3 questions to ask before you make a display ad live

Display ads are the digital equivalent of Banner advertisements and serve the purpose of creating brand awareness as well as brand recall. But in the extremely crowded display advertising world, advertisers are highly susceptible to being shunned to the side as “just another banner ad” which often makes people sceptical of display advertising. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a key issue in reaching today’s digital consumer, as the usage on different devices comes into play at different times of the day.

Display advertisements have worked wonders for many brands and can do the same for anyone who asks himself 3 simple questions before making their campaigns live:

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Does the ad stand out from the crowd?

You have all your ads ready with you and uploaded them already but haven’t made them live yet.

Before you go ahead and give them the green signal, why not have a look at the ads from the perspective of the user? Give your ad a quick, visual look on every device — PC, tablet and smartphones. Does your ad stand out? Or does it dissolve into the mush of sameness? If it doesn’t stand out, then it’s not going to work. Also, do remember this: your audience will see your ad in different form factors on different devices. If your ad stands out on all of them, you’re ahead by a mile.

The Digital Display advertising space is a jungle and much of it is the same. Creative which actually capture the attention are not loud. They have the advantage of being different. To put some oomph into your creative — think about any of the combinations of 3D, motion, video and animation (also known as rich media) in your creative, on every screen.

First Impression: The first impression is the best impression for many things in life. Banner blindness is prevalent online, and mobile ads are prone to accidental clicks. The colours, the design, the fonts should be consistent with the image of your company. Is your ad creating THAT first impression?

Consistency: Next comes an equally important aspect: consistency. Brand recall is deeply tied to delivering a consistent message to the digital consumer. It doesn’t have to have the same visual or the same headline, however, your creative messages across devices should look like they all come from the same brand. After all, your ad is your “familiar face” in the crowd. Consistency is absolutely key to engaging the consumer on digital devices and to encouraging higher brand recall.

The Big Answer: The headline and visual of your ad should answer the question “what’s in it for me?” If it doesn’t do that quickly and effectively, your audience may gloss over it without ever bothering to read it. Customers want to know right off the bat what the product can do for them — the big benefit. Ask your creative team to address the challenging task of outlining the consumer benefit on every screen. If you don’t design the ad with the screen form factor in mind, your ad won’t go the distance. And the sale could go to your competitor.

Is this ad relevant to the Target audience?

Let’s consider an example of a luxury fashion brand that has a new & exclusive wedding collection for the impending wedding season. They have identified the correct target group but after the campaign was over with not even a single sale, post campaign diagnosis revealed that the creative used for the campaign, although carrying correct verbiage of the sale, had images that tilted more towards a stylish summer collection and hence the TG did not even click on the ads to visit the site and have a look at the collection.

Relevancy of the content to the Target audience is crucial as it lays the foundation of engagement with the ad which then results in a click (and hopefully, a conversion)

Is there a connection with the destination page and the ad?

You have the creative & the relevancy to the Target audience in place. All set? Well… Not just yet.

The most important thing an advertiser should ensure, above all else, before making an ad live is the connection between the destination page and the ad.
Let’s take an example in this regard – You come across an ad that promises you and additional 15% discount on some exquisite jewellery and you click on it to look through the collection & possibly purchase something for your wife. You are taken to the website but don’t see any discounted price or even the type of jewellery that was advertised in the banner. Isn’t this a turn-off? This results in not just a bounced visit, but also potentially reputation damaging reviews.

This disconnect between your ad and the destination page is looked down upon by google as well which results in a low quality score which results in less number of impressions as well as really low click-throughs.

Consistency in the verbiage on the ad as well as the landing pages is of utmost importance. It solidifies the trust, a subconscious connection, which the user makes with the brand which was initiated with engagement with the ad.

Post-click engagement must be customized to every screen. Mobile devices are mostly touchscreen, and advertisers can leverage unique capabilities on mobile to make the user interaction with the brand enjoyable and fun, such as call, maps, viral sharing, lead gen, coupons, wiping, swiping, shaking, camera, puzzles, and games. Consider the types of interaction that aligns with the product being promoted, and choose the post-click engagement that takes maximum advantage of device capabilities.

About the Author:
Raghav Kansal is the CEO of ET Medialabs - A company that specializes in Digital Advertising & Analytics Solutions. He has also been providing consultancy to various companies for their digital marketing and advertising strategies. You can reach him at raghav@etmedialabs.com .