Did you know people are more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad? But that doesn’t mean there is no room for the channel in marketing strategies. Because display ads tend to trigger a more creative side in marketing teams, marketers may feel they can be less focused on analytics and pay more attention to qualitative decisions such as colors, taglines, animation, etc. But display ads are no exception to the new marketing rule that all initiatives must be measured, measured, and re-measured to gauge performance and determine accurate ROI in real time.
So how do you balance creative strategy with industry best practices for display ad marketing? Make sure you have a smart mix of both creative and analytics when launching a display ad campaign. Here are a few tips we have picked up along the way that can help:
1. Use an Effective Creative Model
Display advertisements are intended to play the role of grabbing a consumer’s eye and engaging them with the brand quickly and efficiently. Because display ads must compete against an onslaught of content and messaging being thrown at consumers, an effective creative model is the first step toward differentiation and success.
The creative model forms the foundation of an ad – making up the heart and soul of the messaging as it relates to the consumer. Within the model there are two components: creative and message. The creative aspect is comprised of visual elements such as the background, logos, or buttons. The message side revolves solely around the small amount of content shared in the display.
These components should be separate when testing new styles or messages so as to determine which aspect is working and which needs to be improved. The wrong messaging can confuse a customer or misrepresent the campaign. Poor color choice can just as easily impact consumer behavior when reacting to the display ad.
2. Have Clean Designs and Copy
When working through several different styles of both creative and message designs, keep in mind the value of simplifying the presentation so consumers can digest it easily. Display ads should do their job from start to finish within a few seconds by being direct and appealing. Consider these best practices when simplifying the design:
- Keep animation minimal
- Use concise language that demonstrates the benefit of the product or service
- Create a clear call to action to encourage a next step
It is easy to get caught up in the creation of an elaborate display ad with distracting bells and whistles. These campaigns, however, typically fail to pique customer interest quick enough and persuade a call to action to lure them to a landing page with more information. Think of the display ad as tempting bait, rather than the entire sales pitch in one rectangular box.
3. Test Options Before and After Launching
So you have experimented with different color schemes, marketing messaging, and call to action text. Now you must put two or several to the test with some old fashioned competition.
Marketing is no longer driven by creative ideas that are put out into the market with fingers crossed for success. Teams must rack, compare, report, and analyze all initiatives throughout the sales lifecycle – and display ads are no different.
There are many ways to perform A/B testing on display ad designs before making a final decision. Typically a company will narrow down the decision to two finalists and define what metric will be tracked to determine success – such as page views, downloads, or phone calls. When compared to one another in identical environments, teams will have a better idea of which design performs best based on the metric of choice.
Call tracking technology has become a key resource for display ad A/B testing. By associating unique trackable numbers with each display ad and landing page being tested, call tracking solutions can collect data on how many phone calls were generated from each ad. This is a fast and efficient way to monitor performance and breakdown results by channel.
Display ads may seem simple, but there are many pitfalls to avoid. Learn how to minimize common mistakes and get the most value from your display campaigns by watching our “7 Tips for More Effective Display Ad Campaigns” on-demand webinar.