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How to Make Your Display Ads More Effective

AdSpark Team - 6 years ago

Capturing the attention of consumers in today’s digital world is quite difficult to achieve. With so many competing brands, consumers easily get lost in all the advertising clutter. For this reason, you need to learn how to let your display ads get the users’ attention.  It can spell the difference between a successful digital marketing campaign and a mediocre one.


Know that the odds are already stacked against you when it comes to display ads. Users are not actively searching for your product or service when your display ads show up in whatever website they are on . Making users want to click on your ads is going to be a bit difficult.


The good news is there are simple ways for you to make your display ads stand out. Here are 3 digital marketing techniques to do just that.


1. Elicit an emotional response from your target audience


Most display ads rarely have much emotional pull. The culprit is usually badly-designed images that accompany the ads. To avoid this mistake, make sure you use images that convey a strong message to your audience and make them feel things. An emotionally-powered response often leads to higher conversion.


Consider this example:


One business that provided weight loss solutions ran an ad campaign with this display ad:



The result? Abysmal.  The ad above is uninspiring; it does little except to tell you that the business offers weight loss solutions. It doesn’t make you feel the urgency to lose weight, nor does it educate you on the benefits of keeping your weight in check. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the company did not hit its target CTR with this ad.


The company then hired a digital marketing firm to help turn things around. Rather than come up with the same old ads that showcase fitness buffs as the primary subject, they went the other way:



This new ad, served solely to men, helped the business connect with their target audience in a deeper way. Using disgust and a sprinkle of humor as the primary emotional points of response, the ad posted 47% higher CTR compared to the original ad they ran. Emotional ads simply perform better.


2. Minimalism has its charms


Less is more when it comes to display ads.



Consider the two ads above. Figure 1 is cluttered with so much text that it becomes an eyesore. This type of display ad crams everything into a tiny canvas. It feels unnatural and looks even less appealing.


Now look at Figure 2. The car remains the subject of the ad and it highlights the core message offering a special annual rate.


According to Neil Patel, ads with 80 characters or less post 66% more engagement.  So make sure the creative is not too cluttered, so as not to distract your audience from your core message.


3. Take advantage of programmatic advertising


Technology has made things easier for marketers. Nowadays, you can use programmatic advertising to serve your ad copy to the right people, or serve various iterations of the same copy to different demographics. The objective here is to find which ad copy resonates best with the audience and get better engagement.



For example, you can use the same image for two sets of ad copies but with different CTAs. A/B testing your display ads can help you get higher ROIs since you can serve effective display ads to the right audience. More importantly, it can help you get insights on which ad format performs best across various customer segments.


Another advantage of A/B testing different ad formats is that you get to identify which KPIs can be easily hit with a specific ad format, thus, enabling you to serve the appropriate ad copy to an audience for a specific KPI that you are aiming to hit. Here is a simple guide on how to do A/B testing on Facebook ads.


Programmatic Advertising is the Way to Go


Mobile internet advertising is expected to add $73 billion to the global growth in ad spend between 2017-2020.



As the advertising landscape moves further into digital, programmatic advertising will be even more crucial to executing ad campaigns that will connect with the right audience.


Make sure you utilize programmatic advertising in your campaigns. Take advantage of its rich features such as machine learning, real-time data analytics, and flexibility on cross-device ad campaigns. If you’re still intimidated by the idea, rest easy with our article on myths about programmatic advertising that you need to forget.



Sagin, R. (May 7, 2018). 8 Super Creative, Crazy Effective Display Ads Ideas. Retrieved from
Eyereturn Marketing (March 18, 2016). Less Is More: 3 Ways to Make Online Ads More Effective. Retrieved from
Weir, J. (February 9, 2018). The Most Effective Advertising with Display Ads. Retrieved from
Cooper, C. (2018). 7 Best Practices for Improving Your Display Advertising. Retrieved from
Nanji, A. (April 17, 2018). Global Ad Spend Forecasts by Medium Through 2020. Retrieved from
AdSpark Team

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