But it takes more than just a good-looking image to really win with display ads – while grabbing your audience’s attention is obviously crucial, maintaining it, and then utilising it to advantage, takes additional planning and consideration.
Here are some key tips to help you make the most of your display ads and ensure you’re getting the most value from your efforts.
1. Think like your audience
This is pretty basic, but the first thing you need to keep in mind to create optimal display ads is to consider who your audience is, and what content is most likely going to resonate with them.
This largely comes down to targeting and understanding your audience segments – the more you can focus your ads on the right audience, and craft messages relevant to specific users, the more likely you are to achieve success.
For example, you might run a display campaign to re-target users who have already visited your site – one of the best ways to maximise this type of campaign is to show them offers relevant to the specific product/s they were looking at previously, as opposed to a generic promotion.
Think from your audience’s perspective – what would encourage you to click on this ad as you go about your regular web browsing behaviour?
2. Refine your call to action
Having a relevant call to action is a must, but it’s also important to take the time to craft that CTA and make it as enticing as possible.
Research has shown that providing a clear CTA can significantly increase your conversions, prompting up to three times more clicks, and sixteen times more sales, in some instances. By providing a clear direction, you’re helping ensure readers will respond to exactly that, as opposed to simply dropping off, unsure about how to progress or what to do next.
Getting attention is one thing, capitalising on that attention with an effective CTA is a whole other element. Consider what action you want people to take, and be explicit in outlining this action in your ad.
3. Optimise your landing page for each ad
Once you’ve got the attention of your audience and you’ve clarified what they should do next, it’s critical that your ad flow supports those elements.
Many businesses still don’t use their landing page properly, referring users to their homepage, or a generic sales promotion listing.
Again, it’s important to consider the person reading the ad, and what they’re looking for – the more targeted and focused your ad is, the better. If you can get someone to click through on an ad for a specific offer, make sure they’re directed to that exact promotion.
It’s also worth noting that being more targeted in this way could reduce your overall click-through rate. That said, by being explicit and providing exact pathways based on each promotion, while you might get less clicks overall, you will, most likely, be reaching a more genuinely interested audience - those more likely to actually buy.
Remember that getting clicks is not the aim, generating conversions is. More specific goals means narrowing the pool in terms of reach, but ideally, you’ll also be increasing the response among real leads.
These are just some of the ways in which you can refine and optimise your display ads to maximise performance. The key thing to also keep in mind is that you always need to be learning. Take in the data and assess how each campaign is performing, where people are dropping off in the acquisition flow, how you can improve at each step.
It takes time - sometimes counterintuitive changes may provide significantly better results - but the more you experiment, the more you learn, which will help you create more resonant, valuable campaigns.