6 Tips for More Effective Display Ads

6 Tips for More Effective Display Ads


Display ads are known for having less-than-ideal click-through-rates, and rarely converting a new customer. With that being said, it’s arguable that effective display ads are one of the most important components of a holistic digital marketing approach.

When it comes to seeing results from your display ads, creativity is crucial as standing out on a crowded page is one of the challenges advertisers and designers face. It takes careful consideration to convince a user to leave what they were doing just to visit your display ad’s landing page.

If you aren’t getting the results you want, these 6 tips can help you take your display ads to the next level:


1.      Blend in, but stand out

I know this sounds like a contradiction, but if you go a little deeper it makes perfect sense.

Your audience doesn’t want to be bombarded with obtrusive ads while browsing the internet, but at the same time, your ad needs to be recognized in order to be effective. The solution? Create eye-catching graphics that entertain as well as promote.

Instead of focusing on throwing your brand in the face of your target audience, try to design an ad in a way that intrigues users to learn more. Your goal should be to grab interest without telling the full story.


2.      Tailor ads to your target audience

We’re more likely to be interested in a product when the image features someone who looks like us – that’s just the reality of human nature. While you’ll never be able to pull this off on an individual level, you should be using different creative messaging to reach different segments of your audience.

Taking a one-size-fits-all approach can seem like an effective strategy (ex: if my ad applies to everyone, everyone will be interested), but the reality is that you won’t motivate many people to take action.

You don’t need a dozen different creative options to match with your targeting. Simply creating two ad sets, male and female, and using the respective gender in the ad graphic can increase your results significantly.


3.      Take creative risks

As a display ad designer, you already know that the competition for eyeballs is huge. Occasionally (or more than occasionally), taking risks can have a huge payoff.

To say that using “shocking” images improves performance sounds obvious, but very few marketers actually put it into action. Let’s just get the facts out there: if you’re reading through a story or browsing social media, your attention is focused on something. In order to win you over, it’s going to take something that visually grabs you.

It is okay to go outside the box of what you’d normally consider  “safe” advertising. If your imagery is too graphic, the platform you’re using to advertise will inform you.

The bottom line is you shouldn’t be afraid to push the envelope when it comes to display ads. If you don’t catch the attention of your audience, your message is completely lost.


4.      Retarget strategically

Your initial goal of a display campaign might be to simply get more eyes on your site, but that should only be the beginning.

One reason that website traffic is so valuable is that you can use it to create better audiences through retargeting. Make sure you have a tracking pixel installed in order to use the data from those who have visited your website.

From a strategic standpoint, you can create highly-personalized ads based on which pages were visited and how far in the purchase process a user was at the time they exited. For example, if you’re tracking people who have added your product to their cart but didn’t follow through with the purchase, you can tailor messaging and create an ad set that is relevant to this group.

Additionally, retargeting can help keep your products top-of-mind. Visiting your website the first time is a top-of-funnel action, but clicking on your retargeted ad and re-visiting your site again means that a user is moving towards the goal of becoming a conversion.

Recognize that most people don’t make purchases online during their first visit to a site. Keep people coming back through retargeting and you’ll see overall ROI improve greatly.


5.      Make your CTA clear and obvious

The goal of advertising is to get your audience to act! Help pave the way for this action by making your CTA stand out.

Your CTA (call-to-action) button should be a contrasting color that users can see immediately. Additionally, using words that imply a personal connection like: “Book your trip today!” or “Find your new favorite shirt,” have been proven to be the most effective ways to inspire action from your target audience.

Although it might not feel like the main focus of your advertisement, your CTA is really the most important component of the graphic. Make it as easy as possible for users to act, and you’ll reap the benefits as a result.


6.      Stay consistent

Regardless of which types of digital ads you’re utilizing at any one given time, it’s best to keep things consistent. For example, if you’re running a Facebook ad campaign, the display campaign should have similar messaging.

Chances are, if you’re using retargeting, your audience will see your ad on various platforms around the internet. This presents a great opportunity to make sure they recall your ad if you don’t switch things up.

Make things easy on your audience. The next time you launch a campaign on different networks, make sure imagery, branding, and messaging all have a similar feel.


Wrapping Up

Display advertising can be an extremely effective top-of-the-funnel tool for businesses in all industries. With that being said, if you aren’t implementing the recommended best practices, your efforts might wind up being a big waste of resources.

Remember that targeting and eye-catching creative are equally important, and consistency can help create a memorable experience for users who come in contact with your ad.

If you need additional assistance in developing an effective display ad campaign, contact us today for a consultation.