No matter how experienced of a digital marketer you are, it is always helpful to brush up on best practices before launching your campaign. Before you create display ads, take a step back and make sure you’ve thought through each of the five key areas below.
Goals & Themes
But before you begin creating your ads, make sure you’ve also thought through a few additional questions, in order to help you identify the proper placement. You’ll need to reach out to the right audience, at the right time. Think about your target audience and ask yourself these questions before launch:
A beautiful ad just won’t do. Incorporate the incentive into your messaging on the banner.
What websites are most appropriate for your campaign?
Do you want to reach users at a certain company? This is especially helpful when trying to fill the end of the sales funnel, for account management or prospecting.
What keywords do people search for when they find your company?
What geography is most relevant to your company? If you’re really going for brand lift, you may not need to hone in so specifically. However, if you’re promoting an event, that will likely inform both your ad copy and your geo-targeting.
Do you want to exclude any users or domains (or geographic regions)? If you don’t sell your product or service in a certain country, make sure to exclude that in your campaign so you’re not wasting ad spend on impressions that are irrelevant.
These questions will help guide you throughout your ad creation, but let’s dive in to the specific items to consider:
#1 Goals & Themes:
Building a cohesive theme for your digital campaign is a major key to its success. If you’re creating multiple ad units for your campaign, you want to make sure there is consistency among them. What should be consistent exactly? From colors to fonts to a main image, creating a uniform look and feel across your digital campaign reinforces recognition and brand identity.
The overall goals for your ads should also be consistent. Don’t advertise one product on one ad, and then a completely different product on another ad that’s part of the same campaign. If the overall design of the ads is similar, the goals on those ads should be as well. This does not mean you must refrain from A/B testing in one campaign, which is why having a key theme or concept is important.
#2 Keep It Simple:
So you have the concept and overall design theme in mind. When relaying this to your designer, there are still a few other important factors that can make or break your campaign.
You want to make your ad buy worthwhile, so you may be tempted to add a lot of information…. but consider the amount of information the average user is consuming as they browse the web, especially on science and research publications. Your ad should be concise, to the point and catchy. (‘Catchy’ in the chemical industry is not the same as ‘catchy’ in more traditional B2C campaigns either, so this is where being very familiar with your target audience will come in to play.)
Always ask yourself: what is the hook and what makes you different?
#3 Include a CTA:
You could have the world’s most beautiful ads, but if they don’t have a proper call to action, you’re seriously hurting your chances of getting clicks. Buttons are still not outdated – telling users what to do is key to securing action. If you’re advertising an upcoming webinar, tell users to sign up or register. Play with the exact wording and compare results. If you’re advertising a new product, tell users to learn more.
#4 Provide Value:
Incentives are key. To get clicks on your ad, you have to provide something of value for the user when they get to the next step. Give the end users something to download, register for or just learn more about. A beautiful ad just won’t do. Incorporate the incentive into your messaging on the banner.
PRO TIP: Another critical aspect to keep in mind is the landing page you send users to. It should also reflect your banner. Don’t make the user do more work to find out where to submit a form, or find the information that’s listed on your ad.
Make it as easy as possible for the end user so that as soon as they come to your landing page, it informs them about what they were interested in in the first place.
#5 Targeting, Testing & Optimizing:
Now that you’ve got your ads ready to go with a great, cohesive concept, simple copy, call to action, and something of value for the user – it’s time to launch your campaign.
But that doesn’t mean the campaign is over. More and more platforms are making analytics easier and easier to use, and publishers have their own reports with key metrics to watch. Are your ads up to par with the average click through rates, – are they getting the kind of impressions you want? As mentioned already, try A/B testing with two or three versions and set your campaign to optimize so it automatically serves the top-performing ad. Check in periodically with your publisher about the performance of your campaign and see how you can optimize it for even better results. Don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions!
After your campaign has run, take a look at your results, leverage your experience and digital expertise, and keep the momentum going for your next campaign!
Have an exciting campaign coming up? Reach out to us and see how we can help you launch it.Keywords: a/b testing, banner ads, data, design, Digital Strategies, marketing goals, targeting, value proposition, writing tips