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Digital Display Creative Pro-Tips

By Tad Richardson Principal, Hi Pop! Media


While a good media partner can ensure your campaign reaches the right people, in the right places, at the right times, the very best media planning can be quickly rendered ineffective by creative that falls flat. While the product, service, and messaging of every ad will vary, here are some pragmatic tips to help you get the most out of ALL of your digital display creative:

1. Keep It Simple. While animated ads and other “rich media” applications may have their place in more robust media plans, most campaign goals can be reached with simple static banner ads. With the speed that people scroll, click, and consume content, it helps to say what you need in a single frame, or risk your message getting lost. Remember, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) defines “viewable” as in-view for only 1 second. Animation for the sake of animation is counter-productive.

2. Logo Visibility. Make sure your Logo/Brand is present on every frame of the ad. This particularly applies to animated and video ads, but the same can be said for static ads. Simply put, make sure the brand is always clearly identifiable. Far too often, we see ads that tell a story throughout the animation but “save” the logo for the last frame like a big “reveal.” Again, given the breakneck speed with which most of us consume content, this is a big mistake. One advertiser that consistently seems to knock this one out of the park is McDonald’s, as seen here.

3. URL as Ad Copy. By and large, the quality consumers most advertisers seek don’t click many display ads. In a recent review of cumulative Hi Pop! Media campaign data, we found >1260% more total content engagement and conversions than clicks. This means that rather than clicking through to your landing page, savvy consumers tend to navigate directly to your website to learn more about any messages that may have caught their attention. Make sure they know how to find you by including your URL as copy in the ad itself. Instead of generic call-to action buttons like “click here” or “learn more” try “Visit ourwebsite.com/specialoffer” or simply the URL itself.

4. Include Large Format Ad Sizes. While the standard 160×600, 300×250, and 728×90 desktop ad sizes are pervasive across most inventory sources and necessary for scale, larger format ads like the 300×600 and 970×250 tend to provide a boost in performance. In fact, we typically see CTR’s for large format ads that are 250% higher than standard sizes! When it comes to mobile, stay away from the 300×50 and 320×50 banners in favor of the larger 300×250 rectangle.

5. Mix it Up. No single message will resonate with every prospect and over time, ad fatigue always settles-in. Extend the life of your campaign by including at least two versions of your ads. Even subtle difference to variables like ad copy, images, and background colors will make a difference. If your campaign targets multiple audiences, be sure to have a unique message for each. Consider ad revisions every 3 months, as you introduce creative A/B testing to your campaign management routine.

6. Follow the Specs! Just about every inventory provider has their own set of ad specifications. The differences are relatively few and generally very subtle – but regardless of with whom you’re running your ads, follow the specs.

We’re certain these simple guidelines will help you get more out of your digital display campaigns by ensuring you run on the very best inventory available, generating better brand awareness, creating a more 1:1 relationship with consumers, and avoiding negative user experiences. What would you add to the list?

Hi Pop! Media

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