Best Practices to Swear by When Designing Display Ads for Your Brand

Do consumers usually ignore your display ads?

Display ads, a form of online paid advertising, can be highly beneficial for businesses if implemented right. In fact, they are a significant element in an online seller’s paid advertising campaign.

Display ads, also known as banner ads, can be used to create brand awareness, engage and re-target consumers, and track and monitor your ad engagement. They are an inexpensive advertising option, as well.

There are several reasons why consumers may be ignoring or blocking display ads. You can see some of the reasons below.

blocking display ads

So, as an online marketer, your task is to design display ads that are appealing enough to make your audience want to click. Plus, you will have to target the right audience.

In this article, we will be discussing some great tips to help you design memorable display ads.

How to make every display ad memorable

1- Make it relevant

To make your ads relevant, you will have to know what your customers are looking for. Relevant ads will make customers more likely to click on your ads.

Here are some techniques you can apply:

  • Create specific ad groups: Every single ad group in your campaign should focus on a sole product or service. It will make your ads appear more relevant to customers. 
  • Provide relevant content: Your content should deliver what your audience is looking for and include keywords that reflect the interests of your primary customers.
  • Choose the right ad network: You should link your audience to publishers relevant to them and your specific focus.
  • Use cookies: Cookies can help you to create relevant, personalized ads. Cookies can help your site identify people who have visited your site before.
  • Optimize it for mobile: To keep up with the smartphone audience, you will have to optimize your banner ads for mobile.
  • Take part in affiliate programs: When you take part in affiliate programs, you can pair up with companies that share the same audience. Displaying your ads on an affiliated publisher’s site is a good way to combat banner blindness.

2- Write compelling copy (CTA)

Adding a compelling call to action will urge your audience to take action. Here are some tips to remember while creating CTA:

  • Add a strong command verb.
  • Use words to provoke emotion.
  • Provide your audience with a compelling reason why they should take the desired action.
  • Create urgency without being pushy.
  • Customize your CTA based on the device used by your customers.
  • Don’t be afraid to spice up your CTA.
  • Note that consumers respond well when they see numbers, including discounts, pricing, incentives, and so on.

Below is a great example of CTA that evokes curiosity and makes audiences want to click.

Crazyegg a heat map

You can also aggravate a problem in your CTA and offer solutions.

aggravate a problem in your CTA and offer solutions

When you create a CTA, you should have a deeper understanding of your audience.

3- Use negative space

Overstuffing your ads is one of the biggest mistakes you can make while designing your display ads. Use negative space – also known as white space. Basically, it is the empty space that surrounds the text, image, or logo. White space will allow the viewer’s eyes to rest, focus on the message, and improve retention.

To use negative space effectively, choose a focal point for each ad or promotional piece. It will see that your viewers get the point without any confusion.

If you look at the visual below of Volkswagen, you will notice that the creator has left a negative space where the product should go to highlight the precision parking feature. It also mentions certain benefits you could obtain from this feature.

Use negative space

4- Keep it minimal (KISS principle) but mesmerizing

You might be tempted to add everything you possibly could to your ad to get your money’s worth. But it is the worst move you would be making. Thus, keep it simple and use the KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) principle.

As most display ads are small in size, adding too much information can make your ad look overcrowded, and it will be difficult for your readers to get past the information.

Remember that viewers are going to glance at your ads for just a few seconds. You have just a few seconds to convey your brand’s core message. 

Keep your text, images, and Call-to-Actions (CTA) clear and simple yet mesmerizing. 

Here is how Sephora does it.

sephora display ad example

Their ad doesn’t say much, but it has a simple, clean design that utilizes negative space and a clear hierarchy, thus making it more effective.

5- Focus on consistent branding

Consistent branding is crucial across all deliverables to create a unified company image. Ensure that all your display ads have the same basic look and feel. Even when your viewers are looking at a different ad, they should be able to instantly connect the new ad with the old one and associate it with your brand.

Remember that users trust consistency and reliability. When you are consistent, it will encourage trust. Also, consistency will create brand recognition. Why do you recognize Apple’s or Nike’s products easily? They are doing their advertising right by the following consistency. Discover How Graphic Impact Serves Its Many Markets

You can have a look at Nike’s ads to get an idea:

nike display ads examples

Wrapping Up

Display ads, if done right, can be super beneficial for online businesses. It is something you should not miss out on, especially if you are an e-commerce business.

For instance, you can join e-commerce platforms such as Shopify Plus and place display ads to create brand awareness and engage and re-target customers as well. And since mobile display ads are becoming very popular, mobile-optimized platforms like Shopify Plus make it easier for marketers to display ads.

A study found that mobile and desktop ads contribute to 43% of the total ad spend in the US. The figure is estimated to reach 52.4% by 2022.

When designing your display ads, apply the five best practices mentioned in this article to increase click-through rates. Don’t overdo anything, keep it relevant, write compelling CTAs, use negative space, and focus on consistent branding.

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