…made you look. Creating effective banner advertising. mobile ads and social media ads is both as simple, and as tricky, as you might think. You don’t have a lot of time to capture your prospect’s attention and make them take action. Your ad may contain any combination of these elements: background colours or image, a message, and an image or line drawing which may be animated. So what can you do to make someone more likely to look at your ad and take action, instead of simply ignoring it – or looking at a competitor’s ad instead?
1. Learn from the best. Go online and check out direct competitor and big brand banner ads, mobile ads and social media ads. Find two or three that really stand out for you, and analyze the content: what do the ads have in common? What elements in the ad make it effective – is it the words, the image, the colour, the layout?
2. Be clear. Understand what you are selling, and who you are selling to. A strong, clear message or call to action, or a simple, direct graphic or image, should be your strongest visual element. If using text, keep the word count between five and seven words to maximize impact. Use a larger font size, or use the saved ad real estate to insert a great image. Don’t say “Come to our store for the best prices in town on widgets,” say “Save big on widgets: click here.”
3. Keep it small. A larger file size means a longer load time, which interferes with your prospect’s user experience, adds to their frustration, and reduces the chance they’ll have the patience to view your ad. For a smaller banner ad, keep the size between 30k to 50k; for larger banner ads, try to keep the size between 100k and 150k. Try limiting the number of colours in the ad, save any images you’re using with “web/online viewing only” settings, and ensure any images you’re using are upload friendly JPEG or GIF files.
4. Less is more. Use words that immediately communicate a benefit, or produce an action – words like “free,” “affordable,” “save now.” Spend some time brainstorming, or finding the words that grab you while you’re working on point no. 1, to come up with your very own campaign power word list. Ditto with your images and font types: one or two eye-catching graphics or fonts are better than using too many, which might confuse the viewer long enough for them to skip over your ad. Try mining an image bank (iStock, Corbis, Dreamstime) for royalty free or completely free stock photography. In keeping with the “simple and clear” idea, you can also use line graphics (drawings). Animation will draw the eye, but shouldn’t be annoying; set the animation speed from slow to moderate, and stop it after two or three cycles.
5. Use contrast. Contrast between the different elements of your ad (background, words, images) can be effective in drawing attention. Use two different font sizes, styles (e.g. bold, italic) or two different font or background colors. If you do use two or more fonts, use ones that produce a contrast i.e. are from different categories (e.g. serif, sans serif, decorative font types).
Use these tips when creating your own custom, targeted brand offers and banner advertising with your Global Coupon Business Membership. Bookmark us and check back next month for Pt. 2 of how to create effective online ads – and browse our blog archive for more great digital marketing and branding ideas!