The Best Advice for Designing Better Ads

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Advertising is your opportunity to stand out from the competition and draw in new leads. But to make them worth the time and expense, they should be the best representation of your brand possible.

Advertising is big business with about $560 billion per year in spending. Nearly every type of industry invests at least some of its budget in ads. With this advertising boom comes a lot of advice floating around about best practices. Creating better ads doesn’t require a slick marketing firm. You simply need to follow a few rules of thumb and pay attention to details.

1. Focus on the Headline

The headline is the core message of your ad. What do you want to convey to potential customers? Once you know the message, you can shorten it down to just a few words and using those words to grab the reader. Think about some of the ads you see every day on television, in magazines and online. For example, the dairy ad “Got Milk?” is simple and to the point. The visuals that go with the words send a message about drinking milk to be strong.

2. Improve In-Person Ads

If you run a brick-and-mortar store, you’ll need to entice customers from the minute they pass by your shop through the completion of a sale. One way of doing this is by adding digital signage. Think about some of the companies who utilize digital signs to draw people in. In a busy shopping mall, a digital display might invite you to enter a store and check out their latest offerings. In a fast-food restaurant, the sign might showcase their seasonal offerings.

3. Include Your Logo

No matter where you advertise, include your logo in the ads. This icon helps establish the image of your brand and gives people something tangible to remember. Your logo must be professional, highlight your brand colors and stand out from the logos of your competitors.

Keep your logo simple to include it in both online and offline advertising. Even if you create a print ad, adding the logo to an upper or lower corner makes an impression and encourages users to remember you. A professionally designed logo should hit all the right notes.

4. Study the Competition

You’ve heard it said you should know your audience, but you also need to know your competition and their tactics. If their ads regularly state they have the best customer service in the business, you have two choices. You can either take them on and show you actually have better customer service than they do or highlight a different value.

5. Focus on Mobile Ads

By 2023, there will be about one billion 5G subscribers. As more people use smartphones for everyday tasks, the opportunity to advertise via their phones increases. Since you’re delivering the ad via push notification or an app on the person’s phone, it should be highly personalized to each individual. This process requires a bit of data gathering and coding, but the result is an ad that speaks directly to the recipient.

6. Resolve a Pain Point

Think about the problem your customers most often face when buying your product. Once you know what their pain point is, you can use your advertising for reassurance or encouragement. Imagine you’re selling security equipment to a homeowner who’s worried about securing their home. You can put their mind at ease with one simple solution, which resolves a pain point for the buyer and makes them more likely to buy your product. Use your ads to address the problems your target audience has.

7. Stay True to Your Brand

What is the overall tone of your business? If your tone is typically serious, don’t suddenly create humorous ads. Your advertising and your brand message must remain consistent. Otherwise, consumers may lose trust in you or feel you’re trying to trick them. Consistency across all your ads also leaves a stronger impression of your brand and makes you more memorable.

8. Include a Call to Action (CTA)

Email ads with a single CTA resulted in 371% more clicks and 1,617 percent more conversions. However, you can include a CTA in any type of advertisement, even a banner or social media ad. Think about what words would most likely encourage viewers to take action. Then, consider the contrast of the CTA and whether it visually grabs user attention. Where should you place it? Try different locations for your CTA and see which is most effective with your audience.

Create Better Ads

Whether you’re advertising online or offline, you can do many small things to your ads to find more success. While the headline and CTA are vital factors, you must also consider where it appears and if it grabs user attention with all the other elements on paper, your website or your store location. Study what does and doesn’t work for your brand, and make adjustments as needed.

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