Last Updated 9/6/18.

"How can I make my ads better?" "What works?"

Sound familiar? Here at Feathr we are often asked what are the best practices for designing display ads.

There is a lot of advice to be found across the internet, but this is what we have found to be most successful in our experience.

Have a specific call-to-action

This is pretty basic, but if you want someone to click on your ad or register for your event, tell them. Direct calls are the best way to guide your potential attendees to registration or exhibitors to inquire about exhibiting at your show.

Keep it simple

Most designers in ad-tech advocate for simplicity. We’re not designers, but we trust experts. So keep it simple: a strong visual aide, a headline, and call-to-action. We also advise to keep it in line with the current branding of your show. Retargeting is most effective at reminding visitors about your show - If they don’t instantly recognize your brand you’re missing your chance to remind them, so don’t deviate too much from the branding of your show. That is not to say that you can’t play with new colors, as sometimes it’s a good thing to dramatically change the look of your ads mid-way through the campaign to protect yourself from banner blindness.

Double or Nothing 

Have two versions of the same creatives in different colors, but still within brand. We have found that you’re more likely to pay attention to a banner that is a different color rather than to one with a different message on it so if you’re going to change creatives (which we recommend doing) make sure they don’t look so similar that you can’t clearly recognize the difference from your periphery. In other words, avoid changing just the message.

Follow Through

Bring your customers where they expect to go. Click-through-rates are notoriously low, somewhere around .10% and .25% for retargeting campaigns. A way to increase engagement is to make your advertisement look like it leads somewhere that is legitimate and relevant to the ad.

Keep it Real

Pictures of real things and people tend to be most effective. Anecdotally, many of our customers have suggested that pictures of people on their ads, such as a keynote speaker or industry big shot, increases click-through-rates.

Some Final Tips

As a consumer you are probably the best judge, so try looking at your creative in the context of some of the sites you browse.

Does it look like a legitimate ad that will take you to the event site? We think that by adding something that moves on the page it will draw our attention to it, but in reality, it annoys most consumers. Best practice on animated .gif is to have them stop rotating after about 15 seconds.

The number one reason why people don’t click on ads, according to a survey by  AdKeeper, is that they don’t want to be pulled away from what they are doing. You want to be clever and straight forward but not obnoxious - That is just as dangerous as not being in front of them at all.

We hope this article was helpful and if you have any other questions about effective display advertising feel free to reach out to your Customer Success Manager.

Related Links

Creative Specs for Ad Campaigns
Creative Specs for Facebook Campaigns

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