Whether you are trying to put together an effective banner, text-based ad, or Facebook status for your business page, there are some core fundamentals that should be heeded for optimal effectiveness. Simply advertising your goods or services is certainly not enough, especially in the online world, where your competitors can be reached with one little click. Creating optimal ads definitely will take a bit of effort—there is testing of different ads, tracking results, and trying to figure out how to best tweak everything. But, getting things off on the right foot as much as possible will cut your learning curve substantially. Here are just a few tips to get you started.
Simplicity is Key
Attention spans are short, and are possibly getting shorter; people visit a page and immediately scan it to find the information for which they are looking. If you are writing advertorial copy, create subheadings, and keep it short and punchy. If you are creating an ad banner, don’t overload it with information. If you are putting together a texting campaign, don’t include unnecessary fluff—you only have a few precious characters with which to work.
Don’t Forget the Call to Action
You are trying to sell something; the people on your site know you want them to buy that something. But, they are less likely to take those next steps unless specifically asked. I remember reading somewhere that tweets with a request to retweet the update were twice as likely to be shared than ones that didn’t include such request.
There is something very powerful about call-to-actions, and specifically asking people to do whatever it is you are hoping they will do. Don’t just focus your copy on features, benefits and the like; make sure you are explicitly requesting they take the next action you want them to take, whether it is downloading something, joining your email list, making a purchase, or get a price quote.
The flashiest ad will not necessarily get more attention, or be more appealing. In fact, too much flash can be a turn off; heavy graphics take a long time to load, and you will likely lose a lot of people who aren’t willing to stick around to see what that ad might say. Pop-ups and rollovers can work against you, as users tend to get very annoyed if the information they are trying to find is being hidden by a very obvious attempt to get their money. A flashing banner can be an attention- grabber, but go easy on animation and Flash.
What is more important? Making sure as many people as possible see your ad, or getting it in front of the people most likely to be interested in what you are selling? The latter of course. Having 20,000 people see an ad will mean very little if only a small fraction of that group is your target audience. If you are going to advertise on other sites, choose them carefully. Think about the different channels you will be using, and make sure your design and copy is relevant to that particular group of people.
If you are faltering a bit in your ad attempts, consider reaching out to professionals who do this stuff day-in and day-out for a living; For example, Advertise.com is a premier online ad network that can help you put together a variety of campaigns, such as mobile and PPC.