Whether you are advertising on Google, Instagram, or YouTube, the concept is the same: drive more sales. The competition is steep, and finding new ways to attract customers is the name of the game. Technology is giving marketers new abilities to reach consumers, but the ongoing challenge of how to win them over remains the same. Certain fundamentals will drive or nose-dive your ad campaign no matter what marketing outlet you use. Neglecting these concepts can hinder your success no matter how much creativity you put into it. We’ve pulled together some must-have characteristics that will help you better develop effective ads that convert.
1. Clearly Define Your Target Audience
This is a very basic but often overlooked element. If you want your advertising to be successful, you need to know who you are speaking to and ultimately selling to. The more specifically you can define your audience, the better results you will get.
Your target audience is a specific group of individuals with similar qualities who are collectively more likely to be interested in your product or service. The simplest way to define your target audience is to identify all their characteristics and then find the commonalities. This includes:
- Education level
- Martial status
These characteristics aren’t what should be represented within your ad, but rather to give you context on how to create your ad and where to position it. These commonalities will help you develop the right text copy of your ad so that your messaging is on brand with this audience. It will also help you understand where to place your age. For example, if your key demographic is between the ages of 45-65 years old, made up mostly of business owners, then Facebook or LinkedIn might be the best platform for your ad.
2. Create Authentic and Personalized Ads
Value propositions within ads have historically been designed around “what’s in it for them?” Ads were defined to communicate what problem they can solve and what separates them from the rest. While that concept still rings true, the messaging on how to address this has changed. Consumer demand for personalization is on the rise, and in order to meet these expectations, advertisers need to create relevant ads that identify your consumer’s journey.
This means taking a more holistic approach to your ad design. Your digital ads should be a part of a journey that drives awareness among your target audience, then nurtures that audience down the path of conversion. Consumers need different information at each stage of their purchase consideration phase, so your ads need to reflect that. For example, does your landing page effectively deliver the next step from the messaging in your ad? Ads that utilize this level of personalization will achieve greater conversions than those that don’t.
3. Continue to Optimize Through A/B Testing
Even if one ad is performing well, don’t just continue running it until it dies out. Always be testing new creatives, new hooks, new endings, and new angles with your ads. Regardless of how well-defined your target audience is or how personalized your creatives are, you can’t predict how the audience will react to your campaign.
A/B Testing is a powerful tool at your disposal. It helps you determine what parts of your ad could be optimized, usually by running two different ad variations or landing page versions. This tool lets you see firsthand which ad is more successful in driving engagement and what is resonating with your audience. A/B testing should be an ongoing practice, not just a tool you lean on when you’re not getting the desired results. It should also be used to retarget customers – those who interacted with your ad but didn’t convert. Even when performance is good, you can still find variations that perform better than current ones. It’s important not to overcomplicate the process. Only modify one element at a time when testing your ads. For example, run two variations where only the call to action differs. This will better help you track which single piece of the ad needs to be changed.
4. Know Which Metrics to Track
Data is critical. When it comes to paid advertising, data is your north star in helping you stay on the right track. It’s also important to make sure your data insights align with your marketing goals. This is why choosing the relevant KPIs to track right from the beginning is important. If your tracking data doesn’t align with your campaign goals, you could, in turn, make the wrong optimizations to your ad and move away from your objectives.
Reviewing performance data should be done on a regular basis to help find new opportunities. Before you even launch your campaign, make sure you have all the data you want to track mapped out. You should have a firm handle on not only your output metrics such as conversions, list size, or CPA, but also input metrics, such as click-through rate, CPM, CPC, email sign-up rate, and so on. Don’t be too quick to make changes after the first week of your campaign going live. The learning period for most ad algorithms is roughly seven days, so give it some time for all the data to come through before making any changes.
5. Use Short-Form Video
The short-form video should be included in all your ad campaigns. That’s not to say it should be used exclusively, but it needs to be a part of your overall strategy. Beyond the fact that video is the most consumed form of content, but also because there are so many ways to use video to pitch your brand. Video content can include product demonstrations, customer testimonials, tell a story, and so on. With more consumer behavior being driven by authenticity, video can give you a better ability to connect with your target audience emotionally.
Creating short-form videos helps deliver your message in a matter of seconds and doesn’t require a lot of production or experience. In fact, more informal and “off the cutting room floor” videos are holding the audience’s attention more than those with all the bells and whistles. So even if you don’t have a huge production budget, you can still create video advertising that tells your story and helps you reach your goals.
Creating a successful advertising strategy requires knowing your audience, consistent messaging, clear objectives, leveraging the right channels, and ongoing performance evaluation. When all this is working together, your ads will deliver the results you’re striving to achieve.
Contact our team if you need help creating an advertising campaign that stands out. We can help you develop an ad campaign that matches your business goals and captures the attention of your target audience.