If you’ve been in advertising for any length of time, you’ve likely created ads for both print and online. Developing ads for digital spaces is quite a bit different than designing a print ad. For one thing, you’re competing with a million other things vying for the consumer’s attention.
People view most digital ads today on mobile devices, which makes designing even more of a challenge. Companies spent about 51 percent of the total budget for digital ads on mobile advertising in 2016. That number will likely continue to increase.
Creating advertisements for the digital space requires a bit of specialized knowledge and an eye to digital detail. Here are eight tips to help you design your next digital ad.
Every brand has distinctive elements that make it more recognizable. Starbucks has their mermaid logo. AT&T has a globe that appears to be in motion. Whether you use a specific color palette, a mascot or a logo, be sure you consistently use these elements in your digital advertising just as you would in your brick-and-mortar store or on your website.
You can throw a lot of money at digital advertising without seeing any results. Before you pay for an ad on social media or decide how to create the ad, make sure you know the audience you want to reach and where they spend most of their time online. For example, if you want to reach women who enjoy cooking, Pinterest is a good choice for you to pay for advertising or spend money on content creation to add to the social networking site.
Peapod is a grocery delivery service. It makes sense Pinterest would be a good place to market their brand. However, how do you make the connection between food delivery and homemaking? Some of their pins include content, such as slow-cooker Hawaiian chicken tacos, a recipe for chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting and spring cleaning tips.
When creating a digital ad, you have the opportunity to present beautiful images and videos, but don’t just post any old image because it’s pretty. Instead, make sure the images you use tell a story to the viewer. They should be relevant to your business and the product you’d like to sell, and they should create a strong emotional connection between the image and the viewer.
Track different campaigns, and make sure you understand what the return on investment is for each type of campaign. Creating an ad is about so much more than just getting the word out. You have a message to share, which needs to connect with the viewer on a personal level. However, that’s much easier said than done.
One of the best ways to ensure this happens is to study internal metrics. If you place an ad on social media, you’ll be able to see who clicked on the ad. That allows you to determine if you need to do something different or keep doing what is successful.
Customers want to be entertained. You’re competing with dozens of other things trying to grab the consumer’s attention. Her kids are arguing in the next room, she needs to get dinner started, her husband is texting her to ask if she needs anything from the store and she’s distracted with the ad she saw for a new jacket she just has to own.
If you don’t grab the customer’s attention amid all the noise and pull them in, you risk losing them to all these other distractions. Take the customer on a unique journey by sharing a story with them.
Mouth Foods does a great job of telling short stories on their Twitter feed. Note how they tie the above post to Mother’s Day. They use an interesting photo that makes you wonder how they got up to that peak to set a jar of pickles and take the shot. Once they have your attention, they then remind you about everything your mom has done for you. It’s brilliant advertising that tells a story quickly.
Truly great ads have something to offer to the consumer. That is especially the case with digital ads, because they can inspire a consumer to take immediate action. Ads created for a digital space should clearly present the offer and explain the advantage to the consumer. Sometimes you can accomplish this by sharing an image or statistic, or just coming out and stating the offer. Often, the focus is on pricing, but you can also focus on things such as special packages or a limited-time offer.
Just as you need to state the offer to consumers, you should also present a clear call to action (CTA) to entice the consumer to take action. A CTA can be as simple as “Get this deal,” or something more complex, but either way, it should be eye-catching and easy to recognize.
Even though you might have heard you should use blue or red buttons for your CTA, the truth is no single color converts best. There are many variables involved, so the best thing is to try different colors and wording until you find the one that converts best with your target audience.
Simplisafe knows people who land on their website are looking for a home security system. While they provide several options, such as a video you can watch, they also create a clear CTA button in the upper right that says, “Shop Now.” The button is easy to locate and takes the user right to the correct page to begin shopping. You can also visit SimpliSafe’s Twitter page here.
One way to track how well your ads are doing and to funnel site visitors to the areas you most want them to visit is to create specific landing pages for different advertisements. If you create an ad for Facebook, you can designate a landing page for just that ad. This practice allows you to track traffic and to funnel those visitors based on the audience you were targeting with your ad.
Landing pages also allow you to test different marketing strategies to see which ones work best for conversions. You can easily change elements on the page that aren’t working, while still keeping the page tied to that particular ad.
Designing ads for a digital world requires a bit of research and extra thought. Online consumers don’t always behave the way you think they will, so invest in learning their habits and creating user personas to figure out which ad elements work with the people you most want to reach. Digital advertising tends to be a cheaper marketing medium than print, so you should be able to try different tactics until you find the one that works best for your business.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
Let’s face it — Google AdWords can be awesome for visibility. Most businesses want it but learning it can be overwhelming for some. So where do you start? How about the Academy for Ads from Google.
