Digital advertising has a lot of potential. When done correctly, this type of outreach initiative can help drive plenty of qualified traffic to your website and increase conversions for your brand. However, if digital ads are created poorly and without the right optimization, they can be a waste of budget and time.
Digital advertising is not something that fits into the “one size fits all" category. There are tons of different platforms, channels and segments that make up the online ad space. You could be serving targeted customers with an ad as they scroll through their Facebook newsfeed, or re-targeting website visitors when they consume content on a news outlet later that day. That being said, although each type of digital advertising channel has unique attributes that should always be considered, there are several simple, yet effective techniques that could help improve results and are easy to implement.
1. Limit ad text.
It's tempting to use a lot of copy in your online ads. Seemingly, a lot of brands believe that providing the user with as many details as possible would result in more users clicking on the ads and eventually converting on your website; however, this typically isn't the case. Too much copy can easily bombard the user and distract them from the real message that your ads are trying to convey. Generally speaking, users don't want to read a lot of text—they want the simplest experience possible. The most successful digital ads are usually concise and succinct while still displaying a clear value proposition.
2. Switch up your call-to-action.
What's the goal of your ad? Whether you're trying to drive potential customers to your website to learn about a particular service or encourage users to buy a product, you need a strong call-to-action built into the creative of your ad.
Since the media is already oversaturated and users have become familiar with near-constant promotions on a daily basis, a good way to help your brand stand out is with a CTA that is out-of-the-box and not exactly “the norm." Using a CTA such as learn more or buy now isn't very compelling and isn't unique to a certain industry—it's quite generic. Leveraging creativity and simply switching the language you use for your CTA to something more enticing can really pay off.
3. Personalize ads as much as possible.
For most digital-ad platforms, especially with retargeting, leveraging list segmentation can be incredibly beneficial. You don't want to serve the same exact ad to a wide audience, or it won't be likely to resonate well. Instead focus on who the users are that you're targeting and what captures their interest.
If you think about this logically, it should come as no surprise that ads with a bit of personalization can reap greater results than a generic ad. If website visitors scanned through your product pages, looked at your outerwear products and then left your site, serving them with an ad that showcases winter coats, scarves or gloves is likely to be much more effective than serving them with an ad that showcases all of your products or simply is an image of your logo.
4. Understand the power of landing pages.
As mentioned above, you want to serve users with ads that are relevant to their interests. If you're using retargeting lists and are advertising to customers that viewed a particular product already, the advertisement should click through to that item's landing page—not just your homepage. This makes the user-experience much better and makes it much easier for the user to move further down the funnel, closer to a conversion. Even if you aren't using retargeting, this holds true. Whatever you're advertising for your brand, ads should be directed back to landing pages that house specific information related to each ad.
5. Monitor and edit accordingly.
One of the most important things to remember with digital advertising is the importance of monitoring. Check the performance of your ads on a regular basis to understand what's working and what's not so that you can identify clear areas for improvement, or elements that are generating the best results.
A/B testing is incredibly important with advertising, and should play a role in the approach your brand uses. Is there a certain time of day you serve some campaigns resulting in poor performance? Specific copy or imagery resulting in impressive click-through-rates? Don't be afraid to examine certain campaign elements and optimize or make changes accordingly.