10 Tips For Creating An Effective Display Advert
One of the oldest and most effective advertising methods for businesses is using a display advert. Giving your brand a visual identity and sharing that with the world is a great way to increase your exposure and get your message across.
Think of a display advert the same way you would a newspaper advert – you’ll skim over the majority of them, maybe a few will peak your interest, and very rarely one of them will make you want to spend money on the product or service being offered. Advertisers face the very same problem with display adverts, except to a much higher degree; there are hundreds of thousands of display adverts on the internet, and the user base of the internet dwarfs the amount of people that read newspapers.
Therefore, if you’re designing a display advert for Google AdWords Display Network, or even for traditional banner adverts, it’s more important than ever to make sure your advert stands out from the crowd. Below is a list of 10 tips to help you design an effective display advert.
1. Use images/colour in your design
Adverts with a strong visual identity work. They have the power to grab the attention of the viewer instantly, in situations where text alone may turn people away.
It’s important to focus your graphical content on what your target audience wants to see. Bright, flashy images might not be suitable for advertising a funeral flower delivery service for example.
Relevant images will help resonate with your viewers, whether the graphical content is something specific to your company or product, related to your industry, or a more general light-hearted graphic. You can even use images to shock or amaze your viewers; just make sure that the type of graphical content you’re using will invoke the kind of emotions you want from your viewers.
Planning your use of colour is another great way to draw attention to your adverts. Using contrasting colours will help your adverts stand out and draw the attention of your visitors. Provided your colour scheme is consistent with your brand, you can add an extra layer of visual identity to your adverts.
2. Consider the size of your display advert
The required size of your adverts will greatly influence the design you’re going to implement. Remember that your design will need to adapt to small banners and large adverts alike. Below is a list of the most common AdWords Display Ad sized:
- 250 x 250 – Square
- 200 x 200 – Small Square
- 468 x 60 – Banner
- 728 x 90 – Leaderboard
- 300 x 250 – Inline Rectangle
- 336 x 280 – Large Rectangle
- 120 x 600 – Skyscraper
- 160 x 600 – Wide Skyscraper
- 300 x 600 – Half-Page Ad
- 970 x 90 – Large Leaderboard
It’s important to prioritize the information you’re going to display on the advert. You should decide on the most important pieces of text to be displayed, as well as the most prominent graphical elements and branding.
On smaller sizes you may need to cut down on some of the text you use, or sacrifice some of the unnecessary graphical elements. With larger sizes, you have more space to fill with interesting content, but make sure that the extra space isn’t filled with content that will turn your viewers away!
3. Use interesting discounts
Adverts are many times more likely to attract attention and gain click throughs if they offer the viewer something desirable. Whether this is in the form of a product discount, event promotion, or even a free giveaway – if they get something from it, this gives them an incentive to click through on your display advert.
Let’s take one of the banners from clothing department store Neiman Marcus as an example:
Their approach is to show a very visible 40% off discount. This prominent piece of text contrasts to the background and is large enough to effectively draw the viewer’s attention. Adding a time limit on the sale adds a further incentive for users to click through on the advert.
4. Use a clear Call To Action (CTA)
The call to action portion of your advert is what will help you achieve your ultimate goal – to convert viewers. This can be the most challenging aspect of designing an advert as the CTA needs to clearly state what the user needs to do. This can be any action which helps you gain conversions.
Before designing your call-to-action, you need to decide exactly what you want the display ad to accomplish, and what you consider to be a conversion.
Take Netflix’s display advert as an example:
In this example, “Join Free For A Month” is the call to action. This is a clear, descriptive button which tells the user exactly what to do. The preceding text reassures the user that there’s no risk involved, and the biggest feature of their product.
5. Design a cohesive landing page
If your ad has successfully driven a visitor to your website, you don’t want them to be turned away by an inconsistent or ugly looking landing page. Getting the user to click on your advert is only half the battle – you then want the visitor to be converted into a customer; whether this involves purchasing a product, signing up to a mailing list, or to engaging with your content. In order to accomplish this, your landing page needs to be optimized for conversions.
You should consider the following things when optimizing your landing page:
- Load Time – ensure your website loads quickly to avoid turning visitors away
- Ease Of Use – ensure that your website is mobile friendly and easy to use
- Visual Appeal – ensure your website is aesthetically pleasing
6. Make sure you are branding your adverts
Using branding in your display advert is one of the best ways to get recognized and leave and impression on your visitors.
Branding can be implemented in several forms.
- Logo – if you have a standard company logo, this can be the best way to effectively brand your advert
- Mascot – If you have a brand mascot, this can be used as a friendly and attractive way to brand your advert and gain recognition
- Slogan – if you have a standard phrase or tagline associated with your company, this can also be used to get your brand’s message across
- Colour Scheme – if you have a recognizable colour scheme associated with your company, this can be used to further reinforce your brand’s identity
- Music – if you have a recognizable jingle or musical piece, this can also be used to help reinforce your brand’s identity
7. Consider the tone and style of your text
The most effective display adverts have interesting text that invokes emotions in the viewer. Your copy may contain a light-hearted joking tone to amuse the user and peak their interest. Or, you may have a shocking fact or statistic to wow the audience.
After getting the user to look at your ad, you want to retain their attention long enough for them to click through to your landing page. To do this, your copy has to be targeted effectively towards your demographic.
Take Australia’s Air Force example below:
Now this text is aimed at recruiting IT Experts. As this is a purely text based advert, they have made sure that the text is relevant, short, and interesting. By inviting people to interact with their banner by checking the source code, they have managed to give technically minded visitors an incentive to engage with the advert, as well as exclude any undesirable visitors; it’s unlikely someone not familiar with technology would even understand what source code is, let alone how to view it.
8. Consider the use of testimonials
One of the best ways to boost your customer’s confidence in your brand is to make use of testimonials. If potential customers can see positive reviews of the your company, they will be more incentivised to trust you and the product you’re offering. As a result, this can greatly increase your conversion rate.
Testimonials on your landing page are always a good idea – you want the visitor to have a good impression of you as soon as they visit the page.
Using testimonials on your display adverts can be tricky, especially on smaller sizes, but there are several ways you can integrate testimonials into your adverts.
Take Etsy’s personalized display advert:
In this particular advert, the testimonial is the focus of the whole advert. The handwritten style gives a unique, personalized feel to the advert, as opposed to a corporate style advert with a testimonial quote thrown in.
If you can make testimonials work with the design of the advert, great, but if not – don’t sacrifice design quality for testimonials. There are many other ways to generate engagement in your display adverts.
9. Consider your mobile adverts
Nowadays, an estimated 50% of internet users primary access the internet from their mobile phones. This means that you simply cannot ignore the mobile market when designing your display adverts.
Make sure that you develop a display ad for mobile sizes as well as desktop ones. The standard mobile display advert sizes are 320×50 for regular mobile banners, and 320×100 for large mobile banners, as outlined by google in their guide to ad sizes.
10. Use animation if appropriate
Using animation in a display advert can be a great way of grabbing the visitor’s attention. If the animation is clean and visually appealing, and doesn’t take away from the message of the advert, it can greatly help increase engagements with your advert.
If you’re using an animation it’s important not to include irrelevant information – if someone has been waiting 5 seconds for the animation to reveal completely unrelated content, they are going to be put off straight away.
The best structure is to have less than 15 seconds of animation, and a clear call to action on the final slide of the animation. Shorter animations are generally more effective, as visitors can lose interest quickly with longer animations.