5 Best Practices for Digital Ads
More and more products, services, and especially customers are now online. So, it only makes sense to market your offerings digitally too. Simply put, digital advertising is a method of leveraging the internet and online platforms to deliver promotional ads to your consumers using various channels. Whether digital or traditional, the aim is to use the ads to tell the story of your brand; but the main difference lies in the universal appeal and flexibility of the digital counterpart.
Since consumers spend a lot of their waking day on the Internet, digital ads can help you take your business directly to where your audience already is. Mediums such as social media, email, search engines, mobile apps, affiliate programs and websites are used to display the ads and related messages.
If you’re new to the glitzy world of digital advertising and wondering where to start, keep the following best practices in mind:
Keep It Simple and Straightforward
The original piece of wisdom is “keep it simple, stupid” but we like “straightforward” better. This is the simplest yet strongest rule when it comes to digital advertising. Although people spend a huge chunk of their day online, they will not spend more than a few seconds glancing at your ad. An ad must therefore avoid redundancy and be able to deliver the core message without any unnecessary clutter. The “less is more” rule applies here.
Simple and aesthetic colors and backgrounds will ensure the product/service is the focus of the ad. A clear and concise message delivers the value proposition and makes it memorable for the audience. In summary minimize your ad to include the following four main components:
- Logo or company name
- Value proposition
- Image or visual representation of your service
- CTA button
Have an Enticing Call to Action
A Call to Action (CTA) acts as a gentle nudge for your audience to do something. Using action verbs such as “Register Today”, “Download Now”, or “Call Now” are user prompts to help your audience take the next step in the process. You need to make sure your CTA is specific enough to appeal to your target customer’s wants, needs or interests, and clear enough to make the action a no-brainer for them.
Keeping the CTA too generic – for example, “Click to learn more” can make it ineffective. While it’s better than no CTA, adding some more effort to really connect with your viewers helps. When your ad is first viewed, there are already several “micro-decisions” made during the brief time you have your audience’s attention. The viewer is determining if what you’re communicating is relevant to their needs or wants and is on their way to deciding if the information presented is compelling enough for them to make the next click. This is your chance to entice the user to move forward.
Select your target audience and platform
The power of digital ads can be best leveraged with the knowledge of clearly knowing who your audience is. Unlike traditional billboards that are visible to anyone walking or driving down the street, digital advertising is specific and targeted to a very specific subset of viewers. When building your ad (and, in fact, way before then), you need to define who you want to direct your message to.
Knowing your audience and identifying the platforms they spend most time on can lead you to an effective strategy. With a wide range of platforms available today, knowing which one is the most suitable to run your digital ads on might seem overwhelming. Some of the more common ones to start off with are Facebook and Google. According to Business Insider, these two sites drive 80% of referral traffic, more than all the other platforms combined. Social media platforms, in particular, can target your audience based on up to 10 different interests, including:
- Demographics (Age, Gender, Status)
- Psychographics (Interests, attitudes, aspirations)
Be Device and Channel Responsive
When was the last time you spent all your time and focus on a single device or a single platform? Chances are it rarely happens — if ever. You probably spend a lot of time in front of the TV, your work computer or even in your home office, but you most likely jump from one device to another throughout the day. We live in a multi device, multi-channel world; and hence the ads targeting your audience must be developed to not just render well on any one device or screen size — mobile, laptop, desktop, tablet — but be relevant to the wide range of mediums and platforms too.
Whether you plan on running a digital ad on a social media platform like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or on Google, the story and design must be consistent. This method known as cross-device marketing improves the advertising strategy because it allows brands to tell a cohesive, yet effective story to consumers no matter where they are visiting from. The customer journey and experience are made seamless, varied, and effective.
Test, Test, Test then Adjust
When you launch your digital ad armed with all the research, you’re still not guaranteed perfect results. A/B testing is a widely used practice by marketers and advertisers to understand what resonates with their audience. Keep experimenting with your ads to see what works best and focus on doing more of that. Also stay abreast of the latest updates to the various ad platforms and innovate with them.
The good news is digital advertising is flexible enough to manage your investment based on your growth. It’s easy to scale up and down based on results and the number of customers you can handle at any given time.Digital media advertising is a great process for promoting your business online, especially once you’ve learned the ropes. No other method can drive targeted traffic, increase revenues and grow your business faster than this very important tool. If you’re ready to dive into the process but need a little technical assistance getting the results you want, reach out to me to get you on track.