Of course, the content of your ads is critical to their success. Use the right appeals to emotion, the right calls to action, and the right rhetorical strategies and you’ll increase user engagement and motivate people to buy your product or service.

However, the format of your ads can be just as important as your content. For example, you can have the greatest copy in the world, but if it is presented as a dense block of text, few people are likely going to even read it.

Optimizing formats is essential to helping you get more from your advertising campaign. Here are a few ways you can do that:

Split Test

Split testing is one of the most effective ways to strengthen any part of your marketing or advertising strategy.

Split testing helps you get to the root of what is and is not working your ads or other marketing collateral.

However, split testing can be a bit cumbersome. You have to isolate each of the elements you want to test, so if you want to optimize an ad for maximum success, you may have to test and change numerous elements.

For example, you will need to test whether an image is better or a video. If an image is better, you’ll need to test different types – color or black and white, one with a family or without, and so on – and different sizes. You’ll have to test different text to accompany the photo, and so on and so on.

Split testing is not an easy process, but it is important for helping you determine the best elements for reaching and influencing your audience.

Segment the Audience

Not all ad formats work for all audience members. Certain users may respond better to ads that have video, and others may respond better to pop-ups.

Segmenting your audience can help you refine your focus. You can run ads for one part of your audience and run different ads for another part.

You’ll have to do a great deal of research to determine all the elements that work for the different segments of your audience. For example, you’ll have to learn not only what elements of the ad are most influential for specific parts of your audience, but you’ll also have to determine what websites to target and so on.

Segmenting your audience can help you optimize your ads for maximum impact, which will help you get a bigger return on your investment. Therefore, the work will be worthwhile.

Create Options for Different Devices

Say you perform all your research and testing and find out that video ads perform very well with your audience.

Well, the video you use doesn’t load very quickly on mobile devices, nor does it show up well.

Your ad isn’t going to perform the same for mobile users.

This is just one example of how an ad format can perform differently based on the different devices that people may be using to access content. You need to develop multiple options for your ads based on the different possibilities.

Of course, this means that you’re going to have to research and test for each of the devices. Throw in segmentation and other variables, and you’re looking at a lot of work. But again, if you want to optimize for maximize results, you’re going to need to do it.

Incorporate User-Intent Data

The best way to optimize your ads without having to perform all this work is to incorporate user-intent data.

User-intent data looks at what audience members are really interested in when they’re browsing – not just what terms they are entering into search or what websites they are visiting. Chances are that they could be entering ineffective search terms or that they could be visiting websites that offer nothing of value.

Instead, user-intent algorithms look at a more expansive set of data to make inferences about what the person is trying to find.

When you use this data, your ads are automatically optimized because they are presenting the right content for that user.