Image Source: Google
Advertising has always been a way to build awareness and drive sales. The ad industry was once dominated by TV, print, and radio. Now Google is one of the largest ad sellers that can put your business in front of thousands of highly qualified prospects. Many brands have leveraged SEO as a way to gain “free” exposure. But with algorithm updates and organic results now showing below the fold, it’s becoming more difficult to earn top positions on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Is buying ads the solution? Some advertisers have been surprised to eat through budgets quickly, spending between $6 to $10 per click. Sometimes even more for highly competitive keywords. All this effort just to show up on page two or three on Google. Why is this happening?
Organizations that better understand online advertising will pay a fraction of the cost most advertisers pay. The same keywords that are killing your budget are working wonders for your competitors. Why is this? What can you do to make Adwords cheaper for you?
You should first be concerned with search engine optimization. SEO isn’t for organic ranking only, it’s also essential to ad placement, ad cost, and how your web pages convert.
If you have a quality site with good SEO, Google will give you a higher ad rank. This will make your ads cheaper and give you better placement. The video below explains how the system works. At around 4:02 it goes into detail about the role quality plays in your advertisements.
To spend less with Google AdWords, you also want to make sure you’re targeting the right audience. Having the wrong people click your ads will drive up cost and lower conversions. If you’re looking for impressions (for brand exposure and not conversions), it’s best to advertise using CPM (cost per thousand impressions) rather than cost per click.
Use Googles Keyword Planner to help you identify the right keywords for your campaign. If your target audience is located in Florida, be sure you target that location. If most of your customers speak only English or Spanish, use language settings to include certain languages.
Making these selections doesn’t mean you’ll find the perfect audience, that’s why testing is essential.
You’ve probably heard of A/B testing, in order to test one campaign against another. However, I suggest A/G testing, where you compare multiple campaigns using different keyword groups to see which keywords and phrases perform the best.
After a few weeks of testing, compare click-through rates (CTR’s) and conversions to see which campaigns are most profitable. You can even compare data such as times of day, device, and demographic information to better tailor your ad copy.
When testing or running multiple keyword groups, be sure not to bid against yourself. When choosing keyword and phrases for a campaign, make sure the keywords you are targeting aren’t similar to any other groups. If so, you will be competing against yourself and drive up cost.
Avoid this by grouping only closely related keywords in each campaign and segmenting your audience.
You may be targeting multiple groups of people with different interest that match your varying offers. Say for example you are a car dealership, with customers in the market for vans, trucks, and sports cars. Don’t target too broad of an audience, these people have different interest and triggers that motivate them. The woman in the market for a sports car may be single, with no kids, so words like “fast” and “red” in your ad copy may cause her to click on your ad. The dad in the market for a truck may be looking for a work vehicle and something large enough to pack tents and coolers for family camping trips.
To save money on ads, know your audience and segment them accordingly.
Finally, to save money on your Google Adwords campaign, it is essential to have a good landing page. When driving traffic to your site, you want to avoid high bounce rates. A bounce is what happens when visitors come to your site and leave without engaging with your content (e.g. click a button, sign up for email). If your bounce rate is above 50% you either need to change your ad copy to make sure you are targeting the right audience, or make changes to your landing page.
I suggest making multiple landing pages to test different images, buttons, colors, and keywords.
Don’t just send users to your homepage. Create pages specifically for your ads and eliminate distractions on that page. For example, don’t feature too many links that may cause your site visitors to explore and navigate away from your sales or email sign up page.
Google also gives precedence to well-optimized landing pages. So make sure your landing page gives you the best possible chance to convert your site visitors.
Larry C Lewis is an Internet behavior scientist best known for his work in social media and video marketing. He is the head of marketing at Digital Exponents and the founder of Marketinglikeapro.net. For more information, Larry can be reached on Twitter @larryclewis.
Copyright: dennizn / 123RF Stock Photo
PPC or Pay Per Click is a unique and powerful method of marketing or advertising. It’s the core of paid searches and it gives businesses and brands an opportunity to target their audience in a specific and flexible way. It’s a user, geography and demographic-based method of boosting traffic to sites.
PPC results are dependent on search engines and their regular updates or trends. It’s therefore important to be aware of latest PPC trends to get more benefits out of paid searches. A great care is needed with pay per click as paid searches are now an essential part of the overall marketing strategy of small and big brands alike.
PPC brings an edge over natural searches and that’s why it’s preferred a lot. With measurable results and options of stopping ads midway, this form of marketing is best suited to those seeking highest kind of flexibility and extensibility. You just can’t ignore pay per click trends as this will take away your competitive edge. So, be careful and be attentive with pay per click.
