or positioning your brand as the solution, these ads condition your viewers to constantly think about you when they are ready to take action. You can also measure the effectiveness of your awareness display ad through impressions.
As the name suggests, action ads are designed to make viewers take action. They drive conversion by offering value to the audience for clicking and filling out a form. These rewards could be access to a product demo, a downloadable guide, or anything else the viewer considers valuable. Unlike awareness ads that leverage promptness to drive clicks, action ads are only effective when they emotionally affect the audience.
You can only know which way to go when you understand your goals. Your action ads require bold and urgent headlines that clearly indicate scarcity or exclusivity. However, they are not desirable for awareness ads because they have a less lasting impact. Talking about colors, you can impact your audience emotionally using colors like greens, purples, and blues. But you are better off with yellows, oranges, reds, and other warm tones if you want to drive action.
2. Strike a balance between brand consistency and great content.
Display advertising presents an excellent opportunity to build your brand. These designs provide ways to reach a wide audience repeatedly, and you can leverage this to link your business to specific visuals and messages. However, this will only be possible if your advertising design is consistent with your core brand.
Basic moves like using the same colors on your website to design your ads can effectively link the ads back to your business. You can even go further to experiment and flex your brand using display advertising. This prevents the possibility of your brand color palette and fonts getting subdued due to repeated use.
The first step in designing ads that integrate brand consistency and content is to separate the elements of your ads into two. The first group includes those elements you can experiment with, while the second group includes elements that will always adhere to your brand. For example, you should not experiment with photography, but you can experiment with illustrations.
Still, on taking risks, you can try out different ad designs to see which works or struggles. Feel free to pull any design that strays too far away from your brand identity.
3. Minimalist design work better.
Display ads are generally tight, unlike social media ads with relatively larger sizes. Despite the disadvantage in size, these ads have to compete with other content for space and the attention of your viewers. That is why experts recommend adopting minimalist designs that focus only on the essentials.
Your advertising design is expected to clearly communicate what your audience should know within a limited time and space. For example, your action ad should only contain your offer (product or service) and why the viewer should go for it. Awareness ads should only introduce your brand and why the viewer should know about it.
Do not fall for the temptation of packing your ad with all the information you want your audience to know. Instead, create compelling content that interests viewers and pushes them to find out more personally. Here are the key features of a minimalist display ad design:
Brand representation: This can be your logo or anything else that tells your audience where the ad is coming from at first glance.
Precise character count: The tightness of display ads means you do not have the space for a long copy. Stick to 150 characters as standard to increase the chances of your ad being read.
Compelling value proposition or CTA: The design must communicate the takeaway from the ad as quickly and clearly as possible. If it is a downloadable offer, include a clear download button.
Integrating these elements helps to create an outstanding ad that delivers improved results.
4. Keep the experience seamless.
Leaving irrelevant images and copy in your display ads is as counterproductive as using excess imagery or copy. The ideal advertising design must represent the value or experience your user can expect when they click your ad. This is true for both awareness and action ads.
You want your headline to align with the ad’s imagery and takeaway message. For example, an ad that promotes a free product trial should not include visuals that are only available in the paid version. It creates a bad user experience in the end.
You also want the look and feel of your ad to reflect what you have on your landing page so that the viewer doesn’t feel lost at any point. Contradicting designs hurts conversion rates because it leaves the user confused and wondering if they clicked the right ad.
Setting precise expectations for users in the design of your ad is good. However, you must meet these expectations in the ultimate takeaway from the ad. You create a seamless experience and improve conversion rates when you do this.
Google and other advertising platforms also often reject contradicting or misleading ads—another reason to keep things harmonized.
5. Frequent testing is vital.
Marketers encourage taking risks with your brand and design styles. But advertising is a cost-intensive process, and you don’t want to invest funds in what does not work. That is why we encourage you to test different advertising designs.
When you run several ads for the same offer, it is easy to spot the design elements that deliver improved results. Which copy returned the highest conversions on your guide? Did traffic increase when you used illustrations or photos? Which of the CTAs produced the highest clicks?
Early and frequent tests in your campaigns help you make well-informed adjustments. You know what works and doesn’t, and you can improve your advertising design based on this information.
6. Adhere to the right technical specs.
One part of display ads marketers tend to overlook is the tech specs. Every display ad, including social media and banner ads, has a unique set of specifications. The only way to ensure the ads display appropriately is to adhere to these specs.
The Google Display Network has several display advertising sizes. However, the general maximum file size is 150KB (at the time of putting this article together). This limited file size means you cannot use high-resolution illustrations and photography.
Knowing your platform’s requirements beforehand guides your creative process and the design or copy choices you make along the line. Getting it right may require proper design research planning. This preparation gives you an idea of creating something good while adhering to these specifications.
To round up…
As we have established in this blog, the effectiveness and success of your campaigns largely depend on the quality of your advertising designs. While traditional designs are easy to make, you may need more that to get the desired results. It would be best to have eye-catching, compelling, and outstanding display ads to attract your target audience and achieve the leads and conversion numbers you want.
It is also important to note that advertising design is not all you need to achieve a successful advertising design. You must combine effective design with relevant content that resonates with your ideal audience. These are the ingredients of a comprehensive paid advertising strategy that delivers the desired results.
This is another reason to use minimalist designs, which are more likely to help you stay within the technical specifications of your advertising platform.