The 2 Commandments Of Online Ad Creative

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The 2 Commandments Of Online Ad Creative
Smart online ads can be the difference between your business becoming a wild success or your living arrangements moving to permanent status with your in-laws. The hard part is that bad online marketing doesn’t always look “bad.” Instead, bad online marketing doesn’t utilize the advantages it has over traditional media: specifically when it comes to Targeting and Promoting Action.

Traditional advertising’s targeting strategy is essentially a shot-gun approach to a huge mass of people and a prayer that at least some of the individuals fall within the intended audience. Online advertising gives the advantage of highly precise targeting. When we say precision, we mean at an individual level. If your audience is 25-year-old, married, Canadian women who are pregnant and have a college education, we can make sure your ads go to them and only them.


The trick is getting the creative to not only compliment, but also augment that advantage. Good online creative works hand-in-hand with quality online targeting to speak directly to your target audience. For instance, the ad below performed extremely well. Since we were able to specifically target horse owners and people who are really involved in caring for horses, we were able to drive an incremental 35,000 website visits and 20,000 shares on Facebook as a result of this ad.


The reason the ad worked so well is because it complimented our targeting. We knew what type of viewer would be seeing the ad and chose a creative strategy that we knew would interest and motivate them into action.

Traditional advertising tends to focus on “recall ability” rather than immediate action. Let’s say you’re driving down the freeway and see a billboard for “Revitalizing Skin Lotion.” How realistic is it that you’ll immediately get off the freeway, locate and drive to the nearest store, find the product (if you can still remember its name), and actually buy it. It’s not realistic at all. That’s why a lot of traditional advertising just focuses on encouraging viewers to remember the brand rather than actually driving sales.

On the other hand, viewers can always immediately act with online advertising. The same “Revitalizing Skin Lotion” ad done online allows the viewer to go from start to finish in the buying process in seconds. Even non-ecommerce companies can emphasize immediate action, such as “Sign up for our Newsletter” or any other actions that’ll largely increase the chance of buying.

The biggest problem is that so many online marketers don’t utilize this significant advantage. Online ads are still riddled with vague or even non-existent calls to action. For example, check out the ad below. From a design point, it’s done with a crisp, entertaining image. But there’s nothing that compels viewers to actually act on the ad and lead them further down the funnel.


The solution is simple: Entice the viewer to act and tell them exactly what they need to do. It’s amazing how even a simple “click to learn more” can make a significant difference.

In fact, try that “call to action” principle right now by clicking the “Contact ” tab above.

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