I find that people are often confused about display advertising. Some feel it isn’t effective since they don’t like the medium, while others have pre-concieved notions about what is effective. Display isn’t some crazy art form that can only be executed by a select few. If you follow these 5 rules, you will be on the right path to crafting well executed online display creative.
1) Leverage your logo
While display advertising is a direct response vehicle, it is branding is an important element as well. This is especially true if your brand has recognition amongst your target audience. Don’t simply assume that your cute tagline and images will be enough to grab an eyeball and keep it there to soak in the message.
2) Always leverage a call to action
I can’t stress this enough. There should “always” be a call to action within a traditional display ad. As marketers we ultimately want the user to do something. Display advertising gives us the opportunity to draw attention and send the prospect down a path towards conversion. This rule can vary when planning and executing rich media in that there can be much more interaction with the user within the ad. But when it comes to standard GIF and Flash based ads, a distinct call to action is not an optional element.
3) Focus on the offer
Generally speaking, display ads aren’t used primarily for branding. They are best leveraged for creating conversions. Use what limited space you have to highlight the offer. Focus on what it is you are selling and how it is relevant to the target audience.
4) Show product snapshots when applicable
If you are selling a physical product include photographs. If you are promoting a service with no physical deliverable, then consider leveraging imagery that helps project the goal this product will help achieve. Just make sure the imagery doesn’t interfere with the primary message.
5) Use simple animations
Movement, when done correctly, helps to draw the eye. Which in turn, gives you an opportunity to communicate your message. A static image with no movement does not give you this ability. That said, be reasonable with your movement. If you make it too distracting it will become more of an annoyance and give people a negative image of your brand.