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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

7 Basics to Selling Digital Advertising Creative


Like most people nowadays, I spend a lot of time online. Due to my profession, a lot of that time is spent looking at the ads on the screen. I find myself analyzing and critiquing the message, the look, and the layout of the ads, without even realizing that I am doing it. I have seen some good and some bad. 

Creative is a crucial element to the success or failure of any digital campaign. So why do so many local ads look like they are made for another medium? I frequently see ads on local media sites that look like they were made for another platform, missing the opportunity to take advantage of digital media's unique attributes. Good digital advertising is created for digital.

What makes digital creative good? Here are 7 basic points to consider:

  1. Maximize the view. Make sure you have a call-to-action. Give the user a reason to engage with the creative. Deliver the right message quickly!

  2. Use well-defined branding. Use a company logo, and make sure you localize the creative. If you are running a campaign for the local store of a national chain, make sure the user knows where to find them. Make it clear the ad is not a generic national campaign.

  3. Use multiple creative sizes. People process information on the page differently, so be sure to catch them all! When you use multiple sizes, make sure you take advantage of the benefit each layout provides.

  4. Use quality photos and testimonials. Give each user something he or she can relate to. If you are using pictures, be sure to use high-quality, real life photos. Poor resolution or low-quality images can give the wrong impression about a business.

  5. Create an interactive experience. Users like to interact with ads online, so use rich media when it makes sense. Remember rich media can take many forms. Video, flash animation, floating ads, corner peels, audio, and interactive games can all fall into this category of creative.

  6. Deliver the right message. Know the target customers, know what they are looking for, and make sure the creative speaks to that target. You also want to be sure that the landing page is where the users expect to go when they take action.

  7. Test and Optimize. Run multiple variations on your creative to test which yields the highest user engagement, and optimize your campaign to maximize your results!

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Note: This post was originally published on September 8, 2011 and has been updated.
Topics: Digital selling digital advertising