Is your ad creative missing something you just can’t quite put your finger on? Have you ever wondered if you could you double your conversions with just a few tweaks to that ad?
The answer is probably, yes. So many people unintentionally create ads that perform poorly. And the worst ones are often listed and analyzed online for us all to smirk at.
And I’m sure you’d agree that creating an ad that really converts may seem like quite a simple and straightforward task... Until you begin. It’s more challenging in practice, particularly when the product or service you’re selling is complex, expensive or new, such as those in the tech space.
Common Ad Creative Mistakes Made By Media Buyers, Planners & Agency Staff
1. Obedience To Unwritten Rules
For some reason, advertisers want their ads to look and sound like ads. Why is that? The best ads aren’t salesy, they’re subtle.
To avoid salesy ads, try these three tasks:
- Study modern ads that have achieved excellent results. What is it about them that makes them both fresh and attractive?
- Study the old greats, but remember to think about how to make sure every ad you create is built like it’s made for 2020.
- Analyze what your target audience say online, and use their own words in your ad copy
2. Creating Ads Instead Of Campaigns
Everyone has done this at some point due to budget restriction, or because an idea for an ad just came to us before we had the chance to look at big ideas for a campaign.
A single ad can’t tell a story and is unlikely to work. That is why working with clients with a decent-sized budget is essential.
And resist the temptation to start campaign creation with ad execution, at all costs. Pan out before zooming in.
3. Great Production Without Great Copy
Creative is good... But persuasive is more important. So are informative, believable and memorable. Slick, funny, clever and creative don’t sell!
Now writing good copy is an art. Do you use filter words in your copy? What about power words? Now you can instantly use power words because they’re free. Copyblogger and CopyHackers are great resources for copywriting.
Either way, starting out with great copy is where you want to begin. And once you have data, you can act on it. So ask yourself:
- Which subject lines get my customer groups to open emails?
- Which blog posts get the most attention?
- Which ads get the best results?
- Which posts get the most engagement?
Use the concepts and emotions the copy evokes to inform your ad copy.
4. Using Only One Creative
Programmatic advertising helps you deliver highly targeted ads to those who are most likely to become your customers.
It also gets rid of a lot of the menial tasks usually involved in ad development and helps you maximize your ROI.
But limiting yourself to a single creative robs you of a large piece of the programmatic pie.
Trying to pick the “perfect ad” upfront is stressful, and there’s no need when you can let the market decide for you.
Running various versions of an ad at the same time will show you which one performs best with which audience and in which context.
Programmatic tracks each version’s response and identifies the winners, making it easy to find out which elements work best and polish your ad over time.
One company noted something interesting in their data when they did this:
“Our best case studies where we’ve had 2,200% ROI, or we’ve gotten incredible results for low-cost leads [etc.] … and where we drive the most incredible results are [in cases] when we’ve created the most ideas and put them in front of customers, and we see which ones customers respond the most to.”
You can implement this process incrementally, one step at a time. For example:
- Begin by testing different methods of targeting people, such as media types
- Test some images to find the best image types for your audience
- Then test different headlines to find the best one
How To Make Your Creative Create Conversions: Expert Tips
1. Start With The End In Mind
Neil Patel notes that most marketers start the ad creation process by creating an ad or a landing page. As mentioned above, reverse engineering the customer journey is optimal.
What result do you want to achieve with your campaign? Select your keywords and copy based on that result.
2. Create A Benefit-Packed Headline
How are you going to solve your client’s customer or prospect’s problem? What’s the value proposition? A free whitepaper, an unbeatable discount, or a tailored and personalized solution they will enjoy taking advantage of?
Here’s a great example of the latter and a discount, together, from Club W:
And here's another one from Slack. See how they clearly communicate their main benefits for the customers: productivity, all-in-one place, real-time messaging, goal achievement, modernity.
3. Address Pain Points Directly
Pain points are essential to keep in mind for effective ad copy, because people make decisions emotionally, not logically.
CommVault use pain points in the following ad to pique their audience’s interest, and it works:
Negatives like “stop,” “avoid,” “never” and “worst” can help raise your CTR because you’re directly addressing their main concerns and challenges.
4. Vary Font Sizes For Added Emphasis
If you’re running Facebook ads, it can be challenging to bold or italicize words so that you can emphasize them. So try capitalizing, bolding, italicizing and changing the size of certain words in your ad creative. Here are a few good examples:
Just be careful not to overdo this tactic.
5. Select A Recognizable, Credible Image
It only takes 13 milliseconds for your client’s prospect or customer to process your ad image, so your image can either kill or save your ad.
With this in mind, also:
a. Switch Stock Photos For Real People
Visual Website Optimizer ran a test to see which image types had the most significant impact on conversions. One case study first showed artists’ work under their name, and then just a personal picture of these artists. And the results were...
The CTR of their own real pictures lifted by 95%.
Stock images are often devoid of emotion, and people feel less connected to them versus something more realistic.
And realistic doesn’t have to mean unprofessional. Take this example from Virgin America:
b. Make Your Color Scheme Intentional
Color drastically affects the buying process. A Kissmetrics study showed that 85% of customers base their purchasing decisions on color:
Colors mean different things in different cultures, so be sure to check out these differences and use them strategically in your ads.
6. Add A Promotion
Yes, this is an obvious one, but it’s worth taking some time to develop your promotion to increase conversion rates.
Free shipping and discounts are great. You can also use the power of free without giving away your product by making the “free” part of a special offer that comes with buying your client’s product, like this:
Or highlighting a discount + a sense of urgency and scarcity like this one:
…Or using free as a lead generation mechanism, like this:
7. Instill Urgency
Instilling urgency can be added to your ad creative in an elegant and simple way. Like this example:
Test different urgency messaging, but always be sure to aid your client’s prospect or customer to act now, rather than later or tomorrow (never).
8. Consider Adding Prices
This tip comes straight from Google, but it has to be done correctly: ideally when a brand takes pride in their pricing. Like this, from Dollar Shave Club:
Or this one:
9. Harness The Power of AI Advertising Tools
Sick of having to optimize ad creative over all your advertising platform accounts and within each ad group?
There’s nothing like menial, repetitive tasks that occupy all your time to suck up your creative energies and leave you feeling frustrated, confused, and probably a little bored.
It’s such a shame that humans are being consumed with optimization when it’s proven that they excel at creative, strategic and higher-level tasks—whereas machines that use machine learning and cutting-edge, real AI-powered technology can quickly and easily do all the work for them.
It’s even actually using this technology to plan, test and execute your creative ideas and hypotheses to gain new insights into what your audience needs.
Adext's AMaaS (Audience Management as a Service) manages the optimization and budgets of over 20 demographic groups per ad, performs 480 daily improvements to your ads and can boost ad spend efficiency by up to 500%.
Find out more in this guide that explains how it uses machine learning to find the most profitable audience for any ad.