Let’s look at latest PPC trends and their impact for your business:
Mobile searches have already outpaced those from desktops, and the trend is going to continue. In that scenario, your business can’t ignore the power of mobile and its rising clout. Your PPC campaigns have to consider mobile, smartphones and tablets to get its share of paid search pounds. You will thus need a mobile-friendly website which has responsive designs. If you don’t tweak your website to suit hand-held devices, you will lose out on a massive prospect for sure.
More brands are using informative and engaging videos to target their audience. As videos deliver more engagement and entertainment value, they are now becoming an integral aspect of marketing strategy of brands of any scale and magnitude. You need to leverage video ads more than ever before as they impact rankings and catch attention when posted across social media channels.
Search engines have already rolled out the option of persona targeting and it’s going to get more popular in the days to come. This option will give PPC advertisers a better understanding of the site’s visitors, their tastes and preferences, their level of interactions etc. This option means marketers can retarget customers based on some valuable info regarding their manner of using websites and accessing its content. With both Bing and Facebook already jumped into the fray, brands now find an opportunity to get a deep insight of their customers and seek prospects out of them.
Keywords or phrases of the search are not as important today as their intent. Search engines have put in place Semantic Search where all words are going to hold value. With this, sites have to publish quality content only and they have to cut their focus on keyword stuffing. Searches have to be responsive and that’s why keywords had to find less emphasis. For brands, this latest PPC trends means they have to be careful with their content and avoid excessive use of keywords.
Gone are the days when almost any and every kind of content brought rich rewards, but not anymore. If the content is not informational, it won’t fetch any benefits. If it’s not adding to user experience nor delving deep into some topic or theme, it won’t serve any purpose. More so, the content has to be based around the readers’ requirements and information, and not try to gain advertising benefits in a visible way.
Cookies will no longer be a preferred more of targeting users on the internet. Rather, your business will benefit from ID-based targeting to deal with the issue of multi-screen identities. And with that, you will never lose your customers even when they switch the device. In a sense, traditional way of doing PPC is losing ground at a time when users have multiple devices to access the brand.
It’s obvious that PPC is witnessing quite a lot of trends and changes and bringing a new angle to paid search. It therefore becomes important to avail the best PPC Management services to benefit your business in the desired manner. Let experts set up your campaigns and help you reach your target audience in a desired manner. Never ever set up your campaign by own.
Adwords consultant fees are billed in many different ways, but the most common is to bill them as a percentage of each client’s overall budget for Google Adwords advertising. In some cases, if you are hiring a single consultant rather than a consulting firm, you might pay by the hour instead or depending on what you have agreed upon but an hourly rate is the most common. Your AdWords consultant will look at your account and discuss with you what needs to be worked on to get your account operating optimally, whether you are seeking routine maintenance after the initial consulting, and if any special work outside of your AdWords account is needed (such as landing page optimization). From there, your consultant will estimate the total number of hours he anticipates the project will take and give you a quote on the AdWords consultant fees. This is among the first steps if you have hired an AdWords consultant.
If the consultant you are interested in hiring does not want to bill you separately for your AdWords consultant fees, beware. Some consultants prefer to take over your AdWords account and then send you a bill for one overall price which includes your budget plus the consultant fees, but this is referred to as opaque and keeps you in the dark about how much you are actually paying your consultant for their services. A reputable AdWords consultant should be willing to bill you separately for their work on your account, with a breakdown of what services were performed, similar to how a lawyer bills time. This is called transparent billing and it is strongly recommended that you hire someone who discloses their fees in this manner. In this way, matters are clear and you will know what it is you are paying and where your investment is going. In this scenario, you will pay a Google AdWords invoice as well as your consultant fees each month.
So how much can you expect to pay in fees? Well, most consultants charge anywhere from $100 to $200 an hour for their services. This also depends on their experience and level of expertise. This may surprise you as it might seem high, but again, these experts provide highly specialized services that are no different from what you might pay an attorney or a business consultant. It takes years of experience and hard work to become an expert user of Google AdWords, and only a person with this kind of background should you consider to consult with you about your campaign. That is why it is important to do your research first so that you can be sure that you are only paying for the best. Also, try to find a good consultant who lives near you, especially if your business is a brick and mortar store and you are looking to gain more local business. You want a consultant who knows the culture in your area, not someone from Poland who may charge a bit less but completely lacks the ability to properly choose effective keywords for an English-speaking audience.
Aaron Opfell is an author, speaker, and CEO of SearcherMagnet, a rapidly growing Internet Ad agency. Google Adwords & Google Analytics certified, Aaron has over 8 years experience in Online Marketing & Advertising across Search Engine Optimization, PPC, Email Marketing, Display/Banner Advertising, Affiliate Marketing and more.