Design Like A Pro: Creating Eye-Catching Ads
In the last month you’ve probably seen hundreds of print and online advertisements. For many of them you likely breezed right past, but some were eye-catching ads that forced your attention. Why was that? It was probably designed by a pro.
The purpose of an advertisement is to stop the reader or viewer and deliver a single message. An effective ad will quickly share and communicate that message, moving the reader to action. It’s not an easy thing to do in just a few seconds, but that’s all the time you have to capture the reader’s attention.
The top three reasons why B2B companies should advertise are to:
- establish brand and or product awareness or interest
- reinforce brand and or product preference
- grow their business
Advertising can do these things for you all B2B companies – provided it’s done right.
An effective advertisement contains three elements:
- A clear message
- Polished look
Missing even one of the three elements means the ad likely won’t stop the reader or efficiently deliver its message. When that happens, the fails. Let’s set out to ensure your ads stop readers and persuade them to action.
A Clear Message
For an ad to be effective, you initially need a compelling reason to produce the ad. The ad needs to contain a main message or offer that’s going to illicit the reader’s interest. One thing you want to avoid is getting stuck into a reactive me too position and feel the need to produce an ad because a competitor is running a similar product advertisement. If you allow yourself to fall into this trap, your advertisement won’t be effective. You must be able to bring something worthwhile to your audience.
Create a single, clear message, using your product’s unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP will tell reader’s how your product or service differentiates you from the competition. Identify it and focus your ad around it. Your ad needs to convey it’s one and only message to the reader quickly or risk being ignored. The ad should tell the reader what the product benefit is and then relay how it’s going to affect them.
The old adage that less is more applies to many things, including ads. Just because you have space in your ad doesn’t mean you have to fill it with additional information, messaging, taglines or photos. Remember: the ad needs to have a clear message and communicate the main benefit to the reader in just a few seconds. That’s not going to happen if you try to cram an entire brochure’s worth of content into it.
To effectively and succinctly communicate the ad’s main message to readers, it needs a strong headline and image, supported by concise body copy that leads to a call to action. Be confident in the message you’re putting out, and do so in the way that’s easily understood to the reader. Avoid cramming unnecessary information into your ad, such as:
- multiple subheads
- lengthy paragraphs
- unneeded graphic elements
- additional photos
You want your message to standout, not be hidden behind clutter!
Your ad’s call to action, tells the reader what you want them to do. This can be directing them to a website or asking them to call for more information. Be clear in how you want the reader to engage with you.
Want to make sure no one remembers your ad? Slapping it together with poor photos, graphics, and bland copy will do just that. Your ads, just like your website, collateral material, sales tools etc. are a direct reflection of your company and brand – so make them look good.
When your ad is polished and professional, the credibility of you message and company is immediately strengthened. Embarking on a media campaign takes time and money. Skimping on design. Photography is one area where corners are often cut to save money – and that’s a wrong move.
As consumers of promotional materials, we’ve become accustomed to high-quality images, coupled with snappy headlines. We’ve also formed quality-based opinions surrounding these elements, which influence our buying decision. A good image or photograph goes a long way toward catching a reader’s eye and holding their interest. If your ad looks cheap and patched together, that’s how your brand will be viewed. Invest in professional photography or illustration to best capture the shot your ad requires. Don’t ignore the power of good photography.
For best results consider hiring creative professionals to design your ads. Better yet, choose a creative team that’s familiar with the specifics of your niche. They will know your audience and how to best communicate with them. Again, if your message isn’t heard by the targeted audience in their own language – the ad will fail.
Following these three steps will increase the chances of your ad and message being seen, received and most importantly, acted upon.