Creating video display ads is somewhat easier than it’s ever been. For example, you can use a banner generator tool to automatically create different sizes of the same design and then customize them just with a few clicks.
Even with these tools, you do need to know how to design your display ads to resonate with your audience, maximizing your ROI.
Below, we cover what you should know about designing display ads and how to make them something that’s going to generate interest and clicks.
What Is Display Advertising?
If you’re new to it altogether, display advertising combines images, text, and a URL linking to a website. Then, when someone clicks on it, they’re going to learn more about your business or buy products.
There are a lot of formats for ads, which can be static and then include an image. They can also be animated and have multiple images. Display ads can feature changing text, known as rich media ads or videos.
Ad campaigns can have different goals. Some might be geared toward engagement or entertainment, while others are more focused on educating potential customers about a product or service.
Digital ads in 2021 made up more than half of total U.S. ad spend.
Display ads appear on third-party sites, and most are square or rectangular. They have content that ideally is aligned with the website they’re being shown on and the audience preferences.
Google ads is a well-known way to run display ad campaigns.
Types of Display Ads
Some of the general types of display ads that you might create include:
- Remarketing ads: These are also known as retargeting ads, and they’re popular because they’re highly personalized and also tend to be pretty effective. Retargeting ads work by adding a bit of code to your website that collects visitor browsing information. Then, from the information you collect, you create customer type lists and the advertising messages that would most likely appeal to them. With remarketing or retargeting ads, you keep yourself fresh in the minds of your customers and potential customers.
- Personalized advertising: Remarketing ads are actually a subset of personalized advertising, at least as far as Google is concerned. There are several other types of personalized ads, in addition to retargeting, which look at preferences and user behavior instead of brand interactions.
- Contextually-targeted ads: Rather than displaying ads based on people’s user profiles, contextually-targeted ads are placed on sites based on criteria like your keywords and topic, your location and language preferences, and the browsing history of the site’s recent visitors.
- Site-placed ads: In this option, you hand-select websites that are going to host your ad. You can choose individual pages within the site or the entire site.
Display Ads vs. Native Ads
Native ads are an alternative where they’re designed, so they blend into content that’s already on a page. Native ads are an especially popular format on social media news feeds. They do have to include language that identifies them as ads, but they look a lot like the regular user posts you would otherwise see in your feed.
Sometimes these ads can even reach people with enabled adblocking software.
Creating a Good Display Ad
The following are some best practices for designing and creating an effective display ad:
- Google recommends that you use responsive ads to save time on the creation of different versions of ads for your different designs. As we mentioned above, if you use something like a banner generator tool, it’s going to simplify this. Responsive ads automatically adjust the ad so that it fits different device types, including tablets, mobile, and desktops.
- Be clear and compelling with all text and headlines. For your headline, you want to simply describe your brand, product, or service. Your description text needs to be easy to understand, and you don’t want anything too generic or too gimmicky. Click-bait is a definite no here as well.
- If you have a special offer available make sure to include it. People need something to push them in the direction of a certain decision.
- Ensure the landing page you’re linking to is relevant. Your landing page is the site you’re linking to from your ad, so you want a call-to-action within your ad that takes people to your landing page directly.
- A good baseline is to have three to four ads per ad group and then try different images and messages to see which performs best. If you’re using something like Google Ads, it will automatically show whatever the better-performing ad is.
- It can be a useful to have a certain hierarchy when designing display ads. You want to start with your company logo, but this needs to be less dominant than your call-to-action or value proposition. Perhaps the most important element of an ad is your value proposition, showing the product and services that you offer and an appealing offer. Then, you also want your call-to-action to have some dominance in the design. You want the visuals to be simple as well as the content.
- Using buttons can help increase your click-through rate for your ad, and if you are going to use them, you can add them after your copy, often on the lower right side of your ad.
- The frame of a display ad should be clearly defined. Your eyes are going to be naturally drawn to what’s inside a frame. Even if you design an ad that’s white, consider putting a gray border around it.
- Animation tends to perform better than static banner ads, as long as it’s not overly distracting.
Finally, you want to be smart with how you use imagery. Your photos, graphics, and videos are going to convey what you can’t necessarily get across with your text. You don’t always have to use images in your banner ads, but if you don’t, you need to make sure your copy is amazing since that’s all people will be looking at.
Your typography can also be impactful in situations where you might not use an image.