The Ad Creation Cheat Sheet

Ads—love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are everywhere, and they are here to stay. Some are bad, some are good, some are even funny. Some of them, however, you’ll never remember, and most are boring. But, once in a while one, ads will grab your attention and maybe even put a smile on your face while they’re at it.

Truth be told, the ad creation process can be daunting, and we aren’t all creative geniuses that can come up with a quirky tagline. That’s why we’re here to help. Using my experiences over the past 6 years working with ads across Facebook, Google & LinkedIn, I break down the campaign creation process in 4 simple steps.

Step 1 – What Consumers Care About: The Simple Facts

The purpose of any campaign is to engage your audience. Find out what makes them tick and then echo that in your messaging. In my experience, I’ve found that primarily consumers care about four things: Price, Quality, Expertise, & Delivery Times. To find out which your works best for your brand and audience, use each category to make that a campaign tag line. Run a promotion or offer a discount, boast your skillsets and abilities while giving consumers reassurance that you will get their order to them quickly. Most importantly, keep the wording simple.

You now have at least four ads to test against your audience to see which gets the most engagement. Great starting point!

Step 2 – Creative Messaging: Knowing Your Audience

Generic ads work, but they leave minimal room for optimisation and creativity. Once you’ve got the foundation set, you can begin to explore more creative ways to engage your audience. This is where a lot of advertisers miscalculate who actually is their market, believing that ‘everyone’ is their target audience. Which I can assure you, is not the case.

No matter how good and innovative your product/service is, it is important to speak to your audience on an individual level. Consider these factors: age, gender, life stage, income, likes, and values.

You may already have some basic insights about your audience based on likes and interactions on social media, or data from previous campaigns. It is necessary to use this data to appreciate differences in audiences. Frankly, a 40-year-old male with a young family may not want to be advertised in the same way a 17-year-old female high school student would.

Be conscious of the imagery and language you use, and make the ads as specific to your audiences as you possibly can. This is especially important for social campaigns, which are presented on image-heavy feeds.

Step 3 – Take What Worked & Do It Again!

Split your campaign into different groups, each with their own unique targeting and messaging. Track interactions as well as conversions. Put more resource towards the markets that bring in sales. You may be surprised to see which campaigns actually deliver the best results. Take your most responsive audience groups along with the most engaged messaging and create more campaigns. Anticipate that consumers will get bored of seeing the same ad repetitively. again, especially on visual platforms such as Facebook. It is crucial to update imagery and refresh text to keep your audience interested.

Bonus Points: Use your learnings to develop your brand. Too often we like to play it safe and try to accommodate everyone. Differentiate yourself and cater to your specific audience; make them feel unique. You’ll find that consumers can be very loyal to a brand that makes them feel good.

Step 4 – Never Get Complacent, Keep Experimenting & Keep Learning

Just because you’ve found what works today, does not mean that it will work forever. Things change, people change and you and your business will have to keep up. Re-visit Steps 1 and 2, forecast the market diversifying and embrace the growth. Getting too comfortable is never a good idea in the world of online advertising.

I know I’ve turned a very complex exercise into a condensed blog, and although I do appreciate that advertising isn’t always so simple, I hope this makes the idea of creating ads and campaigns a little less daunting. There is still a lot more to be discussed, including Ad Types, Ad targeting and Ad Optimisation, all ll topics which we will be addressed in the near future. But despite the complexity of campaign creation, don’t be afraid to give it a go knowing that agencies like Pure SEO are here to help with creative strategies as well as supporting the optimisation of your existing campaigns.

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