Are you considering using display ads (those graphic banner ads that you see on sites across the web) as a part of your marketing strategy? If so, here are 9 tips for creating powerful display ads.
1- Know your audience
In order to create an ad that resonates with your audience, you have to understand them. What motivates them? What types of things stop them in their tracks and make them think? What are their FUDs (fears, uncertainties, and doubts)? Knowing these things will help you craft a much more compelling ad.
If you don’t know the answers to these questions off hand, you might want to step back and create buyer personas for your targets. If you don’t have time to create those, a quick tip that I have for you is to find a few people that are current customers (or have the potential to be great customers) and target them online. Stalk them on social networks and see what you can find out about them. Sound creepy? The more you know, the better you can reach them. Give it a try.
2- Focus on a benefit
So….there are many reasons why a target should purchase from you, right? Well, pick one reason and focus on it for your display ad campaign. Make sure that your are talking about it from their perspective. Discuss why their world will change as a result of clicking on your ad and purchasing your product or service.
Make sure you are solving a problem. They will certainly ask “What’s in it for me” and if they can’t figure this out instantly, you’ll loose their attention.
3- Add interaction
Interaction makes ads more interesting, entertaining, and sharable. Find a way to involve the user. Entering a zip code, as an example, is a great way to get them to do something and then customize the ad. If you can make it useful or fun, then you are one step closer to accomplishing your purpose.
4- Craft a compelling headline
In your headline, make sure you talk about your one benefit that you decided to highlight. It’s okay to have a headline that is “clever” but above cleverness is clarity. Make sure you clearly tell the target what is in it for them to pay attention. Here are two things you can do:
- Ask a question. When you do this, targets will automatically answer the question in their minds.
- Make a startling statement. If you make a bold, almost unbelievable statement, you get the target thinking again.
5- Grab attention with visuals
Visuals grab the eye. Visuals motivate. Use appropriate images. If you have an image of an inanimate object, add some kind of human interaction or even a face. Studies show that adding a human works better than just an object.
6- Don’t forget your call-to-action
Tell visitors what to do and how to do it. Don’t make them have to wonder. Order them around.
7- Blend with the site (but not too much)
Find the delicate balance between looking like the rest of the site and not. One one hand, you don’t want your display ad to feel, well, like an ad. On the other hand, you need it to stand out a bit so that it does not get overlooked.
8- Make sure that your landing page delivers on your ad’s promise
A great display ad is useless if the page it leads to appears disconnected or irrelevant. Make sure that the destination page reflects the content of your banner ad. If you are advertising cats, make sure you dont serve them up a page with dogs.
9- Implement a lot (and test even more)
Every online marketing activity that you implement will be horrible the first time you implement it. This is because you can’t predict what will work. Sure, you can plan. You can try to anticipate audiences reactions. But, there are so many variables that you cannot anticipate. Not only that, but perfect today is quickly imperfect tomorrow.
Recognize that just getting the banner out there is the first leg of a long journey. Testing it’s effectiveness, tweaking, and than testing it again will be required to get the kind of revenue lift you need from the ad.