Designing Ads That Click

Hyder Jaffari
November 06, 2023
Designing Ads That Click

With Q4 and the holiday shopping season in full swing, every business is trying to get the most out of the year-end festive spirit. According to Statista*, the digital ad spend for 2023 will click in at about US $630 billion. That's a lot of ads.

If you are a business, you should be ready with your ad database. If you are not, no worries; there's still time. Our post today will aim to help you figure out how to design ads that click.

Designing Clickable Ads

There are various types of ad formats displayed on millions of websites and major search engines. We will discuss the four main groups here to help narrow the focus.

Also, this isn't going to be a design course, and we will be objective about the content and context of the ads you will be making and using some market research to make educated guesses. Opinions expressed here do not provide any verifiable results.

Banner Ads

Banner ads have several key features that help make them practical for online advertising campaigns. These include:

  • Visually appealing
  • Displays text
  • Invites with CTA
  • Responsive
  • Interactive capable

Here are some tips on how you can optimize your banner ads.

Format: Here, you will decide what size your banner will be. Research shows that there are three main sizes used in 90% of banner advertising.

  • Medium banner: 300×250
  • Leaderboard: 728×90 (Ever wonder why 2 pixels were left out?)
  • Wide skyscraper: 160×600

The most popular one is 300x250, so if you use this format, you can include a decent image, have space left over for some text, and even add a prominent CTA button.

Visual Elements: You want to add imagery that will be inviting and showcase your product in a 'useful' scenario. To give you an idea, here are some scenarios for a few products:

  • Footwear: Show a person running, walking, or at an event prominently featuring the shoes.
  • Home Improvement: Use side-by-side images that demonstrate the transformation or improvement.
  • Digital Products: Display the product dashboard or application interface to showcase ease of use.

CTA: Your call to action can be encased in a button or as a big headline in the banner. Read our post here to write a more creative call to action.

Text Ads

Text ads are very different from banner ads, as you are entirely without any visual element. Here are some tips to create a text ad that clicks.

CTA: Starting with a call to action in text ads works well because if there is any visual element that attracts a viewer's eye, it would be a few catchy words.

  • Write your CTA to sell the main proposition.
  • Give it an urgency.
  • Provide a reward to click through.

Value: Your text ad needs to provide value. The user needs to understand why clicking this will get him your product + more. It's up to you to decide what the 'more' would be. Some ideas are:

  • A discounted rate
  • Access to exclusive content or price
  • Why you are unique from your competitors
  • Highlight benefits

Video Ads

The 'in' thing for the past couple of years in advertising has been video. With many social sites making video their mainstay, the number of advertisers embracing this medium has only increased.

Statista** reports that video advertising is projected to reach US $176 billion in 2023.

Here are some ways to make your video ads more compelling today.

Storytelling: Video is perfect to tell a story, even if it's just for 15 to 30 seconds. Highlight the problem or need your product or service addresses and how it provides a solution.

  • Describe how a customer can overcome obstacles.
  • Present a problem or challenge which should resonate with the pain points or needs of your target audience.
  • Communicate the benefits and features of the product or service within the context of the story.

Demonstration: Show how the product works or provide a how-to guide through practical examples. By providing knowledge, your customers will build trust in your product.

Social Media Ads

Advertising on social networks provides a unique opportunity to engage users in a highly personalized and social context. Social media presents an opportunity to interact with users when their guard is down, as they typically browse to relax and share.

The opportunity here lies in being interactive and engaging. Here are a few ways that you can enhance your social media ads.

Exclusive Offers: Promote special offers, discounts, or promotions exclusive to the platform you are advertising on. Limited-time deals or unique discounts can create a sense of urgency.

User-Generated Content (UGC): Incorporate UGC, such as photos or reviews from satisfied customers, to show trust and authenticity. Real people using your product or service demonstrate real-world experiences, which helps to convert viewers into customers.

Visual Testimonials: Incorporate short video testimonials or interviews with satisfied customers, employees, or experts, as these can be particularly persuasive.

These are just a few ways to design your ads to be clickable for the upcoming shopping season. There are many tools online that provide tools and graphical content to help you create banners, videos, and interactive ads. Happy designing!


** Statista video

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